Last week Saturday night while in Gochang I received a text message reminding me of the Jiujutsu tournament occurring the next day with some members of our Brazilian Jiujutsu club competing. My intention was to only leave Gochang on Sunday afternoon so that I could sightsee a bit more and buy some memorabilia at the Gochang Mojang Fortress Festival. The text message, of course, made me change my plans. Although I’ve only recently joined the club, I’ve already grown fond of the club members. They always try hard to include me into their activities. I’m the only foreigner in the club, and also I’m the only faculty member (non student) in the club. Thirdly, I’m a number of years older than most of the club members and as anybody that knows a little bit about Korean culture knows, Koreans only consider their peers (same age) part of the group. They call me Sanko-hyeong [상구형]. “Hyeong” means older brother. Therefore I really appreciate their attempts at making me feel comfortable and really wanted to support them at the tournament.
Early Sunday morning I went to the bus station, changed my 15:30 ticket for an 8:30 ticket, and departed back to Seoul. Although I missed some of the matches, I did get to see a number of our club members compete. Unfortunately our instructor did not win his matches – he was quite disappointed.
The tournament took place in the afternoon with the afternoon sun beaming at an angle through the windows, causing for nice long shadows which created beautiful photo moments.
The event had a wide variety of attendees, with a surprisingly big foreign constituency. The competitors were also of all shapes and sizes.
Although the Brazilian Jiujutsu club train two times a week, I only go once a week at present. My other weekdays are spread among the other martial arts I currently train in; namely ITF Taekwon-Do and Hapkido.