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Sports History: Team Nigeria In the London Olympics 2012 and Rio 2016

Leaders In Nigeria Taekwondo: Emmanuel Ikpeme and George Ashiru

Grandmaster Ikpeme wins the Lifetime Achievement Award for his unparalleled work in sport and martial arts, including youth programs.

Grandmaster Ikpeme wins the Lifetime Achievement Award for his unparalleled work in sport and martial arts, including youth programs.

In the above photograph, Grandmaster Emmanuel Ikpeme accepts his award while dressed in the traditional Taekwondo Jidokwan master's jacket that represents the school of Yudo (Judo) from which Jidokwan descended in Korea. To his left (our right) stands Grandmaster George Ashiru, a close associate of GM Ikpeme and a much respected father of the Taekwondo development movement in Nigeria.

In the background of the photograph, you see black belt practitioners that were inducted into the Black Belt College Hall of Fame.

Quote from Grandmaster Ashiru ( August 15, 2012, after the 2012 Olympics:

Engineers are not produced after a crash course for the creative. Olympic champions can't be produced after 2months of "intensive" preparations. It takes 6-8 years to take a first class talent to Olympic heights. Those who lack long term vision and stamina should never be allowed to manage resources and talents. RIO starts now, not 2015.

Who Is Emmanuel Ikpeme, Grandmaster in Taekwondo Jidokwan?

My friend and colleague, Emmanuel Ikpeme, is one of the most hardworking and effective practitioners and promoters of Taekwondo and other martial arts and sports anywhere in the world, not only in Nigeria and all of Africa. He brings people together no matter what their race, religion, gender, or politics. He does this whether he is teaching a class, training an Olympian, presenting a paper, forming a new organization, or hosting a radio show. He travels around the globe more often than an astronaut.

Grandmaster Emmanuel Ikpeme is the CEO, Founder, and National Coordinator of the Nigeria Taekwondo Foundation 1975. Their mission is to deliver the best in Taekwondo, Martial Arts, Sports, Fitness, Training Services, and Management Consultation.

Headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, Grandmaster Ikpeme became a 1st dan black belt on April 24, 1977, setting his course for a long and accomplished service to humankind through Taekwondo and other martial arts. Recently, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his career and service. His work has provided training and motivation for thousands of people worldwide and physical and mental health for like numbers. He is an inspiration that people want to follow.

Grandmaster Emmanuel Ikpeme


  • Martial Arts-Sports / Fitness & Training Consultant; Ashtanga & Hatha Yoga Teacher


  • Pioneer Member / Black Belt of Nigeria Taekwondo; Yoga Guru


  • Authored many papers and presentations on the physical and mental/psychological aspects of Taekwondo and other martial training. Instituted Management by Objective system for martial training.
  • First Nigerian to be Certified as International Jidokwan Taekwondo Grandmaster
  • Coach/Trainer of Nigeria's and Africa's First Olympic Taekwondo Champion - Peters Oghenejobo, won first Olympic silver for Nigeria and Africa at Barcelona Summer Olympic Games in 1992.
  • Head Coach of Rivers State Taekwondo - 1986.
  • Head Coach, Taekwondo, in Lagos State - 1988.
  • Inducted into the USA-based Taekwondo Hall of Fame in South Korea in 2011.
  • Founder of First All-Styles Martial Arts Club in the Nation: Manidee Martial Arts Club
  • Former Technical Adviser to the Federation of Cameroonian Taekwondo
  • Team Leader to First World Cup Taekwondo Championship 2004 in Florida, USA
  • Trainer of Highest Number of Black Belts in Nigeria
  • Voted among the Top 1000 Achievers of the New Millennium by Vanguard Newspaper

Gm Ikpeme's Nigeria Taekwondo Foundation75 is the major driving power for Taekwondo and other martial arts and Olympic Sports Events in Africa, not only in Nigeria.

