Le Taekwondo

Koreans have a competitive spirit in their studies, professional lives, and in sport too. If you need proof, South Korea finished in 5th place at the 2012 London Olympic Games, a high achievement for a small country facing ‘giants’ like China, Japan, the United States, or Russia.

Thanks to the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and the 2002 Football World Cup, the country has several international level sports facilities such as the Olympic Park to the south east of Seoul.

Taekwondo is a martial art beneficial to both the body and the mind. Only feet are used, no weapons are allowed. Those who practice taekwondo recognise four main virtues of it.

Taekwondo, a physical activity

which allows the physical condition of both old and young to be improved. Practising taekwondo allows you to massively improve the flexibility of your entire body. What’s more, the concentration needed in learning this discipline allows you to effectively get rid of stress.

 

Taekwondo, a martial art

which allows the user to defend themselves against an opponent using only their legs. The blows dealt are very powerful. This martial art requires protection for the chest and head so that competitors can face each other in complete safety.

 

Taekwondo is a sport

It is an official discipline practised throughout the world.

 

Taekwondo, a form of education

Taekwondo shapes the body, but it is also an art which calls on the mind at all times. The aim of practising taekwondo is personal development, based on respect.

Traditional sports

Archery

Archery is considered a noble sport. The Koreans dominate the Olympic competitions in this discipline.

Korean wrestling

‘Ssirum’ (Korean wrestling) is related to the Japanese sumo. They wear a combat cloth, or ‘satba’. You must make your opponent leave their circle to win. The one who manages to make the other fall by using their strength and skill is the winner.

Other sports

Baseball

This sport has a large number of professional players. Introduced in Korea in 1905 by American missionaries, baseball is one the country’s most popular sports. Three teams from Seoul play in the Korean league. The season lasts from March to October with a summer break, with the matches followed closely by the supporters and taking place in a lively atmosphere.

You should know that there are areas for practising baseball alone or in groups throughout almost all parts of town. The principle is simple: you regulate the throwing speed with a machine which throws balls at you to hit with the bat. Some practice areas are covered, others are outdoor.

Golf

Golf is taken very seriously and has its own supporters. In Seoul and in large cities, you can see driving ranges surrounded in green plastic nets right in the middle of buildings to practice your hitting.

For several years, golf has been arousing real enthusiasm in South Koreans. The country has several world class golf courses. The best golf courses at the moment are those in Kyŏngju and Cheju-do, and on the island of Jeju.

If you are a golfer, you must declare it at customs upon arrival in South Korea.