Tul Tour Taekwon-Do Training and Cultural Programs offered by ITF Headquarters Korea consist of various activities that aim to improve knowledge about Taekwon-Do and Korean culture. Whenever the program time permits and overlap with important events in Korea the organizers try to include the special events in order to give the participants the best grasp of Korean values and provide fun.
In July this year a program prepared for our guests from Switzerland and Germany under the leadership of Mr Pascal Polatti coincided with the International Boryeong Mud Festival. The Boryeong Mud Festival is an annual festival which takes place during the summer in the little beach town Boryeong located around 200 km south of Seoul and attracts millions of people to its shore every year. The popularity of this festival is based on the mud that is considered rich in minerals such as bentonites and germanium and is used to manufacture cosmetics. Therefore, many attractions such as playing in a mud pool, mud slides, mud skiing or colored mud body painting are consider as healthy and fun.
Our Tul Tour team left from Yuseong hotel in Daejeon at 9am and traveled directly to Boryeong located approximately 69km from Daejeon. The road to Boryeong from Daejeon is somewhat windy but the scenery is spectacular. All tul tourers on the bus were equipped with water and necessary accessories awaiting a new experience in the last day of their program and what a day it turned out to be. On arrival at the destination the sun was shining, the beach was sparkling and the mud was dirty.
The tourers, upon arrival decided to find out what the beach was like, and it turned out to be spectacular. The sand is a beautiful yellow and although slightly coarse is soft underfoot and squeezes gently between your toes. The water is a crystal blue and refreshingly cool once you make that initial brave plunge that stimulates your body.
The tourers were invited by the Festival organizer as a part of collaboration between the Tul Tour Program Organizers were given T shirts that were a bright orange making it easy to locate the team at any time on the beach. Once on the beach the tourers were guided by their leaders Pascal Polatti, Rudolf Winterstein and Benjamin Blersch through an intensive training session but for some reason the participants just seemed to enjoy it. There were patterns practiced in and out of the water, push-ups performed as waves lapped over their bodies and self-defense throws were commonplace into the water as the waves gently met the beach. The final act of the hour long training session was a Mexican wave in the sea using a front snap kick and it was performed with the most enthusiasm of the entire day.
Once free from the clutches of their trainers the tourers made their way to the activities of the Mud festival with the most popular being painting their bodies with the coloured mud in a variety of designs. This included the use landscapes across multiple bodies and the highlighting of well-honed physiques. Some of them even got temporary tattoos on cheeks as mementos of the event along with a slight sunburn on faces and arms.
Lunch was provided by a spicy chicken restaurant and the vegetarians were supplied with Korean sushi. From the restaurant there was a perfect view of the ongoing processes of the mud festival with people covered in mud in bouncing castles and wrestling rings providing ongoing entertainment. It was clear everyone had a great time and to finish off the day as we walked out of the restaurant the Korean Black Eagles Air force squad put on a display that made the day even more exciting. Close contact flying and afterburner smoke figures in the air made the display not only dramatic but truly inspiring. We saw hearts with arrows through them and the Yin Yang South Korean symbol produced in the air by these aerobatic top guns as well as 400 kph low level head on passes over the beach making everyone duck.
The group left Buryeong at about 3.30pm and headed for Seoul which was supposed to be a two hour drive that turned into a 4 hour one. The problem with Korea on a Friday night is that everyone wants to move somewhere and it seemed that they were all in front of the tour bus. However, the extended time on the bus was compensated by the screening a Korean classic movie “Spring, summer, fall, winter and spring” directed by Kim Ki-Duk and pictured the story about the life of a Buddhist monk as he passes through the seasons of his life, from childhood to old age. It was another aspect of the Tul Tour Taekwon-Do & Cultural Training Program that aimed to give the participants a grasp of Korean cultural heritage and to better understand Korean style. The participants arrived at the Baiton slightly weary but exhilarated by the day and the entire tour. It was here that many of the tourers left the group for their ongoing plans to either head home or extend their visit in and around Seoul. The photos of the tour speak more loudly than this article but the kimchi smile really says it all.
The Tul Tour Taekwon-Do and Cultural Program Organizers would like to thank the Mud Festival Organizers for providing free tickets and the colorful T-shirts for our guests.
For more information about the Tul Tour, Taekwon-Do training program in the homeland of Taekwon-Do, please click here.