Sunday, February 27, 2011

Representative Korean Buddhist Temples

Way to the Temple—the Way to the Buddha

A great place to experience Korean Buddhism firsthand is at one of the many temples scattered across Korea. Everyday, Korean Buddhist culture meets the modern world at the gates outside every temple. But these temples are not merely tourism and sightseeing spots; rather they are fully functioning places of learning and spiritual practice that carry out the 1,700-year-old teachings and traditions. Everything in a temple has meaning which helps provide visitors with an introspective, calm, peaceful, and meditative atmosphere. Outsiders can also find solace, refuge, and rest at a temple as they are filled with sanctity, purity, and authenticity.

Korean temples are filled with symbolism. The layout follows a precise and meaningful system based on ancient Indian cosmology that places Mt. Sumeru in the middle. The temple represents the way to the Buddha, which is also the way to enlightenment. Although followers will explain Buddha is everywhere and anywhere, for cosmology sake, he resides at the summit of Mt. Sumeru. Thus, the altar where the Buddha statue sits is called the Sumeru altar. The journey to enlightenment from Jambudvipa (Kor. Namseombuju), begins with Indian cosmology.

Mt. Sumeru is surrounded by nine mountains and eight oceans. The last ocean has a continent in each cardinal direction. We live in the southern continent of Jambudvipa. Above Jambudvipa are heavens that represent the realm of desire. The summit of Mt. Sumeru is the highest point; therefore, visiting a temple is a symbolic journey from Jambudvipa to see the Buddha at the summit of Mt. Sumeru. Buddhists believe visiting a temple is like climbing a mountain where goals must be kept in mind and one must go forth resolutely.

Representative Korean Buddhist Temples
The 2,500 year history of Korean Buddhism has given rise to many large temples. Among them, the Three Jewel Temples are the most famous and largest Korean Buddhist temples. The three jewels in Buddhism are Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. The Three Jewel Temples represent each aspect: Tongdosa Temple represents the Buddha because there is a famous stupa (or pagoda) housing relics of Buddha from China; Haeinsa Temple represents the teaching or Dharma, because there is a large number of Buddhist scriptures; and Songgwangsa Temple represents the Buddhist community or Sangha, as about fifteen Korean patriarchs have come from this temple.
                                                 Tongdosa Temple

Tongdosa Temple was built in 646 by Master Jajang during the reign of Queen Seondeok. One of the great monks in Korean Buddhism, Master Jajang, carried Buddha's relics from China and he enshrined them at Tongdosa Temple. As a result, unlike other temples, there is no statue of Buddha in the Main Hall. Instead, Buddhists worship the Stupa.

                                     Tongdosa Temple

The Diamond Precepts platform is behind the Main Hall. On the platform is a bell-shaped stupa surrounded by a stone barrier. The gate is finely decorated with dragons, clouds and two protector guardians. There are protective deities on the four corners of the platform. The ball-shaped stupa is decorated with lotus patterns, lotus blossoms, lotus petals, the Four Virtues and gods on the base and upper parts. In front of the stupa lies the lovely Nine Dragons Pond. Originally very large, the pond was home to nine dragons.

                                            Haeinsa Temple
Haeinsa Temple is the second representative temple. Its name means "reflection on a smooth sea." It is the description of deep meditation in the Avatamsaka Sutra. Originally, Haeinsa Temple was a small hermitage built by Master Sunung and Master Ichong at the time of their return from China in 802. The wife of King Aejang was sick, and the two monks had helped to cure her. The King built Haeinsa Temple in honor of the monks. The temple has since been enlarged. Behind the Main Hall are two buildings that were constructed in 1488 housing the wooden blocks of the Tripitaka Koreana and the Buddhist scriptures. The Tripitaka Koreana was originally carved in the 11th century in a temple on Ganghwa Island. The possession of these wooden blocks was said to protect the country against invasion.

