Gyeongju, Korea — After Seoul, I traveled to Gyeongju, Korea. The city was a popular school trip destination when I was in elementary school in Korea, and I was excited to relive the memory with my old Korean friends. The city is full of Korean culture and historical attractions from Silla, the old Korean Kingdom. Despite its bygone glory days, the size of the current city is relatively small, and training options in Gyeongju were limited. There I found Gyeongju Jiu-Jitsu.
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Gyeongju is located 370 km Southeast of Seoul in the South Gyeongsang Province. The city used to be the capital of the ancient kingdom of Silla. Often, Gyeongju is referred to as “the museum without walls”, as the city is filled with traditional Korean artifacts and culture. Unlike other cities in Korea, Gyeongju will provide you with a break from bright street lights and fast cars. Instead, you can submerge yourself into a Korean history.
Gyeongju Jiu-Jitsu is under the Machado Jiu-Jitsu Korea flag, and the affiliated academies are located all around Korea. These affiliated academies frequently holds joint practices and tournaments. The Gyeongju academy offers classes ranging from Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to Mixed Martial Arts classes, and classes are led by Coach JinDuk Ahn who is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and an active MMA contender.
As Gyeongju is a small city in Korea, there are limited options for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training, and the gym was only established in late 2016. Thus, the majority of the students were fairly young white and blue belts, who are ready to absorb every technique Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has to offer.
Unfortunately, When I visited Gyeongju Jiu-Jitsu, the coach Ahn was out of town due to a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition. However, students still held an open mat and welcomed me into their BJJ community. Despite Gyeongju Jiu-Jitsu’s welcoming atmosphere to visitors, you might run into some language barriers. Regardless, Gyeongju Jiu-Jitsu will help you wrap up your sightseeing of various tourist attractions and unforgettable Korean cuisines in Gyeongju.
Gyeongju Jiu-Jitsu is located in the heart of Gyeongju, Korea. As Gyeongju is relatively a small town, the public transportation is not as convenient as other cities like Seoul. Although cities in Korea are easily accessible via buses, I would highly recommend renting a car while traveling outside of Seoul. (Google Map: Link)
Gyeongju Jiu-Jitsu has a spacious open mat with an MMA octagon. The gym also includes men’s and women’s locker rooms and showers. The gym is not fully equipped with weight training equipment, but you could find dumbbells and resistance bands for the strength training.
Gyeongju Jiu-Jitsu’s most recent schedule is posted below:
The drop-in fee is ₩20,000 (~$19 USD) per class.
<<Exchange Rate: 1,000 won =~$9.4 USD as of June 6th, 2018>>
- Seokguram — An artificial stone temple made of granite is located on Mt. Toham, and it was designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. The attraction is known for a sunrise viewing spot.
- Bulguksa — Along with Seokguram, the temple was designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. The temple itself was built in 528 during the Silla Kingdom and it includes the Dabotap and Seokgatap stone pagodas.
- Cheomseongdae — The oldest exiting astronomical observatory in Asia constructed in the 7th century during the Silla Kingdom.
- Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond — An artificial pond that was a part of a palace complex of the ancient kingdom, Silla. Traditional buildings surrounding the pond create an unforgettable view.