Update : Saturday, February 24, 2018
Indonesia, Stronghold in Southeast AsiaPreparing for the 2018 Asian Games and Beyond

With over millions of uncountable taekwondo-in (Taekwondo practitioners), taekwondo has risen to be the top combat sport in Indonesia since the 1970s. It is needless to say that taekwondo is an Indonesian national sport. After all, taekwondo is an official sport in the Pekan Olahraga Nasional (Indonesian National Games).

Since Lieutenant General Marciano Norman was elected the President of the Indonesian Taekwondo Association, the sport has spread throughout the nation into every corner of Indonesia’s 34 provinces. With thousands of clubs as active and steadily educating the youth in taekwondo, the younger generations are more capable of becoming global citizens. In Indonesia’s schools, the children may choose to train in taekwondo in the afterschool activity.

Indonesian Taekwondo Association Secretary General Richard Dirc (L) and Director of Promotion, Games Look & Socialization Tb. Ade Lukman.

With the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palambang 2018 arriving at the doorstep, the Asian Taekwondo community is on an alert as the inclusion of poomsae is indeterminant in the Asian Games. The Indonesian Taekwondo Association had pressed for the number of events to increase to 20, which was eventually allowed in the last quarter of 2016. But all had reversed when the Olympic Council of Asia limited the total number of events from 493 to 431 in the early 2017. The number of events, however, will not falter the will of the Indonesian Taekwondo community as it will continue to push for the maximum number of events.

Nevertheless, the Indonesian Taekwondo Association is bracing itself for all possibilities, including the loss of 4 medals. With such reversal, it aims in including 4 poomsae events and 12 kyorugi events. This leaves a wide question on what weight categories will be included in the kyorugi events.

The Organizing Committee of the 18th Asian Games is highly concerned with the loss of events after the OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah visited Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla (also the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Organizing Committee) for a closed meeting to decrease the number of events. As the future of the number of events will be determined at the Coordination Meeting between the Organizing Committee and Olympic Council of Asia on the following August 17, the Organizing Committee outperforms to ensure the former number of events for the grandiose Asian games.

The Director of Promotion, Games Look & Socialization Tb. Ade Lukman said, “it has been more than 50 years since Indonesia has held the Asian Games. We are looking forward to holding the games, and we will do our best to ensure that both kyorugi and poomsae will be included in this Asian Games and beyond.” Mr. Lukman is also the Advisor to Lt. General Luciano Norman.

Indonesian Taekwondo Association’s Secretary General Richard Dirc is concerned with all matters related to the development of Taekwondo in Indonesia.

“There is a need for more Korean coaches to be dispatched. We have 34 provinces, but we do not have enough coaches to teach the students who want to just learn. We are pushing the government to accept a compulsory Taekwondo program for primary and secondary education,” Mr. Dirc said. “I would like to see more exchanges with the Korean Taekwondo community,” he added.

The Indonesian Taekwondo National Team is devoted to training in preparation for the Southeast Asian Games and eventually the Asian Games on the home ground. It is also ardently preparing for the Olympic Qualifications.

John Ahn  jh.ahn@srhnc.net

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