It’s that time of the year again, “the season with clear skies and stout horses.” Nothing depicts what Korean fall looks alike more accurate than this old saying. During the fall season, the weather is the best and the harvested crops are so plentiful that even livestock get to enrich themselves. Therefore, what’s not to like about this peaceful season?
On a recent trip to Busan, I found myself fixated on the idea of visiting Jagalchi Fish Market. I knew absolutely nothing about the market but a few weeks earlier had spotted it as a tiny dot on a map and ever since, had an intense desire to explore it. I learned, once visiting the market and subsequently reading its history, that Jagalchi is the largest seafood market in all of Korea and was established as the Korean War ended.
The market proved fascinating, with one booth after another offering squirming varieties of every kind of live seafood imaginable, tables of dried squid and fish carcasses, bowls of live sea urchins, and hot griddles with today’s catch fried and ready to eat. After winding my way through the outdoor bazaar, I assumed my exploration was at an end and almost called it quits when I spotted an official looking sign hanging outside a large two-story building that read “Jagalchi Fish Market.” Inside were impressive stalls, much cleaner and larger than their outdoor counterparts, showcasing a wide selection of live seafood. After working through some language barriers, I learned from a vendor that any live seafood I picked out and paid for downstairs would be cleaned and prepared as I waited and then brought with me upstairs to be cooked and eaten.
You know, it’s a long uphill battle to beat the Koreans in judo. Here’s why. As children, Koreans can enroll in one of the many elementary schools across their country that have designated judo development programs. At a young age they commence their training on a conveyer belt of winning judo standards. And this is just the beginning. They can move on to the same in middle school, and this includes all-girl’s middle schools. Again, at high school age, players are training in judo full time alongside their studies in hopes of gaining entrance to the final level of Korea’s schooling system.
University. This is the final stage before the best of the best are plucked to train in the national program.
In Busan, Korea’s second largest city, there are two universities with judo development teams: This is Dong-Eui University as I showcased early on during my time in Korea. The other university judo program is Dong-A University which is what you see here. Judo teams share large athletic facilities with other sports and martial arts like taekwondo, kendo, boxing, and wrestling at universities like these.
These are no compromise systems training students for careers in physical education, law enforcement, and potentially the highest level of play in the sport. These are the big boys and girls. They have been training in the Korean school judo system since elementary school. That’s a lot of dedicated years.
At universities such as these, students are able to receive a degree in judo instruction and development, or other related degrees such as physical education for public schools.
You don’t want to randori with these kids in your right mind. They are true mat rats who train full time and want to win. Only the best coaches are assigned to these teams and there is immense pressure to produce results.
Make no mistake, this is not local club play. Practice sessions are uchikomi and then an hour and a half of randori 5 days a week with many other high level players. The pool is large and the bench is deep with strong players whose life is judo. Some of the main judo hubs in Korea are Seoul, Gyeonggi-do, Daegu, and Busan.
There is no guesswork in Korean judo. Show up, follow the plan, win a medal. Wash, rinse, repeat. There should be no wonder why we see Korean champions all the time.
South Korea — I was thinking of not writing about Jesa since Wikipedia has already explained it thoroughly. Instead, I am writing this based on what I have observed and experienced and probably quote some information from Wikipedia. This picture I got from Koreatimes tells the proper way to prepare the table:
For some reason, I kept thinking about heading to Kyeongju and getting some photos. Not really sure why but I could shake the feeling that something good was happening out there. Not sure what I would find, I jumped into my car, heeded my wife’s warning about the traffic and took off.
I can’t stress this enough, I had no idea what I wanted to shoot there. I felt like my shots of the Woljeong Bridge were a little boring and so I was heading out that way. However, beyond that I was not really sure what to do. I was just heading out to a beautiful city and hoping for the best and then something caught my eye.
Despite my often futile attempts to research restaurants in advance before visiting a new city in South Korea, it seems like the best places that I find I stumble into by accident once there. Before a recent trip to Busan I trolled the web looking for places to scout out for dinner. However, as often happens in Korea, most of my pre-selected establishments turned out to be out of business or nonexistent. One evening, after failing to track down a few places I found online, I took a cab from Haeundae to Gwangan to check out Galmegi Brewing Co. and afterwards, wandered along the beach hoping to grab a late night bite. With my expectations relatively low, my curiosity piqued when I spotted Bombay Brau, a very tiny beachfront joint boasting the odd but surprisingly exciting combination of craft beer and Indian food.
Skip the chicken soup the next time you are feeling under the weather; grab a bowl of kimchi instead! This spicy, fermented side dish has been a staple on Korean tables for thousands of years. Koreans believe that kimchi can soothe an upset stomach, help you lose weight, cure a hangover, keep you from aging and much more. Kimchi is becoming readily available in many restaurants and health food stores due to the popularity and health benefits of fermented foods. In addition to being a delicious accompaniment to your next meal, kimchi may be your ticket to good health.
The other day, I was out for a jog. Three men spotted me, and I made the mistake of making eye contact. So they started chasing me. I glanced at their flip-flops and in that moment chose flight over fight, and sprinted as fast I could away from them. I ended up out of breath behind a hotel. There, a young white man spotted me and waved me over. He was a bright eyed and bushy-tailed American, fresh off the plane, ready and eager to start a life in Quinhon. He asked me how I liked the city, and I said, well it’s okay. He looked taken aback. Just okay? Everyone he’d talked to loved it and never wanted to leave. I told him the reason I’m so out of breath is because I had just run away from a few men chasing me. He shrugged and said, “Well, you’re a cute girl.”
If you’re looking for some great ESL activities for children, you’ve come to the right place! I have 5 of my favourite ones that are guaranteed to get your kids engaged, excited and energetic about learning English in your class.