Taekwondo Leadership

Note to international friends and readers: I must apologize in advance for the bits of  “local flavor” in this post. Some of the points just couldn’t contain the kind of “oomph” necessary to emphasize my feelings without resorting to local vernacular. Sorry  🙂


You’re all Taekwondoists, and Taekwondo is a martial art, and those that came before us in the art are literally called that, “one who came before” — Sensei in Japanese, and Xiansheng in Chinese.

We must respect them, because they deserve it — and because, as martial artists, it is in our character to respect our teachers and seniors. If we don’t do that, then we do not have a martial art. We just have activity.

Then again, a martial art is a “technical” sphere of activity and those who would lead us should have such a technical background. If one cannot even differentiate between a lower-section block and a high-section block, he has no business trying to lead a Taekwondo fraternity or organization.

You know whom I speak of. And because these people either don’t have the expertise or the substance to lead us in what after all is a martial art, they try to assume a haughty and arrogant “you-are-beneath-me-and-not-fit-to-even-stand-in-my-very-presence-I’m-doing-you-a-favour-to-even-be-talking-to-you-let-alone-lead-your-stupid-association” attitude, making you feel that THEY are above you.

Let me tell you my friends, it is a big, big bluff. They know they don’t have the substance, so they try to hoodwink you into buying the bluff, the empty talk.

In Hokkien, they “bo liao”, hence the blustery, arrogant and pompous attitude. I tire of such people. Don’t you?

If you have even a black belt, or even a Gup rank, you outrank them in Taekwondo. So, you don’t have to kow-tow to them. They’re all bluff and no substance. All sizzle and no steak. Why listen to them?

And heaven forbid, why fear them.

They got “che kai” cards but trying to bluff you into believing they have a royal flush. Don’t let them fool you.

For example, at a recent Poomsae seminar, one such “leader”, in his opening remarks, asked the coordinator, “What’s the difference between Pomsae and Taekwondo? Once they have attended this Poomsae seminar can they also participate in Taekwondo?”

And this, dare I say it, moron is supposed to lead US? And lead some of the highest-ranking Masters and Grandmasters in the country?


No wonder one particular segment of the Taekwondo community in this country is in the doldrums. With leaders like these, who needs enemies?

Lest anyone misunderstand me, let me set the record straight.

I have the highest respect for the Master and Grandmasters of the art who have dedicated their entire lives to the study, development and propagation of the art. I have great respect for the wonderful athletes who have given their time and even livelihoods to the pursuit of glory in the competitive arena. I salute the instructors and coaches who have sacrificed so much to see the game reach the glory it deserves.

But I do not suffer fools who pretend to leadership in our art who have no inkling of what the art is all about, nor a clue as to what leadership entails. I have no time nor inclination to even talk to such fools.

There are Masters who have been in it the game for 40 – 50 years. These are the veterans, and I respect them. I myself have in the game for more than 30 years, 20+ as a coach. Do you think I’d listen to pretenders who have no clue what they’re doing in or to the game?

I don’t respect even veterans who HAVE been in the game for umpteen years but who are, even now, motivated by selfish and self-centered ambitions. What more pretenders who have NO experience nor knowledge of the game?

Just because you’re a politician or someone with a title, and the majority have been hoodwinked by your sweet-talk or pretenses, or what-not’s, and you’re sitting there on your so-called throne doesn’t mean you can fool me.

I have my knowledge, my experience and above all, my dignity. I will not bow my head just because you’re an elected official of the organization. It is YOU who should bow to me because, after all, you’re more junior than me in Taekwondo.

Not a fact that you like, isn’t it?


In any case, my Taekwondo friends, be careful who you “give away your power” to. Power is in your hands. The Other only has power if you give it to him. YOU have the Power. Exercise it.

After all that rant, let me categorically state that the only person in this game, in this country that I’d recognize as my legitimate grandmaster is Grandmaster Leow Cheng Koon, 8th Dan Kukkiwon, of Moodukkwan Malaysia.

Not that there are no others, but it’s just that I may not know them yet. Of those that I do know, there are a few I’d recognize as Masters of the game, as far as I’m concerned, but these are few and far between.

There are no others, that I know of, that is well-enough equipped to lead me. I’m a simple man, but a complex individual, with much knowledge (but perhaps less wisdom) and lots of experience in the game. Not easy to “goreng” me.

Only the legitimate can lead.

And GM Leow is as legitimate as can be. Only he can lead the entire game in the country back to glory. No one else.

I know it, because I’ve seen the leaders see the “promised land”, and all they see are “giants in the land”. And they see themselves as grasshoppers, unable to do much. Or they dare not even speak up, let alone DO something.

You want to bring the glory back to the game? Stand strongly behind GM Leow. Back him. And he will lead you. Make your stand today, my friends, or forever suffer the unquiet death of being led to the slaughterhouse by fools pretending to be kings.

Circulate this message if you like. Spread to the whole country or to the world world. I’ve had enough of clueless dummies playing demi-gods destroying the art that I love so much and have given my life to.

Thanks for reading.

Now spread the word!


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