Taekwondo at Namsan Hanok
One of the things I love about living in Seoul is that I could enjoy cultural events and performances without spending a cent! And one of my favorites is the taekwondo performance held every Wednesdays and Saturdays from spring to fall. They used to be held at 2 o’clock in the afternoon at Gyeonghuigung, the palace beside Seoul’s Museum of History. It was in 2009 when I first watched the demonstrations and since then, I would watch again and again whenever I can.
This year, the taekwondo demonstration is back at a different and more convenient venue – the Namsan Hanok Village in Chungmuro. Isn’t it great that more tourists could enjoy this entertaining performance? They also changed the time to 4 o’clock in the afternoon but one thing hasn’t changed – it is still free! Yipee!
Last Saturday, we arrived at Chungmuro station (orange line 3 and blue line 4) and went out exit 3 a few minutes before 4PM. The venue – Cheonwoogak Stage – was full with the excited audience both Koreans and foreigners. We were lucky to still find a seat, albeit a little far from the stage.
The show started with a traditional Korean dance, featuring “buchaechum” or “fan dance”.
Next, young taekwondo players from an elementary school in Seoul showed off their skills to the delight of the adult crowd and the envy of the kids in the audience, including my son.
The main players of the event, taekwondo masters from “Kukkiwon” came next. The players are quite familiar to me since this is the third season that I’m watching. They started with their “poomsae” set to a background music.
The crowd went wild when the players showed their high flying kicks and wood-breaking stunts. One of the stunts that’s also a crowd-favorite is the blindfold apple kick. I’ve seen those moves before but I just couldn’t help but feel excited to see them again.
Here’s a clip of some of the highlights:
The taekwondo performance is not just kicking and sparring. They present a story set to music.
After the demonstration, one of the players took the stage and invited three members of the audience. They were asked to break a wood by kicking or punching. There was also a raffle where a stuff toy of this year’s mascot was given.
The audience were also given the chance to have their picture taken with the dancers and taekwondo players.
Show off a taekwondo kick with this freestanding poster:
If you’re ever in Seoul from April to October this year, don’t miss this free taekwondo demonstration. I’ve seen it so many times and I truly enjoyed it every time.
When: Every Wednesdays and Saturdays at 4 o’clock
Where: Namsan Hanok Village in Chungmuro
How to get there: Exit 3 or 4 of Chungmuro Station (line 3 or 4)
Visit Seoul Taekwondo’s website for more details.