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EXPERIENCE
IACT

Working Towards a Brighter Taekwondo Future

Initially intended to be a small grassroots academic conference dedicated to Taekwondo, the International Academic Center for Taekwondo (iACT) has grown into an international body that is transforming how people think and talk about Taekwondo as a martial art and combat sport. iACT is the first organization to bring together Kukki (Olympic style) Taekwondo and International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF or Chang Hon Style) researchers, and it regularly holds academic conferences and activities with the top scholars in the field. It has also seen and filled a void in Taekwondo book publishing by establishing iACT Publishing, which promotes and funds the Daeshik Kim Foundation and the Daeshik Kim Scholarship.

iACT is a non-profit public charity organization, incorporated and registered under section 509(a)(3) with the US Department of the Treasury. Thus, any US person or private or public organization that sponsors our activities can get their sponsorship exempted from their taxes. A main ongoing activity is the solicitation of funds from various grassroots, regional, national, and international organizations and individuals. Donations can be specified for certain areas of iACT activity, such as the Daeshik Kim Foundation, or to help fund other iACT areas of interest, such as our publishing and conferences activities.

Click the link below to purchase your PDF copy of Foundations of Taekwondo: History, Theory, Academics:

Foundations of Taekwondo: History, Theory, Academics (PDF)
JRW Booksellers

(Hardcover, softcover, and Kindle versions from Amazon are forthcoming.)

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IACT AT A GLANCE

A Distinct Identity in Academia

The International Academic Center for Taekwondo (iACT) Mission Statement:

iACT will promote and conduct various activities related to Taekwondo research, academics, and learning.


The purposes of the iACT are:


  1. To promote the medical, scientific, and philosophic understandings of the martial art and sport of Taekwondo;

  2. To encourage professional development of iACT members through annual meetings, research conferences, tutorials, tournaments, and other special projects related to Taekwondo and martial arts;

  3. To publish scientific literature, such as but not limited to textbooks, on Taekwondo, the martial arts, and Asian culture.

  4. To nurture academic and professional development of iACT members through research support, achievement awards, and programming at the annual meeting;

  5. To facilitate delivery of programs and services of the iACT;

  6. To support collaborative efforts among other sports and philosophical societies, institutions, organizations, and special interest groups; and

  7. To foster collegiality among iACT membership.

IACT PUBLISHING

At International Academic Center for Taekwondo (iACT), our top priority is to achieve results, and we know that our success depends on the quality of our campaigns and partnerships. Our approach is to build strategic networks and promote programs that will help advance our work. Learn more about the causes we’re passionate about and get in touch with us to see how you can get involved.

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PURPOSES

iACT Publishing was created to provide an outlet for Taekwondo and martial arts authors to publish their works during a time when martial arts publishing is waning. We offer several publishing options from hardcover to e-books, and always allow authors to keep their copyrights. iACT Publishing publishes high-quality and academic-based books. Submissions proposals can be emailed to iACT directly at the link below. We recommend you provide a PDF version of your manuscript as well as a synopsis of the book and how it fits within the existing martial arts/Taekwondo literature. A percentage of all book sales shall go to the Daeshik Kim Foundation.

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FOUNDATIONS OF TAEKWONDO

Foundations of Taekwondo: History, Theory, Academics aims to provide those interested in Taekwondo, be they athletes, teachers, or scholars, a basis for understanding its theory and practice. What is Taekwondo today, and how did it get there? Which activities constitute, or should constitute, Taekwondo?

The structure of the book mirrors the three-stage pedagogical process found in Taekwondo. The Beginning section looks at martial arts in general in order to understand Taekwondo in context. The Intermediate section explains Taekwondo practice in physical education. The final, Advanced section explores aspects of training for mastery and the more spiritual side of Taekwondo practice, with its Buddhist and Confucian influences. At the end, Dr. Kim explains his ultimate goals for Taekwondo practice.

Daeshik Kim, late Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, is the author of many books on the martial arts. He was one of the first Korean masters to introduce Taekwondo into the United States. Professor Allan Bäck (Kutztown University) has written in several academic fields and received the Research Prize from the Humboldt Foundation. John A. Johnson has published on many aspects of Taekwondo and is a former professor in the Department of Taekwondo at Keimyung University (Daegu, Korea).  
 

 

NOW ON SALE at Amazon:

Foundations of Taekwondo: History, Theory, Academics (Amazon)

Also available in a discounted, downloadable PDF version!
Click the link below to purchase the PDF version from JRW Booksellers:

Foundations of Taekwondo: History, Theory, Academics (PDF)

 

Paperback and Kindle versions will be AVAILABLE SOON!
 

