"I announce the start of the 2019 Chungju World Martial Arts Masterships"
Martial arts masters from around the world are here in the city of Chungju,.. where the World Martial Arts Masterships has begun with a massive opening ceremony.
The first Masterships was held three years ago in Cheongju,… just 50-kilometers away.
This is the second edition, and though it's similar in many ways, this time it's much bigger
There are some 4-thousand martial arts masters and officials here from more than 100 countries,… which is 20 more countries than last time.
There are also three more disciplines,… for a total of 20 martial arts, including Taekwondo, Wushu, Judo and Muay Thai.
One of the heads of the Masterships says he was skeptical at first because he thought it was just another event,… but today, he was surprised to see how meaningful it is.
"They are giving opportunities for the athletes over 100 countries to come here just to engage in sports,… but also to go back with a message that Korea, Chungju stands for peace, hope and future for the youth of the world. And I think this is very honorable project."
Ban Ki-moon, the event's honorary chairman,… also said he is very happy to see such development in his hometown… through the power of martial arts.
"Martial arts are found in many countries, and they are the history of that country. But many martial arts are overshadowed by popular commercial sports. So that is why events like these are important for the development of martial arts,… in which the spirit and soul are deeply rooted."
Besides the competition itself, there will also be a martial arts exhibition, an academic meeting and a world martial arts leaders' forum.
"It might get short shrift compared to other sporting events,… but the organizers are determined that such a massive gathering of masters will provide a chance for visitors to get closer to the art of fighting."
Won Jung-hwan, Arirang News Chungju .