However, the blocks were burnt by Mongol invaders. In the 13th century, production of a new set of blocks was undertaken at the order of King Gojong. It took about 16 years to carve 52,330,152 characters on 81,258 blocks. These were transported from Ganghwa Island on the heads of nuns to Haeinsa for safe-keeping.

 Songgwangsa Temple
Songgwangsa Temple means “Spreading Pine Temple” and it was established on Mt. Jogye by Master Jinul (1158-1210). In 1190, Jinul created a “Concentration and Wisdom Community” for practicing Buddhism together. Searching for the ideal location, he carved a crane out of wood, which he then released. The crane flew away and finally landed in the place where Songgwangsa Temple is today. The Master's Portrait Hall was built and the temple came to represent the Sangha, the followers of Buddha.

Jinul's Buddhist philosophy created an ancient Buddhist debate that continues today. He believed that enlightenment could be quite easily reached, but that practice must continue afterwards in order to get rid of the habit energies. This is called the Sudden Awakening and Gradual Cultivation as opposed to Sudden Awakening and Sudden Cultivation, wherein after a struggle to reach the difficult stage of enlightenment, cultivation is no longer necessary.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Nampo-dong and Gwangbok-dong Old downtown hip once again , Busan

Nampo-dong and Gwangbok-dong
Old downtown hip once again

Several historic city core areas that fell out of favor are regaining their luster and popularity

During the 1980s, in-the-know locals headed to Nampo-dong, Gwangbok-dong, Bupyeong-dong and Jagalchi, which were hubs of culture, commerce, politics and nightlife. Artists made a home for themselves in Gwangbok-dong. Nampo-dong was a big hit with the theater crowd and young people, so it’s no surprise that the Pusan International Film Festival has its roots in the area. Jagalchi was a hot spot among all ages, in large part because of its sprawling fish market.

                                      Jagalchi, sprawling fish market

These areas, however, fell out of favor starting in the late-1990s, and a few years later they were in a downright slump as other regions of the city ? most notably Haeundae, Yeonsan-dong and Seomyeon - grew in stature.

Stores in what was once the vibrant downtown core started to shutter their operations, and many mom-and-pop shops went down the tubes. Visitor numbers dried up, and the streets became much less crowded. In fact, Busan residents started calling the region “won dosim,” which means “former downtown.”

                         Nampo-dong, Gwangbok-dong  Old downtown

Today, however, the area is undergoing a type of revival, with some of the popular spots gaining new prominence. Nampo-dong, Gwangbok-dong, Bupyeong-dong and Jagalchi are now packed with people day and night during the week and especially on weekends, when it’s often so crowded that you can’t help but bump into a few people on the streets as you walk by. The retail scene is downright thriving, with stores recording huge sales increases and an uptick in visitor traffic.

The revival of the former downtown core is tied largely to efforts by the city and Jung District to help the region recover its lost fame. A variety of factors weigh into this, including the arrival of the Lotte Department Store’s Gwangbok branch, the start of direct KTX service between Busan and Seoul, and the completion of Geoga Bridge, which connects the city with Geoje.

A lot of intangible factors play into the equation as well. The Busan Jagalchi Festival - the largest fisheries event in Korea ? and the Busan Christmas Tree Festival have helped draw legions of tourists to the city from around the country. The latter event, which wrapped up this year on Jan. 17, attracted more than 5 million people during its 47-day run. Last year, when the festival was first held, about 3.8 million people visited, helping to revitalize the downtown area. The city, officials from Jung District and local businesses are helping to speed up the transformation.

Magical nights under a full moon Night sky the main attraction at scenic area

Magical nights under a full moon
                             Night sky the main attraction at scenic area

when a full moon rises, a white glow lights up the faces of people looking skyward on Haewoljeong Pavilion, Dalmaji Road. This scene plays out countless times each year, as the curvy road that winds along the sea between Haeundae Beach and Songjeong Beach becomes a top destination when the moon shines bright.

