Wednesday, July 16, 2014

CTI Black Belt Team - South Korea, Part 2

The Black Belt Team Adventures Continue!
It's virtually impossible to relate all of the adventures, but here are some of the highlights . . .
It was 6:30 AM on day five, and the CTI Black Belt Team headed towards Kimpo International Airport for their flight to Jeju Island!

The 50 minute flight was quick, and pretty soon, the Team was on a new bus and it was touring time on Jeju Island.  First, the 42 made their way to Oedolgae Rock which had magnificient views and lots of intersting history and symbolism.  Lunch followed, featuring the infamous abalone noodles (ask a Team member), and it was on to Cheonjeyeon Falls.  The Team took a good hike down to the first falls and then over to the incredible second falls, while taking pictures, laughing and learning.

After a quick two minute drive, the Black Belt Team hit the beach to watch the surfers compete in a Korean surfing championship.  The Team got wet, lounged around and had some good fun!  (Ask a team member to explain what the bus driver did to them before they got back on the bus.).

Jusangjeolli Cliff  was the next scenic spot the Team visited.  It was another beautiful setting on the shores of Jeju Island.  Afterwards, it was time to journey back to Jeju City for a little shopping and an excellent chicken dinner - Korean-style!

One morning on Jeju Island, black belt team members got up at 6:00 AM at the Jeju Neighborhood Hotel and took a run on the back streets of Jeju City.  During the run, the group stopped at a hidden park in the middle of the city and did some board breaking for some eldserly early morning risers who were warming up with their own techniques.

On day six, after an incredible breakfast on the 17th floor, the Team went to explore Seongsan Sunrise Peak.  Group pictures were taken at the base of the volcano, in front of many happy Chinese tourists who were taking pictures of these Americans in MSK uniforms.  The Team then hiked up to the top of Mt. Halla.

The trek up to the top of the ancient volcano was a heated workout.  Mrs. Park led the way, and it turned out to be a wonderful experience.   At the to pof the crater, the Team took many pictures and also broke boards for the people from many different countries who were there.  Legs shaky from the volcano quest, everyone made it down safely, boarded the bus and journeyed to see the Hanyeo (diving ladies) and black rocks at the ocean.

After spending some time searching for sea creatures and watching the Hanyeo dive, it was on to Seongeup Folk Village where the team learned about living in ancient Jeju times.  The dynamic lady, who was the guide and actually lives the life, gave everyone a lively presentation about existing during the early days of Jeju Island . . . in Jeju-accented Korean.  Luckly, the Team had Mrs. Park and our tour guide, Yujin, to interpert the hilarious rantings of this Jeju native.

Go-Karts, Horseback Riding or ATVs?  Those were the choices before we went to dinner that evening. Mrs. Park led a group on horseback.  The ATV riders donned camoflauge,helmet and gear and rambled around.  Master John Sautel won at the Go-Kart track against some skilled drivers.

Could our CTI Black Belt Team possibly do any more?  You bet!

More of the trip continued on Part 3...

See some pictures of the trip!

Friday, July 4, 2014

CTI Black Belt Team - South Korea, Part 1

The CTI Black Belt Team at Kyung Hee University
Eleven day journey . . . thousands and thousands of miles . . . adventure after adventure after adventure . . . that pretty much sums up what our CTI Black Belt Team and Support Crew did on their tour of South Korea!  The group numbered 42, and everyone did a wonderful job the entire time.  Each really earned their World Tour Patch, because after the daily, multi-choices breakfast that was had, it was nine to nine each and every fun-filled day! 

On the first day, arriving at 5:30 AM from the United States, we met Mrs. Yung J. Park who was waiting for us when our plane landed.  After our first breakfast in the Land of the Morning Calm, the team got its "Korean legs" while touring Seoul National University's Ocean Wave Engineering project.  The walk around the campus located in Seoul, the wave research presentation and lunch at the university's Student Center got everyone acclimated quickly.

The next couple of days found the group touring ancient Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, shopping at Insadong and Dongdaemun shopping areas and working out in Yongin City with the Kyung Hee University Taekwondo Teams.

Our CTI Black Belt Team was able to work with the three main teams at Kyung Hee University. (These Korean black belts get their degree in Taekwondo and Major in one of three areas - Poomse, Sparring or Demonstration.)  On this second day of the trip, the team trained with members of the Korean Olympic Sparring Team.  All between the ages of 18 and 24, the Korean team had lightning quick feet and pushed our team hard!  Exercises started out with some big time stretching.  Then it was on to exercises that help develop and improve sparring abilities.  The beginning
of the exercise was similar to what is done in our CTI Power Taekwondo.  A few sweaty hours later, it was time for a little free sparring.

The following day the team returned to Kyung Hee University and was met by the Kyung Hee Demonstration Team.  But before the drive to the training, the team did the most touristy-thing of the trip . . . that's right . . . they went to the Unhyeongung Royal Residence.and took turns dressing in the traditional costumes of the late 1800's for pictures, education and fun!  Afterwards the team went to the historic Myeongdong area for some shopping and lunch at a local Korean restaurant.

When our CTI Team did arrive at the university, we met the Kyung Hee Demo Team and they showed us their demonstration that included some basics and some excellent breaking techniques.  Then, the Kyung Hee Poomse Team took over.  After a few hours of training, including a good long warm-up and countless kicking drills, it was time to trade some Taegeuk poomse back and forth between groups.  Taeguek il chang was performed by the Korean black belts.  Then our black belts performed Taegeuk il chang for the hosts.  Then it was two poomses at a time, with the Koreans going first and then our CTI team going next.  All the poomses were alternated back and forth up to, and including, the sixth dan WTF poomse Ji-Tae.  After the poomses, the Korean Team members were split up with our team members to work on different poomse techniques.

It was time to head back to the Provista Hotel in Seoul, and get ready for one of our favorite parts of the whole trip - meeting the Park Family for dinner.  And it was not just an ordinary dinner, it was a Hanjeongsik - a many, many coursed meal of exotically prepared yumminess. On hand were two of Great Grandmaster Park's brothers Dr. Song H. Park, Dr. Young H. Park, and many of their family members.  It was quite an evening, and a night for our group to remember for a long time!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the CTI Black Belt Team World Tour '14...

Check out some pictures by clicking here.