Grand Master Robert J Howard


Grand Master Robert Howard
9th Degree Black Belt
Director of the ITF
President RITA
President of the
National Governing Body
for the ITF in Ireland

Welcome to the Republic of Ireland Taekwon-Do Association web site. The RITA was Established in 1972 to spread Taekwon-Do throughout Ireland. We are the National Governing Body for the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) in Ireland.

Contained within our site is all the latest news from Ireland and the ITF, Information for beginners, all relevant member forms to download and helpful reference material for Instructors and Students.

If you require further Information contact the National Secretary or visit your local Taekwon-Do School.

Upcoming Events

Female Self Defence

RITA Annual Female Training
Carrick-on-Suir Taekwon-Do School are proud to invite all female students to the RITA annual female training. This year it will be hosted by Carrick-on-Suir Taekwon-Do School in the Dojang, Unit 2 North Quay, Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary on Sunday, 15th April. The day will run from 11am to 5pm with one hour lunch break. All female RITA students are encouraged to attend this worthwhile training under the guidance of the RITA's most senior female instructor, Ms Valerie Keane, VI Dan.

Application forms and fees must be completed and returned no later than Monday, 9th April.

Click here to download the invite letter.
Click here to download the application form.

RITA 40 RITA 40 Years Celebration Seminar

FGM Rhee

The RITA are delighted to announce that as part of our 40th Anniversary celebrations, a special two-day seminar will be held in Dublin on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th May, conducted by our association’s Founder and the Pioneer of Taekwon-Do in Ireland, First Grand Master Rhee Ki Ha.  Full details of the seminar are set out below and the event is open to members of all Taekwon-Do associations.  Seminar places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, so don’t miss your opportunity to learn from a true Taekwon-Do legend.

Saturday 5th May
9.30am – 12.30pm All Colour Belts (9th Kup and above) & Black Belts
2.00pm – 5.00pm Colour Belts 5th Kup to 1st Kup & Black Belts
Sunday 6th May
9.30am – 12.30pm Black Belts Only
2.00pm – 5.00pm Black Belts Only
Seminar Fees
9th Kup to 6th Kup (Saturday morning only) €40
5th Kup to 1st Kup (Full day Saturday) €75
Black Belts (Full day Saturday & Sunday) €145

All applications & fees (payable to RITA) should be sent to:
RITA National Secretary, 32 Alderwood Ave, Springfield, Tallaght, Dublin 24, Ireland before the closing date of Thursday 26th April.

Click here to download the information pack (PDF)
Click here to download the information pack (DOC)
Click here to download the application form (PDF)


Master Classes

RITA Masters Training Session – A Historic Moment

As part of the RITA's 40th Anniversary celebrations which occur this year, the members of the Masters Council are available to teach special classes for RITA schools around the country. There is no cost to the members/school for these Master classes. Instructors who are interested in holding one of these very special events for their school/area should contact the National Secretary to make arrangements. Please make sure all Instructors have informed the Senior Instructor/Master in their Area before applying to the National Secretary.

IMAC/TAB Introduction to Coaching Taekwon-Do

This course is aimed at new assistant coaches/instructors who have little or no experience in teaching Taekwon-Do and at existing/experienced coaches who are engaging with the Taekwon-Do Advisory Board Coach Development Programme for the first time.

Course candidates will be aged 16 years or over and will hold a grade of 4th Kup or higher.

The Course will take place in Donabate & Portrane Community Centre, Donabate, Co. Dublin 12-13 May 2012

Please send your completed application form, enclosing a cheque for €100 made payable to:
Taekwon-Do Advisory board to: Adrian Byrne, Coaching Ireland, University of Limerick,Castletroy, Co. Limerick in advance of April 13th. Places are limited to 20 candidates. Should you have any specific queries, please email:

Download application

Recent News

ITF Ireland Squad & RITA National Team Training

Selection for the ITF Junior & Veteran World Championships in Estonia 20-26 August 2012 will begin on Saturday in St Laurence O'Toole AC, Carlow from 1.30pm.

