General Choi unfortunatly passed away on June 15th 2002, leaving a legacy for millions to follow.
What happens to the ITF now is still an on going thing.
Just before the Generals passing, the ITF split into two factions, due to the politics. However, what makes this split really bad is that the two ITF groups are (were) led by two members of the same family. Namely the General himself & his son, Choi Jung Hwa. The reasons for the split are still clouded, with both groups giving different interpretations, so no comment shall be made here as to the `why`s` of it all.
Both seems to have different agenda`s in regards to what direction Taekwon-do should be taking & what/how it should be taught.
It remains to be seem now that General Choi has passed away, what position General Choi`s most senior & trusted student, Grandmaster Ki Ha Rhee, will take.
Further more, after the Generals death, members of the ITF were not happy with the undemoncratic process used to elect the new president, Mr Chang Ung from North Korea, as many felt the process should have been voted on by the ITF committee. This caused another split, those in support of General Choi`s successor, Mr Chang Ung & those who wished a new president to be voted in (still yet to happen).
Therefore there are 3 main ITF groups who directly claim to be the `real` ITF:
1. ITF Vienna - NK led by Mr Chang Ung
2. ITF Vienna led by New President Mr Tran Trieu Quan (previously Mr Russell MacLellan)
3. ITF Canada led by the Generals son, Choi Jung Hwa
Plus of course theres a 4th section of those that have chosen to get away from the politics altogethor, like Rayners Lane Academy & many other schools & associations, including the largest ITF group in the USA, the USTF led by Grandmaster Chuck Serriff, who have chosen to go independent of all the ITF groups.
Although the `Canadian` ITF group is giving out lots of `opinions` & calling themselves `ITF` they are in fact a seperate entity & is entirely based on how much regards you hold Choi Jung Hwa in, as to wether ITF groups align themselves with him or remain under General Choi`s original ITF, is still in the balance. The `other `ITF` is split between which course each group wished to follow, General Choi`s last word or the demorcratic process. There is slso talk of an ITF & WTF unification with ITF Korea!
One things for sure, the water was cloudy before General Choi passed away & now has become even murkier.
Considering the tenets of Taekwon-do, there is a lot of back biting & `bitching` going on betwen the three rival ITF`s, The first break away group (ITF Canada) started making claims that senior Masters (such as Ri Ki Ha) joined them, when in fact this was untrue, so further facts should be taken with a pinch of salt until the dust settles (which may take a while).
The Original ITF has a made public a final statement given by General choi himself. This can be read by following this link.
In the November 2003 issue of the US Magazine Taekwon-do Times the three ITF`s were highlighted in interviews with two of the main men & a spokemen for Choi Jung Hwa. To read these interviews, please click here (note: they are jpeg scans of the magazine & may take a while to load).
Latest developments concern ITF-C.
1. They have changed the "Flying Reverse Dodging Kicks" in pattern Juche to "Flying Hooking Kicks" (2007)
2. They have re-introduced the Ki-haps (removed in the 60's) back into all the kup patterns (not sure about Dan grade patterns) (2008)
3. They have renamed Juche to Kodang!
Further Information & Latest News on the ITF & WTF