International TaeKwon-Do Association ™
Affiliation Information







Welcome To The ITA

Thank you for inquiring about membership in the ITA (International Tae Kwon Do Association™). The following information has been compiled to answer many of your questions about the ITA and to help explain ITA affiliation procedures and how membership in the Association can benefit individuals, instructors, and dojangs (schools).

You shall find, with this information, our on-line catalogs containing DVD videos, books, audio presentations, and other training aids to help you with your studies and rank advancement in Tae Kwon Do as well as other Korean martial arts.

If you have any further questions after reading the affiliation information please feel free to contact ITA International Headquarters for additional information.

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The International Tae Kwon Do Association™

Gen. Choi Hong Hi and Grand Master James S. Benko The International Tae Kwon Do Association™ is an organization consisting of Individuals, Instructors, and Masters, dedicated to the education, and unification of those who wish to learn, teach, and advance in rank in Tae Kwon Do. The ITA is a non-political Tae Kwon Do organization.

On July 9, 1974 Grand Master James S. Benko founded the International Tae Kwon Do Association™. The ITA is one of the most respected governing bodies of Tae Kwon Do in the world. Grand Master Benko is one of the highest ranked non-orientals recognized throughout the world.

ITA has developed a vast DVD video collection, of training presentations, audio collection, and an extensive and one-of-a-kind book collection. The presentations and programs are designed to help ITA members increase their knowledge and abilities, as they prepare to advance through the ranks. The training aids can also be used to prepare individuals to advance in rank in other areas such as Korean Swordsmanship and Korean weapons.

The ITA offers official rank certification in Tae Kwon Do, as well as instructor and dojang (school) certification. Once registered with the ITA, instructors will be able to test their students through the ITA to insure their ranks are registered and recognized. ALL ITA certificates are sent directly from International Headquarters. NO ITA instructor may issue certificates or cards in the name of the ITA.

Those who are dedicated to practicing and teaching Tae Kwon Do can, perhaps for the first time, finally be able to take pride in the organization they belong to. The ITA is a safe haven to those who wish to practice Tae Kwon Do without having to concern themselves with power struggles amongst organization instructors.

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The ITA Is Different From
Other Organizations

Gen. Choi Hong Hi and Grand Master James S. Benko All too often organizations become involved in martial arts politics. This only causes confusion, disunity, and fragmentation amongst practitioners. The ITA is a "non-political" organization focusing on the Art and not on the political games played by so many of organizations. Maintaining the integrity of the Art and upholding the traditions of the Art of Tae Kwon Do is what the ITA and its members are all about.

Many Tae Kwon Do organizations have placed heavy emphasis on the "sport" aspect of Tae Kwon Do and have neglected many other important aspects of the "total Art". Though the ITA encourages its members to attend tournaments if they so desire, the ITA focuses on the total development of each individual through teaching the complete Art of Tae Kwon Do to each member. The ITA teaches the history, traditions, and philosophy of Tae Kwon Do while also teaching the Art of practical self-defense.


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How Can I Become An ITA Member?

To become an ITA Member submit the following:

  1. ITA Individual Application For Membership and Fee.
  2. Photocopy of your current Certificate of Rank.
Submit Fees in the form of a Money Order or Bank Draft,
in U.S. Funds, made payable to ITA.

Mail in your application, fee, and copy of your certificate of rank. For faster processing send a Postal Money Order.

Once you are accepted and your application is processed, you shall receive your ITA Certificate of Rank and your ITA Rank and Identification Card.

No individual 3rd degree black belt or higher, may apply for membership unless said individual has a school and is teaching. Any person who is teaching must register as an individual, a head instructor, and register his/her school and students "at the same time". The applications and procedures for this may be found under, "How Do I Register My School And Students?".

Anyone who has attained such high rank and is not teaching should have no need to advance in rank as he/she is not training on a regular basis. Time in rank, in and of itself does not warrent rank advancement.

If you are teaching, you must register your school and students with the ITA. See How Do I Register My School And Students?.

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How Do I Register My School And Students?

If you are teaching Tae Kwon Do you and wish to join the ITA you must register yourself as an individual, and as a Head Instructor, your school, and students with the ITA at the same time. You must hold the rank of at least 1st degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and have a minimum of 5 students in order to apply for Head Instructor certification. To Register Yourself, School, and Students with the ITA submit the following:

(The following must be submitted at the same time)
  1. ITA Head Instructor Application and Fee.
  2. ITA School Membership Application and Fee.
  3. ITA Individual Application For Membership and Fee (for yourself).
  4. ITA Individual Application For Membership and Fee (for each student).
  5. Photocopy of your current Certificate of Rank.
Submit Fees in the form of a Money Order or Bank Draft,
in U.S. Funds, made payable to ITA.

Once you are accepted and your applications processed, you shall receive the following: your ITA Certificate of Rank, your Rank and Identification Card, your Head Instructor Certificate, your School Membership Certificate, a Certificate of Rank and a Rank and Identification Card for each of your students, A Copy of the ITA Constitution and By-Laws, A Schedule of ITA Fees, and Applications for Promotion, for when you test your students.

The ITA Constitution and By-Laws explains in detail the ITA's policies and procedures for Registering Students, Testing Students, Submitting Applications for Promotion, Rank Requirements, Uniform Dress Code, and much more. It is the Instructor's guide on how to run your school within the guidelines of the ITA.

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Must I Have A Building
To Be An Instructor?

No. In order to register your School or Club and become an ITA Head Instructor, you must have at least 5 students (not including yourself). You do not have to have a "full-time" commercial school.

