World Kuk Gung Federation hosts 2nd Annual Festival of Korean Traditional Archery

Master Heon K. Kim demonstrates Korean traditional archery technique.
Targets are not as close as they may appear.

Targets are not as close as they may appear.

It’s never too soon to start planning for the 2nd Annual World Kuk Gung Festival of Korean Traditional Archery. Hosted by Heon K. Kim and the World Kuk Gung Federation, the festival from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 3-4 at 29745 Lilac Road, Valley Center.

A high volume succulent dealer by day, Master Kim, as archers call him due to his shooting championship past, passionately teaches a select, and eclectic, group of locals in the art of long-range Korean archery. He throws in a fascinating does of Korean culture for good measure.

The festival is scheduled to feature Korean dance and music, basic Kuk Gung lessons, practices and competition. All ages are welcome.

What makes this festival unique, along with the exotic brand of archery not found in the states generally, is the participation aspect. Beginner lessons will be offered to participants and included in the daily fee for all except observers. The various competitive categories represent one of the few opportunities anywhere outside of Korea for archers. Bows and arrows are available if they don’t have them.

Saturday kicks off festivities with basic lessons and shooting exercises in the morning following by opening ceremonies at 11 a.m. Korean traditional sword dancing performances along with Taekwondo and Kuk Gung demonstrations. Lunch ensues with the afternoon devoted to lessons, shooting exercises and competitions. Dinner from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. consists of a Pan-Asian buffet.

Sunday begins at 9 a.m. with presentations on Korean traditional archery and question-and-answer sessions. Short and long distance shooting exercises and competitions precede noon to 1 p.m. lunch. competitions finish up during the afternoon capped off by the highly anticipated awards ceremony and closing ceremony.

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Saturday Kuk Gung class observes traditional Korean ceremony with bows in foreground.

Saturday Kuk Gung class observes traditional Korean ceremony with bows in foreground.

The World Kuk Gung Festival Committee includes Heon Kim, Mary Gordon, Gary Stine, Maury Freitas, Jane & Ping Lim, Alan & Sabre Kirkpatrick, Fred Kim, Nancy Mayer, C.W. Lee, Vincent Ng, Joanne Majors, Rex Cho, David Tennant, Hyonny Kim.

Kim hosts what is believed to be the only such traditional Korean archery training center in the U.S. There he works with budding archers from ages 8-to-80 showing them the art of long, long, long-range archery with a fun dose of Korean culture and tradition thrown in for good measure.

“The Korean Traditional bow was invented from the early stage of formation of our race,” Kim said, “and developed as hunting equipment, religious ritual, military weapon and training equipment for body and spirit through ancient dynasties of our country.”

A previous winner of World Kuk Gung archery tournaments, Kim gives lessons to beginning through advanced students from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. most Saturdays and Sundays on a large field with a rural view.

Listing the added benefits of practice and execution of traditional ground and horse archery, Kim said it was something men and women, children and seniors could practice together or alone as they benefitted mind and body.

The sport strengthened muscles and elasticity, endurance, concentrations, serenity, stability and spiritual centering. It enhanced feelings of cooperation and strengthened internal organs and breathing patterns.

Admission for both days is $70 for comptetitors, while Saturday alone is $40 and Sunday is $30. Observers pay $20 per day.

Registration is open today. For more information, call (760) 749-7211, email kukgung@yahoo.com or visit http://www.kukgung.org.

Official flyer of the 2nd Annual World Kuk Gung Festival of Korean Traditional Archery.

Official flyer of the 2nd Annual World Kuk Gung Festival of Korean Traditional Archery.

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