Tae-woong Associated Schools - Apgujung training center (Seoul, Korea)
I signed up for this school so I don't stop training for a month while I was in Korea. When I first stepped into this school I noticed that the hardwood looking floors were actually faux plastic surface. The floor is actually padded nicely. Good news for me, since I am recovering from a stress fracture injury.
Banana bags and smaller thai bags to do knee work is located on one end of the small school. There is barely any space to move around next to the bags. I had just enough space to do some good bagwork complete with footwork.
They have loaner gear, but the gloves are rather on the light side. 6-14oz. I almost exclusively train with 16oz gloves and my last set got stolen, so I have to make do. Always enough gloves to go around.
I've only attended a few sessions, but the instruction is decent. The instructor is still young, so no doubt you may be missing out on some hardcore-experience-derived advice, but I would recommend him to anyone.
First day I was allowed to warm-up on my own next to the mirrors while the instructor ran the students through some basic drills. This is a very traditional muay-thai school. They use the fairly traditional guard (one arm out, one arm up, shoulder up) and their game is based on your typical Muay-Thai kick-counter-to-clinch setup. All the combinations the students were practicing was based off of this doctrine, and punch kick combos always end in knees, elbows and clinch. Even the words they use are Thai.
I was happy to find good aliveness training. Despite the relative newness of all the students in that session (save this one tall kid who looked really sharp), everyone participated in light contact drills designed for one to get used to defending and countering with a kick and a knee. A really neat part of this drill was that whatever level you were comfortable with, you could add your own stuff to the drill. For example, the instructor would ask one student to come in with typical punch combos, and the other student to block and counter with a kick. You were free to develop out from there. I decided to join the MT bandwagon and work on parrying/deflecting punches out, and coming in for a clinch. Some students worked on redirecting kicks and attacking the standing leg. It was great.
One very cool part of this school was that you were given free access to the school on th weekends, regardless of whether the instructor was there. It was done on an honor system where you lock up the gym at the end of the day after turning out all the lights. I spent a good 2.5 hours there working on bags while listening to K-pop dance music they had playing.
I sparred an old guy and a very young kid today. The kid had great speed and a pretty good foundation. (turns out he is going to my old high school in Korea) The old guy has great counter-striking skills with very good trickery. So I think the better fighters are at an even higher level.
My instructor looked at my more western, sideways kickboxing stance and commented on it. However, he was still accepting of it, quick to recognize the its advantages (and disadvantages). Knew exactly where to fill me in after watching me spar (knees and elbows, counter kicks, etc). Highly recommended.
If this is worth anything: more lefties at this school than I am used to.
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