A head coach of Canada’s national taekwondo team will visit Hay River on Sept. 5.
Master Seungmin Rim will lead a workshop to introduce the tenets and techniques of taekwondo to everyone who would like to learn about the Korean sport.
Rim is the national poomsae coach with Taekwondo Canada. Poomsae is a form of defense-and-attack motions used in teaching taekwondo.
The visit is being sponsored by the Korean Cultural Centre (KCC), an extension of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, and the Taekwondo Promotion Foundation.
The workshop, along with other activities in Fort Providence and Yellowknife, will be the first time that the KCC has sponsored a visit to the NWT in a promotional outreach to introduce Korea’s traditional martial art of taekwondo and other aspects of the country’s culture.
Rim, who is originally from Korea, will visit Fort Providence on Sept. 6 and Yellowknife on Sept. 7 & 8.
In Yellowknife, there will also be other cultural activities, including a Korean food workshop on Sept. 7 with Chef Ae Kyung Woo, an expert in Korean cuisine from Vancouver.
And on Sept. 8 in Yellowknife, there will be a screening of the Korean film ‘Little Forest’.
Harry Hyun Woo Yun, a KCC program co-ordinator overseeing the outreach to the NWT, explained the centre’s mandate is to promote Korean culture to Canadians.
“We’ve been thinking of a place where we haven’t visited before,” he said, noting that an outreach visit to the Yukon last year was the KCC’s first to northern Canada.
The Sept. 5 workshop will take place from 2-4 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of the Rec Centre.
“There are going to be demonstrations, like breaking boards,” noted Yun.
Plus, he explained that people will not just be watching Rim’s demonstration, but will be invited to follow the techniques and self-defence skills of taekwondo.
The workshop is open to all ages.
Thorsten Gohl, the physical literacy co-ordinator with the Dehcho Divisional Education Council, was involved in bringing the Korean outreach to the NWT.
Gohl was first contacted about the idea last year by a friend who works with Taekwondo Canada, which had been approached by the Korean Cultural Centre.
However, the visit to the Yukon happened last year, instead.
“And this year they approached me again and said, ‘Thor, can we do this?’ And I said, ‘Yeah. That would be amazing,'” he said. “So we got together with Taekwondo NWT.”
Initially, the KCC had planned only to visit Yellowknife.
“I said it would be great to expand on that,” explained Gohl, who suggested Fort Providence because that’s his community and part of the Dehcho.
Gohl, who was one of the staff members with last year’s Arctic Winter Games, then suggested that Hay River become part of the visit, mentioning the town’s new recreation centre.