Many instructors teach at community centers, YMCA's, church halls, sports centers, and even in their homes or backyards. It is not as important "where" you teach, as it is the "quality" of "what" you teach. The true spirit of Tae Kwon Do can be taught in one's backyard or home with only a few students, or in a full-time commercial school with hundreds of students. All you need is the ability and willingness to share your knowledge of Tae Kwon Do with others.

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How Will I Know What To Teach?

To help insure ITA members are learning correct History, Terminology, Vital Points, Dojang Class Etiquette, and other necessary information, Grand Master Benko has written the Tae Kwon Do Official Student Manual. The manual provides students and instructors with the information necessary to learn Tae Kwon Do properly. The Tae Kwon Do Student Manual is moderately priced so members can afford to purchase a copy.

To further help insure you are learning and/or teaching Tae Kwon Do properly, the ITA has created one of the world's largest collections of Tae Kwon Do DVD videos, books, and audio presentations. Instructors are encouraged to collect the hyung (pattern) videos and books, as these are the most important part of any promotional examination.

If you feel you are weak in a certain area of your training, such as kwan jyel sul (joint manipulation techniques) or perhaps defending against weapon attacks, you will find video training programs to help you.

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How Can My Students
Advance In Rank?

Once you are an ITA Certified Head Instructor, you will be granted authority to test your students through the ITA, up to one grade below your current rank. (Examples: An ITA 1st Degree Black Belt Head Instructor may test his/her students up to 1st Gup Red Belt. An ITA 2nd Degree Black Belt Head Instructor may test his/her students up to 1st Degree Black Belt, etc.). All 4th Degree Black Belt promotions or higher must be approved by the President prior to the test being given. All students must be registered ITA members in good standing in order to test.

ITA members may travel to ITA International Headquarters to take their promotional examination. If an ITA school is closer than International Headquarters and the Head Instructor of that school is high enough in rank, he/she may test you. The third option is to enter the ITA External Testing Program and test via video and written examination.

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External Testing Program

Under special conditions ITA members who hold the rank of 1st Gup or above may test by submitting the promotion requirements by video and written examination. Once you are a registered ITA member you may request to be admitted to the External Testing Program. Once admitted into the program you will be able to test via video and written examination.

This program is available only to ITA members who, due to financial obligations, or because they live a great distance from the testing location, are unable to attend an examination at a registered ITA school. Those interested in this type of program should complete the "Mail In" External Testing Program Application For Admission and any other necessary forms as stated on the application, or use our convenient Online External Testing Program Application.

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Standardized Rank Promotion Requirements

The ITA has standardized Testing Procedures and Rank Promotion Requirements. Instructors in many other organizations are constantly confused by what they must teach for each rank. The ITA Constitution and By-Laws contains the Rank Promotion Requirements for every rank from 10th Gup White Belt up to and including 3rd Degree Black Belt. Requirements for 4th Degree Black Belt promotions or above are provided, to ITA Head Instructors or ITA members testing for these ranks through the External Testing Program.

The standardization of Rank Promotion Requirements helps insure consistency in what each student learns, what the instructors are to teach at each level, and maintains the high standards of the ITA. Though the "types" of techniques to be taught are outlined, specific techniques are up to school Head Instructors. The standardization of Testing Procedures insures members that promotional examinations are conducted in a uniformed manner.

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What If I Don't Know The Patterns
Practiced Within The ITA?

There is no need for concern if you currently do not teach the ITA Tae Kwon Do forms. You and your students can make a gradual transition to the forms. ITA DVD videos and books, produced and written by Grand Master Benko, are extremely useful in helping you learn and comprehend the forms correctly. You will also find detailed information regarding the patterns on our web site (click here).

The ITA teaches the original twenty-four patterns of the Chang-Hun style of Tae Kwon Do. These forms shall not be changed, modified or deleted, as some others have done, resulting in frustration and confusion amongst students and instructors alike. If you currently do not know the forms, you teach the forms to your students as you learn them.

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Why Join The ITA?

If you are tired of politics infecting Tae Kwon Do, if you don't want constant changes and contradictions in the patterns you have labored so hard to learn, and if you want to join an organization which offers strong leadership, stability and unity, then the ITA is the organization for you.

Since 1974 the ITA has been a leader in Tae Kwon Do. Under the ITA's guidance you and your students can continue learning, training and advancing in rank, without having to concern yourself with politics and petty bickering amongst instructors. The ITA's strong central leadership insures that the standards, quality and integrity of Tae Kwon Do are maintained at all levels. If you are truly serious about dedicating yourself to teaching Tae Kwon Do, now is the time to begin.

It's time you and your students received the recognition you deserve. Individuals should complete and submit the Individual Application For Membership. Instructors should also submit a Head Instructor Application and a School Membership Application along with the Fees as indicated on the forms. You can become an Instructor in one of the most respected Tae Kwon Do organizations in the World. Take the first step toward becoming a member of the ITA Family. Register Today!

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ITA Membership Benefits

The International Tae Kwon Do Association™ offers its members the following benefits:

  • International Black Belt Rank Certification.
  • International Gup (Grade) Rank Certification.
  • International School/Instructor Certification.
  • Official ITA Tae Kwon Do Student Manual.
  • Comprehensive Tae Kwon Do training DVD video collection.
  • Official ITA Tae Kwon Do book collection.
  • International Tae Kwon Do Computer Registry.
  • Official On-line ITA Publication, Tae Kwon Do Journal.
  • Special Rank Examinations (External Testing Program).
  • Standardized Rank Promotion Requirements.
  • Standardize Testing Procedures.

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    Copyright 1974-2012 James S. Benko and ITA Institute.
    All rights reserved.