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““Taekwondo is Taekwondo, Makegeolli is Makegeolli!”
Master Chang 2003

Why come to Korea

Korea is the birthplace of Taekwondo. For thousands of years the Koreans have been practicing and improving their martial art. Taekwondo is a huge part of Korea's heritage and tradition, but it is also very much part of the present in Korea.

Most Koreans gain a black belt in the teenage years, while those that did not have to take it at least 1st Dan during their 3 years military service. This makes Korea the home to the most Taekwondo practitioners in the world, making Seoul the beating heart of Taekwondo.

For Taekwondo students a trip to Korea is a pilgrimage to the source and flowing river of Taekwondo. The competition season in Seoul is unrivaled. Its sports universities produce the highest level of Taekwondo students in the world; as a result the Korean team is the best on Earth. Taekwondo is practiced and understood here in a way that many cannot rival. For Instructors who wish to compete on the international level a trip to Korea to learn the latest training techniques is a pre-requisite. For those who are serious about Taekwondo a trip to Korea is not a question of if, it is a when.

In Korea Taekwondo can be seen in its original setting, as a functioning part of Korean society. The parallels between Korean culture and the philosophy of Taekwondo give a much deeper understanding of what Taekwondo really is. Taekwondo is a very traditional activity in Korea as well as being its modern national sport. In Korea is possible to see firsthand these traditions alive today. To Koreans Taekwondo is a life time’s commitment.

In many western countries Taekwondo is just seen as another martial art, but here in Korea the points that make Taekwondo so unique stand out and our appreciated by all. For foreign people it is very difficult to find or learn from people who have dedicated their whole life to living the Taekwondo way.

In Korea the Taekowndo man takes on a different meaning to elsewhere in the world, to understand this it needs be seen in the original environment. Here in Korea it is possible to see the mountains and valleys that created the deepest parts of the Taekwondo philosophy, influenced the way the Poomsae were developed and are the foundation of the history of Taekwondo and the Taekwondo way.

Life in the Academy

In the academy there is accommodation in individual and shared rooms. There is space to relax after training with a large television and Internet access. Washing up is done by the students.

Korean style food is provided but only dinner is prepared for students. Nothing apart from
training is compulsory in SANGROK, however it is hoped that as Taekwondo students all students live up to morals of Taekwondo.

Dinner is after training and is a good time to learn about each other and to talk with Master Chang about martial arts, about Korea and anything else. This is also a good time for each student to discuss any points they may want to raise about their own training.

At the weekends the many students like to go out and experience the joys of Seoul life, it is recommended to follow the Koreans advice of where to go, as like all fast moving cities, it changes all the time. There is excellent shopping in Seoul and much to be seen and done. Information about how to get to some of the main tourist and Taekwondo sights has been saved on to the computer in SANGROK in English for students by others who have been here before after have been and there is free Wi-Fi in the Academy.


Training is held every week day in the evenings which is the main training session of the day. These training sessions are high energy training, focusing on intensive foot-work, kicks and sparring. In the early afternoon there is an informal training session with master Chang. Students work on their own individual problems or work on things that they found difficult the evening before.

Master Chang's unique style is evident in the more traditional aspects of his Taekwondo too. In performing the Poomsae, the SANGROK style emphasizes the very same principals which rule its modern sides: executing power with minimum effort, the flowing of movements, and above all, the grace and beauty of the Taekwondo movements. Working on the Poomsae is individual and each student practices his own level's Poomsae. Students who stay for longer periods of time very often choose to completely adopt to the SANGROK style and in that vein go back to basics and build their ability from there.

After the evening sessions the students usually play indoor soccer with Master Chang improving their stamina and power even more, just before collapsing, exhausted, into their dinner chairs.

Getting To Korea

All flights go to Incheon Airport. Make sure you have a Visa if you need one. From Incheon Airport it is approximately one hour by bus to the Academy. Email Master Chang for directions and he will send you and email attachment with a note in Korean explaining where you need to go. It is very easy to get to the Academy from the airport with the bus. The airport bus stops in front of the arrival hall. Bus tickets are sold in the ticket office just steps outside the arrival hall. The bus is comfortable and only makes a few steps. It stops just a few meters from the academy. The bus driver will tell you when to get off if you show him the note. If you have a cellular phone, you need to buy a roaming chip in the arrival hall of the airport. The Korean cell phone system is not (yet) compatible with the European and American systems.


Fees vary on the amount of time that students spend in the Academy. For any inquiries
please feel free to email Master Chang at