For Taekwondo practitioners all over the world, Taekwondowon is the place they’ve always dreamed of. Located in the historic city of Muju in the heart of South Korea, it is, without a doubt, the mecca of the time-honored martial art.
TaeKwonDoWon: What is it and where is it? Taekwondwon is a place where people can learn and experience about the national sport of Korea. This Martial Art complex was built solely for the study of Taekwondo and concentrates on matters relating to this art form such as competitions, training, education and research.
This is one of the world’s few places where you’ll experience Korea’s national sport of Taekwondo in a traditional setting. Lets learn what its all about!
What does Taekwondowon Represent?
Boasting a rich South Korean heritage, enchanting cultural diversity, and breathtaking scenery, Taekwondowon not only represents Taekwondo in its past and present forms but will also be a bridge to the martial arts’ future. Opened in 2014 after 7 years of construction, the $228 million complex measures nearly 3,300 square kilometers and spans over nine valleys!
To put this into perspective, it’s almost the size of New York’s Central Park and almost ten times bigger than South Korea’s national stadium. In fact, it has the feeling of an Olympic village but only with a single sport: Taekwondo.
A Global Landmark for TaeKwonDo
A sort of Taekwondo headquarters, Taekwondowon has become both a local and international home for the practices and principles of Taekwondo. It may be located three hours from Seoul by bus, but this place has everything that any Taekwondo practitioner would want.
From the restaurants, hotels, museums, auditorium to shops, parking, and gym, Taekwondowon is unquestionably the global landmark for Taekwondo; a sort of place where all Taekwondo practitioners want to pilgrimage.
Taekwondowon has put the once sleepy town of Muju firmly on the world’s tourist map. Before Taekwondowon, Muju was known for its annual firefly festival and breathtaking waterfalls.
However, this has now changed. In addition to hundreds of local tourists, more than 20,000 foreign tourists visit Taekwondowon yearly. As the global epicenter of the world’s Taekwondo community, Taekwondowon provides learning opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds.
Taekwondowon is also built per the dogmatic spirit of Taekwondo. It’s fully dedicated to celebrating and upholding the Poomsae (a distinct form of defense and attack motions) of Taekwondo.
As noted earlier, Taekwondowon is built over nine valleys and designed as an ascending landscape. The complex has six bridges that not only connect the entire complex but also exemplifies each level of Taekwondo advancement.
The levels are uniquely divided into the symbolic colors of Taekwondo belts. The creative energy of the complex is on display by the geometric positioning of the six bridges, as well as in harmony with the natural terrain.
This is a nature-friendly designed complex that offers Taekwondo fans the panoramic view of the surrounding scenery. It is designed to reflect three important aspects of Taekwondo:
The Body Zone
This entails the synchronization of nature and human beings. It features the modern state-of-the-art Taekwondo stadium, a sculpture garden, a Roman Amphitheatre-style outdoor performance space, restaurants, accommodations, experience plaza, exhibition hall, and Poomsae Architecture Park.
The body zone has a flowing stream that signifies the importance of maintaining peace and harmony between human beings and the natural surroundings.
The Mind Zone
It is home to the World Taekwondo Academy (WTA), as well as other training facilities such as the practice room, teachers’ rooms, Hansu court, and Taekwondo laboratory. This is a place where discipline, training, and practice are given utmost priority. This is where all the Taekwondo’s rigorous physical programs are conducted.
The Spirit Zone
This is the place where both visitors and trainees can practice the intricate philosophy of Taekwondo. It’s a sacred place where people can synchronize their minds with nature.
It has numerous water terraces, a meditation area in front of a natural waterfall, an honorary park, and an observatory. Through the observatory, visitors can have a spectacular aerial view of the entire park and its surrounding areas.
The Role of Taekwondowon
Built as a sanctuary to a national sport that is right in the heart of South Korea’s national pride, Taekwondowon meets the high level of expectations of every visitor. It also functions as a sacred gateway to popularizing Taekwondo: South Korean tourism and cultural heritage.
Having hosted the 2017 World Taekwondo Championship, Taekwondowon heightens Taekwondo’s standing as one of the most popular sports in the world.
Through its museum, Taekwondowon preserves the time and monumental spirit of Taekwondo, as well as the prosperous future of a type of martial art that has become a contemporary sport. That’s not all; it exhibits South Korea’s unique culture and rich tradition.
Learning at Taekwondowon
With the world’s largest Taekwondo training space, Taekwondowon offers a perfect environment for anyone looking to learn Taekwondo. Whether it’s by watching Taekwondo practitioners training and learning the art or by being actively involved, Taekwondowon offers visitors the opportunity to learn at the World Taekwondo Academy.
There are daily programs that enable participants to learn a wide range of Taekwondo techniques, self-defense skills, and gymnastics. For example, you can take the famous Taekwondo gymnastics program, which is essentially a fitness training program that allows you to perfectly combine the hand and kick strikes of Taekwondo.
You can also learn a self-defense martial art program, which allows you to acquire skills that can help you in unsafe situations. This is particularly important for women.
You can also take the Taekwon Healing Therapy program, which is vital in bringing peace to the mind and body. This program revolves around the Taekwondo skills of breathing and meditating. You can as well take the Physical Activity Promotion System (PAPS) program.
This is of great importance in systematically managing your physical strength, as well as the mind and spirit that are required to practice and enhance your Taekwondo skills.
While there are entrance fees as well as fee guides at the facility, you can choose between a watch experience program and an actual training program.
The fees vary from program to program and it’s essential to confirm the fees for any program that you’re willing to partake. For instance, a single-day package program will cost:
Children: Individuals $2.60 (3,000 won)/A group of 20 or more $1.75 (2,000 won)
Teenagers: Individuals $3 (3,500 won)/ A group of 20 or more $2.20 (2,500 won)
Adults: Individuals $ 3.50 (4,000 won)/ A group of 20 or more $ 2.60 (3,000 won)
Other Travel Essentials
Getting there – No matter where you’re coming from, Seoul Incheon International Airport is the closest airport to Muju. It is a three-hour drive from Seoul to Muju by bus.
Entry Fees – Entering Taekwondowon will cost you around $3.50 (4,000 won). Tickets to the Experience Center cost from $5.20 (6,000 won). There are free Taekwondo demonstration lessons, taking place twice a day; at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., local time.
Accommodation – Taekwondowon provides double occupancy accommodation at the complex. It will cost you around $90 (104,500 won) without breakfast.