To those who have trained in Korea: TKD in Korea?

Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do Resources' started by t3hd3adlyTKD, May 9, 2006.

  1. t3hd3adlyTKD

    t3hd3adlyTKD Banned Banned

    I am Korean. I was born there and I still have my citizenship. However I haven't been to my native land for quite some time. Therefore, I do not know how the situation is like with TKD over there. Please answer my questions.

    1. How Koreans in Korea generally feel about TKD and do they still like it? Do they think proudly about TKD as an effective martial art? Or do they dismiss it?

    2. It seems that most TKD practitioners in dojangs in Korea are kids. Why is this? Why don't adults/young adults in Korea not join dojangs?

    3. It seems that most TKD practitioners in dojangs in Korea are kids. But is this the same for other martial arts too? If so, which ones?

    4. Lastly, do teens and college students train at their schools instead of dojangs?

    Please answer all parts of the four questions. I would grealty appreciate it. I would like to know wha tthe TKD scene is like in Korea nowadays.

    Thank you.
  2. 29622

    29622 New Member

    Not sure about 2 and 3, but when our school visited Korea we went to various TKD Universities as well as visiting the S1 Samsung team and the Sang-Moo Military Team. It seems that TKD is big there, especially since my instructer was consistently asked to take photos with people. From what I observed it seemed that the people took TKD from the schools themselves (it IS a University after all).
  3. [T][K][D]

    [T][K][D] Valued Member

    1. Koreans are very proud of their national sport however it is increasingly noticeable that they are drawn towards other MA's such as kick boxing. However TKD is still huge there.
    2.There are alot of kids in dojangs because they have nothing to do pretty much. From about year 12~11 people tend to study (im talking about 6hours min excluding school) The only thing ive seen my cousin in Korea do other than study is eat, sleep (4 ~6 hours) and go to the toilet. Adults are generally busy working, unfortunetly money is a priority.
    3. dno
    4. Well tkd is huge in korea so alot of schools do TKD. Many people use TKD to get into UNi because you can get TKD scholarships and is an easier way than studyin ur ass off.
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Keep in mind that if you do visit, as a male Korean citizen you will be required to do your compulsory military service. If you are planning to go, make sure you check on this.

    In my experience (4 years of living, training and working in Korea from 1997-2001) I think most Koreans see it as a sport for young people and as a cultural item with worldwide recognition to be proud of. I think it is generally considered an effective martial arts by the untrained and general populace. Most people have some sort of experience with it or at least are proud of its Olympic accomplishments.

    Part of it is the schedule. The adult workday is pretty hectic, with expectations that you spend most of the day at work (whether you do much or not) and after work getting together with your workmates. Balancing that with a family (high expectations for young Koreans to marry after college and geting a job) leaves little time for martial arts. For kids, it's just another activity they can do to keep them learning.

    Generally most students are boys because if they enter military service with a black belt, they get some special consideration. It can be difficult to find many TKD schools that are more focused on adults. A larger city or a college program may be better.
    Hapkido tends to be an older, more serious group (and sometimes are "feared" as gangsters by the local populace). I would recommend studying HKD over TKD in Korea as an adult personally.

    High school programs are very general and short term. College programs can be exceptional (PM Yang, Dae-han for more info)
  5. Cuchulain4

    Cuchulain4 Valued Member

    Just to add to Thomas' point. I heard that Kyuk too ki is very popular with the teen/young adult males of Korea but is seen as a 'thuggish' activity. Kyuk too ki is very cool tho and i would reccomend checking it out.
  6. t3hd3adlyTKD

    t3hd3adlyTKD Banned Banned

    So most trained Koreans look down on TKD, is what you're saying? :cry:
    I've always thought TKD still had a lot of supporters there...
  7. Cuchulain4

    Cuchulain4 Valued Member

    umm, i think you misread that. He wasnt saying that at all. Quite the contrary.
  8. t3hd3adlyTKD

    t3hd3adlyTKD Banned Banned

    He talked about Olympic status. I wanted to know what korean living in korea have to think about wtf tkd as a fighting style.
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Nope, didn't say that at all.
    Most Koreans are more excited about Taekwondo being something Korean in the Olympics that gets worldwide support.

    If I tell a Korean who never trained in martial arts that I do TKD, they usually are impressed "Wow! Black belt." If they have training they say "What dan?" and that's about it. I think many Korean (men especially) have trained in it and felt happy with it for their military conscription days but don't do much with it after. I think most would feel that TKD is a better self defence are than nothing.

