is Taekwondo, Makegeolli is Makegeolli!”
Master Chang 2003
come to Korea
Korea is the birthplace of Taekwondo. For thousands of years
the Koreans have been practicing and improving their martial
art. Taekwondo is a huge part of Korea's heritage and tradition,
but it is also very much part of the present in Korea.
Most Koreans gain a black belt in the teenage
years, while those that did not have to take it at least 1st
Dan during their 3 years military service. This makes Korea
the home to the most Taekwondo practitioners in the world, making
Seoul the beating heart of Taekwondo.
For Taekwondo students a trip to Korea is a
pilgrimage to the source and flowing river of Taekwondo. The
competition season in Seoul is unrivaled. Its sports universities
produce the highest level of Taekwondo students in the world;
as a result the Korean team is the best on Earth. Taekwondo
is practiced and understood here in a way that many cannot rival.
For Instructors who wish to compete on the international level
a trip to Korea to learn the latest training techniques is a
pre-requisite. For those who are serious about Taekwondo a trip
to Korea is not a question of if, it is a when.
In Korea Taekwondo can be seen in its original
setting, as a functioning part of Korean society. The parallels
between Korean culture and the philosophy of Taekwondo give
a much deeper understanding of what Taekwondo really is. Taekwondo
is a very traditional activity in Korea as well as being its
modern national sport. In Korea is possible to see firsthand
these traditions alive today. To Koreans Taekwondo is a life
In many western countries Taekwondo is just
seen as another martial art, but here in Korea the points that
make Taekwondo so unique stand out and our appreciated by all.
For foreign people it is very difficult to find or learn from
people who have dedicated their whole life to living the Taekwondo
Korea the Taekowndo man takes on a different meaning to elsewhere
in the world, to understand this it needs be seen in the original
environment. Here in Korea it is possible to see the mountains
and valleys that created the deepest parts of the Taekwondo
philosophy, influenced the way the Poomsae were developed and
are the foundation of the history of Taekwondo and the Taekwondo
in the Academy
In the academy there is accommodation
in individual and shared rooms. There is space to relax after
training with a large television and Internet access. Washing
up is done by the students.
Korean style food is provided but only dinner
is prepared for students. Nothing apart from
training is compulsory in SANGROK, however it is hoped that
as Taekwondo students all students live up to morals of Taekwondo.
Dinner is after training and is a good time
to learn about each other and to talk with Master Chang about
martial arts, about Korea and anything else. This is also a
good time for each student to discuss any points they may want
to raise about their own training.
the weekends the many students like to go out and experience
the joys of Seoul life, it is recommended to follow the Koreans
advice of where to go, as like all fast moving cities, it changes
all the time. There is excellent shopping in Seoul and much
to be seen and done. Information about how to get to some of
the main tourist and Taekwondo sights has been saved on to the
computer in SANGROK in English for students by others who have
been here before after have been and there is free Wi-Fi in
is held every week day in the evenings which is the main training
session of the day. These training sessions are high energy
training, focusing on intensive foot-work, kicks and sparring.
In the early afternoon there is an informal training session
with master Chang. Students work on their own individual problems
or work on things that they found difficult the evening before.
Chang's unique style is evident in the more traditional aspects
of his Taekwondo too. In performing the Poomsae, the SANGROK
style emphasizes the very same principals which rule its modern
sides: executing power with minimum effort, the flowing of movements,
and above all, the grace and beauty of the Taekwondo movements.
Working on the Poomsae is individual and each student practices
his own level's Poomsae. Students who stay for longer periods
of time very often choose to completely adopt to the SANGROK
style and in that vein go back to basics and build their ability
the evening sessions the students usually play indoor soccer
with Master Chang improving their stamina and power even more,
just before collapsing, exhausted, into their dinner chairs.
All flights go to Incheon Airport. Make sure you have a
Visa if you need one. From Incheon Airport it is approximately
one hour by bus to the Academy. Email Master Chang for directions
and he will send you and email attachment with a note in
Korean explaining where you need to go. It is very easy
to get to the Academy from the airport with the bus. The
airport bus stops in front of the arrival hall. Bus tickets
are sold in the ticket office just steps outside the arrival
hall. The bus is comfortable and only makes a few steps.
It stops just a few meters from the academy. The bus driver
will tell you when to get off if you show him the note.
If you have a cellular phone, you need to buy a roaming
chip in the arrival hall of the airport. The Korean cell
phone system is not (yet) compatible with the European and
Fees vary on the amount of time that students spend in the
Academy. For any inquiries
please feel free to email Master Chang at SANGROK@gmail.com