Korean taekwondo... Prepare to be inspired!
In this section of our site we share our Korean Taekwondo tour Stories.
In April 2009 we traveled to Korea with 9 other members of Spirit Taekwondo.
Our amazing journey took us to major cities, rural villages and universities.
We trained in taekwondo, tkd sparring, hapkido, gumdo, taekwonstick and Korean yoga.
We trained with Grandmasters, Masters, university students and children.
And in every case. We witnessed.
And unbelievable humility.
We were continually overwhelmed by the warmth of the Korean people.
And our journey through Korea motivated and inspired us beyond measure.
We hope that by sharing our stories. We can motivate and inspire you. In your taekwondo journey.
Taekwondo training is part of Korean culture
Taekwondo training is available everywhere in Korea. Tkd is part of the Korean culture. There are Dojangs in every town.
However taekwondo training is viewed a bit differently in Korea compared to more western societies.
Korean people see tkd as a form of education. And tkd is not really seen as a hobby or leisure pursuit.
Taekwondo is something that Korean children often learn as part of their schooling. That Korean soldiers learn in the army. But something that adults only seem to continue if it is their profession.
Some of us on the tour started taekwondo training in our 30s and 40s. The idea of starting to train as an adult is a concept quite alien to Korean people.
But of course it is a concept which was embraced with typical Korean respect and enthusiasm. And us older students were treated like royalty!
Korean taekwondo sparring is fast and furious
We were lucky enough to experience taekwondo sparring training Korean style.
At Chung Cheong University.
Here the students overwhelmed us with their enthusiasm.
And the amazingly high standard of their tkd.
We learned one secret to sparring success.
1000 speed kicks.
Three times a day.
Every single day!
Taekwondo and hapkido- Master Park style!
Master Park Kil Jun is an awesome athlete.
We were lucky enough to start our tour at his Dojang in Seoul.
It was a great beginning!
Master Park certainly put us through our paces in Korean taekwondo kicks and hapkido.
And by the end of four days.
We could all cat roll.
And break fall.
And we'd learned great locks and throws.
Which were deceptively simple.
Yet devastatingly effective!
Taekwondo and yoga with Master Kim
We thought Korean Yoga might be a gentle and easy part of our tour!
How wrong were we?!
Korean Yoga is tough.
It works every muscle of the body.
Building an excellent mix of strength and flexibility.
Combined with a calm mind.
It's a great thing to practice alongside taekwondo.
Kukkiwon taekwondo headquarters the home of wtf
We enjoyed a great day at Kukkiwon taekwondo headquarters.
The home of wtf taekwondo.
We saw training for poomse referees in the main Dojang.
We trained in an stunning ancient Korean location.
As part of the Kukkiwon taekwondo experience for foreigners.
And the highlight?
Was a breathtaking display by the Kukkiwon Demonstration team.
Pulled off despite appalling weather conditions.
A true demonstration of Korean Spirit!
Taekwonstick with Master Cho
Are all martial arts the same?
Does it matter if the weapon is a stick?
Or your hand?
Or your foot?
These were some of the questions posed by Master Won-Kyn Cho.
As we learned Korean taekwondo stick defense in the form of taekwonstick.
It was great fun.
And hard work.
We tested our coordination.
And the trust in our partner!