Shaking hands with a senior

Discussion in 'Korean Culture and History' started by mastercole, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    Having just got back from Korea, I can confirm that everyone passes things to each other and shakes hands with a supporting hand (sometimes on top instead of underneath). This absolutely is Korean culture. All I can say is rather than ask one gm and one master, visit Korea so you can experience their culture and customs for yourself. This was my first visit and I'm hooked (I posted fuller notes on my visit in another forum, but didn't mention about the handshaking/passing things as so few people dispute that it's normal).
     
  2. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

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    Non-TKD bowing point of trivia:

    In the TV series LOST, when the Korean character KWON, Jin-Soo asks his girlfriend's father for his daughter's hand in marriage, when they shake hands on the agreement, it's with a bow and supporting arm.

    That's the first time I saw this type of bow anywhere in popular western culture.

    Gnarlie
     
  3. JiuJiuBJJ

    JiuJiuBJJ Yellow Belt

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    Way late to the game. I'm a BJJ gal who has only done BJJ in Korea, so I recognize that it is much more relaxed than a TMA.

    Having lived here for 3+ years, I now automatically receive and give things with two hands. I shake with both hands together, I bow to everyone, and I do a bow/handshake combo when I come into my gym and greet people. Though - funnily enough, my instructor laughed at me when we were all out to dinner - said that I bowed to the white people like they were my grandfather. heh. Apparently I bow a bit too deeply/formally.

    What's wild is if you go out drinking with Koreans, you'll see the younger folks turn away when they drink so that the older person won't actually see them drinking.

    One thing you guys may not know: in Korea people call instructors lastname+teacher. I call my instructor "Sansaengnim" or "Choi Sansaengnim". Even if there is a long time relationship, that rigid rule doesn't seem to go away, unless the student is older than the instructor. Additionally, if the instructor owns the gym they call him "Kwangjangnim" (I might have slightly spelled that wrong), which means "gym owner).
     
  4. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    I'd probably unintentionally offend everyone in Korea. I habitually shake with both hands, but typically, I'll put my left hand on the other person's forearm, or their shoulder if they're too close. Keeps them from coming in for a hug :).
     
  5. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master Black Belt

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    This has definitely been my experience with Korean teachers in the US, too. Like.... GM and Mr WaterGal are close friends, and we're both pretty close with his family. But we both still call him "Master ______", even when we're all out getting some drinks. And Mr picked up the drink thing from a previous teacher and taught it to GM's students. GM always laughs about it though - I think he thinks it's both really nice that we're following his culture's traditions to respect him, but also funny to see a bunch of Americans doing that stuff.
     
  6. miguksaram

    miguksaram Master of Arts

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    We can't help it Steve...You are just too damn huggable.
     

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