Academic Taekwondo realized: A report on the International Academic Conference for Taekwondo (iACT) 2019




Taekwondo, International Taekwon-Do Federation, ITF, World Taekwondo, WT, martial arts, combat sports, academic conference


This research was supported by the Keimyung University research grant of 20180269.


The International Academic Conference for Taekwondo (iACT) 2019 was held from February 17-18 at Stanford University. The two-day conference featured numerous taekwondo social science researchers and scholars from around the world and several international taekwondo organizations. iACT 2019 was the first time an academic conference on taekwondo–or any combat sport–was held at a world-renown, elite-level university. Holding iACT 2019 at Stanford University validated taekwondo’s researchers and their ideas and unquestionably legitimized taekwondo as an academic research field. This report outlines the conference’s events and summarizes the most poignant concepts presented at iACT 2019.


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Author Biography

John Arthur Johnson, Department of Taekwondo, College of Physical Education, Keimyung University, Daegu (Korea)

John A. Johnson (PhD) is an assistant professor in the Department of Taekwondo at Keimyung University (Daegu, South Korea). He received his PhD from the Department of Taekwondo at Kyung Hee University (Suwon, South Korea) and was the first ITF Taekwon-Do practitioner to do so. Dr. Johnson’s research focuses on Taekwondo international relations, pedagogy, and philosophy, but he has published in other academic fields as well. He is the executive director of the International Association for Taekwondo Research ( and vice president of the International Academic Conference for Taekwondo ( Email:


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How to Cite

Johnson, J. A. (2019). Academic Taekwondo realized: A report on the International Academic Conference for Taekwondo (iACT) 2019. Revista de Artes Marciales Asiáticas, 14(1), 37–43.



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