UNESCO'S INTERNATIONAL CENTRE OF MARTIAL ARTS
Black Belt|Black Belt December/January 2021
It’s a martial arts gem that’s not yet well known. It’s an international organization that’s trying to bridge the gap between styles, techniques and countries. In addition to striving to do all this, it’s a group that’s emphasizing the positive values the martial arts teach.
EDDIE GOLDMAN

The institution is the International Centre of Martial Arts. Based in Chungju, South Korea, it’s organized under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. One of the most prestigious bodies in the world, UNESCO aims to promote peace and security through international cooperation, and supporting the martial arts is now part of that mission.

The International Centre of Martial Arts is a joint effort “under UNESCO and also the Korean government,” said Changhee Han, program specialist for the ICM International Cooperation Team.

Although it organizes and hosts seminars, training camps, regional congresses and other activities that pertain to the world’s martial arts, the team is endeavoring to spread more than just fighting techniques.

“We are here for helping youth, women [and] disabled people using martial arts, its philosophy [and] its values,” Han said. “Values matter for our center. That’s the reason of our existence.”

Those values, according to the feasibility study report that preceded the establishment of the ICM, include “promotion of peace, establishment of nonviolence, respect toward oneself and others, self-control, fair competition, resilience and respect for cultural diversity.”

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