The best spot to see the moon in all its glory is from Dalmaji Road where the night sky seems to shine a little brighter. Many people say this is one of the country’s best scenic experiences. It’s a great spot to visit during the day or night anytime of the week. But the best time is when there’s a full moon, when families, couples and friends descend on the area.

The biggest day of the year for this part of the city is Feb. 17, also known as Jeongwol Daeboreum, or “full moon” day of the lunar year.

Many locals see the full moon as a symbol of richness and peace, which is why Feb. 17 is so special to them. On Jeongwol Daeboreum, you can see the largest full moon of the year.

The tradition is to burn daljip made with bamboo and wood from pine trees while women dance and sing songs. This is called ganggang suwollae (or Korean circle dance), and to get a taste of it you should head to Dalmaji Road.

The street and pedestrian walkways here are well organized, and the forest trail ? dubbed Moontan Road ? is nice as well. Dalmaji Road connects to Songjeong starting from Haeundae Mipo and then past Cheongsapo and Gudeokpo.

The beginning of the road is located in an area of Haeundae that is famous for its hot springs, which provide warm water heated naturally. The area is also home to hot spring saunas that are popular with Koreans and Japanese tourists.

You can soak up a bit of history as well: Legend has it that a queen in the Silla Dynasty cured a disease that had plagued her for years by sitting in the hot springs here.

On Feb. 17, there’s even a Dalmaji Hot Springs Festival at Haeundae Beach from noon until nightfall. During the festival, you can also watch the traditions of daljip and ganggang suwollae or play yutnoli, neolttwigi (or Korean jumping game) and other traditional games.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bosu Books Street came into being in the 1960s and 1970s.

Bosu Book Street ( came into being in the 1960s and 1970s. It’s one of the best places in Korea to get books, featuring roughly 70 stores selling new and used titles. During the period, everyone from refugees to poor students and intellectuals sold their precious books and bought new ones at cheap prices here.

Used books are priced differently based on their condition, though most cost between 1,000 won (about $1) and 2,000 won.

You can also get new books at discount of up to 30 percent. This area holds the Bosu Book Street Festival once a year to encourage the exchange of books.

How to get there : Subway line No. 1, Nampo-dong Station, exit No. 1 or Jagalchi Station, exit No. 5 or 7 and walk 15 minutes.

Friday, February 18, 2011

40 Stairs Cultural Tourism Theme Street in Busan city of korea

This street stretches from Kookmin Bank’s Jungang-dong branch to the 40 Stairs Culture Center and continues on to the Palseong Tour site.

                                    Old  picture ( life in Busan in the 1950s and 60s )

This strip features 40 stairs, which embodies the joys and sorrows of refugees and those displaced by the Korean War. The entire area has been recently renovated to reflect life in Korea in the 1950s and 60s. Local officials expect it to become another major tourist spot. The street was built to represent several aspects of Busan, including its status as a gateway into the country via its port.

There are four resting areas along this street: 40 Stairs Square, Railroad Crossing Plaza, Sora Step Square and the Pier Plaza. The railway, crosswalk traffic light, marble street and granite galley were set up so you can feel what it was like to live here six decades ago. There are even some statues and other figures that bring the area to life.

How to get there : Subway line No. 1, Jungang-dong Station, exit 13 or 15. It’s a 3-minute walk from the station.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Villa and Pavilion of the late first president YiSeungman of korea

These buildings comprise the villa and paviion of Yi Seungman (1875-1965 , president 1948-1960), the first president of the republic of Korea. The original owner of the villa is unkown. It was used for the Japanese army during the colonial period(1910-1945) and then taken over by the Korean navy in 1945 to be reconstructed as avilla for the president.

It was repaired in 1979 by the late president Park jeonghi (1917-1979, pres.1963-1979). It was constructed in a " ㄱ"arrangement mixing korean architectural style with western. There are reception and working rooms, a bedroom,a room for bodyguards and a conference room. Below the villa are a fishing site and pier.

