Kunsan Airmen learn taekwondo
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Twenty-two Airmen from the Wolf Pack took the opportunity to learn a Korean martial art, taekwondo, while receiving a tour of the Taekwondowon Center in Muju, Republic of Korea, June 11. The purpose of the tour was to give American service members a better understanding of South Korean culture and build a better relationship between the two countries.
"Kunsan Airmen saw something new while experiencing the Korean atmosphere," said Rosemary Song, 8th Fighter Wing community relations specialist. "Not only do they get to learn about Korea on these tours, but they also learn about Korean martial arts."
During the tour, Airmen saw a demonstration from students of the center and later had the chance to learn some martial arts techniques from the instructors themselves. Students demonstrated proper stance, blocking punches and kicks, and striking an opponent.
Taekwondo is a martial art form combining combat and self-defense techniques with sport and exercise. Taekwondo was developed by a variety of Korean masters during the 1940s as a combination of taekkyeon, Okinawan karate and other traditions. Traditional taekwondo, as known today, was established in the 1950s and was used by the South Korean military, schools and universities. It is even used for competition at the Summer Olympics.
"Taekwondo means using your hands and feet to protect yourself," said Che Jung-min, martial art master at Taekwondowon Center. "The purpose of taekwondo isn't only to enhance your body or spirit, but to keep your mind healthy as well."
There are five more taekwondo tours scheduled through November. The next tour will be in late July.
"I learned that taekwondo is more than just a fighting skill; it's part of the culture that Korea has grown with," said Senior Airman Patrick Moton, 80th Fighter Squadron aviation resource manager. "I strongly recommend taking this tour if possible for other Airmen. I've learned that taking this form of martial arts also makes a person more disciplined."
For more information about other tours or community relations opportunities, contact the community relations office at 782-5194.