Minnesota Is My Home

Bakers Narrows Lodge: Catching My First Lake Trout

Korea Training Tour 2006: My Journal
By: Nam Dzuy Nguyen



The flight took almost a whole day, the trip lasted 10 days, but the memories will last a lifetime. I traveled to Seoul, Korea with 10 other individuals from North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. We were guided by Grand Master Yun. Eight of the 10 individuals traveling with me were black belts and two others were Master Instructors. The time in South Korea was spent training and sightseeing.

Journal Entry Monday, February 13, 2006

In the morning of Monday, February 13th at 8 a.m., I met up with 7 black belts at the Minneapolis International Airport. We awaited for Grand Master Yuns arrival coming from Fargo, North Dakota. He arrived at 9:19 a.m. with three other black belts and as a group we all headed to Chilis in the airport for a classic breakfast. At 10:30 a.m. Grand Master Yun had a chopstick test for me and three others and we all passed and as a reward he gave us free time to wander around and meet back at noon to get our boarding pass stamped. At 1 p.m. we boarded NW 19 for Tokyo, Japan (Narita Airport). It was to be a 12 hours, 30 minute flight.

For dinner we had rotisserie chicken with red potatoes and green beans. I sat next to a very nice gentleman name Chuck. He was traveling to the Philippines to assist and teach children in the villages the American culture. We had a turkey sub and a Twix for snack at 8:30 p.m. and at midnight we ate breakfast, which consisted of fried rice, fruit, brownie, and a salad. The movies they played was "Legend of Zorro" and "The Dreamer."

Journal Entry Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Team in Tokyo-Narita Airport awaiting flight to Seoul

Arrived in Tokyo, Japan at Narita Airport at 12:30 a.m. CST time. Departed Tokyo for Seoul on flight NW 7 at 3:30 a.m.

Arrived in Seoul at 7 p.m. and awaiting was Master Sang Ki Lee. He is a 7th Dan Hapkido Master Instructor. He took us all in his yellow van to the Olympiana Hotel.

We checked in at 9 p.m. and went to my room where I shared it with two other black belts, Mr. Rob Schneider and Mr. Jim Tindell. Our room number was 712. I stayed on the lower level, and Mr. Rob and Mr. Jim stayed in the upper level. It was a very luxurious hotel!

At 9:30 p.m. we met up with Grand Master Yun and Master Sang Ki Lee for a welcome party!

At 10:30 p.m. Grand Master Yun bought each of a large bottle of water.

Journal Entry Wednesday, February 15, 2006

At 6:15 a.m. we met with Master Jim Grimestad and Master Ed Jacobson. We ran to Olympic Park and met with Grand Master Yun for hell training. The hell training consisted of a 4-mile run, piggy back up a steep hill, short fast push-ups, sit-ups, tree striking, partnering action techniques, weightlifting, sports dance routine, uphill sprint, and stair climbing. It was the most fun and grueling workout I have ever experience in my life!

Master Nam with Mr. Ryan and Mr. Jim during breakfast

At 8:30 a.m. we ate breakfast on the 8th floor. Breakfast would consist of eggs, bacon, and toast, coffee, and juice. We got some rest time after breakfast and then met down in the lobby at 10:50 a.m. prepared for sightseeing.

Team at Kukkiwon with Grand Master Yun (World Tae Kwon Do Federation Headquarters)

Team at Seoul Tower

At noon we visited the Kukkiwon. Kukkiwon is the World Tae Kwon Do Federation (WTF) Headquarters. It is where our black belt certification comes from. We visited the Kukkiwon Museum and saw historic photos, certificates, plates, and medals. A couple of stores nearby I bought some gold Kukkiwon pins for my assistants at my dojang and a gold Kukkiwon plate for myself. We visited the Seoul Tower at 1p.m., however, we did not go up due to heavy fog.

Team in Kukkiwon Museum with Grand Master Yun

At 2:30 p.m. we visited Great Grand Master Soon Bae Kim at the Chong Won Office. He gave us each a Kukkiwon and Chang Moo Kwon pin. At 4 p.m. we went out for kalbee dinner with Great Grand Master Kim. We arrived back at the hotel at 6 p.m. and slept until 8 p.m. and then headed over to Dunkin Donuts for some donuts. Lights out: 10 p.m.

