A week in Korea with Stephane Kaas

What a week, what a week. With Stephane and his camera being around the dojang almost the whole time, the excitement level rose. Talking about excitement, I can’t wait for the documentary to be finished! The footage Stephane collected this week is both mesmerizing and exclusive. I’ll give you the highlights:

Grandmaster Kang agreed to do his famous bamboo stick training for the film. It’s one of my favorite things I learned here and as far as I know it has never been fully recorded on tape before. The grandmaster holds a bamboo stick in front of us and we have to hit it with perfect accuracy. Otherwise either you get hurt or the stick doesn’t move. It’s particularly helpful for kyokpa (breaking) skills. As an encore the Grandmaster also tested our abs by hitting them with the bamboo. That was a first for me, but it’s not as painful as it looks.

Secondly we did a kind of dress-rehearsal of the annual Namchang demonstration. The camera increased the pressure, which caused some to make mistakes, but that’s what a dress-rehearsal is for. My next weekly will surely have a lot to do with the demo, which will be held this saturday, with masters coming from all over the country to see how grandmaster Kang’s pupils are holding up.

And to top things off, Stephane has something in store for you that might meet the brilliance of his last promo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNX9UGUbFG8 – now over 7000 views). Yesterday, on his last day in Korea, we went out to have an ice cold outside training session inside the walls of the Hwaseong Palace. Beautiful setting, team Namchang at full power and the Grandmaster in his best traditional Korean wear. When Stephane has safely returned to Amsterdam and put the takes together, here is the first place you’ll find it!

And I haven’t even talked about going to the jimjilbang (Korean sauna) with Stephane. Or about the first time we went the full lap around the old city walls of Suwon. Or about the speech I did for a group of Korean middle school kids as part of a project where they meet people who could inspire them with their dreams. What a week, what a week…

Training at Hwaseong

Training at Hwaseong

Bamboo stick training

Bamboo stick training


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