Cultural Understanding and Personal Growth Through Taekwondo as Cross-Cultural Activity

Junhyoung Kim, Jinmoo Heo, Carina King, Sooyeon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to explore the benefits of Taekwondo participation related to cross-cultural understanding. Using a series of in-depth interviews with Taekwondo participants, this study investigated whether Taekwondo participation would promote cultural and ethnic understanding and gain new or different cultural perspectives. A total of 12 Taekwondo participants in a Midwestern city were interviewed. From the analysis of the interviews, two themes emerged that described the Taekwondo experiences: (a) cultural knowledge and (b) personal growth associated with cross-cultural contacts. The findings suggest that Taekwondo participation provides rich opportunities for individuals to foster cultural and ethnic understandings related to East Asian cultures and facilitate social interactions with other Asian people, which contributed to personal growth. This study also provided evidence of the role of recreation activities in positive cross-cultural contacts and interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-376
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Humanistic Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jul

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy


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