On the shore cliff approximately 50 meters west of the villa is a hexagonal pavilion which measures 10 square meters. At this pavilion, president Yi and the president of Rresident of Republic of china,Chiang kai-shek, proposed to Quirino, the president of the Philippines,to hold a preliminary meetimg for organizing the Pacific Union. There buildings are of historical significance in that they played an important role in the political history of the pacific region as well as contemporary history of korea.

Gyeongsangnam-do , jihae -gu, hyeon-dong , Gyeongsangnam-do , Tangible cultural property no 265.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Life's stories craved by a Knife

he is an artist,but he isn't interested in painting stills. He wants to reflect the qualitg and the meaning that an object has, not just by making the picture plane with it's shapes . The lines made by the knives can create an object. Eventurally the object is revealed to our eyes.

                                         < Western painting Artist  IN-JU KANG >

It's not clear at first, with a little focus our eyes can clearly see his art. It reminds the artist ofa story he wants to share with us. The art is not pleasure for the moment, but rather a mature a emotion that we can continue to feel day after day. As artists, there is astring attached to his works.

A fate or inevitabilitg between an artist and his work. Before talking about his works, the artist wants to express his life through the painted lines he makes by scraping the canvas with his knife. His whole life has been painting.

His strenght to continue painting as his only livelihood is expressed in his works walking only one way.

There is a scenery coating the artist's attention around the atelier. Faint and old it couldn't be for gotten forever. At this age in life,an image can overlap with other lives. in that, we feel emotion and empathize the life of the artist. He wants to depict a phase from the storm to put the true nature of the pureness of life as if an artist's mind condition may be spoken. And his work could be born again as a strong masterpiece. His works represents his philosophy that is expressed with friendly aspect for life.

He says what is our life? We can see his attitude about his life, that he can embrace everything warmly in his works. He seems to say what our life is with all of his heart. Life,it must endure with a long life,just like the process of his work.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Introduction of Halla-Mount national park, south korea

Introduction of Halla-Monut national park

Hallasan is one of Korea’s three most sacred mountains, located on the southernmost island of the Korean Peninsula. It rises 1,950m above sea level, making it the tallest mountain in South Korea. Due to its diverse vegetation it has special scientific importance as a treasure house of plants, and was therefore designated as a natural monument (No. 182) on October 12th, 1966, and officially named the Hallasan Natural Conservation Area.

A young volcanic mountain of the fourth Cenozoic era, Hallasan was an active volcano until about 25,000 years ago, resulting in over 360 oreums (parasitic cone volcanoes) which form a spectacular landscape. Nestled in the middle of an island, Hallasan looks both inviting and majestic. The ever-changing colors of the scenery evoke a sense of wonder in all those who seek the beauty of nature, and this is why the area was designated a national park on March 24th 1970, and a UNESCO ‘Biosphere Reserve’ in December 2002.

Jeju-do is considered by Koreans to be a gift from God, and Hallasan holds many ancient wonders to be shared with the world. This unique area was internationally recognized on June 27th, 2007 when ‘Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes’ were designated Korea’s first UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site.

National Geological Sites to be Created This Year

The Korea National Park Service announced on Wednesday that efforts are underway to create a system to better protect national geological sites this year.

While geological sites such as Mount Halla and Seongsan Ilchulbong are protected by the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, there is not a system for managing such assets at the national level.

The park service and the environment ministry plan to submit a proposal to the National Assembly that will outline the establishment of the national program in the first half of this year and begin accepting applications from local governments around October.

Once named a national geological site, the location will be under better protection and promotion, which is expected to attract more tourists.

Heaven on earth for fans of grilled meat (korean food pork galbi)

delicious Busan  Pork Galbi Street

Heaven on earth for fans of grilled meat

Some of the most famous pork galbi restaurants in town

are all on one street

Choryang Pork Galbi Street

One of Busan’s most famous eating destinations is the Choryang Pork Galbi Street.

This popular strip has a history dating back half a century and features everything from samgyeopsal to boiled pork and various kinds of pork galbi, of course.

