On the eve of WoMAU's 10th anniversary

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작성자 admin 작성일12-03-12 7,356회 댓글0건


WoMAU President's Remark

On the eve of WoMAU's 10th anniversary

Coming October the World Martial Arts Union, in short WoMAU, will mark the 10th anniversary of its birth. In October of 2002 representatives of several martial arts organizations from 28 countries gathered at Chungju in Korea at the invitation of its mayor in order to consider his recommendation for the global community of martial arts to set up an international federation of martial art organizations for the purpose of promoting martial art both as sport and cultural heritage. They have seen the merit of the idea and agreed to institute such an international body. Thus the World Martial Arts Union was brought into being at the inaugural assembly of delegations of the same 28 countries' martial art organizations on October 02, 2002, at Chungju. They pronounced through the founding agreement that WoMAU shall carry out work promoting exchanges of personnel and information between the member organizations with a view to helping develop their martial art skills and techniques and also encouraging the world martial arts community to contribute positively to world peace. As the major means for attaining the foregoing purposes three areas of undertaking on or relating to martial arts were identified, which are a) collection, exchange and dissemination of information and materials, b) organizing study and/or research activities such as seminars and conferences and c) organizing or sponsoring demonstration or exhibition events.

Ever since, WoMAU has diligently worked trying faithfully to live up to its pledges. Its members - the membership has by now grown to 44 organizations from 38 countries - have congregated once every year in annual general meetings in which they have had very good discussions on the matters of common concern. In parallel with the general meetings seminars on different aspects of martial art h
ave also been held with prominent presenters invited mainly from among university professors. In conjunction with the city administration of Chungju it has also been organizing the World Martial Arts Festival every year with martial art demonstration troupes participating from on average 15-20 different countries. These events no doubt have been providing the participating teams the chance to review in earnest their art and polish it up. Good safeguarding momentum has been given, I should say. This past year, WoMAU added to its regular work calendar a new programme by organizing a three-days camping program at Chungju for martial art youth. It was the first educational program by WoMAU with a view to having young people immersed in martial art environment both physical and mental. 500 local youth of age of 12-18 were joined in. Having assured by its good performance, WoMAU has decided to make it a yearly programme that will be called the Martial Art Youth Summer Rally. After a few years' try it out for the local youth, the camp is conceived to be open for international participants.

Some martial arts are valuable cultural heritages by reason of being age old traditions of the people who own them. It is the recognition of this fact that UNESCO's Intergovernmental Committee on Intangible Cultural Heritage has got WoMAU accredited as an advisory NGO to it. One of the
domains of intangible cultural heritages as being identified in UNESCO convention on intangible cultural heritages is the domain of performing arts which originally covers the three categories of performing art; namely those of songs, dances and dramas. Now, following the WoMAU's instance in favour of it, martial art is acknowledged as the additional category of performing arts within the domain. Consequently last year the UNESCO committee has decided to list the Korea's traditional form of martial art Taekkyeon on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It indeed is the first martial art form given that distinction. It is hoped that we will see over the coming years many countries who own martial art meeting the enlisting qualifications come forward to apply for the listing, thereby enhance the visibility of martial art as cultural heritages. Further to the advisory function to the UNESCO committee, WoMAU has lately accorded by UNESCO the official standing of Consultative Status NGO to the world organization. WoMAU had been in Operational Relations with the organization for number of years. On account of that status WoMAU had been invited to relevant meetings of the organization as an observer and made its presence there. UNESCO last year has adopted a new directives governing its relations with NGOs and thereby reviewed NGOs in partnership with it, to realign them into two new groups of partners. One group is of the NGOs given the Associate Status and the other those accorded the Consultative Status. WoMAU has been given the Consultative Status. The function of NGOs in the Consultative Status is to "aim at achieving a flexible and dynamic partnership in the definition and implementation of UNESCO's programmes". WoMAU will, as it had done in the former operational relations, continue to do its part in the context of the new relationship useful for the causes of both UNESCO and the world martial arts community.

Before concluding this brief remark for the fellow WoMAU members, I should take this occasion to say many thanks to the municipal authorities and every and all citizens of Chungju for the generous support they have been giving to WoMAU in particular and the promotion of martial arts in general. As we all know full well, but for their such support we could have not been able to come this far. Not only their quintessential financial assistance but also equally essential moral support have been the driving force behind whatever we have been able to achieve thus far. In parallel with direct assistances to WoMAU Chungju has also built superb facilities on the ground for martial art. We of WoMAU appreciate, and should take pride in, the World Martial Arts Park as well as the World Martial Arts Museum and the permanent arena for martial art demonstration and competition on the park's premises. On account of Chungju's continued support coupled with the members' firm commitment I trust WoMAU will be keeping on growing its capacity as the inclusive global martial arts institution and its host city Chungju will also be prominent as
the martial arts city of the world.


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