My name is Emmanuel Reyes and I am the CEO/President of the Sunshine State ITF, llc. I created sunshine State ITF when I saw the need for and improved local tournament in Florida. Improvements that should adapt to the new generation and to utilize new technology to provide a better event for guests and competitors.
Another problem I saw was the lack of participation in these types of events because of the different Federations, Organizations and Believes. I created Sunshine State ITF to break the routine and look into the future based on our students. Create an event that is modern for the new generation but keeps some of the traditional aspects that is Taekwon-Do.
After participating, watching, analyzing the reason behind it, I noticed the following pattern:
- The students, judges and referees were mostly from one Federation.
- When a student from a different Federation participated, they had a low chance of winning and this is because they were judged using one Federation rule.
- Most of the referees and judges were young black belts without experience, they were just students that went to compete and were chosen to be a judge or referee by force.
- Some tournament hosts don’t even want you in their tournament if you are not part of their Federation and use their Doboks.
Then I asked myself: aren’t we supposed to be one ITF?, aren’t we wearing the same ITF tree on the back?, aren’t we all praising General Choi’s teachings? Then why do we prive students from meeting other students that share the same love for this beautiful art? Are we the adults teaching Courtesy, Respect and Integrity while isolating them from the rest?
Sunshine State ITF had opened the doors to anyone and providing a real Open ITF Tournament and Events. This year we are reaching out to other Federations, Associations and Independents to join us or to let your students join us in our open events. I follow a lot of fellow ITF practitioners on Instagram and Facebook and it is time for me to tell you why it is safe for your students to come to our events and my promise that this will be a different experience.
Why are we the best ITF Open Tournament in Florida?
Visit our Website
The first thing I will recommend is to visit our website, to see the different mentality of what we are trying to do. Our goals and our commitment to the ITF student community.
After every tournament, we release a feedback document where each person can talk to us about their experience. We also call each instructor that participated, to obtain their comments and review what we can do to improve or maintain the quality of service.
Download our Handbook
Go to the rules section and download our Tournament Handbook, while most of the rules are similar they are modified to be safe but specially fair for students from different Federations.
In our tournament we used different competition formats, Round Robin and Repechage, to allow the competitors more than one chance, in exception for Black Belts that are still Single Elimination. This is because we want to show appreciation for those who travel and recur on large expenses for their students to compete. We offer a $500 Distinguished Athlete Awards for committed students. We make it fun for the little one with our Obstacle Course and will continue bringing more activities so students have more opportunities.
We train volunteers
We are the only tournament in Florida that offers referee classes twice a year for black belt students and high color belts. With the goal of having more trained and fair judges inside the ring.
Because we wanted to create a real Open Tournament for everyone to enjoy we modified some of the rules to be flexible when it comes to judging. Will be judging by Technique, Power, Balance and Overall. The practitioner can kihapp, can have long stances, can perform the pattern with sinewave, no sinewave, it doesn't matter. As long as the Technique is correct, Power is Delivered, Balance is shown and performs a good pattern overall.
We made a very simple score system. 1 point with Punch, 2 Point Kick Chest, 3 Point Kick to Head. That’s it! Easy for the students to learn and parents to follow. There is more to present to you, but I wanted to give you a glimpse of what Sunshine State ITF is trying to do, uniting more ITF practitioners, watering and fertilizing the tree so the branches stop falling apart. If you are interested and want to give us an opportunity we will love to hear from you and provide you with our invitational package. We want your feedback as well.