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Jafar Zareei

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From Small Acorns - Mighty Oaks Grow!

By G.M. Tony Vohra

Taekwondo Sportclub Koryo was founded in 1977 and has over 250 students. Among them are many children from age 5 and up, but there is also a group of enthusiastic adults. Classes are held at several locations in Den Haag, Rijswijk and Scheveningen.

Over the years, Taekwondo Koryo has cultivated and produced many champions on national and international level, who have won many prizes. That is why Taekwondo Koryo is recognized by the Olympic Commission (NOC/NSF) as one of the first class taekwondo clubs in the Netherlands. The clubs head teacher is Mr. Jafar Zareei. Mr. Zareei is originally from Iran where he coached his team members to Asian Champions. One of his students there even won a world Taekwondo title. Since becoming the head coach of Koryo in 1988, many of his students have become national and international champions. Taekwondo Koryo also has three assistant trainers; Marion Hartlieb, Mazdak Zareei and Aniel Soekha, of which Mazdak is still teaching.

Mr. Jafar Zareei currently is 7th Dan Taekwondo according to the requirements of the World Taekwondo Federation and is a 2th Dan Hapkido. He is a certified international Taekwondo Instructor which he aquired in 1998 at the headquarters of WTF in Kukkiwon, Korea. Besides being an instructor, Mr. Zareei is actively involved for the European Taekwondo Union where Jafar is the vice president of the technical commission and Taekwondo Bond Nederland (Taekwondo Association Netherlands); a member of the board of Higher Dan degree holders (where the highest Dan degree holders assemble) and Dan exams Commission (a commitee responsible for exam requirements of national Dan exams). He is one of the top class coaches of the Dutch team at various international tournaments and championships as well as an examiner at Dan exams. Taekwondo Koryo is one of the few clubs which has excellent results in both sparring and style discipline. Taekwondo Koryo has international and national first class taekwondokas in both disciplines. Taekwondo Koryo is also proud to be the only Taekwondo school that has Taekwondokas in the national selection team of Sparring and Style, who represent The Netherlands at various international as well as national championships around the World.

TKD-KMA: Could you give our readers a brief overview of your TaekwonDo career?

1979 - 198: I started as a trainer in Iran. I trained a lot students who won medals at the Asian games and at the World championships. Some students that I have taught have gone on to later become trainers and coaches of the national team in Iran and other professional teams around the World. I was also a member of the technical committee. I was the first TKD trainer in the district of Esfahan (after Teheran, it is the biggest district). I trained more than 50 black belt in Iran

1984: At the first junior championships in Iran my team from Esfahan won first place.

1987: In the Netherlands I trained 80 black belts over the course of 21 years. I am a member of the Dutch Technical committee, exam committee and the committee of the higher dan grades. Sometimes I am also a temporary coach of the Dutch national sparring team. During this time my club had one of the best results at the sparring national championships and is recognized as one of the top clubs by the Olympic committee. Also in the Netherlands my students won medals at the European championships and at the World championships. In the last 10 years my club Koryo Den Haag have won the most medals at the national championships. In 2007 I had 14 national champions and a lot of them won medals at international tournaments. For more results check my website At present there are 22 players in the national junior team, 9 of them come from my club and some of them are members of the senior team.

1998: I got my 3th class tkd instructors course at kukkiwon at the first international instructors course. In poomse I had also a couple of students who won medals at the European championships and a lot of my students were/are members of the national team.

2005: I got the second class and in 2007 I got my first class certificate.

From 2003 until now... I have been the vice chairman of the ETU technical committee and have organized the last 3European Poomse Championships as the head jury co-ordinator. I also participated at the World Taekwondo Federation technical meetings. I am a first class ETU judge, second class WTF judge and was present at the first World Championships poomse as a judge. Besides TKD I have also trained/fought in boxing, trained in Hapkido for some years and have a Hapkido trainers diploma. At this moment I am a 7th dan and hope to do my 8th dan exam in 2009.

TKD-KMA: Do you have any goals left for your future in TaekwonDo?
Yes, I wish to continue to be busy with sports but train more students to become champions and continue to teach the real meaning of TKD as a martial arts and not only as a Olympic sport.

TKD-KMA: What is your full name and where are you from?
My name is Jafar Zareei, I am 54 and I currently reside in the Netherlands and I am Dutch/Iranian.

TKD-KMA: What have been your best Taekwondo/Martial Arts achievements and accolades?
I Started boxing in 1965. Became 1966 Iranian Junior Champion and was a candidate of the boxing team for the Asian Games in 1971. I Started TaeKwonDo in 1971 in Esfahan.

TKD-KMA: Why did you take up martial art as opposed to other activities in your country?
It gave me self confidence and after boxing I quickly learned how to kick which was all new to me at the time and very exciting.

TKD-KMA - Who was your first instructor?
Lee Won See and later Kim Son Hawan and Kim Jun Jong, latterly Grandmaster Kang Shin Chul.

TKD-KMA: Which aspects of martial practice do you most enjoy?
I like self defence very much and sparring of course.

TKD-KMA: In your opinion, what does it take to make a success of martial practice?
Total Commitment and lots of practice!

TKD-KMA: What are the main physical requirements for success in
Flexibility, a positive mentality, stability, and explosive, power!

TKD-KMA: How do you measure effectiveness and how can you improve/develop your techniques in martial practice?
Through training regularly, winning competitions, and through gaining grades?

TKD-KMA: Do you think that the founders of martial art are very special
Yes because they have made rules for fighting and brought respect and honor.

TKD-KMA: What ambitions do you have in terms of personal development and the development of your association?
Train hard, get my 9th dan and for my club, to pass on to all my students, my knowledge about TKD so they also become good martial arts players.

TKD-KMA: What are thoughts on the new emphasis of practical martial arts?
I hope the performance of flying techniques will be developed and acknowledged in sparring on the World stage.

TKD-KMA: Do you believe that patterns are the heart of TKD?
Yes because all the basic movements of TKD are in poomsee’s.

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