23 June 2017

New ITF Taekwon-Do & Hapkido Gym: Soo Shim Kwan ◦ Seoul

Master Kim Hoon
After about two decades of running gyms in Seoul, Master Kim Hoon has decided to take a sabbatical and a well-deserved rest. Therefore, the 'The Way' gym has closed at the end of May. I have been part of Master Kim Hoon's gym for nine years and have taught ITF Taekwon-Do and other martial arts at 'The Way' for most of that time.

With the closing of 'The Way', I suddenly needed a place for myself to train, and also assist my students in their journey towards black belts and beyond.

At first I thought of getting a training space close by my home. However, 'The Way' dojang was the only ITF Taekwon-Do space in central Seoul; we often received international visitors that wanted a place to practise ITF Taekwon-Do in the city of its birth. I thought it would be a terrible shame not to continue to have a "home" for ITF Taekwon-Do in Seoul that is accessible to most people. Although I live in Seoul, I live on the eastern outskirts, which might be a little difficult to access for tourists and other people interested in ITF Taekwon-Do.

I therefore decided to find a place more centrally located. I found a rooftop one-room apartment that I think will do the job. It is located in the Yongsan District, which is in central Seoul, close by the Itaewon and Noksapyeong neighbourhoods that are well-known among foreign residents in Korea. During the pleasant summer months one can exercise outside on the rooftop, with Namsan Mountain and Seoul Tower in the background. And on rainy days and during the cold months one can train inside. The idea of a rooftop training space has always appealed to me as historically that is where many martial artists in cities used to practise their discipline.

Dr Sanko Lewis going through a personal exercise routine

Soo Shim Kwan ◦ Seoul will function as my private dojang where I can continue my own martial arts practise. I'll also use it for private teaching and to continue the monthly "Seoul Martial Arts Circle" workshops that I've been hosting for several years. My focus will continue to be Korean martial arts, with emphasis on ITF Taekwon-Do and Hapkido, but also Taekkyeon and Yusul when time allows.

I will move into the new premises early July 2017. The first week or so will probably be dedicated to renovations, but I plan to get training there as soon as possible and will spend much of my time during my summer vacation at Soo Shim Kwan ◦ Seoul.

1 comment:

Colin Wee said...

Congratulations, and good luck with your new venture! Colin