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T'idene Taekwondo Club

Find out about the T'idene Taekwondo Club by expanding the sections below.

You can contact the club through the NWT WTF Taekwondo Association by using the contact form on this site.

History of the club

T’idene Taekwondo was originally formed as an international-style taekwondo club (a non-contact form of taekwondo) around 1984, or ’85, by Allan Adam, a CBC Chipewyan Dene Language Announcer/Operator from La Ronge, Saskatchewan. Thus the name, T’idene Taekwondo. Adam worked at CBC Yellowknife until 1990 when he returned to Saskatchewan and left the club in the hands of Tom Girrior.

The first word in the club's name is from two Chipewyan Dene words: “T’i”, means “fighting”, and “Dene” means “people”. T’idene Taekwondo stayed as a non-contact version of taekwondo (international-style TKD), until the beginning of 1989. The previous year (1988), the full-contact version of taekwondo (World Taekwodo Federation-style TKD), had been introduced into the Olympic Games as a demonstration sport. WTF TKD was again featured as a demonstration sport in 1992, and then inaugurated in as a full medal sport for the 2000 Olympic Games.

Inspired by this recognition and new status of the full-contact version of taekwondo (WTF TKD), the group training with T’idene Taekwondo at the beginning of 1989 made a decision to form the NWT Tae Kwon Do Association (NWTTKD Assoc.), and turn full-contact by going under the auspices of the World Taekwondo Federation by becoming a club linked with Champion Tae Kwon Do Schools (Master Jay Park) in Edmonton, AB.

The original directors on the board of the newly formed NWTTKD Assoc., were Allan Adam, Tom Girrior, Jim Hope, Ted Baraccus and Bill Luke. Two months after adopting the full-contact style, T’idene Taekwondo Club overcame the mental block of thinking no-contact to full-contact by sending a team to an Alberta Provincial Tournament in Edmonton, AB, that was sponsored by Master Jay Park of Champion TKD Schools. Although the club was small in number compared to other clubs, they astounded their followers by winning an unprecedented, and unexpected, accumulation of medals: some members winning individual gold and silver medals in both poomse (forms), and kyorugi (sparring).

A year later (1990), the NWTTKD Assoc. sponsored its first WTF-rules “open” tournament in Yellowknife that was attended by Yellowknife’s Tony Chan Gojo Ryu Karate Club, the Gojo Ryu karate club from Inuvik, the taekwondo club from Hay River, and a karate club from Iqaluit, NU. Here again, the martial artists of T’idene Taekwondo excelled! Most of the clubs that attended this tournament had never been exposed to full contact, and found themselves at a disadvantage and even some karate black belts did not fare well against T’idene Taekwondo’s red belts. For example, a black belt combatant from Inuvik got knocked out by a red belt who countered his front snap kick with a spinning back kick that he did not expect at all.

Today, going into its 3rd decade of being one of Yellowknife's City-sponsored recreational activities, T’idene Taekwondo still continues to produce qualified, responsible martial arts practitioners through its physical and philosophical teachings.


Elaine Carr

  • First degree black belt
  • 15 years of practicing the sport,
  • 4 years as instructor and another 4 years as assistant instructor,
  • Secretary of the NWT WTF Taekwondo Association.

John Carr

  • Fourth degree black belt
  • ~20 years practicing taekwondo
  • ~15 years instructing
  • Director of the NWT WTF Taekwondo Association

Kevin Cull

  • Fourth degree black belt
  • 17 years practicing taekwondo
  • Began instructing about 13 years ago
  • President of the NWT WTF Taekwondo Association