• YONGSAN, South Korea -- Soldiers listen to a lecture about the history and basic concepts of Taekwondo during a Taekwondo camp held by the Ministry of National Defense June 10, in Yongsan, South Korea.. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Song Gun-woo, 210 FA BDE PAO)

    140610-A-IV618-146

    YONGSAN, South Korea -- Soldiers listen to a lecture about the history and basic concepts of Taekwondo during a Taekwondo camp held by the Ministry of National Defense June 10, in Yongsan, South Korea.. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Song Gun-woo, 210 FA BDE...

  • YONGSAN, South Korea -- Soldiers stretch before practice, during a Taekwondo camp held by the Ministry of National Defense June 10, in Yongsan, South Korea. The camp is a two day event that aims to welcome new Soldiers to Korea and help them learn and understand the culture of Korea. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Song Gun-woo, 210 FA BDE PAO)

    140610-A-IV618-658

    YONGSAN, South Korea -- Soldiers stretch before practice, during a Taekwondo camp held by the Ministry of National Defense June 10, in Yongsan, South Korea. The camp is a two day event that aims to welcome new Soldiers to Korea and help them learn and...

  • YONGSAN, South Korea - Staff Sgt. Dustin Millett, from The Dalles, Ore., a fire support noncommissioned officer assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 210th Field Artillery Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, practices his Taekwondo skills during a Taekwondo camp held by the Ministry of National Defense June 10 in Yongsan, South Korea. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Song Gun-woo, 210 FA BDE PAO)

    140610-A-IV618-209

    YONGSAN, South Korea - Staff Sgt. Dustin Millett, from The Dalles, Ore., a fire support noncommissioned officer assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 210th Field Artillery Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, practices his Taekwondo skills...

  • YONGSAN, South Korea -- Soldiers from the Third Republic of Korea Army Command Taekwondo Team demonstrates their skills during a Taekwondo camp held by the Ministry of National Defense June 10 in Yongsan, South Korea. The camp is a two day event that aims to welcome U.S. Soldiers new to Korea and help them learn and understand the culture of Korea. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Song Gun-woo, 210 FA BDE PAO)

    140610-A-IV618-324

    YONGSAN, South Korea -- Soldiers from the Third Republic of Korea Army Command Taekwondo Team demonstrates their skills during a Taekwondo camp held by the Ministry of National Defense June 10 in Yongsan, South Korea. The camp is a two day event that...

YONGSAN, South Korea -- Taewondo is a much beloved form of traditional martial arts that combines various acts of agility with incredible speed and powerful kicks. Since the year 2000, Taekwondo has become one of the official games in the Olympics.
In today's culture though, it has come to be more than just a sport, or a hallmark of Jean-Claude Van Damme. Instead, taekwondo is Although some consider Taekwondo just a sport, it is actually an art form that represents the spirit and culture of South Korea.
On June 10, more than 50 eager Soldiers from the United States Forces Korea participated in a Ttaekwondo camp, hosted by the Ministry of National Defense, to see if they could keep up with their instructors, in Yongsan, South Korea.
While participating in the camp, Staff Sgt. Dustin Millett, a fire support noncommissioned officer assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 210th Field Artillery Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, showed his passion for Taekwondo.
"I thought it would be a great way to learn more about Taekwondo and Korea," said the native of The Dalles, Ore.
He has been taking Taekwondo classes at Carey Gym on Camp Casey, South Korea, for over a month.
"I think it's a great work out," said Millett. "For my age, being in my late 30s, getting back the flexibility and getting back in shape is great."

According to Ms. Song, Min-kyong from the USFK Public Affairs Office Community Relations Ddivision, which supports the ministry with the camp, this program place has existed for 38 years.
"Starting in 1975, there are five tours that invite about 230 Soldiers a year," said Song. "They are held to show thanks and appreciation to those Soldiers coming to serve in Korea."
Song also talked about how the camp is designed to help new Soldiers familiarize themselves with the local culture.
"Taekwondo has many cultural factors embedded in it, so it's a good start to learning the culture.," said Song.
As early as the first century, Ttaekwondo had been developed in Korea as a combat and survival skill. However, the sport fell to the wayside when the country focused more on intellectual and academic developments.
After the Japanese occupation and during the Korean War, it reemerged through the opening of kwans, or martial arts schools, and exhibitions much like the one provided for USFK Soldiers by the Third Republic of Korea army cCommand tTtaekwondo team.
While participating in the camp, Staff Sgt. Dustin Millett, a fire support noncommissioned officer assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 210th Field Artillery Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, showed his passion for Ttaekwondo.
"I thought it would be a great way to learn more about Ttaekwondo and Korea," said the Millett, a native of The Dalles, Ore.
He has been taking Ttaekwondo classes at Carey Gym on Camp Casey, South Korea, for over a month., making extra efforts to learn the sport.
"I think it's a great work out," said Millett. "For my age, being in my late 30s, getting back the flexibility and getting back in shape is great."
Grand Master John Hur, the Ttaekwondo instructor at Yongsan Garrison, said that learning Ttaekwondo is more than just picking up a new martial arts skill.
"The programs that the Soldiers are participating in can help them share an insight into the Korean philosophy," said Hur. "It also helps them have fun and increase morale, not to mention how much it helps them develop self defense skills as well."
Millett also focused on the purpose of the Ttaekwondo camp, and similar tours like the Demilitarized Zone Bbike Ttour and Gyeonggi Security Exhibition, that can help U.S. Soldiers learn more about the local culture.
"It gives Soldiers a broader outlook of everything," said Millett. "With this and other tours, they open up our minds to see why we are here and why this is an important part of their culture."

Page last updated Tue July 15th, 2014 at 01:53