MBALE: The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has started imparting special taekwondo skills to Ugandan Police officers and Students, which will be used for self-defense.
Mr Han Jae Deok, a volunteer from South Korea, said they have embarked on a recruitment drive from schools especially girls, security personnel and locals to train them taekwondo (Korean martial art).
He said they have so far recruited 22 students from Mbale Secondary school, 20 Police officers in Mbale and they have started the training.
According to Mr Dork, out of 22 students training for taekwondo, seven are girls.
“This form of self-defense will strengthen and expand their abilities to deal with the unique challenges that people may face in the society. Those benefits include knowledge of practical self-defense, empowerment, improved self-esteem, self-confidence, fitness, stress relief, community, and improved awareness,” said Mr Deok.
He told Daily Monitor that they have started training some of kindergarten in Mbale District.
"We need these children to grow when they know how to defend themselves. We are training them on self-defense and taekwondo," he said.
Taekwondo is form of martial art which started in Korea and it involves a series of high, fast intensity movements, such as punching, kicking, jumping, and twisting and leaping.
“Some people just surrenderto criminals in case of any attack. We are now teaching them how to defend themselves in case of any attack,” he said.
He revealed that last year three female students from Mbale Secondary school with support from South Korea government went to South Korea to participate in the World taekwondo tournament.
Mr Deok, said although these girls performed badly, but has a hope they will perform better next time.
The acting Elgon Region Police Spokesperson, Mr Robert Tukei, welcomed the idea saying taekwondo is good especially for police officers.
He said the art is a new technique which was pioneered in the forces. The skill is meant to help Police officers learn to defend themselves without use of firearms.
“It is very important to everybody to learn taekwondo (martial arts) to improve on self-defense skills. Taekwondo is one way to make people physically fit,” said Mr Tukei.
The 3rd UPDF Spokesperson, Capt Isaac Oware, said taekwondo helps security personnel in self-defense whenever there is a problem.
“Our Army officers have been trained in taekwondo and it helps them in many things like physical fitness, self-defense and health condition. For us as UPDF we support them,” said Capt Oware.