From 2007 - 2012, NTF75 has effectively gained membership all over Nigeria and West Africa. it has, thanks to GM Ikpeme, formed cooperatives and partnerships all over the world. These can be found in the USA most often Florida, Illinois, Texas, Ohio, and other states. Florida has been one of the biggest successes.

Ikpeme was the leader to Nigeria's 1st World Cup Taekwondo win in 2004 in Florida. Nigerians also won at the US Open in 2006. In fact, Master Nicholas Dutse earned 2 Gold Medals at the Dallas, Texas US Open Taekwondo Championships, in Poomse (forms) & Kyeorugi (sparring).

Important Communities

LAGOS in Lagos State, Nigeria

A view of the City of Lagos, with over 155 Million residents.

A view of the City of Lagos, with over 155 Million residents.

What Makes a Grandmaster?

As a young employee at what was then called the Super Cinema in Lagos from 1972 to 1974, Emmanuel Ikpeme saw Chinese movies with actors like Wang Yu, Chen Sing, and Bruce Lee. He became inspired! He began training at age 16 and in 2011, became the first African member of the Taekwondo Hall of Fame in South Korea. Few have accomplished the lineage of honors that follow his globe-trekking work.

Having studied Taekwondo and martial arts myself for 30 years as of 11 July 2012, I must say that I like Grandmaster Ikpeme's translation of the word Taekwondo to Tae Kwon Do better than any other:

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"Self-defence art of hand and leg, which involves mental cultivation leading to philosophical way of self-mastery.”

HIGHLIGHTS: Beijing 2008 Taekwondo!

University of Lagos, Where Taekwondo is Beloved

A view of the University of Lagos

A view of the University of Lagos

Grandmaster George Ashiru

George Ashiru is another Hero of Taekwondo in Nigeria and the world. He has accomplished more in his life so far than many others will ever conceive of doing and he remains energetic in his dedication to the development of martial arts and sports for adults and youth. He is a perpetual motion machine for Taekwondo and martial sports!

GM George Ashiru was honored in April 2012 by the University of Lagos in Nigeria. The Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos awarded honors to GM Ashiru for establishing the University of Lagos Taekwondo Club in 1984 and for working successfully toward the approval of Taekwondo as an official sport of the Nigerian University Games in 1990. The award is the Ambassador of Lagos Award of Excellence for contributions to youth, sports development, and humanitarian services to Nigeria..

GM Ashiru is the head of the Nigeria Taekwondo Black Belt College (NTTBC), founded 1986. This organization is one of the forerunner of Taekwondo Black Belt Association of Nigeria and connected with the National Federation for Taekwondo (NTF) in Nigeria, founded in 1975 and known well at NTF75. The NTF is the highest technical body for thousands of black belt practitioners in that nation. The associated Facebook group is located at

Grandmaster Ashiru became a Lifetime member of the Taekwondo Jidokwan Historical Society on March 20, 2008. Jidokwan school of Taekwondo was passed to Nigerian practitioners by GM Aikpa Aime beginning in 1975. The teaching was originated from GM Young Tae Kim in Africa beginning in 1967 in Cote D'Ivoirea.

GM George Ashiru began martial arts training in the Korean style of Moo Duk Kwan in 1976. Two years hence, he joined the Korean Karate Federation in England. In 1979, he joined the Nigerian Jidokwan Taekwondo School in Lagos. He earned the 1st Dan black belt in England in August 1982 with the Amateur Martial Association (AMA) and continued training, joining the World Taekwon Clubs under the WTF Master Jong Hee Yoon. Today, AShiru heads the NTBBC and trains Olympians and other martial artists.

In the above historic photography, you see Abdulmalik, Coach at the Korean Cultural Centre; Master George Ashiru, NTBBC President & Team Manager of Nigeria Taekwondo Olympic Team 2008; and Chika Chukwumerije, Beijing 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist posing after CCSF Camp, in Abuja, Nigeria.

