Tuesday, February 5, 2013

When in Korea, do as the Koreans do: Taekwondo edition

We decided that Ruby needs something fun to do. Grace has Saturday sports and August has general recklessness.  Since we're in Korea, and there are Taekwondo places everywhere we thought this would be something fun for her. It turns out we weren't the only ones thinking this. After some group emails, we had about 10 families from our school interested in trying it out. We managed to find 3 places to try.

First up: Bally Total Fitness. That's right, I gave up my $15 a month membership (hope you're enjoying it Kelli!) because I didn't know where I would find one in Seoul, if at all. I'm pretty sure I googled it, but a map of Seoul meant nothing to me then-certainly not "Jeongja". It turns out that there is a Bally's in Jeongja, which is very close to us and even closer to the school. Last week, all the kids went one day after school. I couldn't go because I work pretty far from Jeongja so Jim took her. Ruby was reported as being totally "locked in" and focused. She was very proud of herself because she broke a (balsa wood) board!

On Saturday, we all tried out an MMA gym
MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts. Yes, that MMA. The one where those bald guys go in a fensed in ring and bite and choke each other. Why wouldn't someone take their 5 year old daughter to train for that? It turns out they're not teaching the children those things, at least not in the trial class. They're teaching them defensive moves and wrestling kinds of techniques.

Here's Ruby learning the "Shrimp" move

This is Ruby wrestling an instructor to the ground:

 The MMA gym was a lot of fun. They played lots of games. But it wasn't structured enough for what I think Ruby needs. Besides, we still had one place to try out.

The Taekwondo place we tried out today is near Goodmorning Hill. The instructor tried to turn us down a few times because he doesn't speak any English. We were persistent though. And with my secretary, Chloe's, help we made it for a try out. Chloe went as far as to drive all the way down after work to translate for us at the class. She's amazing like that.

Ruby working on speed and agility

Learning how to punch
And the winner is....The last place. They're starting the kids at twice per week and we'll see how they do.
UPDATE (3/15/13). We switched from the last place to Bally's. Bally's presented us with an offer we could not refuse: transportation. They pick the kids up from school and drop them off at home! Besides, Ruby seems more comfortable because Master Park speaks English. 

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