In October 2017 our team of 14 traveled to South Korea to stay for 6 nights in a Buddhist Temple and 3 nights in Seoul. The purpose was an International Instructors Course. It was the most amazing experience of our lives. Here's our story.
After a 48 hour journey with next to no sleep, we spent the morning exploring ancient tombs and a beautiful lotus garden, which included giant floral statues and a 'water wheel' which definitely tested our ability to balance😆 at 6:30pm we are now getting ready for 2 hours of training before a well-needed sleep! Staying in a stunning Buddhist temple for the next 5 nights is a fantastic and unique experience, and everyone has already tried some new and unfamiliar foods - we now know what a persimmon is, for example! #korea2017 #blog #Taekwondo #kimchi
It was an early start for Master Ron, Master Sandra, Master Phil and Sue as they woke up at 4:30am to join in on a meditation ceremony with the Buddhist Monks. After a 6:30am breakfast we then spent 4 hours training with Master Chon and Master Cho, learning many new hapkido techniques as well as expanding on old ones. Then we practised 2 hours of kicking and sparring technique with a young Korean team which was fantastic. After training we got the opportunity to visit Baekje Historical Museum, a wonderful insight into traditional Korean life with stunning buildings and views as a bonus. After dinner it is back to meditation and the rest of the evening is so far a surprise! @ Chungcheongnam-do
Was very sunny and warm, and marked the arrival of Master Yu, an energy Master who has been working his magic on any injuries within the group (especially Sue!). We were then taught traditional Korean painting by a Master painter and a Professor. Then we travelled up a mountain to visit the tombs of the temple, along with a view of the entire valley which was worth the climb. After lunch was martial art training with Grand Master Kim Yong Ho. As always, we gained so much knowledge to bring back and pass on to the rest of the club😁 tonight we also took part in meditation and were given a demonstration in gummudo (sword technique) by Master Stefan, ready to begin learning gummudo ourselves later on in the trip. We were also given a secret mission by Master Ron, which involved the boys reluctantly taking part and Max getting booted off X factor style. More details tomorrow as we are moving on! #korea2017 #Taekwondo #buddhisttemple #Taekwondo
DAY 4 & 5
This morning, we were first taught gummudo (training with the sword) by Master Kim Sang Tae and Master Ron. Then after lunch, we had the opportunity to watch a traditional Korean tea ceremony, which was beautiful. However the Korean 'cake' that came with the ceremony was more like a bush tucker trial🤢🤢🤢 After the tea ceremony, we left Buyeo and moved to Jinduk Temple, a beautiful remote temple further into the mountains. This temple also takes in older and infirm/disabled people, which was so humbling and heartwarming to see. It was also nice to have some different food for a change! The next morning in the temple Master Katey, Master Sandra, Emma, Sara, Leah, Sue, Vicky, Jessie and Master Phil took part in a 4:30am meditation ceremony in which we were able to praise Buddha with the monks. Then after breakfast and a walk around the grounds of the temple, we went on to the most amazing nature park, which was set in the mountains and almost finished after 30 years of construction. We hiked around the park with a tour guide who showed us the stunning mountain views and told us about the religious visions and miracles that led to it's design. After that we were driven to Guemsan, or 'ginseng town', known for producing ginseng that Korea is famous for. Tonight we returned to our temple in Buyeo and our Wi-Fi!!! We can't begin to describe how wonderful and humbled we are by having this experience, money could not buy this. #korea2017 #welovekorea #buddhisttemple #beautiful #onceinalifetime
For many of us it was an early start as we were up at 4:30am to take part in the Buddhist ceremony. After the ceremony and breakfast, we had a 3.5 hour technical lesson with Master Kim Yong Ho and another one of his students from Korea (Master Kim). As usual, we gained so much knowledge to pass on to everyone at home. In the afternoon, we took a trip to the west coast and walked along multiple beaches that were home to thousands of baby crabs! We also got a chance to watch as Master Yu was getting energy from the setting sun. Now, we are preparing for another training session, with Master Kim Sang Tae, practising Gummudo before our last night in the temple. We don't want to leave 😥😥 #korea2017 #lastnight #buddhisttemple #training
Last night was our last training session and the end of the Instructors Course. Master Kim presented us all with certificates. Katey and Sandra also performed an acoustic version of Amazing Grace for Master Kim's birthday. Minds and eardrums were blown 😀😂 We can honestly say that the training we have received and the hospitality shown to us has been extraordinary. This morning we left the temple and the monks and even the Grand Master at the age of 95 came out to wish us farewell which was very humbling. I won't lie when I said a few of us had tears in our eyes when we drove away. Amazing people and an amazing inspiring place. After breakfast this morning we arrived at Incheon, the third largest city in South Korea. Not only was our hotel lovely but we found a bed!!!! We never thought we'd be so grateful for a mattress after sleeping on the floor for 6 nights! Not only that but we went out with Master Kim for a beautiful Korean BBQ where we had charcoal in the middle of the table and cooked the meat ourselves. It was the quietest meal ever as everyone tucked in after a week of vegetarian food! We were then taken sightseeing by Master Cho and Master Jihyun Kim, they showed us a spectacular Korean war memorial and a beautiful park in the middle of the city. Definitely a change of scenery compared to the tranquil setting of the temple. Tomorrow is another sightseeing day as we head into Seoul centre. #korea2017 #byetemplehellocity #brightlights #sightseeing