This blog may contain not-so-strong languages and slightly strong ecchi pictures. Please proceed with caution.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Celebrating 1GB Sudogwon-Gijeon Transformation Plan, Part II: Kukkiwon-World Taekwondo HQ, Seoul Gangnam-gu

Kukkiwon (Hanja/Romanization: 國技院/Gukgiwon), also known as World Taekwondo Headquarters (Hanja: 世界跆拳道本部) and home of the World Taekwondo Academy, is the official taekwondo governing organisation established by the South Korean government. It is supervised by the International Sports Division of the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism (MCST).

Kukkiwon is based at 32 Tehran Avenue 7th Street/Teheranno 7-gil, Yeoksam-dong 635-beonji, Seoul Gangnam-gu, South Korea. Construction of the main building commenced on 19 November 1971, and was completed on 30 November 1972, with the organisation being officially named on 6 February 1973. The main building accommodates up to 3,000 people for events. Standing at three storeys in height, the building's roof features giwa (blue Korean tiles)—the same type of roofing as the Blue House a.k.a Cheongwadae (the official residence of the President of Korean Republic).

In May 1973, the Korea Taekwondo Association and Kukkiwon hosted the first World Taekwondo Championships, with 200 taekwondo competitors from 17 countries in attendance. Kukkiwon has had a permanent taekwondo demonstration team since September 1974.

Kim Un-yong was the first President of Kukkiwon, and resigned from the position on 15 November 2001. Uhm Woon-kyu of the Chung Do Kwan was elected President on 2 March 2004. The President in late 2005 was Uhm Yong-gye. On 10 December 2009, Lee Seung-wan of the Jidokwan was elected as Kukkiwon's next President.

In mid-2010, Kang Won-sik became the current President; he was also the current president of Song Moo Kwan, Korea. President Kang stepped down at the end of his term of office in early 2013. After him the interim president while awaiting an election was Grandmaster Lee Gyu-seok, who also serves as Secretary General for the Asian Taekwondo Union. Kim Chung-gun later acted as the Chair-in-Office. The current president is Grandmaster Lee Kyu-hyung (9th dan) after being provisionally named by the Director of the organization’s board as of August 20, 2013.

This Taekwondo Headquarters is accessible either by using DX New Bundang Line to Station D07: Gangnam Station or Seoul Metro Line 2 - either by stopping at Station 221 Yeoksam Station or Station 222: Gangnam Station.