By Pvt. Hong Dong-kyun, Eighth Army Public AffairsNovember 1, 2012
SEOUL - Thirty-six U.S. Soldiers attended Tae Kwon Do Camp at the Kukkiwon, the World Tae Kwon Do Headquarters here in Seoul from Oct. 23 - 24.
The Republic of Korea Ministry of Defense planned the Tae Kwon Do Camp as part of the "Friends Forever" event.
"Friends Forever," founded in 1972, has introduced approximately 150,000 U.S. Forces Korea Soldiers to the Korean culture.
The purpose of the Tae Kwon Do camp was to provide U.S. Soldiers an opportunity to learn about the 5,000-year-old Korean culture through direct and actual experience.
During this year's Tae Kwon Do Camp, 20 Korean soldiers participated alongside the USFK Soldiers.
In the morning, there was a Korean Culture Orientation presentation by Korean Spirit and Culture Promotion Project. The orientation consisted of videos about Tripitaka Koreana, hangul and hallyu.
After lunch, the U.S. Soldiers visited Kukkiwon Museum in order to learn about the history of Tae Kwon Do, and they listened to a Tae Kwon Do theory lecture at Kukkiwon.
The lecture, which was given by Professor Kim Yeong-seon from Yonsei University, consisted of concept, basic techniques and the history of Tae Kwon Do. Following the lecture, the Soldiers changed their clothes to the Tae Kwon Do uniform, called Dobok.
U.S. Soldiers learned basic Tae Kwon Do techniques, such as kicking and punching, from soldiers of the ROK Special Forces.
ROK soldiers taught the U.S. Soldiers and their forms one-on-one. The U.S. Soldiers, who had experience or held black belts in Tae Kwon Do, were separated to another group to learn Koryo Poomsae, the synthesization of Tae Kwon Do techniques.
The Tae Kwon Do Camp was pretty challenging, said Pfc. Craig Meyers from Headquarters Support Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, Eighth Army.
"Experiencing hands-on basic techniques and movements and learning basic posture was the most interesting part of this program," said Meyers. "I recommend this program for those who are looking for 'something different' in Korea than just going on the main tours."