Finding and choosing a Taekwondo school is not an easy task where there are many Dojang. Experts recommend a long list steps to follow, consistently including the following: “research the instructor” and b) verify his/her certifications. These two critical areas and more are covered below.
1.Master Fernando ABAGA EDJANG
Fernando is an Economist by training and a retired UNDP official. Deeply passionate about Taekwondo, he combined his UN functions for many years in many countries in Africa and at Headquarters in New York, with Taekwondo practice. He came to The Gambia in October of 2015 and served as Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP until his separation in April of 2017. Upon his separation from UNDP, he decided to stay in The Gambia to contribute to the development of Taekwondo. The creation of Professional Taekwondo Gambia is the avenue to pursue and achieve this goal.
Following five years of training in Karate Shotokan as a young man in the 1970s and early 1980s, Fernando was initiated into Taekwondo in 1981, still in high school, by Master Eugenio Quaresma Quaresma, popularly known as “Kim Orbi” (5th. Degree Dan Black Belt), a former national champion of Spain for many years. However, he did not join the Kukkiwon/WTF mainstream with regular testing until 2012. In this new phase of his Taekwondo training, he has had the privilege of being trained by Grand Master Kyung Sup Kim (9th. Degree Dan Black Belt), of “SMS Taekwondo School” in New York, who also introduced him to Jidokwan Taekwondo, which is very steeped in tradition; and Grand Master Kwan Sup Kim (8th. Degree Dan Black Belt), of “Professional Taekwondo School” also located in New York, a former world heavyweight champion and eight times national champion of South Korea, who has helped him develop his competitive Taekwondo skills and is currently his Kwan Jang Nim.
In addition, he has afforded Fernando the opportunity to compete and train in elite Taekwondo schools in South Korea, such as Taekwondowon, Kyuung Hee University with a stint at Gachon University. Because of this background, Fernando combines both tradition and modernity in his Taekwondo practice and teaching, supported by an effort to understand the philosophical underpinning of Taekwondo. He very much believes in strong physical body conditioning in support of explosive power, flexibility, agility and speed that are the hallmark of Taekwondo. Fernando is currently 3rd. Degree Black Belt certified by Kukkiwon, 4th. Degree Black Belt JIDOKWAN and 4th. Degree Black Belt issued by New York State Taekwondo Association/WT. With Grand Master Kwang Sup Kim’s support, Fernando has gained significant experience in and exposure to international fora as follows:
Master Fernando also participated in several elite training programmes:
2.Instructor Babou SAINE
Instructor Baba is a promising young figure in the Gambian Taekwondo scene. He is 1st. Degree Black Belt certified by Kukkiwon. He supports Master Fernando in the training and other initiatives and activities that take place at Professional Taekwondo Gambia, with special focus on the training of the Little Dragons. Instructor Baba has international exposure, having participated in competitions in Senegal (Senegal International Open) and Azerbaijan (Islamic Games). Instructor Baba is currently preparing for his 2nd. Degree Black Belt Test, which is expected to take place before the end of 2019.
When you join Professional Taekwondo Gambia, you will be training with the best in the best facilities.