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MARTIAL MEDITATION

Martial Meditation is a serious study of philosophical issues in the Eastern martial arts. Such issues include the relation of the martial arts to sport and art, the goals of the martial arts, the development of moral character in the martial arts, and the influence of Zen Buddhism in the martial arts. Again, there are many books that touch on these issues; and some of them offer valuable insights and interesting perspectives on the martial arts. It does not hesitate to refer to these. But what is usually lacking in them is a detailed and rigorous analysis of the issues involved. The insights may be present, but explication of those insights usually is not. This book concentrates on explicating those insights.

Readers should not expect to absorb this book quickly, any more than you should expect to become proficient in the techniques of a martial art quickly. This book is for the serious student, one who is willing to work at understanding. The authors have tried to write for someone who has at least a partial grasp on the issues involved, be that grasp acquired through some martial arts training or through the academic study of sport or philosophy.  In the first two chapters, the authors offer some background information on the martial arts, and in the rest of the book they quoted widely and extensively from various sources.

 

This book is recommended for martial artists past the novice stage and for college students studying martial arts and combat sports.

 

NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE!

Click the link below to go directly to Amazon.com:

Hardcover, paperback, & Kindle Versions NOW ON SALE!

Click the link below to go to Amazon.com.

Martial Meditation: Philosophy and the Essence of the Martial Arts 

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THE WAY TO GO:
PHILOSOPHY IN MARTIAL ARTS PRACTICE

The Way to Go: Philosophy in Martial Arts Practice considers philosophical issues that arise in martial arts activities. Whereas the earlier volume, Martial Meditation, concerns the theory, this book concerns the practice. It considers such issues in the contemporary martial arts scene as:

 

  • The Nature of a Martial Art

  • Tradition and Innovation

  • Training Goals and Problems

  • Teaching Methods

  • Professional Responsibilities

  • Martial Arts Movies and Contests

  • Equal Opportunity and Affirmation Action

  • Sexism

  • The Morality of Self-Defense

  • Self-Development and Zen Buddhism

  • The Future of the Martial Arts

 

Reviews of the Earlier Martial Meditation

 

The book's greatest value will be to correct the distorted view which many people have of the martial arts...Martial Meditation is the first sustained philosophical attempt to grasp the nature of this family of human activities...Their advice is that if you really want to find out what a martial art is, start a practice of one of them; and my advice is that you also read Martial Meditation. It is an awesome by-product of training, practice and wisdom. The book is by far the best work on this intriguing subject, and I encourage you to mediate with these two masters.

Professor Spencer K. Wertz, former President of the Philosophic Society for the Study of Sport

 

Martial Meditation...is a very strong, readable, and well-argued book from two knowledgeable authors who provide a clear and critical perspective of martial arts from its Oriental heritage to its present-day development.

Professor Burt Konsak, Contemporary Society

Hardback editions are available from the author.

Please email iACT at
iactaekwondo@gmail.com

for purchasing information.
for 

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ACTIVITIES

Bringing Grassroots Change to Taekwondo Studies

INTERNATIONAL ACADEMIC CONFERENCES

iACT is a 501(c)3 (non-profit) public charitable organization. Our mission statement includes promoting and conducting various activities related to Taekwondo research, academics, and learning. iACT dedicates its activities to Taekwondo’s transformational education leaders. It aims to contribute to excellence in Taekwondo through our vision of holistic community outreach and involvement in Taekwondo education, and to develop Taekwondo as an academic discipline outside of our Taekwondo community. This is part of the mission statement of iACT and therefore imperative to grow academic Taekwondo.

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DAESHIK KIM FOUNDATION

All proceeds from Foundations of Taekwondo: History, Theory, Academics and subsequent publications authored by Dr. Daeshik Kim and Allan Bäck will be placed into the Daeshik Kim Foundation and used to assist scholars in advancing the knowledge of Taekwondo. Personal and corporate donations to the DSK Foundation are accepted as well and are US tax deductable.

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IACT PUBLISHING

In 2020, iACT ventured into academic publishing with Foundations of Taekwondo: History, Theory, Academics, a book written by Drs. Daeshik Kim and Allan Bäck (and edited by iACT Vice President Dr. John A. Johnson). Originally published as a download PDF only to be affordable to students, the book will be made available in physical copies soon. Foundations of Taekwondo and other books by Drs. Kim and Bäck will soon be available, and all proceeds will go to support the Daeshik Kim Foundations.

