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Billy Shat asked in SportsMartial Arts · 1 decade ago

What is the difference between ATA, ITF, and WTF Tae Kwon Do?

I was lectured by a guy who was a member of ATA that ATA is 'real Tae Kwon Do' and anything else is a joke. This gentleman said that it didn't matter if I learned TKD in Korea, ATA is the only recognized form in the world and the rest is junk. Any thoughts?

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Run away from that place!

    While all 3 versions have similar techniques, they are different.

    The ATA has a bad reputation. There used to be a blurb about the ATA on Wikipedia, but it's not there anymore. The ATA will not compete with other TKD styles, no "open" competition.

    The WTF (World TKD Federation) is the only TKD Federation recognized by the South Korean government and the IOC (International Olympic Committee). A black belt from an ATA school would not be allowed to compete at the Olympics, or in any WTF sanctioned event.

    The ITF (International TKD Federation) has split into the different ITF's, but with very similar backgrounds.

    All 3 systems have slightly different sparring rules, and different forms (poomse/kata). But techniques are similar.


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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    ATA was created and developed by Haeng Ung Lee who was trained in Korea. His system is called Songham and is not recognized by the official governing body of Tae Kwon Do. ATA is closed system because they are highly commercialized and yes, they have a much needed bad reputation.

    The Intentional Tae Kwon Do Federation, or ITF is the original organization developed by Tae Kwon Do founder General Choi to promote world wide acceptance of his system. They are recognized by the WTF but have more of a traditional type training which not as sport oriented as the other systems of TKD.

    The World Tae Kwon Do Federation is the official governing body for TKD and is located in Korea. They are not a system but rather the body that sets the standards for their members. The WTF is more sport oriented in their choices and that is why they are heads of the Olympic TKD. Keep in mind they had a major scandal with fraud a few years back.

    None of these are better than the other since they are all basically the same thing, just with different forms and requirements.

    Source(s): I am a 7th degree black belt in Chung Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do and a 6th degree black belt in Goju Ryu Karate Kai.
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  • ^
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    ATA is not practiced in Korea. Mainly the WTF is the organization that reperesents Tae Kwon Do in Korea. The ITF may still function in Korea as well as Tang Soo Do does. The ATA is the American Tae Kwon Do Association, if you ask anyone from Korea, they would laugh at the thought of the ATA being the real TKD....The words ATA would not even "sell" in Korea. They would be laughed out of Kukkiwan and Seoul Korea.

    Source(s): I have been in MA since 1983 and have many friends from South Korea
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  • 3 years ago

    World Taekwondo Federation Kukkiwon

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  • 5 years ago

    I'm a yellow belt now but when I got this paper that said I'm now a low yellow belt, it had ATA and ITF on it

    • Win4 years agoReport

      You seem either surprised or confused or both. LOL

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    ATA is just an amarican organization school. I don't even know if they are linked to the real organizations like ITF or Kukkiwon.

    The true organizations for Tae Kwon Do are:

    ITF and Kukkiwon.

    WTF is not an organization like ITF or Kukkiwon which has ranks, WTF serves as a tournament organization for tae kwon do.

    Kukkiwon is affiliated with WTF

    ITF has it's own rules and is itself an organization for tournaments unlike Kukkiwon where it is only a ranking organization(although WTF more popular since Olympic Tae Kwon Do is based on WTF)

    • Win4 years agoReport

      So ATA is not a "True" organization of TaeKwonDo?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Lies and Slander

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