On the 19th of March 2010, I had the honor to visit and train at the KITF dojang in Seoul, South Korea managed by Cho Yeong-Deok Sabum Nim, Director of ITF Seoul and Director of the ITF-Korea national demonstration team.
The evening training session started with a light warm-up which then progressed to a series of kicking drills. During the kicking drills the students executed 360s, 540s, reverse 540s and a host of many other special techniques usually only seen at Taekwon-Do demonstrations. One of the blackbelts also demonstrated an impressive breaking technique, a series of mid-air kicks in a single sommersault jump which hit 3 targets before landing. However, what impressed me the most was the humble attitude of the blackbelts. Even though they possessed good skills they did not come across as proud and arrogant. They were true martial artists who understood the “DO” in Taekwon-Do.
The second half of his training focused on counter attack sparring techniques. I clearly remembered a funny moment during the class when one of the blackbelts jokingly asked why was it that Cho Sabum Nim kicked him with so much force during the sparring drill demonstration while he kicked me, their overseas guest so gently. Cho Sabum Nim who had an good sense of humour quickly shot back that the reason for the harder kick was simply because their relation of master and student was much closer. After hearing that his blackbelts joking cried that if that were the case they no longer wished to be that close to their instructor, leading to much laughter in the dojang.
The final part of the training session focused on ITF tuls (patterns). After performing several blackbelt patterns as a class, Cho Sabum Nim helped to review my 4th degree tuls and shared with me tips to further improve my techniques.
In conclusion, I would like to thank Cho Sabum Nim and his students for the kind and warm hospitaility which they showed to me at their dojang and I look forward to the day when I can return to train with them in Korea.
Written by Mr. Jonathan Sun, ITF-Singapore
© Island Taekwon-Do Centre 2010