[Taekgyeon and Seven Martial Artists]
Martial artists from seven countries (Ghana, Moldova, Mynamar, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, Sudan and the Philippines) gathered in Korea to learn taekkyeon, a Korean traditional martial art that is on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. They were invited to participate in the Korean government's Cultural Partnership Initiative. The seven men arrived in Chungju, the hometown of taekkyeon, in June 2014. They practiced three hours a day and took Korean classes twice a week. Ezekiel Nii Darku Dodoo from Ghana has black belts in sambo, judo and kuresh; San Htay (40 years old) from Myanmar hides a martial artist's fierceness under a charming smile; Grigore Cobileanschi (23 years old) from Moldova majored in the Korean language; Theja Suranjan Dunusinghe (33) keeps up the team spirit; Raymund Anthony Suba (33 years old) from the Philippines is a martial arts teacher; Mohamed Osman (27) from Sudan is a smart guy who always carries his laptop with him; and Dostonbek Yuldashev (21 years old) from Uzbekistan is the most unpredictable member of the team.
These seven martial artists have just begun their five-month journey in Korea. They are practicing hard to prepare for the World Martial Arts Festival to be held in Chungju in two weeks. Their goal is to win the group competition in the taekkyeon event. The seven guys set off to a training camp to practice with a strict yet caring master from Korea. Their endeavor begins right now.