Friday, July 31, 2009

Arriving in Korea

Instructor Alex outside a Temple

Instructor Alex, Anne & Instructor Cliff
with Grand Master Lee

After 12 hours of air flight, 6 hours stop over in Hong Kong and a further 3 hours to flying, Alex and I arrived in Korea. We were met at the airport by Master Park (Gil-Jun, Park) and his English speaking wife who gave us a very warm welcome. Master Park had organised for us to stay at the Valentine Hotel in the heart of Seoul -the Capital of Korea.

On the journey to the hotel Master Park invited Alex and I to train with him that evening around 6pm. We looked at each other, honoured by the opportunity to train with Master Park, especially as he, like us, specialises in Tae Kwon Do and Hap Ki Do, but our look also held a recognition of our extreme tiredness after our long journey, so we said to Master Park that we would see how we felt after having a rest at the hotel.(Photo shows Instructor Alex & Cliff @ The Valentine Hotel)

Our room at the Valentine was excellent with air con, 42" flat screen TV and free Internet access. Both Alex and I went to sleep after having shower and the next thing we heard was a knock at the boor. It was Master Park and his wife and Anne Marie Smith (Gannon), a former student of ours, whom Master Park and his wife had just collected from the airport. The time was now 8:30pm.

Master Park and his wife sat down with us and Anne Marie and confirmed the details of our trip. Anne Marie had arranged much of the trip for us in advance via email and had come along to be our guide. Anne Marie and her husband Jason Smith (who is also a former New Wave student) run Spirit TKD; A full time Tae Kwon Do Club in Sydney, Australia and have many contacts in Korea.

At this point, rather than going through the whole Itinary and confusing readers with the many different names, I will stick to what was planned for the next two days.

Anne Marie had arranged that at 10am the following morning we would be picked up by Master Cho (Won Kyu, Cho) who would take us to meet 9th Dan Tae Kwon Do Grand Master -Grand Master Lee (Ky Hyun, Lee). We would have the opportunity to ask Grand Master Lee about any aspect of TKD or Martial Arts in general. We would also have the opportunity to train with Grand Master Lee. After that Master Cho would then take us to meet 8th Dan Kumbo (Way of the Sword) Master, Grand Master Oh (Sangpar Oh). We would stay the night with Master Oh and his family and would be introduced to sword training on the following day.


  1. Haribol prabhus.

    Great pictures. We're all thinking of you back in sunny South London. Swine flu is still on the increase, recession is still with us, and England are still being hammered in the cricket! So no real changes in our lives...

    Good news is "The Magazine" is done and at the printers and Krishna Janmastami is just around the corner. HARIBOL! Its not the same without you and we don't know how we will cope without paneer sabji for a month! Did you leave your recipes with anyone?

    Anyway keep up with the posts and I'll ask someone to make an announcement of your adventures each week at the temple satsang on sundays!

    Missing you (but more the prashadam on Friday evenings!) Haribol.

    Bhakta B

  2. I'll second that missing the prasadam on friday nights!

    Don't know if you've taken a calendar. Yesterday was the appearance day of Balaram - fasting half day. How're u doing for prasadam anyway.

  3. Avvvvdeeeeeshhhh! Missing you:( Got to get flowers for Janmasthami next week and am already feeling the panick and stress - I don't have a clue what arrangements to do, colours to choose and what will be available at Covent garden or worse how the alter will look like!!! And you are not here to help me choose anything :( Did some meagre flower arangements yesterday in prep for Balaram Jayanti celeb for Sunday. There were no celebrations yesterday :( Have a nice time on ur yatra. U looking cool as usual ;) Hang on guys, I did chilli paneer yesterday n it was fantastic and I finished the lot today. Haha. Ganga