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  zoe(2005-08-07 15:01:26, Hit : 4588, Vote : 718
 http://www.geocities.com/zoesmith_onsiteturbograde
 Taekwondo is a critical sport for women

I came to Korea last year to train in Taekwondo. This year I've moved to Seoul and have had a short experience in Master Chang's wonderful gym. About the only thing that disappointed me about his gym, however, is that there don't seem to be many female Taekwondo participants visiting his gym.

I would urge more females around the world to take up this sport.

The reason I am prompted to write this message right now, is that some 24 hours ago, I had a very frightening experience, and I would like this to serve as a motivator for more women to empower themselves with self-defense skills. Taekwondo really provides some of the basic building blocks to effective defense.

One of the main reasons I had initially started Taekwondo training some years back, was because I wanted to develop some self-defense skills through martial arts. Back in the days of the war in the Yugoslav region of Europe, I once inadvertently got involved in a stand off and was held at gun point while traveling solo on a night train out of Belgrade. I had escaped that incident without consequence, but I couldn't always be so sure that I would be so lucky next time.

These days, I've decided to live in what is known as a 'Yeogwan' in Seoul. These are types of seedy inns, and many Koreans said I was taking such a risk by staying alone in such a place. I scoffed at them - after all, I thought Seoul doesn't live up to reputation as inner-city Manchester in the UK, or the ghettos of New York. But last night, finally I was awoken in the middle of the night by someone who had gained a key to my room, or a lock pick, and was trying to force my flimsy door open. I was so lucky to wake up in time to wrestle the door close. I shouted at the person to go away, and they did so. I thought maybe it was just some drunkard who had mistaken his room number. But 10 minutes later, the agressor came back. This time, I fought for several minutes trying to keep my door closed in some type of tug of war. I was SO scared, and the struggle felt like eternity. But amongst my fear, I had one very clear thought in my mind : with all my Taekwondo experience, there must be something I can draw upon to help protect myself. I thought it risky to let the door open enough for the aggressor to enter - perhaps he had a knife. I wasn't sure if I would be able to use Taekwondo kicks to defend myself. I just knew that I had to be resolved to being committed to using all my strength not to let this man overpower me - such a resolve I know I have sometimes felt in Taekwondo training. Instead, I resorted to the 'kihop' and shouted truly as loud as I possibly could for as long as I could. After some more struggle with my door, the aggressor finally took off. I managed to get the attention of the ajumma desk clerk - not a bad kihop, since she was located four floors below me, and had been fast asleep. She shrugged off that anyone could be trying to enter my room. Again, at 6am, this person came back. Again, I fought to keep my door from being forced open. Again, he finally ran away.

Needless to say, I'm too shaken by events to want to stay in that Yeogwan any longer. I'm really quite positive that that person's intention was to come in and rape me. I'm only so thankful I woke up in time - probably thanks also to Korea's current hot weather, that it's hard to sleep deeply these days! - and I'm thankful for having some experience in Taekwondo.

I really want to encourage more females to take up Taekwondo. It's really useful to gaining some confidence to stand your ground against certain types of attack, instead of just cowering away and being submissive. Taekwondo can honestly empower yourself to protect yourself.




"England and Norway seminars are on 17 to 27 November 2005"
Taekwondo will be remained as a Olympic sport

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SANGROK WORLD TAEKWONDO ACADEMY
3rd Floor, Sejeong Building, 45-4 Sinwol 3-dong, Yangcheon-guSeoul, Korea
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