International Taekwondo Alliance

The International Taekwondo Alliance is a TaeKwonDo curriculum, certification / standards, and events services company. There are many ITA-licensed member schools that are authorized to teach ITA's curriculum, use ITA standards to obtain ITA certification of students’ rank and Instructor status, and to encourage their students to attend ITA tournaments and camps. ITA-licensed member schools are not franchised, but rather independently owned and are obligated to adhere to ITA policies.


The International Taekwondo Alliance (also known as ITA) was founded in 1983 as the United States Taekwondo Alliance USTA after the founding masters began training and their professional association in the 1970s. Recently the ITA has begun to move away from the forms of General Choi and towards forms that present movement more in line with traditional Korean martial arts (such as Taek'kyon) that Taekwondo was based on. These forms are modified versions of the previously used forms. The modifications allow for children to more easily perform and test for rank. The ITA traces its lineage back to Won Kuk Lee. The Chung Do Kwan (or "Blue Wave") was founded by Won Kuk Lee and was one of the original five Kwans on which Taekwondo was based.

The ITA has had some controversy. It has been claimed that the practice of making students crawl through mud at their summer black belt camp is a form of hazing. In addition, the ITA keeps reducing the number of stated founders from the original 5 of the USTA to the current 3.

Tenets of ITA

The ITA mission is to empower member Instructors and students to enrich their personal, artistic, and professional lives through traditional TaeKwonDo training.

These are the tenets that the ITA is based on:

* Honor-Honor is nobility of mind and maintenance of one's personal dignities in the face of adversities. Honor is the gift you give yourself.
* Courtesy-Courtesy is the thoughtfulness and consideration of others. Humility, civility, and politeness.
* Integrity-Integrity is the uncompromising adherence to a code of moral values and principles. It requires soundness of ethical strength.
* Perseverance-Perseverance is the steadfast pursuit of one's goals. The quality of never giving up in the face of a challenge.
* Self Control-Self-Control is the restraint of one's emotions and reactions. Control comes from within rather than from outside forces.
* Courage-Courage is the spirit which enables one to face danger with self-possession, confidence, and resolution. Courage consists of a reserve of moral strength on which one may draw in time of emergency. A courageous person will not tolerate injustice.
* Community-Community is the responsibility to contribute to society, regardless of one's position in life. Civic accountability requires us to do our share and to be part of the solution of society's problems. Remember: Every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity an obligation; every possession a duty.The tenets are recited at the beginning of every class, with each tenet taking its turn in a testing cycle as the "Cycle Tenet." The definition of this tenet is recited at the end of each class.

Belt System

Testing for rank can be done at the end of a 2-month cycle, but not every student is eligible to test after every cycle. Students must earn all required stripes during class, maintain adequate attendance, and have spent sufficient time at their current rank. Color belts only have to spend one cycle at each rank, but black belts are required to spend more. Students that no-change may retest the next cycle.

* White - 1st Level, needs three stripes to advance to Yellow. Stripes are for: Stances, Form, One-steps.
* Yellow - 2nd level, needs three stripes to advance to Green. Stripes are for: Blocks, Form, One-steps.
* Green - 3rd Level, needs to surpass Senior Level to advance to Blue. Students first begin to spar at this rank.
** Senior Green - needed to advance to Blue.
* Blue - 4th Level, needs to surpass Senior Level to advance to Brown. Students have target drills at this level.
** Senior Blue - needed to advance to Brown.
* Brown - 5th Level(formerly purple), needs to surpass Senior Level to advance to Red. Students have three-steps at this level.
** Senior Brown - needed to advanced to Red.
* Red - 6th Level, needs to surpass Senior Level to advance to Black. Students first break boards at testing when they reach this level.
** Senior Red - needed to advance to black. Students start their testing interviews at their school to prepare them for high-rank interviews at national tournaments when they test for 4th degree and above.
* Black - Belt no longer changes in color, but does change in level. Specifically, there are 4 levels of 1st degree, each level requiring 4 months (2 cycles) of training. This is true through 3rd degree (during which the time between testings is six months or 3 tesing cycles),(at 3rd degree level 4, in order to test for fourth degree and above, students begin high-rank interviews at national tournaments), but 4th and 5th degree consist of 2 levels each. There are no levels at 6th degree and on. 6th degree practitioners are considered masters. 7th degree practitioners are considered senior masters. 8th degree practitioners are considered grand masters.


