CEO Bruce Harris' remarks on weapons at 2014 National Championships

March 20, 2014, 4:01 p.m. (ET)

Weapons competition was eliminated from the National Championship schedule, a decision that I made as CEO. The decision was made primarily based on the inconsistency from ring to ring in the conduct and scoring of weapons. Some rings operated in an unsafe manner that became a possible liability issue for the organization. Until we can do a better job of eliminating the inconsistency of the weapons events, I believe that this is a good decision. Additional consideration was given to the fact that, at our Taekwondo National Championships, there have been very few participants with weapons that are indigenous to taekwondo. Most of the weapons belong to karate, kung fu or some other martial art.  Finally, consideration was also given to the fact that our National Championship often has long competition days that are taxing, not only to the competitors and parents, but also to the officials who are there all day long. Finishing even one hour earlier may mean the difference in a good experience for officials and participants and a poor experience. The National Office has received emails and phone calls from parents and some athletes who express their disappointment over eliminating weapons from the competition program this year. I will, of course, revisit the inclusion of weapons in future years. State competitions are still free to include weapons competitions annually. That has not changed.

Also of note, this year will be the last year with a "Ninja" Division at our National Championships. Ninja is a Japanese term, not a Korean term. We will revise the name for that division beginning next year.