Lined up in the temple's garden.

Radio Debut and Anmyeondo

This week came very close to being too usual to even write a weekly about. With the big demonstration behind the back, the training’s focus went back to my upcoming competition all day. I did make a lot of progress, but unless you’re interested in the very precise rhythm changes I made to the second half of Poomsae Taebaek, it was no material for a captivating blog piece. Luckily, from friday onwards my week has been everything but normal. So weekly #14 will, after all, tell the story of two unusual trips.

Friday afternoon I reached a new level of Korean expatship (I just made up this word by myself, meaning taking part in Korean life): I made my debut on Korean radio. National channel Arirang invited me for their daily show ‘Catch the Wave’. Hosted by Adrien Lee in a very casual way, this show deals with everything about Korean culture. I got in touch via Korean social media guru Hyunwoo Sun, so I joined the part of the show where he and Adrien help Korean language learners on air. I ended up battling for a ‘Talk To Me In Korean’-book in a speed quiz against an Indonesian girl who takes classes in the most prestigious uni of Korea. But, with a little luck, I surprised myself and won! The show was pre-recorded for this friday’s national holiday, so you can still listen to it, 6-8pm Korean time, via Arirang’s website.

Sunday morning it was time for another ‘how many people can fit in one minivan?’. As I’m almost twice as tall as some of the girls, I could finally take advantage of my height by being awarded front seat. It made the 3 hour trip to our Namchang winter camp, 2 days in a pension on the countryside of Anmyeondo, a lot more comfortable. A very quiet environment, from time to time disrupted by one of our own silly games, quality time with the grandmaster and a never-ending barbecue: everything we needed to offload our training stress for a bit. We even picked up a cultural must-do on the go by paying the Hyeon Choong Sa temple a visit, which is dedicated to national legend Yi Sun Shin, Korea’s savior in times of the 16th century war against Japan. A very nice peek into Korea’s national feelings and historical pride. After taking a moment of reflection on history, the grandmaster decided to write his own history and took out his camera. The results of this little shoot in the garden of the temple are already being shared by major taekwondo news websites.

Two weeklies to go until the German Open Poomsae 2014, tension rising!

In the studio.

In the studio.

Even while eating pizza, Adrien Lee is obviously a star.

Even while eating pizza, Adrien Lee is obviously a star.

Lined up in the temple's garden.

Lined up in the temple’s garden.

A flying side kick.

A flying side kick.

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