    [sarcasm]By the way, I'm glad you read my answers instead of just finding one little piece that offended you and mentioned that. You're welcome for the info.[/sarcasm]
  10. Cuchulain4

    Cuchulain4 Valued Member

    To deadlytkd:
    I think you are neglecting this fundamental line.
    Last edited: May 9, 2006
  11. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    You want the blunt truth? Most Koreans see Taekwondo as fun sport that can keep their kids active until they reach the age that they need to spend all of their time in the study rooms learning English and Math. They like the worldwide recognition part but for the most part don't see it as much beyond a pasttime for their kids for a while. Seeing it as a "fighting art" done by a bunch of elementary kids isn't "th3 d3adly".

    For a very small percentage of people, they continue on into college or adulthood. These are the people who will become instructors. Many of them see it as a way to make money teaching kids or some see it as a way of life and training. Either way, just like everywhere else in the world, it's a small percentage.
  12. t3hd3adlyTKD

    t3hd3adlyTKD Banned Banned

    So basically Koreans thinks TKD is a crapulent fighting st yle.
  13. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Are you trying to troll or what?

    Re-read my posts without trying to find fault and without looking for insults to Korea or TKD or whatever. Maybe you'll get an answer you are looking for.

    Have a nice day.
  14. TraditionalTKD

    TraditionalTKD New Member

    Most Koreans see Tae Kwon Do the same way Americans do: as a recreational activity that young children do to give them exercise. About 5% or less of the total TKD population in Korea will actually take it seriously and pursue it. Much like baseball or soccer over here. Many do it. Most, the vast majority, never take it beyond the sandlot level. That, coupled with the fact that 95% of Tae Kwon Do is junk, taught by junk Instructors (my Korean-born Instructor's words), and you get the idea that Tae Kwon Do in Korea, for the most part, is nothing to write home about.
    Additionally, if you are Korean and tell other Koreans that you practice Tae Kwon Do, you will often get a negative reaction. This is due to the fact that years ago, Tae Kwon Do was used in streetfighting by gangs.
  15. Yang Dae-han

    Yang Dae-han Realising the 'edit'

    TKD importance in Korea? An answer for t3hd3sadlyTKD

    note: going on uber-little sleep...and didn't proof this...forgive and I'll make corrections later.

    On visiting a thread I thought (much earlier in the day, but I did not have time to devote) I should give my input (or at least correct some misconceptions/misinformation), I came across something posted by t3hd....I can't find it anywhere.

    Too bad, as usual, Thomas was spot on on his reply. I will start with one correction...maybe a mod with meld the two.

    I can't recall exactly how it went and who said it, but the gist of what one poster stated that students can get scholarships for TKD.

    That is true. A minute percentage do hope and focus their energy on helping their child achieve that, however, there are a cornucopia of caveats to acknowledge.

    Probably the most important (which also relates...if you can extrapolate the the questions queried by the OP), is that univ. athletes (unlike in some regards, I mean...when the term "jock" is applied one does not imagine a learned fellow...I presume) are seen as lessers or not as "bright." Studies, for them, are nearly moot. I know, I taught at university in Korea for many years....and had my fair share of athlete students.

    Only until after they become professionals and make serious dosh are they taken seriously.

    However, they (through scholarships) have the ability to obtain a degree from a top-tier that is a bonus. Though, in my experience, rarely capitalised on whilst in study.

    Are they gifted players/practitioners? Do I respect them? Abso-bloody-lutely. Does that change anything in Korean society? Rarely.

    As with anything in life, the end result (this means: job/career, income, spouse/status) is dictated by several factors. Being a graduate of martial science does not put one in favour of obtaining a 'better standing' in these "topics," and thus parents eyes (and their money and children's attention) are diverted to more meaningful paths for advancement.

    Geez, I sound jaded. Hmm, Thomas?

    1. How Koreans in Korea generally feel about TKD and do they still like it? Do they think proudly about TKD as an effective martial art? Or do they dismiss it?

    Read above. Plus, what Thomas mentioned about HKD being the adult version of MA play. Anyhow, the men's sports are tennis, golf, choku (tennis soccer) and soccer.

    2. It seems that most TKD practitioners in dojangs in Korea are kids. Why is this? Why don't adults/young adults in Korea not join dojangs?

    See response #1. Also, there is just no time. My wife, for example, spent (on average) 14 hours a day in seconday/high school. That did not account for after-hours study. When did she have time to practice?

    Also, Koreans have perfected the art of "Keeping up with the Jones'" This is by far no time for a culture lesson, I mean, there is so much psycho/socio/cultural baggage to entertain that a book should, and I could, write on.

    Hmm, a new dissertation for my studies????

    3. It seems that most TKD practitioners in dojangs in Korea are kids. But is this the same for other martial arts too? If so, which ones?

    I can only vouche for TKD, HKD and Geom-do...all of which catered to kids. However, since I lived in a college area I had my share of university-aged students (read my past posts about the ROTC/police/phys. ed students in my gym).

