Master Jimmy Hogberg, martial arts instructor at Self Defense America in Cove, traveled to South Korea last month to compete in the Mulympics, an international martial arts competition.
Hogberg, a member of the World Haidong Gumdo Federation, was selected by the organization to participate in the contest held at the Yongpyong Dome in Pyeongchang, Korea.
“They appointed some of the masters within that system as coaches for the USA team,” he said.
“Within our organization we had representatives training with us from Australia, Kuwait, Sweden and several different countries.”
This year featured the event’s first multi-style competition including styles such as Taekwondo, Haidong Gumbo, Wushu, Tang Soo Do and Karate, Hogberg said.
Hogberg traveled to Korea with Master David Shadden, head instructor and owner of Central Texas Tae Kwon Do in Temple.
The two acted as assistant coaches for the Haidong Gumdo USA team.
Hogberg competed in Taekwondo forms competition, placing third while Shadden placed first overall in bamboo cutting with a sword.
During their nine-day stay, the team had several adventures including visiting a Buddhist temple and meditating with a Korean Buddhist monk, Hogberg said.
“The competition lasted two days, and then we did sword training where we got to cut bamboo for four hours. They taught us a traditional Korean sword dance and traditional Korean drum.”
The team was also given a two-hour training session at the World Taekwondo Headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, training with a Taekwondo grand master.
Between 2,000 to 3,000 people competed in the Mulympics this year, half the amount that was originally expected, Hogberg said.
“Because of the recent threat by North Korea a lot of the USA families and team members were afraid to go,” he said.
“A lot of people that would have gone didn’t go and not just from United States but from other countries as well.”
Hogberg has performed in seminars all over the nation, but his recent trip to Korea was his first one outside of the United States.
Finances permitting, he plans to return for the next one, he said.
“This event is every two years so my goal is to go again in 2015,” Hogberg said. “By then I will also be up for promotion for my sixth degree black belt.”