I was fortunate to be able to attend this Korean training camp with the students from Chungnam High School. In up to 4 training sessions of physical training, poomsae, demonstration and kyorugi, we learned many new skills and techniques from them. It was an indeed an eye-opening experience. We even had the opportunity to be trained by Yu Myung Won, the head coach and former national coach of Malaysia. He and his wife made us feel very welcomed and took very good care of us. During the trainings, he trained us like his own team and also motivated us to compete in Korea. His hospitality was very much appreciated by all of us.
We learned that it is important to work on the basics of sparring every day, such as footwork, guarding and kihaps (yell), no matter how experienced we are. Apart from the regular training, the Korean students recite the Taekwondo Association’s pledge before training, practice meditation and maintain high standards of discipline and emphasis on safety. In my opinion, these are things that we should consider bringing back into our own training in Singapore.
As this was my first time traveling abroad to train taekwondo, I was able to learn many new skills and realized how important it is to work on my basic skills that I had been lacking. Sparring with the Korean students was an extremely valuable experience as they train very differently. We had the opportunity to spar with the KPNP system, where we understood how important it is to hit the target hard enough for the system to register the kick and count the points. We also had the opportunity to train with the Korean middle school students, whose training was just as hard as the high school students, if not harder. They deserve a lot of respect for their commitment to the rigorous training regime. In Singapore, most of us need to juggle between education, career, and other things. We cannot afford to have training up to 4 sessions a day, so we will have to do the best to train as much as we can.
The Koreans also reminded us the importance to take breaks in between, such as movie nights or a soccer game. Some of us also had the opportunity to experience skiing for the first time! It was during these moments that we realized that Korean players are also human. We will definitely be able to match their level of skill, maturity, resilience and discipline if we put our heart and mind into it. We should role model their spirit and passion for our juniors and even seniors.
Article by: Neo Yan Ming (1 Dan)
Date of Event: 8-26 December 2023
Team Official: Fong Yee Ming & Ng Xinni
Team Members: Koh Cheng Jie, Camille Teo, Megan Tsu, Yee Liming, Neo Yan Ming, Jayden Sim & Torres Foo.