In the dynamic world of Taekwondo, where discipline, dedication, and character development converge, we speak to Coach Patrick Seo, an esteemed 5th Dan Taekwondo Kukkiwon holder, hailing from the birthplace of Taekwondo in South Korea. He is on a mission to guide students toward excellence in the National School Games in Singapore, igniting their journey of dedication, growth, and the transformative power of Taekwondo.



Coach Patrick Seo's journey into Taekwondo education began with a desire to share the rich knowledge and culture of Taekwondo on a global scale. With about three years of teaching experience in Korea and approximately eight years in Singapore, he brings a unique blend of expertise to his students. 

A cornerstone of Coach Patrick Seo's coaching philosophy is the belief that students should approach their training as if they are in a competition. He encourages them to perform their best during practice, fostering confidence that will carry over into actual competitions.

The journey to the National School Games begins 3 to 5 months before the grand event. The student athletes embark on an arduous training regimen, dedicating themselves to achieving excellence.

To prepare his students for the National School Games 2023, Coach Patrick Seo focuses on repetition, building confidence in their ability to win, and developing a strong mindset. Skills practice and simulation are key elements of his training regimen, helping students prepare both mentally and physically. Recognizing the diverse needs of his students in preparing for NSG, he tailors his coaching strategies to each individual's strengths and weaknesses. He adapts teaching methods based on students' abilities and ages, ensuring that they receive personalized guidance.

Ensuring the well-being of his students while preparing them for the competitive aspect of NSG is a priority for him. He boosts their confidence, maintains open communication, and actively listens to their feelings, fostering a positive mindset during training and competition. Participation in Taekwondo and the NSG, according to Coach Patrick Seo, instills confidence, resilience, and the ability to face challenges head-on in students. Beyond athletic pursuits, these qualities contribute significantly to personal growth and development, encouraging students to persevere and embrace challenges.

Taekwondo places a strong emphasis on discipline and character development, and Coach Patrick Seo actively incorporates these values into his coaching. He instills respect, manners, and courtesy among his students, encouraging them to show respect to instructors, parents, teachers, seniors, and peers. In addition to discipline, Coach Patrick Seo emphasizes not giving up and promotes teamwork to enhance students' social skills. Students not only become better athletes but also better individuals.

Coach Patrick Seo defines "success" not merely by the medals his students may earn but by their ability to confidently showcase their skills and growth during competitions. Success means stepping onto the NSG stage with unwavering confidence, ready to showcase their dedication and growth. While many of his students have achieved medals, he takes pride in those who courageously challenged themselves, considering them successful regardless of the outcome.



In the world of Taekwondo, nations like South Korea and Singapore share a common pursuit. Coach Patrick Seo notes that both countries emphasize school-level competitions, such as the National School Games, to nurture skills and character development in students. In South Korea, similar national school competitions serve as a platform for students to train and build their abilities while gaining valuable experience.


As a Korean Taekwondo coach in Singapore, Coach Patrick Seo acknowledges the language barrier as a potential challenge but appreciates the support and understanding of parents and students. He is committed to overcoming this challenge by continuously improving his English skills.

As we follow the journey of the young athletes in the National School Games, we shall too remember that their true brilliance lies not only in their medals but in their unwavering dedication, character, and growth. These students, like the martial art they practice, are destined to be champions not just on the NSG stage but in life itself. To Coach Patrick Seo, the NSG emerges as a platform where dreams flourish, and the next generation of Taekwondo stars are ready to illuminate the world.


Celebrate youth sport with ActiveSG Circle's coverage of National School Games 2023 here 

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(Photo credits: Patrick Seo)