Chika Chukwumerije

Important Teams

London 2012 Summer Olympics: 27 July to 12 August 2012.

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Andrew Lloyd, proclaimed that the Nigerian Summer Olympic Teams in London for 2012 will flourish. two million Nigerians living in the London area already are sure to boost the spirits of the Team Members and lend their support in any way possible.

The largest number of Olympic Medals expected from Nigerian Teams are expected in Athletics, Boxing and Football (Soccer to Americans).

Female police officer Chioma Ajunwa was a long jumper. She is Nigeria's first Individual Olympic Gold Medalist, winning in the Long Jump. However, she was also the first African woman to win the Gold in a field event in 1996 - in Soccer. She is active in anti-doping activities related to sports and the public response to her message and events is incredibly large.

The Sports

Team Nigeria is the group of busy Nigerian athletes that competes at the

  1. Summer Olympic Games
  2. Youth Olympic Games
  3. Commonwealth Games and
  4. All African Games

Nigerians have competed in as many as 12 different Olympic Summer Sports - 10 in Beijing 2008, but London 2012 will witness them better prepare than ever before and in the greatest number ever participating from Nigeria.

The men and women of Team Nigeria do not split into the Women's Team and the Men's Team. They are all one team, but participate in the gender-based events as needed.

Chika Chukmerije

Beijing 2008 Taekwondo Bronze Medalist Chika Chukmerije competes in his third games in London 2012. Every good wish goes out for him to medal again. He reports to Team Nigeria that the Olympics have changed his life and given him a more positive outlook about the world and people.

Olympic Qualified

Nigeria qualified 2 Taekwondo Practitioners for the games after the African qualifiers in Egypt ended in January 2012:

  1. Men's 68kg - Issa Muhammad Adam
  2. Men's +80kg - Chika Chukwumerije

Head Coach for Nigeria: KunSi-Haweon, salary paid by the South Korean government.


Also a martial sport, Nigeria has male and female BOXERS going to London as well:


  1. Light-Heavyweight – Lukmon Olayiwola Lawal
  2. Middleweight – Muideen Olalekan Akanji

WOMEN - New for 2012! -- Women's Boxing.

  1. Middleweight – Edith Agu-Ogoke

Other sports include Athletics (Track and Field events), Basketball, Canoeing, Swimming, Table Tennis, Weightlifting, and Wrestling. Since I know some Women's Wrestling Coaches in Africa Zone-3, let me give you this Olympic Qualifying Information:



  1. Men's Freestyle 84kg – Adibo Dick
  2. Men's Freestyle 96kg– Sinvie Boltic


  1. Women's Freestyle 63kg – Blessing Oborodudu
  2. Women's Freestyle 72kg - Amarachi Obiajunwa

More About Taekwondo

Reference Map

© 2012 Patty Inglish MS


Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on June 06, 2012:

I am extremely dismayed and sorry that cancer took away your son, so I am happy about the good memories you have of him, and for the fact that you have 4 wonderful grandchildren. Children are very important to the martial arts organizations we run and it is our duty to bring them all good things that we can. I hope you all can see some of the Olympics on television this year.

God bless you.


Navneet Thakur from India on June 05, 2012:

Thanks for share this useful information.

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on June 05, 2012:

Patty - The photograph of Grandmaster Emmanuel Ikpeme accepting his Lifetime Achievement Award is a powerful one. And imagine being a black belt practitioner being inducted into the Black Belt College Hall of Fame.

The discipline of mind and body is nothing short of noble. I enjoyed reading and learning about your friend, Emmanuel Ikpeme Grandmaster in Taekwondo Jidokwan as well as what it takes to be a Grandmaster.

My son Todd, was passionate about martial arts right up until cancer took his life.

I am printing out this article to give to each of my 4 grandchildren that they might have a better knowledge of Taekwondo and important facts. Thank you Patty. I will be sharing this as well as voting up and across without the funny.

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