If you haven’t already, first read my post on “What is a Hagwon and What you can expect as a Foreigner!”
If you are interested in TaeKwonDo then you’ve come to the right country! The homeland of TaeKwonDo should be the best place to learn this Korean martial arts but you’ll be surprised how hard it is to find serious Dojangs for adults and black belts here in the Humphreys’ area. Since there is no demand for sparring or competitive TaeKwonDo in Paengseong, most Dojangs create a course that focuses on elementary school children. When talking to the local TaeKwonDos, many of the masters were receptive to the idea of creating new classes if there is demand. Some of them were even interested in creating early morning homeschool classes. The hardest part of making change is getting enough people to commit to it. If you are interested in creating an adult or homeschool class, get a group together first then start shopping around to try and find the best fit.
As for the language barrier, TaeKwonDo masters back in the states speak mostly in Korean when teaching but use basic English commands to assist new students. The hardest part for non-korean speakers will be the additional Korean words of left, right, front, back, run in place, do pushups etc. When finding a Dojang, consider learning basic Korean phrases and making a list. Then share your list with me because I would love to see it!
For now, this list is TaeKwonDo Hagwons in the Paengseong area. I hope to add more variety when I visit the AK Plaza area in downtown Pyeongtaek this month.
The easiest way to find these locations is to download the NaverMaps app then copy and paste the Hangul address into it. It will take some guess work since everything is in hangul but Naver Maps is similar to other GPS navigation so you can figure out the menus without being able to read it.
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Blue Martial Arts World
Gumdo – Korean Swordsmanship
Master Jaen-hoon Ahn
평택시 팽성읍 객사리 160-5
160-5 Gaeksari Paengseong – Second Floor
As you face Buyong elementary school, it is on the left, down the side road that has the With Me convenience store on the corner.
Hagwon Bus: No
Five days a week – 45 minute sessions COST
1:15, 2:15, 3:15, 5:15, 6:30
Master Ahn has the Humphreys community at heart. In addition to running his Dojang, he has been teaching Gumdo at Humphreys running on 6 years now. He gives demonstrations during Spring fest and does other demonstrations for the Humphreys community. His enthusiasm is catching but he wishes more Humphreys residents and foreigners were interested in trying Gumdo. He was very excited at the idea of opening earlier in the day for a Homeschool class and for a long time he has wanted to have an adult only class. His curriculum consists of courtesy and form at the beginning of every class followed by other activities such as sparring, dodgeball, obstacle courses etc.
Keep on the lookout for Master Ahn at Camp Humphreys. He teaches Gumdo every Tuesday and Thursday at Humphreys through CYS and will be at SpringFest. He will also be giving a Gumdo demonstration along with a local ballet teacher at the Community Activity Center on June 10th.
Master Gihyeon Nam
평택시 팽성읍 송화리 779-1
779-1 Songwha-ri Paengseong – Fifth Floor
Located in the same building as Bang Bang Zone at Songwa Plaza
Hagwon Bus: Yes, but only for students attending one of the local elementary schools
Five days a week – 50 minute sessions: 110,000won per month, Uniform 30,000won
1:30, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30, 6:00, 7:00
I heard a lot of wonderful things about this school but I was scared to walk into his dojang, interrupt class and give him a bad first impression. I waited a day and got there before his first class and I was blown away by Master Nam’s kindness, enthusiasm and youth. I accidentally signed my kid up right then and there. Weekly curriculum for his classes, while still practicing TaeKwonDo and encouraging fun and respect, are Mondays: Gym and Strength exercises, Tuesdays: Practice TaeKwonDo forms, Wednesdays: Sports exercises, Thursday: Speed exercises with balls and Fridays: Sparring. He would consider creating an adult class in the evenings.
평택시 팽성읍 안정리 50-1
50-1 Anjeong-ri Paengseong – Third Floor
Located in the brand new MS Tower across from the Brownstone Apartments.
Hagwon Bus: Yes
Five days a week – 50 minute sessions, 120,000 per month. Uniform 30,000won.
1:30, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30, 6:00, 7:00, 8:00
This is the brand new TaeKwonDo in the MS Tower across from Brownstone Apartments. When you go upstairs, everything is still under construction, even the elevator is lined with plywood but the dojang is ready to go. The teacher speaks a little English but he is comfortable with foreigner students. He would be willing to open an adult class with sparring if there is enough interest. The Hagwon Bus can pick up students in front of Camp Humphreys.
Yongin University Paengseong TaeKwonDo School
Master Byeong-seok Joo
평택시 팽성읍 객사리 150-8
150-8 Gaeksari Paengseong – Second Floor
Located next to Buyong Elementary in the same building as the With Me convenience store.
Hagwon Bus: No
Five days a week – 1 hour sessions 110,000 per month, 200,000 for two students from the same family. Uniform 30/40,000 won
1:30, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30, 5:30, 7:00, 8:00
I have a story for this TaeKwonDo. This is one of the first Hagwons to tell me No because I couldn’t speak enough Korean. It happened over a year ago and the teacher then couldn’t grasp the idea of why anyone would want to go to a school without speaking the language. So coming back here, I had to put on my big girl pants and get ready for another No. But I was pleasantly surprised by the teacher who greeted, a different one from before. She sat me down in her office and even though her English was not great I could easily understand her and she could understand my poor Korean. She said that she did have foreign students in class but they had enough Korean vocabulary to get their point across when they had questions. When I explained to her why I was there she was very intrigued and as I went on explaining how difficult it was for some foreigners to come to a Hagwon she was more than happy to give a thumbs up for English speaking students. If there is enough interest, she would look into making an adult class in the evening with the highschoolers.
Zumba and Pilates
Diet Zumba, Pilates, Line Dance, Workout Stretching
평택시 팽성읍 객사리 132-7
I did not go into this place and talk to anyone, it was closed when I went by around 2 in the afternoon. Like many adult Hagwons, it has morning classes and late evening classes. Who wants to be brave and check this place out?