This weekend Adam and I stumbled upon a Taekwondo black belt testing. There were over 2,000 kids, of all ages, testing for their black belt certificate. The kids went through three different sets of tests:
they were divided into groups of 20 and then first did 2 different routines infront of the judges.
then, the students went and helped each other put on sparring gear. They then did synchronized kicks and the judges paired them up with kids of the same size and had them spar until the bell rang.
the kids then took off each others gear and went to the chopping area where they were given different pieces of plastic board depending on their size. the blue was less thick and the red was thicker. the kids broke them in half.
it was quite exciting to see and really unimaginable how many kids take part in taekwondo in Gwangju alone.
A little background on Taekwondo from wikipedia
Taekwondo (태권도; 跆拳道; Korean pronunciation: [tʰɛkwʌndo])[a] is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea. In Korean, tae (태, 跆) means “to strike or break with foot”; kwon (권, 拳) means “to strike or break with fist”; and do (도, 道) means “way,” “method,” or “art.” Thus, taekwondo may be loosely translated as “the way of the foot and fist” or “the way of kicking and punching.”
Taekwondo is the world’s most popular martial art in terms of the number of practitioners. Its popularity has resulted in the varied development of the martial art into several domains: as with many other arts, it combines combat techniques, self-defense, sport, exercise, meditation and philosophy. Taekwondo is also used by the South Korean military as part of its training. Gyeorugi (pronounced [ɡjʌɾuɡi]), a type of sparring, has been an Olympic event since 2000.
Here are all of the pictures from our day.