Photo: Taekwondo demonstration in front of Bulimun Gate at Saemiwon Botanical Gardens
Taekwondo, the most recognized form of Korean martial arts, is a sport that emphasizes a sense of morality, humility, and a respect for one's opponent. It has become a globally-recognized sport through which practitioners can improve both their physical ability and mental strength. This martial art teaches both defensive and offensive techniques without using weapons. However, taekwondo puts more emphasis on defense because of the taekwondo spirit of respecting peace and justice. Continue reading to find out where you can experience this traditional Korean martial art yourself.
Photo: Taekwondo Demonstration Team, Kukkiwon, at Namsangol Hanok Village
There are various kinds of taekwondo-related performances and hands-on programs for international visitors who are interested in experiencing traditional culture at Namsangol Hanok Village. Visitors can enjoy watching creative performances that blend taekwondo forms with art and a children's taekwondo demonstration team. International visitors will also have the chance to learn taekwondo's basic forms, self-defense skills, breaking and more through classes offered in two skill levels. To participate, visitors must sign up for the class online in advance, choosing the level they feel is the best match for their abilities. Admission to Namsangol Hanok Village is free of charge; however, fees apply for participation in the experience programs. For detailed information, please visit the official website.
Photo Credit: International Kumgang Taekwondo Center
International Kumgang Taekwondo Center specializes in providing taekwondo experience programs for foreigners. Programs range from short-term (basic forms and techniques) to long-term (a more intensive program held for a month or longer). The programs are generally carried out inside taekwondo studios in Korea, making the experience more meaningful. Small group sessions and large group sessions are available, and times are flexible depending on the center's schedule. After completing any of the programs, participants will be presented with a certificate and there will also be time allotted for picture taking. For more details and reservations for the programs, please visit the official website.
Photo: Taekwondo experience class at Muju Taekwondowon
Located on Baegunsan Mountain in Muju-gun, Jeollabuk-do, Muju Taekwondowon is a center where people can learn taekwondo in a place surrounded by nature. The center's expansive grounds occupy a land area of 2,314,000㎡ while the total building floor area measures 71,648㎡.
Muju Taekwondowon's main facilities include the T1 Arena (main stadium), T1 Theater (indoor performance hall), Experience Center Yap! (taekwondo experience hall), Doyak Center (training center), and more. At the taekwondo experience hall, visitors can wear taekwondo uniforms and spar with a virtual opponent. The Taekwondo Museum exhibits the basics and the history of taekwondo, as well as some other taekwondo-related materials. Visitors can even watch a short taekwondo-themed animation here.
The center also offers program packages ranging from a one-day program to multiple-day programs. For more information, visit Muju Taekwondowon's website.
* This column was last updated in November 2015, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details from the official websites before visiting.
<Last updated on November 22, 2015>