Some 30 Cambodian ITF Taekwondo referees and umpires completed a weeklong training programme conducted by a well-known North Korean practitioner of the sport.
The seminar and training occurred as Cambodia stepped up its preparations for major ITF Taekwondo competitions here and abroad.
Last month, the Cambodian SEA Games Organizing Committee added ITF Taekwondo to the list of sports that will be contested in the 2023 Southeast Asian Games. This marks the first time for ITF Taekwondo to be included in Southeast Asia’s biggest sporting event, according to Cambodia ITF Taekwondo Federation (CITF) Chairman Keo Remy.
The programme was held at the National Training Center in Phnom Penh from September 21 to 26.
The participants trained extensively under the guidance of Master Ri Chol Nam, a North Korean ITF Taekwondo instructor who has been helping prepare the Kingdom for competitions abroad.
The participants came from Phnom Penh, Kampong Speu, Battambang, Prey Veng, Pailin and other parts of the country, according to Chivorn Pal, the coach of the Cambodian National ITF Taekwondo Team.
“The training was held to improve the skills of the umpires and referees ahead of the 2023 SEA Games,” he said.
Chivorn said the participants went through various aspects of the sport, including team sparring, self-defence, patterns and special techniques.
According to Chivorn, the CITF holds the training every year. “But this year’s training was more special,” he said, noting the greater participation of the North Korean instructor.
“In the past, it was mostly local instructors who conducted the training,” he pointed out.
Chivorn said that he is optimistic of Cambodia’s chances moving forward. “I am confident that we will get more medals and good results,” he said.
Cambodia did well in past ITF Taekwondo competitions abroad. Chivorn himself won a gold medal for Cambodia in the World ITF taekwondo Championship in Bulgaria last year.
During the closing ceremony at the Olympic Stadium on Sept 26, the participants received certificates from CITF officials led by Honorary President Lim Bunheng.
Two weeks ago, the CITF conducted a test match involving National Team members and the best players from various clubs and provinces as part of preparations for future competitions.
ITF Taekwondo is different from the traditional Taekwondo on account of its emphasis on head-height kicks, jumping spinning kicks and fast kicking techniques. Its origins have led many commentators to dub it as the ‘North Korean school of Taekwondo’.