Yesterday I went to taekwondo and paid my usual monthly fee of 60,000won (£34). This is, I think, the last month I'll be doing taekwondo here, or perhaps anywhere. I now won't be here for the June test. There is little point me training in May because Diana, my training partner is changing branches this month so she won't be there and as I'm not taking the test I won't feel good practicising for something that I won't be able to do. Perhaps this is short sighted of me.
I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, I've been doing some form of martial arts in Korea for three and a half years. I've done OK, got three black belts and learned a lot and had fun every single day. My body has taken a beating at times though. When I did hapkido I used to wake nearly every morning with aches and pains and it would always take a few minutes for my body to adjust. My feet will enjoy the rest too. So many times I've hurt them, split open my toes where they join my foot (which is painful) countless times. I won't miss the bruises either.
But I will miss the people I have met, trained with and had fun with. I will miss the routine, the discipline and the thrill of impovement. I've been lucky enough to see a different side to Koreans and enjoyed their hospitality and friendship. It's been a big part of my days for the past few years. Something to look forward to. Something to aim for. Time is often your enemy in Korea. As a teacher you have too much of it so need to try and fill it productively and I think I have. I'm hoping the next three weeks will be good. After that I will be busy planning my move.