Kyung Hee GIP Club Activities: Taekwondo - Vikingess Voyages

Friday, June 14, 2013

Kyung Hee GIP Club Activities: Taekwondo

During my year here at Kyung Hee's Graduate Institute of Peace Studies I have been participating regularly in their taekwondo club, and as I finish my studies here next week I've decided to share some of my experiences with practicing taekwondo in Korea.

Kyung Hee is actually quite well-known in the field of taekwondo, and their taekwondo union can boost of schools in various other countries such as for instance the US, Canada and Singapore. At the main campus in Seoul we even have a Taekwondo Department for those who really want to take this sport to the next level.

Our taekwondo-club

Practicing kicks with our taekwondo-teacher (사범님)
Here at the GIP all students are offered 2 classes of taekwondo per week free of charge, so it is a great opportunity for those interested in learning martial arts while staying at the campus. Our two taekwondo teachers are two brothers, and they take turns to teach here and at a taekwondo school in India every second semester. They are in charge of one of the local Kyung Hee Taekwondo schools, and we have also had the chance to visit their school to practice with their other students. The school even lends us the uniforms (dobok - 도복), so unless you want to buy your own there is really no expenditures involved in joining the club. Some of our students do however decide to take the black belt test, as this is offered at the end of each semester. The test costs 30.000, and is also arranged by Kyung Hee's Taekwondo Union. In order to be able to take this test the main thing you have to know is the 8 first poomsae (폼새 - taekwondo patterns composed of central taekwondo techniques). In general it is not that hard to pass the test, so it is a great opportunity for those who want to achieve the black belt within the 2 years of studying at Kyung Hee.

Practicing Poomsae
...And sparring
In my case I have had some previous experience with martial arts before, which really helped me achieve black belt last month. I practiced Shotokan karate for 5 years while I was living in Norway, but after I moved to Japan I haven't had the chance to practice any sports regularly.. Still, I ended up winning a prize for best poomsae at the black belt test in May.. Lucky!
Won a prize for best poomsae at the black belt test
My new black belt with my name in hangul

This week we had our last taekwondo class.. I'm gonna miss our practices, it has been really nice learning taekwondo at the GIP. There is not that much to do at the campus besides studying, so the taekwondo has really been one of the heights of my week for the last year. Next semester I'll be living in Tokyo, so we'll see what kind of sport I end up doing.!
The last taekwondo practice we ended the day with a cake :)
Anyway, the GIP offers classes in taekwondo on Mondays and Wednesdays, and kendo-classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Unfortunately I did not have the chance to participate in the kendo-classes, but they are also quite popular. Apparently the kendo-classes are easier than the taekwondo-classes, so it might be a good alternative for those who don't want to memorize the poomsae.

If you plan to study at the GIP I definitively recommend joining the taekwondo or kendo club! ^^


Other blog posts about taekwondo:
Muju Taekwondowon Promotion Tour

All my posts about Kyung Hee
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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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