The most popular dish is the seasoned pork galbi.

In the 1960s, there were just three places serving up pork galbi.

By 1995, there were 35 restaurants featuring this Korean staple.

Since then, the number of restaurants has decreased and now there are about 25 places, but the area still holds its reputation as the place to go in town for pork galbi.

The famous versions offered here include a ton of garlic, a favorite of Koreans, as well as unique seasonings.

If you’ve got a hankering for pork galbi, don’t hesitate to head here.

The price is also reasonable, costing just 6,000 won ($5) per serving.

Location: Choryang-dong, Dong District

How to get there: Subway line No. 1, Choryang Station, exit 7. Walk 500 meters.

Seomyeon Pork Galbi Street

Behind the former Dongbo Book Store in Seomyeon and up near the area littered with tool shops, you can find an array of restaurants known for pork dishes grilled over a charcoal fire.

This part of town is particularly bustling on weekend evenings, when it’s packed with plenty of people both young and old.

The pork back galbi for 6,000 won is a real treat, and the rib meat falls right off the bone, combining spicy, sweet and sour tastes all at once.

It’s a great place to share a couple bottles of soju and dine on succulent samgyeopsal on summer nights, where you can sit at tables outside and enjoy your meal under the stars.

Location: Bujeon 2-dong, Busanjin District

How to get there: Subway line No. 1 to Seomyeon Station, exit 6. Five-minute walk from the station.

Nampo-dong Galbi Street

This strip is a favorite of Japanese tourists, who come to indulge in not only pork galbi but also beef ribs.

The area, located near Gukje Market Meokja Street by PIFF Square, is a famous tourism spot among foreigners and those visiting in large groups.

The sweet sauce slathered on the galbi here is highly addictive, and the meat is always tender and moist.

Servings can be had for 6,000 won or 7,000 won.

Location : Nampo-dong, Jung District

How to get there: Subway line No. 1, Jagalchi Station


When it comes to pork, Busan leads the pack in Korea. The city has developed a rich tradition in preparing savory pork dishes ranging from authentic pork gukbap, pork rib, pork duruchigi, pork gamjatang, steamed pork head meat, pork organs and pork hock (jokbal). And then there’s a wide variety of samgyeopsal, which comes with an array of different seasonings and sauces.

The best places to sample these delights are the various themed streets that are lined with restaurants serving up a particular type of pork dish, such as galbi or ribs.

When you’re in the mood for pork ribs or pork galbi, head on down to the streets that have become famous for these specialties. The photograph shows pork galbi served at Choryang Pork Galbi Street.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Most of the migratory birds observed at the Nakdong River Estuary

Nakdong-gang(river) is the longest river in Korea it begins from Gangwon-do Taebaek and runs down around 525km toward the south, drenching beautiful mountains and fertile field. Nakdong-gang(river) Estuary is the place where the river and the sea join, and wetlands, mud flat and coastal sand dune(sand island) are well developed.

The Nakdong River Estuary

Nakdong River, which starts from Taeback of Gangwon Province, runs down around 525 km towards south, drenches graceful mountains & fertile fields and creates back marshes such as Upo Swamp and Junam Reservoir. Splitting largely into two main streams: West Nakdong River and original main stream at Daedong-Myeon in Kimhae and Hwamyeong-Dong in Busan, Nakdong River forms the vast plain and sand islands at the point of meeting the south sea. The place where Nakdong River meets the sea, that is the Nakdong River Estuary.

The Nakdong River Estuary has well-formed small & large sized deltas such as Eulsukdo, ILwoongdo, Daemideung, Jangjado , Shinjado, Jinwoodo, Baekhapdeung, Doyodeung, etc, and along with these deltas, the tidal flat and the forest of rank reeds around the estuary have been good habitats for migratory birds. The peripheral area of the estuary where the sea water meets the river water and the shallow tidal flat is widely formed, thus lots of planktons, fishes, shellfishes and aquatic insects propagate provides migratory birds with abundant prey.

