Thursday, June 5, 2008

World Cup Style

The Daegu city exhibition team had it's big event...finally. We (meaning about 50 good people and another 200 decent kids) have been practicing every weekend for 2 months to put together a kick ass routine. Why would we do that you ask? Because the coordinators for the "festival of Korean sports for all" wanted a hapkido demonstration to start out the festival. The festival was being held at the world cup stadium. It's a huge stadium where they usually have the soccer games. I wasn't sure what to expect when we got there but that is a normal part of my everyday life. I haven't been sure about what is going to happen ever for the last 9 months. Anyway we practiced a lot and finally a week before the festival we got to practice on the actual field. Then the next week my school gave me thursday and friday off for a full day of practice and then the show.

I was priveledged enough to be in the center for the main part of the performance. I was 1 of 6 doing specialty defensive shit and speciatly "falling." First we would do some fancy jumping into a laying down position. Example, I did some fancy back flip with a twist and had to land on my side. Wasn't that bad on grass. One little cute kid was doing more advanced wrist defense. One chick was doing defense using fans, and I was doing knife defense. The first time we did it on the field there was nothing but grass under us. Then we came in thursday and there was this huge wooden stage in the middle of the field. I thought we practiced. My partner and I do the same jump, and we are on the same wood. We both did it on the command and at the same time I yelled SHIT! in english and he yelled the equivalent in Korean. It hurt like hell. I wacked my ankle bone, the side of my foot, my already hurt elbow, and my hip on the hard wood. That kinda gave me a warning of how much that part of the show is going to suck.

After the first 11 hour day of practice I felt like I was going to die. Luckly the next day was only a little practice and then the show. The second day started out like the first...then before I knew it we were lining up to go on. The stadium wasn't that packed but there were still like 10,000 people there. We came out and started up. There were two big screens at the place, apparently I was on them a lot. Being the only white kid i'm kinda recongnizable. When we were done THE CROWD WENT WILD. It was so cool. After the whole thing we sat in the audience to watch the rest of the festival. All sports teams and stuff that had to do with sports came out and walked in a circle around the track. There were huge floats and fireworks coming out of everywhere. I was actually impressed with how big this festival was. I thought it was just some bullshit that we were doing. It turned out to be a packed event. After the whole sports team thing there were a number of Korean singers that came out. They were really popular but of course I had no idea who they were. After the first or second act I really wanted to leave. I didn't know the songs and I was crazy tired. But we stayed till the end because the kids were having a blast. Finally we got to go home. I took a shower, where I almost fell asleep standing up, and then passed out in bed. It was over.

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