Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New Student at TKD

Today, a Korean woman who I gathered was the mother of one of Gwen's students at Oedae joined us for taekwondo. She seemed nice. I think she indicated that she was a history teacher at a middle school, but my Korean is only so good and she also speaks almost no English. Samantha, the new foreign teacher, should be here this week or next week, and has asked about TKD, so it looks like my private lesson is turning into a small group lesson (I mentioned her to Sa Beom Nim today, although I don't know if she will really want to study or is just thinking about possiblities--I'll ask her when she gets here!). This is fine with me and could be cool if it means lessons are a little cheaper and I have classmates to study with. Honestly, I'd still probably pay 80,000, but 50,000 seems more reasonable for group lessons. I'll ask Gwen if this would be a reasonable request.

The coolest part was that I think Sa Beom Nim was having me show off for the new student a little. I tried to make him proud. I couldn't tell what exactly they were saying, but the woman seemed impressed and Sa Beom Nim said "이 주 (i ju)" meaning two weeks--the length of time I've studied. I was proud of recognizing the words and of learning so much.

We went over the first form (품새--pomsae) for my yellow belt test (though I still don't know if that is supposed to be tomorrow or next week). I tried to load the video for it from Sa Beom Nim's website, but I seem to be having tech problems and the directions are all in Korean (sigh).

Sa Beom Nim also downloaded a list of dual language (English/Korean) taekwondo phrases for me! Now I have the hanguel for the phrases I am hearing from Sa Beom Nim during practice, which helps me reinforce the vocabulary that I'm building. I have even more studying to do now, but I'm excited to learn.

I've gotta get to Oedae a little early so I can prep the tests for my students since today and tomorrow are the last days of the month. Hard to believe that it's already testing time at school. Sometimes it seems like I just got here. Other times I feel like I've been here forever already.


  1. Are you paying 80,000 for the whole month? My studio is 90,000 for the whole month NOT privates and my temp studio was 110,000 for the whole month, not privates.

    You are getting a stellar rate and they're taking time out of their free time to privately or small group tutor. I would seriously reconsider asking for a discount.

  2. Thanks! That's why I wasn't going to ask before I got confirmation. It seemed like an unbelievable rate for private lessons.

    It's good to know what others are paying 'cause I still don't have a great sense of what is reasonable for pricing here.

  3. Yeah, in the States I was paying $120 a month for only 8 lessons a month! If you wanted unlimited, it was $130! Of course, if you paid for 12 months is was only 100, but I didn't have 1200 to pay at one time!

    And the doboks were $50 and each belt test was at least $30, they got higher as you went up. Here the dobok is usually about $30 and except for black belt ranks all tests are included in the monthly fee.

    Taekwondo in Korea is a steal.

  4. I know--it's awesome! And since I'm going 5 days/week, I don't need to join another gym for workout purposes so really it's not much more than I was paying for Bally's at home, but it's much much cooler. I was researching today about gyms back home and they are all rather pricey for not nearly as much coolness.

    But then I feel that way about the fruit/veggie stands here, too. Where I lived, the farmer's markets were "trendy," so they often cost more than just buying at a grocery store (defeating the entire purpose, methinks).

  5. Oh fruit here is ridiculously expensive though.

  6. I'm not sure if I'd ask for a discount either. I was paying 60,000 a month 6 years ago when I was in a class of about 25. Even though it won't be a private lesson anymore, it won't exactly be a full class either.

    Also consider that his other classes probably don't start until 2:00 or 3:00 and he probably goes until 10:00 at night. Even though 11:00 isn't exactly early, starting then causes him to have an 11 hour day.

    However, I wouldn't be surprised if he offers you a rate cut once Samantha joins. I'd let him make the first move.



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