The Nakdong River Estuary, has been well known from old times as the production place of diverse marine products see weeds, oysters and corbiculas were representative one among the major products . At present, however, the shape and utilization of it is changed and the remains of the past can not be found in the remaining names of those places.

The Nakdong River Estuary is now being used as the habitats for migratory birds designated as the Precious National Treasure No. 179 (designated 1966), the visiting place of migratory birds even though the number of head has been greatly reduced compared with the past, and has been kept under control since it was designated as the Natural Environment Preservation Area in 1988, the Ecological Landscape Preservation Area in 1989, the Marsh Preservation Area in 1999, the Special Management Water Region of Busan Coast in 2000.

Therefore, it is regarded as the very thing only Busan can be proud of to see a great number of migratory birds visiting throughout the whole seasons, and overspreading the estuary with the enormous population.

Most of the migratory birds observed at the Nakdong River Estuary are swimming birds (aquatic birds) that live in the edge of the water . These birds move to the period of breeding and the wintering timing, and the Nakdong River Estuary is being used as the place of breeding, wintering, and midway stopover for the birds.

The winter visitors which can be observed largely around from the end of October to the beginning of March, move down toward the south to avoid the harsh cold in the winter of the polar regions and spend the winter. When the spring starts, these birds return to the breeding place. The major breeding places are Siberia, Mongo, China, Manchuria, the northern part of Europe and North America. The winter visitors found in the Nakdong River Estuary are ducks, sea gulls, swans, whoopers swans, white-fronted geese, bean geese, imperial eagle Aythya fuligula, mallards, etc.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Captain Broughton's Journal in the British Royal Navey

This trail goes from Gwangalli Beach via Ligidae Headland , Sinseondae Cliff and the UN Memorial Cemetery to Jaseongdae. Form Gwangalli Beach , follow the coast past two apartment complexes and pick up the coastal trail in Yongho-dong. The coastal path at Ligidae dffers hikers fine views of Gwangan Bridge, Dongbaekseom, and haeundae. You will have a good view of the Oryudo islets, the North port, and jodo and yeomgdo islands from the top of Sinseondae Cliff.

The route leading to Jaseongdae goes via the UN Memorial Cemetery of korea (UNMCK), Pusan university of foreign studies, Seong-ji high school, Jang pass and Munhyeon intersection. ( 23.2 km / 8hours)

Sinseondae , meaning " playground of immortal)sinseon)," is told to have been so named, because of the legend that Choe Chi-won (857- ?), a renowned scholar of the late Silla period , was transformed into an immortal and enjoyed himself in this place. It is further said that fooprints of the immortal and thier white horses can be seen on a great rock called Mujedeung on the top of the mountain mortal playing each other.

Spectacular scenic views can be seen from this place, and on a clear day Tsushima islands of Japan are visible to the naked eyes. Just below of the area lie Oryukdo Islets and Jodo Isle.

Captain Broughton's Journal
Early in the morning we were surrounded by boats full of men, women, and children, whose curiosity had brought them off to see the strange vessel. They were universally clothed in linen garments made loose jackets and trowsers, quilted or doubled and some of them wore large loose gowns, The women had a short petticont over their trowsers and both sexes,linen boots, with sandals made of rice straw.

The men wore their hair in a knot tied up to the crown, and the women had thiers twisted and plaited round thier heads.

We went on shore to ascend the high land near us to the south,and from thence to take some bearing . Our view from the top was very extensive :and we saw distinctly over every part of the harbour.

Our angles were however useless, the needle being so strongly affected as to point east instead of North, owing to some magnetic power in the mountain, which would not admit the needle pointing true in any situation, I named this abrupt high head-land Magnetic Head from its affecting our compass needles.

