On July 17, 2013 the Congress, the governing organ of the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) announced the latest high Dan level promotions. Among those promoted were new 9th Degree (IX Dan) Grandmaster Peter Harkess of Scotland and the newest female Master 7th Degree (VII Dan) Ada Celeste Medrano of Honduras. The ITF holds 7th Degree as the minimum level for Master Instructor. Master Medrano spent almost 11 years as a 6th Degree preparing for this prestigious promotion. When one attains the highest or terminal Dan Black Belt level of 9th Degree, they then have also earned the title of Grandmaster, reserved exclusively for this level. Grandmaster Harkess trained 9 years since his last promotion to achieve Taekwon-Do most honorable rank distinction.
Two other females earned the title of Master Instructor during this occasion of the gathering of Taekwon-Doin from around the globe at the World Championships. They are Kim, Yong-Sun and Jo, Ye-Hyang, both of the D.P.R. Korea. Master Kim was also a 1990 World Champion Gold Medal winner in sparring at the 7th World Championships held in Montreal Canada. She currently is teaching in the Pyongyang City area at one of their largest centers. Master Jo now lives in Belarus where she has been dispatched by the ITF to teach Taekwon-Do there along with her husband.
Others promoted after due consideration of the ITF Promotion Committee and the approval of the Executive Board were Masters Walter Zdeb of Canada and Dararith Nak, originally of Cambodia now residing in Australia to 8th Degree (VIII Dan). These gentlemen were last promoted in November of 2001 and January of 2005 respectfully. Vasilios Tsimas, Evangelos Chrissofakias, Anastasios Valasiadis of Greece, Paul Harris of the United Kingdom, Igor Krylov, Sergei Kalantev of Russia, Eleaquin Delcid of Honduras, Nomichi Hideaki, Japan and Mun Sang Gwon a Korean living in Japan all crossed the threshold to Master Instructor 7th Degree (VII Dan) Black Belt.
TAEKWONDO TIMES CONGRADULATES ALL FOR THEIR HARD WORK AND LIFETIME DEVOUTION TO THE ORIGINAL TAEKWON-DO!