    4. Lastly, do teens and college students train at their schools instead of dojangs?

    Teens? I have never heard of that, however, if you count graduates of secondary school that are still teens, then the train in private gyms. As for college kids...definitely on campus. I taught them there too. Why did they learn from me there, rather than in a real gym just 1 km away? $$ We collected meager fees compared to a gym. Plus, it's a Korean thing...uri mo mo mo (우리 모모모)...

    Here's a short, and current (just read it last week) article somewhat about this topic. I know it is Korean, but since the OP was of Korean decent I assume s/he is/knows someone who is able to read Korean.

    For those less privy...

    A VERY succinct translation. Anything deeper (for anything) and I'll set up PayPal for translation...

    Title: Can we say that Korea is the real motherland of TKD?

    Key points: <reminder, these are not standard facts and I have not had the luxury of verifiying them>

    Only from ages 5 to 13 (western age) do children practice TKD, then they quit.

    Other nations are actively trying to improve their TKD status, while we sit idly by.

    <This part is hard to explain due to verbage and culture, but...> TKD still has some worth because it is an olympic sport and we place well in it.

    TKD is not a core sport, but rather a recreation.

    <This is not important, but I think the following depicts the status of TKD in Korea> During the 2005 Korea TKD Open the stands were nearly barren. An embarrassment (which I don't know how they gleaned this data...and not sure it is important, but...) they state that is most important to note is that not even the Korean masters watched the televised event.

    Korea has about 48 to 50 million citizens....and less than 10% watched the "national art/sport" event.

    <Statistics are always fun to make and interepret...essentially>, interest/practice in TKD has decreased 3% in the last year alone.

    However, worldwide TKD is growing at a faster rate than SK.

    The last bit is about an interview with a foreigner training in SK. He (I assume) loves TKD, but has been severely let down. Several points, none that I encountered, however, he probably held Korea to too high of a pedestal. I, though, can write volumes on this....

    I on the other hand, had WONDERFUL experiences and if my wife and I move back to Korea I will open a school that, in addition to regular students, caters to international players/practitioners.

    All welcome :)

    The rest, really is not that important...more of a c'mon nation, wake up....
  16. Cuchulain4

    Cuchulain4 Valued Member

    The thread seems to have been deleted and t3hd3adlyTKD has been banned, presumably for trolling. Im pretty sure its the same guy that has signed up as the following names Sarasoni, Mudo, TKD_person always asks ask the same questions and then just goes nuts and starts saying 'so you think TKD is crap?!' without any reason.
  17. coc716

    coc716 Just Some Guy

    Since it appears the original thread was deleted, I'm curious what Thomas mentioned about Hapkido being an adult version of martial arts play. Given the context of your post and how TKD is regarded within Korea, I'm curious how Hapkido is regarded. For that matter, are all martial arts in Korea regarded that same way (be it TKD, HKD, Kuk Sool Won, or even non-Korean arts)?
  18. NW tae Kwon Do

    NW tae Kwon Do New Member

    I remember a school by my cousin’s place was giving away Bicycles to kids who got there friends to sign up. Nonetheless, no one messes with S1.
  19. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Nice post Yang, Dae-han... you hit it quite well and in more depth than I would have. It is a nice read!

    The original post that spawned this ended up being removed, with the original poster banned for trolling. It started off nice and got ugly quick. No one really missed anything of great interest in it.

    I didn't say too much to be honest. I found in my own personal travels (throughout a lot of South Korea, but mainly in the countryside) that most TKD schools really focused on the kids. Adults generally don't have the time nor desire to continue their training. There are some schools that will put adults together and/or with older teenagers and make a good "senior" class. I was lucky to get into a couple of these schools and really enjoyed my TKD training. The TKD schools I trained in focused mainly on sparring (every night), striking and forms (no one steps and little hoshinsool). However, as a student you really need to look around for a good TKD school that will fit your needs. I imagine you'd have more luck in a larger city or at Universities for adult classes.

    I found that Hapkido schools are not as common and that they tend to attract older, more serious students and more adults. I found the training to be more self defence focused in general and if I was looking for self defence training in Korea, that's where I'd look (along with Teuk Gong Moo Sool and the bodyguard arts).

    I didn't see a lot of other arts, I didn't see KSW anywhere nor TSD but there were a few places offering kickboxing and such. MMA is becoming popular so I bet there are some schools springing up of varying quality.
  20. Alexander

    Alexander Possibly insane.

    I've met quite a few Korean students studying in the UK. Most are black belts in TKD from their school days, but none showed interest in practising it over here.

    Would it be fair to say that in Korea TKD is now seen predominantly as a sport? A bit like football or rugby in the UK, where people will play when they're young, but only continue when their older (after higher education) if they are either really good or really committed.

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