Many believe that taekwondo is a modern martial art that was founded by Korean Army General Choi Hong Hi. A little over half a century ago, he established the International Taekwondo Federation, which he headed until the last day of his life.
And after his death, the taekwondo was split up into different parts, the most famous of which are ITF – International Taekwondo Federation, and WTF – World Taekwondo Federation.
Both of these main directions of modern taekwondo that differ in terms of competition rules and of protection equipment to be worn, have become widespread in Turkmenistan.
But to learn the origins of modern taekwondo, one should delve deeply into the long history of the Korean nation and study Korean ancient martial arts traditions such as Taekkyon, Subak, etc.
There is no need to say that taekwondo, like all the martial arts of the East, is not just effective complex of self-defence techniques and attacks on a presumptuous opponent, but also a harmonious system of methods of spiritual self-knowledge.
Most analysts believe the followers of the ITF version are the direct successor of the taekwondo techniques by General Choi Hong Hi; the ITF has become more widespread in the Asian part of the continent, including Turkmenistan, since 1993.
The interest of young people in taekwondo is caused by the fact that the Turkmen leader – President Berdimuhamedov – is a seventh dan black belt in taekwondo holder.
So what did the completed taekwondo championship of Turkmenistan demonstrate?
First of all, it should be noted that, over the past 10-15 years, the skill level of the Turkmen taekwondo school has significantly increased. It includes champions and prizewinners of both world and Asian championships, cups and international tournaments. Also, among women.
The unchanging head coach of the national team of Turkmenistan (he is the first who mastered and began to promote this martial arts in the country), Aydogdy Atabayev, is considered one of the most respected taekwondo mentors in the world. His sport carrier incudes the wins at both the International and Asian Taekwondo championships.
This year, Turkmen taekwondo sportsmen were actively preparing for the World Cup, which scheduled to be held in Barcelona. However, the World Cup has had to be postponed to next year due to the well-known and devilishly bored reasons.
And the geography of taekwondo spread in Turkmenistan has significantly leveled out, as well as the skill of the followers of this sports. If even a dozen and a half years ago, Mary province was a leader in taekwondo –as Aydogdy Atabayev is a native of this province, and, it was a first region involved in taekwondo to be later spread across Turkmenistan, then over the past ten years, Ashgabat and other provinces have become worthy rivals.
So, the Combat Martial Arts Complex of the Turkmen Olympic village hosted the final of the country’s championship. It was unusual in a way of its holding.
The opening ceremony, in addition to traditional speeches and envoys of higher sports organizations, has featured representatives of other sports, artists, and even clowns who entertained the audience. It was more like a show, rather than a standard established opening ceremony program of the domestic championship.
Well, the performances of the taekwondo sportsmen were the crown of the sports event. Swift self-defense techniques against three rivals, including those with sticks.
A filigree technique of patterns performing, including breathtaking acrobatic methods of defense and response to an attack, flashed before the eyes of the audience, instantly replacing each other.
Clearly, as on the command of the invisible prompter, a tuli discipline, a complex of exercises of a certain sequence of attacking and defensive techniques, was performed. In most cases, the tuli discipline allows judges to assess the level of professionalism of a taekwondo sportsman.
The program of opening the championship ended with fights with a prize fund. The competitions were uncompromising: swift attacks, clear blocks, active respond action, and high energy of martial arts – all this with great interest was observed by fans of oriental martial arts.
By the way, last year the premiere of the feature film “The Path to Perfection” took place, in which Turkmen taekwondo sportsmen were not only performed the martial arts techniques, but also starred in the film. These are participants and organizers of the current national championship – Gaygysyz Atabayev, Orazmurad Chariyev and Resul Amandurdyev, etc.
There were no any sensation at the current championship – members of the team took their usual places on the podium. But junior team sportsmen, especially from the regions, sometimes gave such rebuff to the leaders that it was sometimes so difficult for them that the winner was determined at the very last moment after scoring all the points.
The main conclusion, perhaps, is that the Turkmen taekwondo school, like many other sports disciplines, has already grown out of the short pants of amateur sports. The next and logical stage is to develop professional sports in the country. For the good, there is necessary legal framework for this.
Despite the existence of a law on professional sports, parliamentarians are currently working on a new bill that to be in line with latest trends, which, according to deputies and the country’s sports authorities, will soon be published.
Local experts believe that the list of sports disciplines that to claim to be developed under conditions that new for the Turkmen sports would include taekwondo, kickboxing, waist-wrestling and some others.
It would be good. But, as it is said, we shall see what we shall see. After all, the above-mentioned athletes’ followers have enough skill.
Photo by Suleyman CHARIYEV
Video by Palvan GELDIYEV