As part of the RITA's 40th Anniversary there will be a male senior International match on Saturday 1st December in Dublin. This will be against a European Team yet to be confirmed. Only members who have attended Squad Selection for the 4 Nations will be considered. That event is scheduled to take place in Wales during October and is open to Male & Females, selection will start at Squad Training on Saturday. A senior female event is also being planned.
Happy Birthday Taekwon-Do
Happy 57th birthday Taekwon-Do! Today we celebrate the anniversary of the naming of our art by General Choi on 11th April 1955.

From the encyclopaedia: "Technically, 1955 signaled the beginning of Taekwon-Do as a formally recognized art in Korea. During that year, a special board was formed which included leading master instructors, historians, and prominent leaders of society. A number of names for the new martial art were submitted. On the 11th of April, the board summoned by Gen. Choi Hong Hi, decided on the name of Taekwon-Do which had been submitted by him. This single unified name of Taekwon-Do replaced the different and confusing terms; Dang Soo, Gong Soo, Taek Kyon, Kwon Bup, etc."

ITF Ireland CUP 2012 Results

With over 220 competitors the ITF Ireland Cup was a great success. There were 27 Schools taking part from all over the country making it an enjoyable and competitive event. The RITA would like to thank Mr Donal O' Doherty and the Cork Taekwon-Do School for hosting the event, the Tournament committee for organising it and all the Umpires who made it run smoothly.

The overall Junior award went to Alex Nowak from Grandmaster Howard's Dojang and the Senior winner was Magdalena Michalewska from St. Marks Taekwon-Do School. A full list of results can be found on the Tournaments page.

Keep an eye on our facebook page for Videos and Photos.

Umpire Course

Umpire Course 2012 - Results

Congratulations to the following Black Belts who passed their umpire exam after the recent National ITF Umpire Course. * The B class umpires must pass their practical exam in Cork at ITF-Ireland Cup. But they have passed the written exam. I look forward to seeing you all in Cork.
Master Robert Howard , Chair of the Umpire Committee

Jon Mackey (Red Star) National A - 12-UA-01 - Pass
*Laura Tobin (CoS) National B - 12-UB-01 - Pass*
*Neidin Coulahan (Red Star) National B - 12-UB-02 - Pass*
Thomas McGrath (Fethard) National C - 12-UC-01 - Pass
Billy Tobin (CoS) National C 12-UC-02 - Pass
Roisin O’Neill (CoS) National C - 12-UC-03 - Pass
Aisling Finnegan (CoS) National C - 12-UC-04 - Pass

Photos of the umpire course are on the RITA’s facebook page.

GM Howards Celebrations

Grandmaster Howard Celebrating his promotion gift from the RITA members in the beautiful sunshine in Fuertaventura, joining in with the fun on St.Patrick's Day are GM Howard's wife Sheila & Senior Master Phelan & his wife Bernie, Master John Ward (Kenpo Ireland) & his wife Pat, Ms Keane, (and her son Zac & wife Sylvia) & Mr. Roe.

Grandmaster Howard would like to extend sincere thanks to all the RITA members for this memorable gift.

Tallaght Schools in St. Patricks Day action

St. Marks & Old Bawn Taekwon-Do schools joined forces again this year to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  The St. Patrick’s Day Parade event, now in its new stadium format welcomed people from around the Tallaght area to come along and view members of the local groups/schools/bands and organisations in all their glory.  The event was staged in Shamrock Rovers Tallaght stadium where over 1,000 members of the public came along to spectate.

Both St. Marks and Old Bawn students had been training very hard together for a number of weeks leading up to the event to perfect the demonstration.  With just a short time slot allocated, all students needed to know exactly where they were to be at any point in time so there was no margin for error.  Students were placed in the home team’s dressing room in advance of taking to the pitch which served as excellent build up to the excitement.  Shortly afterwards the signal was given to take to the pitch where upon they received massive applause.  All students then began the demonstration with fundamental movements followed quickly by patterns, sparring and finishing off with breaking.  Once finished the students got to enjoy the rest of what the parade had to offer with the event finishing off with a fireworks display.  An excellent day was had by all.  Well done to all members involved.

World Championships

10th Junior & 5th Veteran ITF World Championship

Tallinn, Estonia will play host to the 10th Junior & 5th Veteran ITF World Championship from the 20th – 26th of August, 2012. It will take place in the impressive Saku Arena.