Journal Entry Thursday, February 15, 2006

At 6:15 a.m. we met with Master Jim Grimestad and Master Ed Jacobson. We ran to Olympic Park and met with Grand Master Yun for hell training routine only this day was pure hills and slopes! During the training Grand Master Yun gave his philosophical views on being physically in shape and told us to always stay fit.

Team at Gyeongbokgung Palace

Master Nam Nguyen in red warrior outfit at Gyeongbokgung Palace

At 11:30 a.m. we visited the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul. At the palace I got to put on an ancient red warrior outfit.

Gyeongbokgung Palace was built in 1395 by the founder of the Joseon Dynasty, King Taejo, one year after he moved the capital from Gaeseong to Seoul. It was the primary residence of the royal family. The palace was destroyed by fire during the Japanese invasion of 1592, and it was finally restored in 1868, the 5th year of the reign of Prince Regent Daewongun, after three years of hard work. Many of the buildings were already restored and a couple more are currently being restored

Team after completion of Korean Traditional Sports Dance Course

At 1:00 p.m. we attended and participated in a Korean Traditional Sports Dance. We learned #1-4 routine.

At 2::30 p.m. we visited the Seoul Sports Graduate University for a sports massage course. Received certificate of completion at the end of the course.

At 4 p.m. we went out for a shabu shabu dinner with University President Joong-Young Kim. We arrived back at the hotel for a group chat in Master Eds room at 7 p.m. Lights out: 10 p.m.

Journal Entry Friday, February 16, 2006

At 5:15 a.m. Master Jim called and said no hell training due to cold weather.

At 7:30 a.m. we met with Grand Master Yun in Master Eds room. We discussed the days plans and did a workout, which included 300 short push-ups and various grasp defenses. It was during this meeting Grand Master Yun had mentioned about Master Sang Ki Lees health condition and possibility of visiting him at the hospital that day.

Team at Olympic Stadium

At noon we visited Olympic Stadium, where the 1988 Olympic Games held in Seoul. We saw worn suits and clothes from the Olympic Games, numerous photos, and medals.

At 1:00 p.m. we attended and participated in a Korean Traditional Sports Dance. We learned #5-6 routine and reviewed #1-4. We took a test immediately following the review. The sports dance wasnt my favorite activity, but it was sure fun to learn!

Master Nam with Mr. Zach in Burger King at Itaewon Shopping Center

At 2:30 p.m. we visited Master Sang Ki Lee in Seoul Hospital. He had internal bleeding in the throat from a previous surgery and they had to redo the surgery. After the visit we headed back to our hotel and ate lunch at Burger King. At 5 p.m. we headed to Itaewon Shopping Center and I bought some gifts. It was an area about as big as Chinatown in Chicago with various shops and vendors. We ate dinner at KFC and headed back to hotel at 11 p.m. We headed back to the hotel on an underground subway. Lights out: 12 a.m.

Journal Entry Saturday, February 17, 2006

At 6:30 a.m. we ran to Olympic Park and met with Grand Master Yun for hell training. The hell training consisted of a jumping over benches, zig zagging running through trees, shadow boxing, running and learning a Japanese style attack.

Master Nam with Master Lee at World Tae Kwon Do Instructor Academy

At 1:30 p.m. we headed to the World Tae Kwon Do Instructor Academy to learn all 8 Taegeuk patterns and Koryo thru Taebaek. We also learned referee commands and actions. Before we got to the gym we had ran a couple miles up a steep hill to look for a temple in the area. After we finished with the seminars we headed back and stopped at a gas station and ate Korean chips and drank Coke. Some of the members from the group were picked to dance on the street. It was hilarious!

We had dinner at Pizza Hut and the meal was delicious! Lights out: 10 p.m.

Journal Entry Sunday, February 18, 2006

No hell training. Met with Grand Master Yun in Master Eds room and we discussed our days plans whether to have a solo or group dinner and either Seoul Tower or mountain climbing. We selected group dinner and mountain climbing. Our curfew time for the day was 11 p.m. We went over referee commands and actions.

