Muju Taekwondowon Promotion Tour! - Vikingess Voyages

Monday, November 26, 2012

Muju Taekwondowon Promotion Tour!

In July 2013 the new Taekwondo head quarters is going to open in Muju, and in order to promote this project the TPF (Taekwondo Promotion Foundation) have been arranging trips for foreign students in Korea to come and see the building site.
I was one of the lucky foreigners who got the chance to participate in a two-day trip, which in addition to Muju also took us to the city of Jeonju. Two of my friends, Tanya and Maya, also had the chance to join the trip, and on Sunday we all met up in Seoul. TPF had arranged two busses for the trip, with a total of about 40 foreign students joining in.
This is how the Taekwondowon is going to look like when it is finished.
After an couple of hours in the bus we arrived in Muju, where we got a guided tour of the Taekwondowon area. The architect had made a design that focused on harmony with the surrounding nature, and at the same time the placment of the buildings are meant to symbolize the different stages in the Taekwondo graduation process: The first area you come to when you arrive stands for the white belt, then comes the area symbolizing the yellow belt, and it continues like this to an observatory on the top of the mountain symbolizing the black belt. The different areas also have different purposes, as they focus on spirit, mind and body. The area has buildings for training, games and exhibition, but also a center for research on Taekwondo and buildings for accommodation. Here are some pictures from the construction site:
At the beginning of the trip we got some information about the project

In front of the main Taekwondo building
The bridge symbolizing the black belt stage
However, as the construction is to be finished next year there is still a lot of construction left to be done. I think it will would have been more interesting to see the construction at a later state, but then again I suppose it is a good reason to come back later to see how the project ends up. 
Still a lot of construction to get done
In addition to seeing the construction site of the Taekwondowon, we also visited a place called Bandiland (bandi, 반디, means firefly in Korean) where you can mainly see a large collection of butterflies from all over the world. In addition to the butterflies, they also have other insects and some fossils, and in addition to this there is also a cinema where they show a 3D video which I'm sure must be popular among the kids. After a guided tour of the center we were escorted to our hotel, where we were assigned rooms for the night, and spent the evening partying with the other participants.
Posing by a Bandiland statue

Some of the poor butterflies..

Group picture taken in Bandiland
Our second day started with a luxurious buffet at a nearby ski resort called Tirol. Here we could choose from a wide range of food, including exotic fruit (fruit is relatively expensive in Korea so I really appreciated this^^), and both Western and Korean food. The hotel itself was in really pretty European style, and there is a ski track right behind the hotel too. As you can see from the group picture below, the view from the resort is also quite nice.

Muju has some great facilities for skiing
After breakfast we continued our trip to Jeonju, where we visited the traditional Korean village (which I actually visited just a month ago:p). We got a guided trip of the village, and after a lunch which included Jeonju's famous bibimbap it was time for one of the main evens of the trip: a visit to a Taekwondo training center to learn more about Taekwondo.
Ready to practice some taekwondo
When we arrived at the Taekwondo center we all got distributed a set of the traditional taekwondo wear called Dobok (도복 / 道服), and in the taekwondo center we got to see a taekwondo-show prepared exclusively for us. I have added a video from the show here:

From the Taekwondo-show
After the show we got the chance to practice some taekwondo too, with the taekwondo-blackbelts teaching us some of the moves. To be honest we already had learned the moves from the taekwondo-class at school, but it was cool to get the chance to break some bricks.. Haha.. Representatives from the media was also present, so it'll be cool to see their video when it is published in January! ^^

After a great weekend it was time to go back to school in the GIP, and with only a couple of weeks left of the semester it means that I should also get back to my studies now. Ciao!
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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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About Me

Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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