When WWII ended in 1945 the world was a dramatically different place than it is today. Boarders were being drawn, cities were recovering and rebuilding from the devastation and new countries and powers were beginning to emerge. Korea, was relatively uninvolved in the bloody conflict that destroyed much of the world but after this conflict the Korean government saw a need to make a stronger unity among the Korean population. One of the many ways was to unify the various martial art styles in Seoul into one national style. This style took on a name in the beginning of ‘Tae Too Do’ in 1955 when the various gyms and styles came together. Later in 1959, the name was changed to Taekwando as it is known today.
The fighting style of Taekwando is not an internationally recognized martial art and can be found all over the world. In 2000, Taewkwando was adopted as an official sport in the olympics and continues to this day.
Now that we’re got the background all established on Taekwando, lets talk for minute about what it means in Krabi.
Krabi has attracted faces from all over the globe to pull up their roots and move to this tropical paradise, plant themselves here and begin anew. Sometime 10 years ago a young Taekwondo fighter from Korea decided to do the same.
Pyoung Kyu Kong is now a 5th degree black belt and teaches Taekwando to a range of children in Krabi. Some come to train just to stay in shape and to keep busy, while others come to train more seriously and compete all across the country.
Pyoung Kyu Kong was once a young inspiring fighter as all of his students are now. He began to train when he was a young 6 years old when he lived in a small town some 2 hours from the capital city of Korea, Seoul. In that time in Korea it was common place for nearly all of the eligible students to study and learn the art of Taekwando. By the time Pyoung Kyu Kong reached the age of 12 he began to realize that the limits of his gym and city. Understanding that this place would not allow him to progress further in his training and improvement of the martial art, he decided to move.
After teaching younger students the art of Taekwando in Korea, he decided to bring his national tradition abroad. His choice and place to start his next Taekwando classes was Australia. While there he met his a wonderful woman from Krabi and fell in love. Soon after meeting her and starting to date they decided to move to Krabi together and open a Taekwondo gym in rural, quiet Krabi. Soon after making the decision they were on a plane and off to a new start.
Opened his gym some 10 years ago Pyong Kyu Kong began accepting children and adults into his classes, offering daily training for all that would partake. After a number of years and finding that the older generation had a lesser affinity for the sport, he decided to stop offering adult classes and opened additional class times for children. Throughout word of mouth and a growing interest across Thailand for the sport Pyong Kyu Kong’s gym grew in popularity.
The growth of the gym has led Pyong Kyu Kong to open up in their newest facility on Krabi road in Krabi town, a brand new facility well suited to accept large groups of up to 50 students at a time. The classes still range in level form beginners up to advanced levels of Taekwando and students training to compete nationally.
Throughout Asia (and the world) Taekwando has steadily been growing in popularity and Thailand is no exception. Actually to date Thailand is one of the top countries competing in the sport regionally and globally. There is a lot of pressure on students in this current day and age and Taekwando offers students an outlet to explore, learn and grow in a productive and structured and healthy way.
It is my hope that one of my students will be able to compete in the olympics someday.
Classes run daily Tuesday – Sunday (Monday is the day off) from 17:00-19:00 and 18:00 – 20:00.
Phone: 089-516 1117
Pyong Kyu Kong’s dream is that his on will carry on his legacy of Taekwando and become a national champion of either Korea or Thailand.