Tkd hapkido Master Park Kil-Jun style...Prepare to be inspired!
Want to see a human being fly?
Want to really learn to break fall?
Want to learn tkd hapkido from a true Master?
...go to Korea and train with Master Park Kil-Jun!
Master Park Kil-Jun is an amazing athlete
Our Korean taekwondo tour kicked off with 4 days at Master Park's Dojang in Seoul.
What a way to start!
Master Park is a truly amazing athlete.
He can do lay-out somersaults from standing.
He can fly over a number of students and execute a perfect cat roll.
And he can sit unsupported in box splits with his feet on 2 chairs.
Master Park's background and base is taekwondo.
But like many other great Korean Masters he has diversified into other areas.
As well as running his own Dojang. He also teaches taekwondo, hapkido and yongmoodo at Yongin University.
Master Park's taekwondo and hapkido knowledge is astounding. He seems to hold an impossible number of hapkido locks, holds and throws in his head!
He is also a great and patient teacher. And his excellent taekwondo students clearly adore him.
And of course like all the Korean Masters we met, he is incredibly humble.
Master Park and his wife Sun-young couldn't do enough for us. They went to every effort to make sure our stay in Seoul was perfect.
They even invited us all to their home for dinner.
Korean taekwondo stretching is tough!
After a thorough(!) warm up the serious stuff started. And like everywhere we trained in Korea. The stretching was serious!
Korean Masters emphasize that stretching is vital to performing good taekwondo and hapkido. And also that stretching is incredibly good for your body.
Although it might not always feel like it at the time!
We spent a good hour each day stretching every muscle and joint from top to toe.
And Master Park dedicated a big chunk of time working on hip stretches. In particular we worked on hip joint flexibility (as opposed to just working on the muscles around the hips).
This was fantastic for us older students who struggle with high turning kicks.
Taekwondo break falls- you need to learn to fall if you're going to learn to throw
The Korean tkd hapkido message was clear.
If you want to throw people. You'd better get good at being thrown yourself!
We spent hours at Master Park's Dojang mastering the basics of cat rolls and break falls. Or at least trying to.
He showed us great ways of falling so that we didn't hurt ourselves.
And by the end even us older ones amazed ourselves by running up to a mat and producing a half decent jump and cat roll.
It was especially good to see the younger members of our group progress in this area.
They really enjoyed the fun sessions and quite literally threw themselves into it. 100%.
And of course our own instructor Master Jason Smith could already break roll and cat roll incredibly well. So Master Park took him to the next level.
And as they reached greater and greater heights. Our jaws dropped further and further in amazement.
We were all grinning like kids by the end of the session!
Tkd hapkido- defending grabs and strikes
Next was a fantastic and fast moving tkd hapkido lesson.
The techniques seem so simple when Master Park demonstrates them. But when we tried. They weren't quite so easy!
Although with help from Master Park and his students we did progress pretty well.
We learned a range of great defenses against grabs and strikes. And some great locks.
The children learned simple ways of compressing the thumb or bending a finger to help them deal with large attackers.
And all of us took away techniques we could use in taekwondo one step sparring and self defense.
When Master Park demonstrated the more advanced techniques. He needed someone who could break fall well.
So Master Jason was often the crash test dummy.
And it took Master Park no effort at all to flip Jason around and over. And over again. It was incredible to watch!
At some point each day Master Park and his students.
Treated us to fantastic acrobatic displays.
It was incredible to watch these amazing guys fly through the air at great heights.
Then land so softly and accurately.
Our tkd hapkido sessions left us inspired and motivated.
If we can achieve even a fraction of what Master Park achieves.
Then we'll be doing really well!