The Taekwon-Do group of the Pyongyang Children’s Palace, a base for schoolchildren’s extracurricular activities, has won a good reputation throughout the country.
In the afternoon the hall for Taekwon-Do group, located in the first floor of the palace, is always crowded with the group members who are eager to learn Taekwon-Do, the orthodox martial art of the Korean nation.
The group selects new members every year among fourth graders of primary schools.
The new trainees learn elementary movements of hands and feet, basic movements, 24 patterns, and techniques and skills for sparring, self-defence and power.
As the saying goes, Easier said than done, they find it difficult to acquire correct movements of Taekwon-Do comprised of over 3 200 basic movements.
At first they lack force, balance, breath control, speed and rhythms in executing movements. But through constant repetition and practice of movements under the guidance of instructors and with the help of seniors, they comprehend scientific principles of each movement and improve their skills.
When they are versed in the fundamentals, they go on to practise advanced movements for patterns, sparring and self-defence.
In technical terms, Taekwon-Do has ten kups for trainees and nine tans for experts. Most of the members obtain the first tan when they leave the group.
While practising Taekwon-Do, they also understand the excellence of the Korean orthodox martial art and cultivate the mind of adding lustre to it.
The little Taekwon-Doists of the palace won many medals in the national tournaments, including the Sobaeksu Prize national juvenile Taekwon-Do championships, and also the Taekwon-Do world championships and other international games.
Ex-members of the palace’s Taekwon-Do group are now playing for professional teams and hoisting the national flag of the DPRK in international tournaments.