The Royal Chronicle of Chosun Dynasty
20th year of King Jungjo on 6 september 1797 ( Lunar calendar)

On the day of Imshin, the Governor of Kyongsang province, Lee hyong-won , came running and reported the followinf in writing, A ship from an unknown country arrived off the yong-Dang-Po bay , Dongnae county, after having drifted at sea.

They were all high nosed and blue eyed, When they were asked to answer the name of thier country and how they managed to arrive at a korean shore after having drifted, they neither knew nor understood any Korean, Chines, Japanese or Mongolian. We provided them with a brush to write and thier writing resembled mountains covered with cloud.
Though pictures were drawn, we still could not understand each other.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Introduction of Taekwondo

Taekwondo is a martial art form and sport that that uses the hands and feet
for attack and defense. The focus of Taekwondo is on training and disciplining the mind along with the body. For those learning the martial art it plays four different roles.

First, Taekwondo as an Exercise
Taekwondo is a good exercise for children who are still growing as well as a good way for grown-ups to increase their physical endurance. Taekwondo's movements require extensive use of the joints, which increases the limberness of one's body. Since there is kicking, jabbing and shouting involved, it's also a great way to relieve stress and get a good workout.

Second, Taekwondo as a Bare Handed Martial Arts Form

Taekwondo learners attack the opponent with their bare hands and feet. What sets this apart from other martial arts forms are the powerful and various leg movements involved, and which have enabled it to become a worldwide martial art. Taekwondo's attack is aggressive, but at the same time the focus is more on the defense aspect. This can act positively for those wanting to learn Taekwondo as a way of self defense for practical purposes, even in modern times.

Third, Taekwondo as a Sport

Taekwondo is an official competitive category in major world sporting events such as the Olympics, Panam Games, Asian Games, All American Games, and South American Games. Competitive Taekwondo involves safety gear and set attacks and defenses as to limit the amount of damage possible. This way, competitive martial artists can enjoy the thrill of competing with less risk.

Fourth, Taekwondo as an Educational Method

Taekwondo trains the body, but does as much to develop the mind as well. The objective of learning Taekwondo is to foster growth in both areas in order to become a more mature human being. Taekwondo learners receive repeated etiquette lessons along with the attack and defense skills to build and strengthen their character.

Taekkyeon (The art of kicking and tripping) Together with Taekwondo, Taekkyeon is a well-known traditional martial art in Korea. This method of self-defense includes numerous foot motions and fluid arm movements with the hands unclenched. Unlike other martial arts forms, there is no abrupt kicking or punching. There is more emphasis on low kicks and leg sweeps to make the opponent lose balance and knock him/her to the ground.
While some people see certain similarities between Taekkyeon and the motions of Taekwondo and Chinese Kung Fu, the techniques and principles clearly differ. While Taekwondo movements are rather rigid, straight, and restrained, those of Taekkyeon are curved; and while Kung Fu movements are long and stretched, those of Taekkyeon are short and springy. Also, Taekkyeon relies on the pushing strength in the palm of the hand as compared to the use of the fist in Kung Fu. Beneath light and gentle movements reminiscent of a masked dance, lies tremendous strength which can deliver a debilitating blow or even death to an opponent.

Nowadays, Taekkyeon is widely used in gymnastics and fitness sports, especially because of the flexibility and spontaneity of the movements. Recently, it has become popular with women because it is less intense than other martial arts.

History of Taekkyeon

The history of Taekkyeon can be traced back to the ancient tombs of Muyongchong and Samsilchong of the Goguryeo Dynasty. Tomb wall paintings believed to portray Taekkyeon, show figures paired in a combative stance with hands reaching forward. Evidence has been found dating back to the Goguryeo era, when martial art techniques were highly advanced. At that time, a large number of military men practiced Taekkyeon. During the Joseon era, Taekkyeon matches were quite popular, even among the common people. Recently, however, most Taekkyeon masters have died or retired, and there are few left to carry on the tradition. Thus, in 1983, the government designated the martial art as an Important Intangible Cultural Property for its preservation and popularization.