At noon we reached our destination: Mountain. I dont remember the name of the mountain, but all I remember was it took 1 hour to get to the top and 1 hour to get down. We walked through mud, boulders, and steep cliffs where we had to lean off one side for balancing. We also learned to laugh hard for 30 seconds once a month to have better health.

At 4 p.m. we ate bulgoki dinner in Itaewon. From 6 11 p.m. we shopped at Itaewon once again and I picked up my embroidered belts and a few other items I missed the first time out. We headed back to the hotel on an underground subway. Lights out: 12 a.m.

Journal Entry Monday, February 19, 2006

No hell training. Reviewed referee commands and actions with Master Ed at 9 a.m. Master Jim was off for training for his 7th Dan testing.

At 11 a.m. we traveled to Master Sang Ki Lees Hapkido School and learned #1-5 Hapkido techniques and rolling from his black belt assistants. Early afternoon we went to the Korean Folk Village to see various shows and learned about Korean culture from the past. It was a very fun experience!

At 4 p.m. we had a 7 course chicken dinner with soup and appetizer at a Chinese restaurant. After dinner Grand Master Yun gave us karaoke contest with the winner getting 20,000 won. Out of about 3,000 songs to choose from I ended up singing "I Swear" written by All 4 One. It was fun moment clapping and cheering to every beat! Lights out: 10 p.m.

Journal Entry Tuesday, February 20, 2006

At 7 a.m. we met with Grand Master Yun for our morning training and #1-5 Hapkido techniques review. We learned shadow boxing, basic movement, and the winner attack method.

We had breakfast at 8:30 a.m. followed by a little Hapkido practice in our rooms. From 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. we practiced our rolling and reviewed Hapkido techniques and learned #6-11.

At 2:30 p.m. we visited the National Museum of Korea and learned the history of Korea and the 3 kingdoms and the many artifacts that were saved from each period. We got to see pottery and various weapons displayed.

We ate pig leg, bean soup, and lettuce-rice-pork-kim chi dipped in paste for dinner. It was delicious! We got home and pre-packed for the trip home. We practiced #1-11 Hapkido techniques. Lights out: 10 p.m.

Journal Entry Wednesday, February 21, 2006

At 6:30 a.m. we met with Grand Master Yun for our morning training and #1-11 Hapkido techniques review and pre-test. We ate breakfast early at 8 a.m.

Team after successful Hapkido testing with Master Sang Ki Lee

Master Nam with Master Sang Ki Lee's Hapkido Black Belts

At 9:45 a.m. we got to watch Master Jim test for his 7th Dan. His examiners were Great Grand Master Soon Bae Kim, President Kim, and Master Sang Ki Lee and the exam conductor was Grand Master Yun. It was a memorable event to be able to witness this special occasion. At noon we had our 1st/2nd Dan Hapkido test with Master Sang Ki Lee as our examiner. We all passed and did very well! After my test I assisted Master Ed for his 4th Dan Hapkido test.

Master Nam with Great Grand Master Soon Bae Kim and President Joong-Young Kim

At 2 p.m. we had kalbee dinner with Great Grand Master Soon Bae Kim, President Kim, Master Sang Ki Lee and Grand Master Yun. It was our last dinner for the trip and it was just a special evening and a memorable one!

From 4:30-6:30 p.m. we all slept solid. At 7 p.m. we packed for our trip home. Grand Master Yun came to our room and checked our baggage for our trip home. Lights out: 9 p.m.

Journal Entry Thursday, February 22, 2006

Grand Master Yun & Master Nam

At 6 a.m. we checked out of Olympiana Hotel and Grand Master Yun escorted us back to the airport for our trip home to Minnesota. We said our goodbyes and thanked him for a super trip. Grand Master Yun stayed behind for a few more days to complete his education.

I had the time of my life in Korea. Practicing Tae Kwon Do since 1992 I felt fortunate to have the opportunity to tour Korea and see its origins and history. The training with our Grand Master and hearing his insights and philosophy on life was absolutely special. I learned so much from this trip and the memories will forever live on!

 

 

 

trở về trang nh - www.ninh-hoa.com

1