The uniform, referred to as a "do bok", resembles that of a karate gi "gi"; it is all white with an ITA patch with the students name on the back, the official ITA tiger patch on the front-left side of the jacket, and the school patch (if the school has one) on the front-right side of the jacket. Level 1 Instructors (instructors who have taken a basic instructor testing) wear a black chevron which says, "Level One Instructor" under the ITA patch on the left side of the jacket, as well as a red stripe along the collar of the jacket. Level Two/Trainee Instructors wear a half red half black stripe along the collar of the jacket as well as a chevron that says "Level Two Instructor" on the front-left side of the jacket beneath the Tiger patch. Level Three/Junior Certified Instructors (Certified Instructors who are under 18 years or age) wear a black stripe along the collar of the jacket, and a chevron that says "Level Three Instructor" on the front-left side of the jacket beneath the Tiger patch. Level Four/Certified Instructors wear a black stripe along the collar of the jacket, and a chevron that says "Level Four Instructor" on the front-left side of the jacket beneath the Tiger patch. Trainee Instructors and Certified Instructors do not wear the black stripe on the tail of the jacket until the rank of sixth degree has been earned. Third degree black belts wear split black-and-red stripes on the outside seams of their uniform pant legs, and fourth degree black belts and above have black stripes.

ITA Classes

* Classes are specifically designed for ages 4-6, 6-14, and adults
* All movements are symmetrical which allows development of both sides of the body and both hemispheres of the brain.
* It teaches valuable life skills such as self-discipline, power, balance, grace, and confidence.
* A positive atmosphere and high energy level is present in classes and activities.
* Class atmosphere is FIRM but supercharged with positive energy.
* Students are taught to keep their minds calm and controlled throughout the sometimes rigorous training sessions.
* A student’s self image is developed by instructors reinforcing positive behaviors.
* Students are taught to move with grace and confidence which also builds positive image.
* Classes are offered on various days of the week and at various times of the day (see schedule for specific school or club).
*Students simply pick the classes that are most convenient
** Attend class 2 to 4 times each week.
** Classes are 45 - 50 minutes in length.
*** Black belt classes go on for an hour.
* Student attendance is monitored to insure an adequate training schedule and instructor encouragement is given as needed

ITA Minor Fields of Study

After achieving the rank of blue belt, an ITA student can study other fields of martial arts that the ITA has to offer including:

* Ground Escape
* Short stick Fighting
* Native Korean Sword Training
* CDT (Compliance Direction Takedown)
* Han Mu Do
* Xtreme Forms

ITA Jiu-Jitsu

Recently,the ITA has started offering an additional martial art, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, for their members to study. It is offered as an independent martial art to people outside the ITA, as well as a cheaper add-on to anybody already taking TaeKwonDo at an ITA-liscensed academy.

From [ ITA Online] , the ITA's new Web site:

Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or BJJ, is a style of fighting that first became popular in the U.S. with the introduction of The Ultimate Fighting Championship. It combines ground fighting and grappling moves such as chokeholds and joint locks to overpower an opponent. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be used for self-defense, as a sport, and in mixed martial arts competition. It highlights the concept that a student who is both smaller and weaker can effectively defend themselves against an opponent who is bigger and stronger.

The Kid-Jitsu® Program was developed directly from the instruction of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to provide a safe, tested method of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teaching for children. Seeing the need for a program designed specifically for kids, Larry Shealy and Charles Dos Anjos (founders of Kid-Jitsu®) created the Kid-Jitsu® Certification Program to teach Instructors methods of working with children in an effective manner using proper techniques and positioning.

The Wolfpack Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Association answers the need for an adult Jiu-Jitsu program. It was first designed for the Kid-Jitsu Instructors who wished to not only continue their own training but also to promote their adult students. Today it is a thriving adult program on its own, emphasizing safety and self-defense from a ground position.

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program is open to all active ITA members (no age limit), although it is recommended that each student be a Yellow Belt or above. Qualifications for an annual teaching certificate are coordinated between ITA and Larry Shealy.

See also

* Taekwondo
* Korean Martial Arts
* Martial arts

External links

* [ The Official Site of the ITA] International Taekwondo Alliance (ITA)
* [ Picture gallery of ITA events] Pictures of events organised by the International Taekwondo Alliance (ITA)

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