Techniques and Principles of Taekkyeon

Taekkyeon relies more on defense than on offense. Fluid, spontaneous movements of the hands, feet, and body move consistently with the muscles. Another notable characteristic is its lyrical, dance-like rhythm, which characterizes it as a highly artistic martial art.
A few of the major Taekkyeon techniques include the basic pose wonpum (standing with feet at shoulder width) and its variation pumbalgi, which is a stepping sequence in a triangular motion. The movement involves taking a step and shifting the weight to that step, and then to the previous step; this is done back and forth, side to side. Foot techniques include the following: front kicks with the top of the foot; spinning the body and kicking with the arch of the foot; kicking outside in; jumping and kicking; spinning the body and kicking with both hands on the floor; and slapping the opponent’s face with the sole of the foot. Some hand techniques are: pushing the opponent by the neck; jabbing the opponent with the wrist on his/her chest or neck; pulling the opponent by the leg after getting him/her down on the floor by a kick; striking the opponent's neck using the heel of the hand; and thrusting one’s fingers into the opponent’s eyes. The hwalgaejeotgi technique, which consists of waving both arms to confuse the opponent's vision or pre-empt an attack, and the yelling of ikkeu, eikkeu are also Taekkyeon techniques.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Korean Lunar New Year This Day

Lunar New Year, or Seollal is just about returning to your hometown with your family and paying respects to your ancestors.

These days in Korea, people, busy with work and school, are more often found to be using the holidays to take a trip overseas, usually with friends.

And with Lunar New Year's Day falling on Thursday, February 3rd this year, it's a five-day break including the weekend.
Korean Wives Pick their Husband as Least Favorite Person During Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year holiday is the biggest national holiday in Korea, a time when extended families get together and share New Year's wishes as well as pay respects to their ancestors.

But at the same time, it's also one of the most exhausting times for women, mostly married women, who have to prepare special Lunar New Year meals that take a lot of time and effort.

The heavy stress for women during the major holidays is not news to Koreans, but an interesting survey conducted by a prominent food company recently revealed that the least liked person during all the holiday commotion is the husband.

but the Lunar New Year is one of the few times of the year most Koreans have a good
                                                          Lunar happy new year  !

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Park Kolleen & Lim Jeong-hee (Beautiful You)

Park Kolleen & Lim Jeong-hee (Beautiful You)

This is the title track of Park Kolleen & Lim Jeong-hee's single album with the same name, 'Beautiful You.'

Park Kolleen, who is receiving much love after appearing on 'Qualifications of a Man,' and the top K-pop diva, Lim Jeong-hee, partnered up together for this song. It's a love song that contains a message for the listeners to not be afraid of confessing their feelings to the person they love. Their fantastic harmony is bound to captivate your ears!


The Polar Bear Swimming Competition at Haeundae Beach

The Polar Bear Swimming Competition
Sure, the temperature outside is bone-chilling. But the action in the water is about to heat up.
The Polar Bear Swimming Competition , which confronts the freezing chill of winter head on, would be held at Haeundae Beach on Jan. 23.

This year’s event, now in its 24th year, would be hosted by the Busan Ilbo and the Haeundae Culture Tourism Organization.

The contest is one of Busan’s main winter sporting events, allowing participants to show off their machismo and mental toughness by jumping into an icy cold winter sea wearing nothing but swimming suits.

The first Polar Bear Swimming Competition was held way back in 1988 and has been held in Busan every year since then. The number of foreign participants has grown steadily as well, with more than 1,000 expected to attend the event next month. Everyone can participate, including local citizens, foreigners and tourists.

This year’s contest would feature a handful of side events, including a sand festival, costume play, quiz, face-painting booths and other activities.

Participants start the day at 9 and would be received a free souvenir, followed by aerobics to warm up their bodies. The contest starts at 11:41 a.m., when it’s time to jump into the freezing water. There would also be a fin swimming contest at noon. After swimming you could use the hot spring water and receive hot food and drinks to warm up.