Tang Soo Do News


Master James Pumarejo Visit and Testing in Korea

press release by Master Mike Bogdanski

On Oct 6th, 2016 my son and I departed Tucson for Korea for a 9 day stay that was going to be busy from beginning to end. But not the bad kind of busy. Busy training, visiting and meeting old friends and Masters, making new acquaintances, and of course testing. The majority of my time would be spent near Songtan, close to Osan Air Base, with a few days in Incheon and one day at Soraksan mountain.

On Friday, Oct 7th, we arrived in Korea and as it turns out, another World Dang Soo Do Union (WDU) Member, Master Andy Tyzzer, of West Elk Martial Arts in Colorado also happened to be in Korea with his son. We arranged to meet near Osan Air Base and the next day travel to Soraksan mountain. It turns out that Saturday was probably the busiest weekend of the whole year at Soraksan mountain and there were more than 10,000 people on the mountain that day.  Although we didn't get to hike Soraksan, we did find some nearby beautiful mountains for some great scenery and got in a few forms together with Master Tyzzer while we were there.



Above - Master Tyzzer visited the WDU Headquarters school in Songtan and got to meet GM Song Ki Kim as well as have a nice
lunch with myself and Grandmaster Ki Bok Cho.  (We had a rather funny waitress if you can tell by the bunny ears).





Above photos - Near Soraksan Mountain

Monday morning we decided to make up for the missed hiking on Soraksan mountain and went to a the local mountain near Songtan called Buraksan mountain. Master Tyzzer hiked and Master Tyzzers's son and I ran it. His son was a beast running up that mountain!

Tuesday were days I had set aside to get in some last minute training and brush up before my testing on Wednesday as well as make the rounds to visit many Masters in the local area who are now advanced in age. Master Yoon Ki Kim and GM Song Ki Kim surprised us with a trip to the Korean folk village near Suwon where you can see how Koreans lived throughout the Chosun dynasty. We also watched a performance of Sameulnori (Korean fold drum and dance) as well as an historical Korean equestrian show where they did archery, sword, and spear from horseback.


Above - GM Song Ki Kim, GM Yoon Ki Kim, myself, and my son in front of Min Seok Chun
(Korean Folk Village), and also my son dressed as a Choson Dynasty king's bodyguard, called "Sato."



Above - the building where traditional Korean historical dramas and movies are filmed and also
Minsu with a few Korean school girls who also happened to be touring Min Seok Chun that day.




Chosun Dynasty criminals were punished in a variety of ways - these are few of those ways.
We joke today that this is what parents do in modern days to ensure kids get good grades! 




The trip was filled with meeting friends and family from far and wide. Left is a Spencer Villanueva, a black belt
in the Western Pacific TSD Association. Right is Minsu with his uncle, Ung Jae Seong, who he is now taller than!

Wednesday was the day of my 6th Dan testing. The testing board consisted of GM Song Ki Kim, President, WDU (Dan # 312), GM Young Il Kim (Dan # 3179), Master Bae Il Nam (Dan # 8838), Master Yoon Ki Kim (Dan # 13174), and Master Ki Tae Nam.

Thursday and Friday, we trained at the World Kummooyeh Headquarters in Incheon. They were long days of extensive training in sword and archery.  Master Pumarejo completed his instructor certification and Minsu tested and received his Black Belt in Kummooyeh.





Our final day Saturday was much busier than expected as we had a lot of visitors from all over the world.  Master Cecil Hong from Gilbert, Arizona happened to visit us in Songtan and many worldwide Masters who happened to be in Korea for the Moo Duk Kwan Ko Dan Ja Shim Sa and leadership conference visited the Songtan Dojang and got to see a lot of Moo Duk Kwan history during their stay.  It was a significant visit as many of the younger upcoming generations of Ko Dan Ja were able to put aside politics and associations and just enjoy our love of training and also share our connected history with our roots in Moo Duk Kwan. It was a great way to wrap up another memorable trip to Korea!

Dang Soo!


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