Taekwondo is a globally-recognized sport which was the main reason I applied for the taekwondo tour hosted by the Taekwondo Promotion Foundation (TPF). Here is how the first day of the tour began. I met many friendly faces at the Sejong Center, the departing point, and two buses full of excited and anticipated students moved to Muju. We were welcomed with detailed presentation on the Taekwondowon, followed by a site tour to show us the under-construction site of taekwondowon. We were said that the taekwondo center will be operating from September, 2013 after being constructed. Towards the evening came Bandiland Tour where we were given an opportunity learn more about the fireflies. Even though we couldn’t see any fireflies at that moment, we were flourished with knowledge on fireflies, butterflies and other insects. We spent the night at warm and cozy Deogyusan Resort.
On the second day, we visited the Vision University of Jeonju. All the students were very excited to be given taekwondo uniforms. Especially students like me who got to wear the uniform looked thrilled and overwrought. After getting changed into taekwondo uniform, we sat in the hall to see dynamic, fun and lively taekwondo performance. There was a lot of “shouting” which added spice to the non-verbal performance. Various movements such as jabs and punches, kicks, mitt kicking, self-defense, breaking the wood, and sparring were demonstrated.
Foreigner students looked really psyched after the performance by the local students. The performance really inspired the foreigners to kick higher, shout louder and punch harder with bare feet and hand; especially the girls did a good job for the first-timers. Taekwondo lesson was ended after a group-photo session.
So much of kicking and punching made many of us hungry that everyone seemed to enjoy the lunch. We explored around Jeonju Folk Village for an hour and the final experience was making traditional necklace. The lady and her daughter who was working at the jewelry-making place were very kind for helping us make necklace. The most interesting thing was guys made even prettier necklaces than girls did and we were allowed to take our own work home which was a wonderful souvenir. The manager of the TFT presented with a cup (with taekwondo prints on it) saying that he enjoyed the time he spent with us and wished us a merry Christmas in advance.
By the end of the day, I felt like the TFT team has done a great job by fulfilling their goals of triggering international students’ interest in taekwondo and to provide young foreigners with opportunities to practice and promote taekwondo. We said goodbye with a contented heart.