Those interested in being selected should contact Mr Doyle. Squad training has already begun and the next trial will be at the ITF Ireland Cup in Cork on the 31st March.

Download Information Pack


RITA School Grants

The New School Grant Scheme is to help black belts to open a new school. A maximum of €1,000 may be requested to help with setting up the new school eg. for insurance, first month’s rent, advertising, equipment etc.  The deadlines for applications throughout 2012 are 20th March 2012, 8th June 2012 and 7th Sept 2012.

  • Click here to download the New School Grant Application.

The Existing School Grant Scheme is to help to develop and grow existing schools eg. to introduce a new class for kids / teenagers / adults.  A maximum of €500 may be requested. Applications will be accepted either from the existing school’s chief instructor or an assistant instructor of the school or from any black belt wishing to run a new class in an existing school (with the permission of the school’s chief instructor).  However, only one application will be accepted per school.  The deadline for applications is 8th June 2012.

  • Click here to download the Existing School Grant Application


Umpires course get blue flag

The recent RITA’s National ITF Umpire Course held in Carrick-on-Suir received 5 blue flags from all the participants.
The course was run by the chair (Master Robert Howard) and vice-chair (Master Mark O’Donnell) of the RITA’s Umpire Committee and hosted by Mr Paul Tobin and the Carrick-on-Suir Taekwon-Do School. In attendance were members from Old Bawn Waterford, Carrick-on-Suir, Fethard and Red Star.
The morning started with a power point presentation on the role and duties of an umpire. Master Howard stressed that fairness and unbiased decision making is the corner stone of being a good umpire. He said ‘You can make mistakes, or not know something, or you can be wrong in your understanding of the rules, but we can fix that. What we can’t fix is a biased umpire. We can’t trust you and the competitors and students can’t trust you.’ He added, ‘that is not the Taekwon-Do way’. Over the past 40 years the RITA has built a great reputation, both in Ireland and internationally, of having fair and honest umpires. Competitors from all school and associations know that they will be judged according to the rules and nothing else.
Master O’Donnell continued the presentation with a guide to judging patterns.  The trainee umpires got to practice their scoring by watching videos of patterns and using the electronic scoring (clickers) system. They then got to discuss and share their views, and by the end of the session all the umpires’ scores were converging to a common norm.
Mater Howard led the session on Power Breaking and Special Technique and again the umpires got to practice blue flagging or red flagging competitors (on video) breaking with techniques used at RITA competitions.
The afternoon was focussed on sparring. Both corner judging and centre refereeing was covered in detail. It was clear from the corner judging that many of the participants had extensive tournament experience and were well able to award the correct points.  There B class umpires were guided in the proper hand signals and ring protocol as well as the main fouls and tricks competitors do. The A class umpires covered the Fight System scoring software and Jury President duties.
The day ended with the two Masters thanking the participants for their openness and willingness to learn. They also thanked Mr Paul Tobin and his member for the use of the great facilities at their full time dojang.
The participants will have to complete their theory test and the B class will have to complete their practical test at the ITF-Ireland Cup in Cork on the 31st March. This latest course on the 40th anniversary of the association means that almost all the RITA’s black belts are now qualified umpires and we should have a fair and high standard of judging at the Cork event.

Photos of the umpire course are on the RITA’s facebook page.

Black Belt Class

Black Belt Class

On Sunday March 11th, St. Mark’s Taekwon-Do held a black belt class. Instructor for the morning was R.I.T.A Senior Master, 8th degree Senior Master Anthony Phelan. After a warm up Snr. Master Phelan focused on combination fundamental movements which allowed the students to focus and use their imagination in attacking and defence sequences. The black belts were then brought through the first and second degree patterns with an opportunity to ask questions to Snr. Master Phelan. Later in the class the members covered items in the new syllabus then finished the class by returning to the respective patterns of their grade. A very open and enjoyable class was had by all. Many thanks to Senior Master Phelan for an excellent class with thanks also to Ms. Keane for hosting.


RITA Celebrating 40 Years

The RITA Would like to thank Mr. Gerard Byrne for designing our 40th Anniversary logo. His hard work is very much appreciated. We would like all our Schools to use it in promotional material so if you require a high resolution copy for print please contact Mr Doyle.

