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About the ICM

The International Centre of Martial Arts for Youth Development and Engagement under the auspices of UNESCO

According to the feasibility study report on the establishment of the centre, the value and the role of the centre is as below: “The International Centre for Martial Arts for Youth Development and Engagement would bring to UNESCO a unique focus and expertise in using martial arts as an effective educational method to teach youth the values and life skills that are needed to build a culture of peace and non-violence, including respect for oneself and others, self-discipline, fair play, resiliency, and respect for cultural diversity.” Indeed, martial arts are accredited with training of the mind and body, character building, and channeling one’s energy into positive action for the benefit of the community. Martial arts can also help youth cope with the physiological and psychological changes that occur during adolescence and can assist them in building their self-confidence and in cultivating the positive attitudes and nonviolent, peaceful disposition needed to foster a culture of peace and non-violence.

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The International Centre of Martial Arts for Youth Development and Engagement under the auspices of UNESCO has been established based on the approval of the 37th session of General Conference in UNESCO on Nov.16, 2013, and the agreement between the government of the Republic of Korea and UNESCO on Dec.1,2015. The main objective of the centre is to promote the philosophies and cultural values of martial arts, foster positive and active values and attitudes in youth through martial arts, and enhance individual and social development. To this end, the centre offers various programs to promote empowerment, collect information, conduct research, share knowledge and encourage interaction between developed and developing countries in an attempt to promote youth development and participation as its ultimate goal. The center’s projects are designed to focus on the priority group of UNESCO such as women and the sub-Saharan Africa region. Such attempts are especially significant in that the proportion of women as leaders and researchers of martial arts, a field dominated by male practitioners, is currently low but should increase through the projects.


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