NOW ON SALE at Amazon:

Foundations of Taekwondo: History, Theory, Academics 
(Amazon)

Also available in a discounted, downloadable PDF version!
Click the link below to purchase the PDF version from JR
W Booksellers:

Foundations of Taekwondo: History, Theory, Academics 
(PDF)

 

Paperback and Kindle versions will be AVAILABLE SOON!

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ONLINE EDUCATION

iACT shall conduct interviews from the leading minds in Taekwondo Studies. These interviews will aim to provide insights not only into where Taekwondo is academically but an understanding of how young scholars can contribute to Taekwondo academically. 

In addition to these interviews, iACT shall produce its own content in the form of classes and lectures for students. This paid content will further support the Daeshik Kim Foundation as well give scholars an outlet to disseminate their research to a wider audience. In most cases, the content provided in these classes and lectures will not be available anywhere else in the world.

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DAESHIK KIM FOUNDATION

Supporting Future Taekwondo Scholars

FROM IDEA TO REALITY: THE EVOLUTION OF THE IACT CONFERENCE TO AN INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP

Professor Allan Bäck came to iACT with an idea: Edit and republish articles authored originally by Professor Daeshik Kim (pictured right), one of the first international Taekwondo scholars and Dr. Bäck's academic and martial arts mentor and use the proceeds to create a scholarship for young Taekwondo researchers.

 

The idea was too good to pass up, and in 2020 iACT published Foundations of Taekwondo. This book, which is hoped to be the first of many, is available in multiple formats (see links below) to suit readers' preferences. 

iACT will award the Daeshik Kim Foundation (DSK) Scholarship annually. The DSK Scholarship Board includes the iACT President and Vice President, Dr. Allan Bäck, and members of Dr. Daeshik Kim's family who are also academics. Scholarship applications will be announced on this website and through the iACT Mailing List. Please contact iACT for more information.

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NOW ON SALE at Amazon:

Foundations of Taekwondo: History, Theory, Academics (Amazon)

Also available in a discounted, downloadable PDF version!
Click the link below to purchase the PDF version from
JRW Booksellers:

Foundations of Taekwondo: History, Theory, Academics (PDF)

 

Paperback and Kindle versions will be AVAILABLE SOON!

NOW ON SALE at Amazon:

Martial Meditation: Philosophy and the Essence of the Martial Arts 

Hardcover, paperback, & Kindle Versions NOW ON SALE!

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ENSURING TAEKWONDO'S ACADEMIC FUTURE

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IACT FRIENDS

The following academic organizations and journals are activity supported by iACT and its members.

International Martial Arts and Combat Sport Scientific Society

www.imacsss.com

Ido Movement for Culture. Journal of Martial Arts Anthropology

www.imcjournal.com

Physical Activity Review

www.physactiv.eu

Revista de Artes Marciales Asiáticas (RAMA)

https://revpubli.unileon.es/index.php/artesmarciales/

Martial Arts Studies

https://mas.cardiffuniversitypress.org/

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iACT's Impact

"Holding iACT 2019 at Stanford University validated taekwondo’s researchers and their ideas and unquestionably legitimized taekwondo as an academic research field."

Johnson JA. 2019. Revista de Artes Marciales Asiáticas 14(1): 37-43. doi: 10.18002/rama.v14i1.5866

IACT CONFERENCE MATERIALS

2015
IACT CONFERENCE BOOK

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

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2019 
IACT CONFERENCE BOOK
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

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2020
IACT CONFERENCE BOOK
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

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RON DZIWENKA, PHD

iACT President

DR. RON DZIWENKA (Kukkiwon 7th dan; Changmookwan Taekwondo 7th dan) holds a PhD in East Asian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MA from Yonsei University. He has published several papers on martial arts philosophy and presented his research at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Scientific Congress as well as at international conferences in the Republic of China, Republic of Korea (ROK), People’s Republic of China (PRC), Canada, Mexico, and the USA. During his 12 years in the ROK, he was a contributing member of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) Research Society and was an invited member of the WTF Scientific Research Committee (2015-2017). He is currently the Editorial Assistant for the Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy (JAAL) and an adjunct faculty member in the History Department at Salisbury University (USA) as well as a member of the Society for the Study of Philosophy and the Martial Arts and the American Philosophical Society. He is a Co-founder and the President of International Academic Center for Taekwondo (iACT).

