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.

L- Kukkiwon in 2009 and R- Black Tigers in 2010
L- Kukkiwon in 2009 and R- Black Tigers in 2010

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.

We were seated far from the stage...
We were seated far from the stage...

The show started with a traditional Korean dance, featuring “buchaechum” or “fan dance”.

Korean fan dance - "Buchaechum"
Korean fan dance - "Buchaechum"

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.

Young taekwondo masters
Young taekwondo masters
Girls can kick too!
Girls can kick too!

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.

Taekwondo masters of Kukkiwon
Taekwondo masters of Kukkiwon

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.

High flying kicks and wood breaking stunts
High flying kicks and wood breaking stunts
Shhh... the blindfold apple kick
Shhh... the blindfold apple kick

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.

Members of the audience also got to break woods
Members of the audience also got to break woods
A lucky member of the audience got a stuffed doll
A lucky member of the audience got a stuffed doll

The audience were also given the chance to have their picture taken with the dancers and taekwondo players.

Everyone wants a souvenir shot with the taekwondo masters!
Everyone wants a souvenir shot with the taekwondo masters!

Show off a taekwondo kick with this freestanding poster:

Taekwondo kick!
Taekwondo kick!

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.

15 thoughts on “Taekwondo at Namsan Hanok

  • April 27, 2011 at 9:27 am
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    your son’s taekwondo pic is so cute…kkk

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  • April 28, 2011 at 1:38 am
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    Wow, that’s nice! 🙂 When I visited Namsangol Hanok Village, I got there a little late for the mock wedding. (Dang!) Next time I go there, I’d see to it that I watch these exhibitions.

    Love the taekwondo photo of your son. 🙂 He reminds me of my niece who is taking karate lessons and is about to change belts. I would love to attend that ceremony, but we’re an ocean apart. *Sigh* I miss that kid.

    And Ms. Betchay, may I take this opportunity to call on Filipinos residing in Korea – who have the time – to please support our national rugby team, the Philippine Volcanoes. They have a game against Korea on the 1st of June at Ansan Wa Stadium (Ansan, Gyeonggi-do). These guys have been Pacific-Area, Division 3, and Division 2 champions (consecutively). This time they’re in Division 1 with Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore. The team members (most are half-Pinoys – pretty much like the Azkals) have chosen to play for the team and represent our country – at their own expense and does it for love of the sport and of country. These guys have been making us proud, so please let’s give some love back by attending the game and cheering for these peeps. It’s gonna be hometown game for the Koreans – you guys pretty much know how it feels to have the need for support from our kababayans when in foreign land. So I hope you find the time. And the heart. And the looove. 😉

    Reply
  • April 28, 2011 at 1:50 am
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    wow,such beautiful, i never see that before,
    all your post have nice pictures.keep checking future!!!!

    Reply
  • April 28, 2011 at 8:23 am
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    @izzie

    wow! go pinoys!

    if i were rich i’d definitely send a financial support. when i still had my business years ago i also supported a basketball team in my father’s hometown when they solicited for the uniforms. win or lose, it doesn’t matter. what’s important is that the youngsters are spending time on worthwhile things rather than getting themselves into developing bad habits. talagang gano’n – may panalo, may talo.

    @ms. betchay

    i enjoyed watching the video. i found myself clapping and carried away almost giving a kick in the air. i posted the link in my fb. my 2 nephews, who are both into karatedo & aikido, will surely get excited to see this.

    this video showing different exhibitions will inspire those who are into this sport to work harder. but am certain that even those who are not into this stuff might consider enrolling soon. look at the smooth and accurate moves. they are right. karate and other related sports need strong discipline. it really shows while i was watching the video.

    Reply
    • April 28, 2011 at 2:11 pm
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      @shie: Go Pinoys, indeed! 🙂 One can’t help but admire the dedication of the Philippine Volcanoes. Many of the players come home from their “other motherland” – they take leave from their work, studies, etc. – whenever a game is up, to represent our country in international rugby competitions. (Some of them were even made to choose between representing their “other motherland” and the Philippines to play rugby for and they chose to represent us.) They even offer free rugby clinics for the youth in the Philippines.

      If I have money to spare I’d chip in for the team too. 🙂 However, what they need the most right now is moral support. So, if you guys have time to spare, let’s go and cheer for them at Ansan Wa. 😉

      Reply
  • April 28, 2011 at 10:24 am
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    i love the pictures and the videos! and the little jins are so cute. I also like watching taekwondo tournaments whenever I can! Their exhibitions are really exciting!

    Reply
  • April 28, 2011 at 5:30 pm
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    Ms. Betchay! I love your blog more and more! It is so informative and even though I am far away from Korea your blog gives me a feeling of closeness with Seoul. Thank you!

    Reply
  • April 28, 2011 at 7:53 pm
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    Hi Ms. Betchay! Those are great action shots! 🙂 Your site is a must visit everyday. Pls. continue to share the beautiful Korean culture to the world. 🙂 Best Regards!

    Reply
  • April 29, 2011 at 4:37 am
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    Thanks betchay! well see to it to include this in our list of IT.

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    • April 29, 2011 at 10:19 am
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      You’re welcome! I love watching taekwondo… so entertaining.

      Reply
  • May 6, 2011 at 7:00 pm
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    Ms. Betchay, I do love your blog. This is the only blog I’m satisfied with when it comes to Seoul/S. Korea. Since I’m a KPOP followers and want to travel to Seoul some day, I’ve learned a lot about it especially your info on visa and etc. I even make a listings where to go to Seoul based on what i read in your blog (funny isn’t it?). I’ve told my friends about it and they liked it too! Keep it up and more power!!!

    Reply
  • May 10, 2011 at 9:21 pm
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    ahahah! akala ko totoo.. isinuot lng pla ang ulo.. btw, nice program!

    Reply
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  • June 19, 2011 at 6:20 am
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    I loved that show! Does anyone know where the music came from? I really liked the way it accompanied the performance – especially the slow, romantic parts. If anyone has any idea where I can obtain that music please let me know!

    Reply
  • July 26, 2011 at 8:10 am
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    I really love this sport!..I remember when I’m still in pre-school, my dream before is to enroll in any martial arts training school. That’s my biggest dream before that I really didnt expect that would come true. Fortunately, I joined Taekwondo Class when I was already in 3rd year High School. I trained a lot, and I always enjoyed our training very even though it’s very tiring. I became the team captain of our team, also i was a varsity player in our school before. When I graduated High Shool I was awarded as an “Athlete of the Year”. It was really a great experience for me!.:)

    Thanks for this blog of your’s Ate Betchay, I was able to share my great experience here!. Love Your blog site!.

    Kamsahamnida! Take care and God Bless! :))

    Reply

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