To learn more about this innovative program we directly interviewed the project director, French Philippe Pinerd, who currently lives in Busan, Korea.
Pinerd, is the director of the Korean Institute of Martial Arts, he was the coach of the French Olympic Taekwondo Team for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and also of the Central African Olympic Taekwondo Team for the 2012 London Olympic Games, he has an International Negotiation Master Degree and a Sports Science Bachelor Degree.
The main objective of the project is to provide an opportunity to Taekwondo and Hapkido practitioners to get a university degree in Korean Martial Arts via on-line classes and off-line through training camps. In this way, martial arts can become more than a passion to all practitioners and become an academic benefit.
The Korean Martial Arts Institute (KMAI) aims to provide high quality contents to all students, in order to help them acquire valuable knowledge by experts and masters in the art. It will also provide them Korean language and culture knowledge to help them expand their professional training.
The use of Internet as the main teaching instrument allows the student to adapt his or her learning time, personal planning and provides them global accessibility. Practitioners will become university students of a well organized Bachelor Degree program about Korean culture, language, martial arts and combat sports.
How will the practical area be developed?
After two semesters of on-line studies the students must participate in a training camp, which could take place in Busan, southeast of Korea, or in different centers specifically validated for this purpose, which could be located in different regions or probably in their own country.
The main practice at the local dojang or entertainment center will remain the same, but the practitioner will improve his or her theoretical knowledge and deepen their practical know-hows. Then the Training Camps will confirm the good integration of the knowledge acquired during the year, and their applications.
At the same time, the Korean Martial Arts Institute has implemented a high level platform for international competitors and regular practitioners, to welcome them to train in Korea. The platforms include combat sports specific optimization and medical monitoring, training partnership with Korean Taekwondo professional teams and teams of korean universities, always supervised by experts. Trainings are carried out within the same installations where participants are hosted.
For how long has the Korean Martial Arts Institute and University that supports it exist?
The Hwashin Cyber University also known as HSCU was founded in 2004 and in 2008 became an e-learning establishment approved by the Ministry of Education, Science & Technology of the Republic of South Korea. The Korean Martial Arts Institute was created in 2011 and the first academic year for the students will begin in September 2012. It is a new and innovative project that has never been done before, which combines martial arts knowledge and modern technology.
What is the title received by graduates?
The Bachelors Degree in Martial Arts, Culture and Korean Language is the highest title and will be given after 3 years with the intensive program and in 4 years with the conventional program. The students will learn Korean language, culture, history and philosophy, practical basic subjects about the forms, combat and personal defense, specific subjects about physical preparation and rehabilitation systems, pedagogy and nutrition for combat sports, among others. The Bachelors Degree is internationally recognized as the first graduation awarded in the University system of most countries around the World. Its goal is to form professionals in the Korean culture of martial arts with special skills in the field of combat sports.
The Martial Arts & Combat Sports Excellency Diploma is a University Diploma, awarded after 1 year, and it will stamp a label of quality within its specific knowledge besides the current Dan system.
Since the programs are carried out in the university officially recognized by the Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the degree and the diploma are officially recognized throughout the world.
What requirements are needed to participate in the courses?
For the Bachelors Degree, it is mandatory to have a High School diploma.
The students shall have completed at least 2 years of practice in Korean Martial Arts to be able to apply to the program, and also have the motivation and the time for a 10 hour weekly class.
How many students are already enrolled in the program?
There are currently 10 students confirmed from France, United States, Kosovo, just to mention some. And more than 20 under admission process, the admission due date will be closed in February.
In how many languages will the career be taught?
For the year 2013, the courses will be provided in English, French and probably also in Spanish. Chinese, Mandarin and Russian are planned for the following seasons .
What is the virtual platform?
The virtual platform is based on a LMS (Learning Management System) and in a multi-language system, that allows students to take a class via Internet. It is a special education platform to present courses with various communication media, such as video, photo, animation, text, etc. It can be compared to an on-line studying book, that offers the highest audiovisual quality that have been recorded in three big Hwashin studios with the highest technology in cameras and scenic quality. The students will be able to see within different angles like frontals, zoom and slow motion with only one click.
The platform will also allow them to ask questions directly to their professors, to send them videos of their techniques they studied and also it will allow them to take on-line tests at the end of the year.
An entire IT team and 24 persons assigned for the designing area.
A team of high proficiency teachers in various areas, from international and Korean nationalities. Experienced physical trainers involved for many years in combat sports, former international champions in combat and Poomse, former national trainers and professional coaches graduated in Science Sports, High level Masters in traditional martial arts, specialists in analysis performance and certified Korean Teachers.
The University has also signed special agreements with the European Taekwondo Union (ETU), with several foreign universities as Kukkiwon and obviously with masTaekwondo.com
Why have you decided to get involved this project ?
I have been involved for more than 30 years in martial arts and combat sports, from Olympic coach to white belt to 6th Dan, and I have spent a lot of time on the training mats. My personal conviction is that a martial artist should develop far more than specific combat or technical abilities. As human beings, we should understand what relies in the culture of our practice, enhance our knowledge field and get a lot of knowledge within our personal development. Therefore, I believe we will develop respect towards ourselves and among others, respect is the mother of peace. I really do not like the actual over-politicized systems and I truly believe that a better education and a better understanding on what really martial arts and combat sports are will create a better mentality. Being graduated from a university as well as holding a Dan will also be of great help in the social recognition process of our martial arts community.
As Rickson Gracie once said : “Study is a lifelong process”.
Thank you very much for your time.
Thank you for providing me the opportunity to talk about our program and for keeping us all taekwondo practioners from the world informed about our passion.
MasTaekwondo is the website I most visit to obtain information related to taekwondo, I really admire you guys because we also want to achieve this goal, in our way, by providing a clear proposal with actual and great quality information via internet.
Translation: Silvana Ramírez Cuevas