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JOHN A. JOHNSON, PHD

iACT Vice President

DR. JOHN A. JOHNSON (International Taekwon-Do Federation [ITF] 6th dan, Korea Hapkido Federation [KHF] 7th dan, Kukkiwon 4th dan) was an assistant professor in the Department of Taekwondo at Keimyung University (Daegu, Korea). He was one of only a handful of foreign Taekwondo professors in Korea and is the first ITF practitioner to hold that distinction. He earned his PhD in Physical Education from Kyung Hee University. He also holds an undergraduate degree in English Literature and two master's degree in Education. Dr. Johnson has presented his research on Taekwondo international relations, pedagogy, philosophy, and history in several countries including Poland, the Czech Republic, Russia, China, Mexico, Portugal, Malaysia, and the USA. In 2015, he taught courses for the World Taekwondo Federation/Kyung Hee University Partnership Athlete, Coach, and Youth Programs. He was the International Relations Director for the KHF and organized Hapkido demonstrations at US military bases, including at the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). Over the years, he has taught ITF Taekwon-Do and Hapkido classes and/or workshops in Thailand, South Korea, Poland, and the USA. He lived in South Korea from 1999 to 2021 and has spent 38 years studying Korean martial arts. He is a Co-founder and the Vice President of iACT.

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JUSTIN CASTILLO

Secretary

JUSTIN CASTILLO (Chungdokwan Taekwondo 6th dan, 5th dan World Kido Federation [Hapkido], Kukkiwon 4th dan) has spent nearly three decades training and teaching multiple martial art disciplines, including Taekwondo, Hapkido, Kickboxing, Krav Maga, and Kali. He currently serves as the New Mexico and El Paso Regional Director for the World Kido Federation. Master Castillo was the lead Hand-to-Hand Combat Instructor for the rebuilt Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police for the Kirkuk Region of Iraq from December 2003 to March 2005, serving with the 25th Infantry Division (Light). He also served as the lead Hand-to-Hand Combat Instructor for 1st Bn, 27th IN, 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Light) from March 2000 to May 2005. He currently oversees all training at his Taekwondo school in New Mexico and gives international support to his satellite school in Nepal. Master Castillo was also recently cast as background boxer in Creed II. He is a Co-Founder and the Secretary of iACT.

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PHOEBE GRANDFIELD

iACT Director of Media Operations

MS. PHOEBE GRANDFIELD is the newest member ot the iACT family. She hails from England and completed her BSc in Sports Coaching in 2021 and MSc in MSc Sport and Exercise Biomechanics at Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2023. Ms. Grandfield holds a 4th dan with the ITF and is world-class competitor and has won many medals at the ITF European and World Championships. Her role within iACT focuses on conducting interviews and managing our other media operations as they develop.

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HOW TO SUPPORT IACT
&
THE DAESHIK KIM FOUNDATION

Help Impact Tomorrow's Taekwondo Academics Today!

The International Academic Center for Taekwondo (iACT) is a non-profit organization that exists under paragraph 501.C-3 of the Internal Revenue code. As such, all donations to it, iACT Publishing, and the Daeshik Kim Foundation are tax refundable for US citizens.

 

As a grassroots organization, iACT executive board members and staff do not receive income for their work, and all iACT activities are funded by donations by private individuals and public businesses. In short, we cannot operate without your help.

Please consider making a tax refundable donation to iACT to ensure our activities can continue to promote Taekwondo academics and the Daeshik Kim Foundation and Scholarship. Donors may stipulate how they wish their funds to be used, so you can control if your donation will be used for an upcoming conference,  offset our publishing costs, or go directly to the Daeshik Kim Scholarship. Donors will be featured on our website and in our conference publications. 

Please contact Dr. Ronald Dziwenka, iACT President, at iactaekwondo@gmail.com to learn more about donating to iACT. Without your help, we cannot continue to support the Daeshik Kim Foundation and to forge a path for future generations of Taekwondo practitioners and scholars. 

The fastest way to support iACT is to purchase one of publications. Click the link below to purchase your PDF copy of Foundations of Taekwondo: History, Theory, Academics. All proceeds from the sale of this book and our future publications by Drs. Daeshik Kim and Allan Bäck will go directly towards the Daeshik Kim Foundation and its scholarship to support young Taekwondo researchers.
 

NOW ON SALE:
Foundations of Taekwondo:
History, Theory, Academics
(Amazon)

Also available in a discounted, downloadable PDF version!
Click the link below to purchase the PDF version from
JRW Booksellers:

Foundations of Taekwondo:
History, Theory, Academics 

(PDF)

Martial Meditation:
Philosophy and the Essence of the Martial Arts
(Amazon)
 

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