Hasin Primary School in Sosong District, Pyongyang, is well known to the country for having many Taekwon-Do grade holders.
The Korean martial art of Taekwon-Do has 24 patterns and its practitioners obtain levels and dan, or grades that are higher than the levels in order, according to their degrees of advanced proficiency in them.
According to Ri Chol Jin, staffer of the education department of the Sosong District People’s Committee, all the students of graduating class of this school have fifth or sixth level, teachers seventh or eighth, and headmistress Ri Kyong Suk first dan.
He said such school is rare to be found.
As to the secret of the success, the headmistress said: “The most difficult problem was the question of instructor who would teach us Taekwon-Do. Fortunately, I happened to hear about Kim Sun Hui who after marriage retired from the Taekwon-Do club of the Korean Taekwon-Do Committee. So I asked her to be our Taekwon-Do teacher.”
As a result, the former international instructor who toured the world leading the Taekwon-Do exhibition group came to the school and its Taekwon-Do group was set up.
“When my boy began learning Taekwon-Do, I disagreed with that because I feared naughty children would abuse the martial art in their punch-ups,” recalled Ri Un Mi, mother of second-year pupil Om Wi Gang who is especially enthusiastic about Taekwon-Do.
Despite her objection, Om kept going to the group, cultivated manners and became more polite and helpful to others.
“Taekwon-Do is not for injuring others but for self-defence. Its primary spiritual basis is courtesy. As they practice the national martial art, pupils train their bodies and minds and build up physical strength to fight against injustice,” said Kim Sun Hui.
Ri Kyong Suk is said to have kindled the zeal for Taekwon-Do at the school.
Though she was over 60, she practiced the sport together with pupils every day, touching the heart of both teachers and pupils.
She often says that teachers are members of the nation before being educators, adding that is why they are obliged to not only impart knowledge to younger generations but also instill the spirit and fine traditions of the nation.