Also as part of the 40th Anniversary we will be uploading Photos and Videos from the last 40 years with some special ones to come soon. In the meantime have a look at the video from our 25th Anniversary back in 1997 and see if you recognise some young faces! Apologese for the quality as its from a very well used VHS.

Check out the Youtube and Facebook pages for more


New School in Tuam

The RITA would like to wish Ms Therese McGrath the best of luck with her new School in Tuam. The grand opening will be on Thursday March 8th, 7-8pm for Children ages 6 to 13yrs in Total Solution Gym, Airglooney Business Park, Ballygaddy Rd, Tuam, Co. Galway.

Check out their Facebook page for more info.

UKTA Today Magazine

Get a special souvenir edition of UKTA featuring RITA President Grandmaster Robert J Howard. Also featuring several photos of RITA students. Bring it along to the next RITA and get it autographed by GM Howard.

Instructors please contact Master Howard to order for your students.

Grand Master Robert J Howard

RITA President promoted to Grandmaster

Senior Master Robert J. Howard, was promoted to Taekwon-Do Grandmaster, 9th degree black belt, at the 17th ITF World Championships in Pyongyang, North Korea. 

Grandmaster Howard received his new rank (Sasung, Korean for Grandmaster) from the president of the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF), Professor Chang Ung, at the 17th World Championships. The RITA’s president has just returned from the North Korean capital city and his family and students throughout Ireland are already celebrating the fantastic news. He is the first European to be promoted by the Professor Chang Ung and the ITF and, according to the ITF’s website (, makes him the 8th worldwide. Also promoted in North Korea to the coveted rank of Grandmaster was Senior Master Phap Lu (Canada), SM Hwang (ITF and Czech technical director), SM Kim (Technical director to Bulgaria).

On his promotion Grandmaster Howard said "I'm so honoured to be promoted to Grandmaster by the ITF. When I started in Taekwon-Do back in the sixties I never thought I’d be still training today, and still with my original instructor First Grandmaster Rhee Ki Ha. Perseverance is one of General Choi’s five tenets and I’ve always tried to live by them.’


Click here for more news



Irish Sports Council

Want to learn Taekwon-Do?
To find your nearest school click here.
For more information on Taekwon-Do click here .
If you wish to contact the RITA you can do so by sending an e-mail to The National SecretaryMs Valerie Keane VI Degree at
RITA E-Newsletter
ITF Newsletters

bullet ITF Newsletter - March 2012

RITA Committees
All RITA members are encouraged to get involved in the Comittees by either submitting ideas or by joining them. Click here to view full contact details for all of the Committees.
Upcoming Events 2012
Sun 15th April Female Training
Sat & Sun 5/6 May RITA 40 Years Celebration Seminar

Click here to see full year

Squad Training
ITF Ireland Team

2012 European Championships
Official website for the 2012 European Championships

Download Information Pack

World Championships

Download Information Pack for 10th Junior & 5th Veteran ITF World Championship. 20-26 August 2012

There will be open squad training in Carlow on Saturday from 1.30pm. Also juniors & veterans interested in the Worlds should attend along with Seniors who want to do the 4 nations & international friendly later in the year.

Change of venue for the 10th Junior & 5th Veteran Taekwon-Do World Championship. It will be held in Tallinn, Estonia from 20th to 26th Aug. 2012.

For more information contact the National Coach, Mr Stephen Doyle 6th Degree. Email or phone 087-6986491

Colour Belt Squad

The next RITA National Colour Belt Development Squad training session will take place in Carrick on Saturday 21st April from 11am to 3pm. This session will be a bit longer than previous ones, as footage from the last two competitions will be shown. In the meantime, colour belts are required to compete in the upcoming ITF Ireland Cup in Cork on Saturday, 31st March.

For more information please contact Mr Paul Tobin, Coach on 087-2447886 or, or Mr Adam Fox, Assistant Coach on 087-6900948 or

TKD Supplies

TKD Supplies

RITA Instructors and Students can now view the TKD Supplies stock online. Click here to see our latest prices and stock.

In Memoriam

Gen Choi Hong Hi
Founder of Taekwon-Do
1918 - 2002


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