The Gangnam-gu Office (Mayor: Shin Yeon-hee) recently announced an addition of a new program of regularizing Taekwondo, Korean martial art, performance at the Kukkiwon in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, the world Taekwondo headquarters. The new performance program is designed primarily for international tourists aiming to attract 10 million tourists annually and to invigorate Taekwondo activities.
In an effort to include it in the sightseeing tour route, the Kukkiwon has been staging regular Taekwondo performance since August last year, attracting a total of more than 14,300 audiences including 1,727 international tourists. Watching unique and dynamic Taekwondo performance, international visitors were thrilled, proving high popularity and love for it.
Buoyed by this high popularity among international tourists, the Gangnam-gu Office started in late February a regular non-verbal Taekwondo performance under the title of ‘Great Taekwondo’ for 5 days a week. The performance program is consisted of 3 parts plus an experience session: Part 1 - ‘Real Taekwondo’ that features spirit and arts of Taekwondo, Part 2 - ‘Legend of Taekwondo that features the period of confusion in Taekwondo community caused by different interest of stakeholders, and Part 3 - ‘Harmony of Taekwondo’ that features harmony in the Taekwondo world. After each performance, audiences are given chances of experiencing Taekwondo such as smashing bricks and wood panels presided over by recreation instructors.
The performance team is consists of 25 outstanding Taekwondo players rigorously screened among hundreds of applicants. The performance runs for 2 hours on five days a week from Tuesday through Friday starting at 19:30 p.m. and on Saturday starting at 17:00 p.m. at the Kukkiwon.
Admission fee is 40,000 won (approx. US$33), and reservation can be made online on Interpark or Ticketlink site. Residents in the district, students and Taekwondo practitioners will benefit with special discount in admission fee. And package product that combines performance and experience program is also available.
Meanwhile, the Kukkiwon has been holding regular Taekwondo demonstrations for international tourists visiting Korea since 2007 in cooperation with the Seoul city government. The performance is held in March to October every year in the Hanok Village (a village of traditional Korean-style houses) in Jung-gu, Seoul.
Founded in 1972, the Kukkiwon laid the groundwork for Taekwondo’s globalization by hosting the First World Taekwondo Championships and establishing the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) in 1973. In 1978, it successfully unified Taekwondo clans by integrating 10 major different Taekwondo gymnasiums in the country. Since then, the Kukkiwon has been pushing forward a variety of programs and activities for developing and promoting Taekwondo, including Pum (level) and Dan (grade) promotion test, master education and friendship training program.