“Since Ssireum was so popular in the 1980s and 1990s, I thought complacently that ‘people would come as soon as the board was opened.’ The current reality of Ssireum is to organize TV broadcasts in the afternoon and daytime when viewers are not interested. You have to work hard to reach your fans during the ‘golden time’. It is also necessary to actively utilize TV entertainment programs such as ‘The First Merchant in the World’ (Channel A) to publicize the charm of wrestling.”
Lee Man-ki, a professor at Inje University who won the World Cup 10 times during his active career, said this at the ‘Ssireum Promotion Revitalization Conference’ held at the Korea Tourism Organization Seoul Center in Jung-gu, Seoul on the 17th안전놀이터. It is a place prepared by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Korea Ssireum Association, and Dong-A Ilbo together with the announcement of the ‘K-ssireum promotion plan’ by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in January this year. Culture Minister Park Bo-kyun, Korean Ssireum Association head Hwang Gyeong-soo, Yongin University professor Lee Tae-hyeon, and Yeongam-gun Folk Ssireum Troupe member Kim Min-jae put their heads together with Professor Lee to discuss ways to develop wrestling.
Minister Park said, “Ssireum is an event in which the aesthetics of sports explode explosively at the climax of winning and losing.” ”he said. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism plans to establish five professional teams by 2025 and foster the Lunar New Year, Chuseok, Dano Market, and Cheonha Market competitions as four major competitions to attract them to large cities such as Seoul. In addition, it is also setting a goal to show off more dynamic game skills by establishing a lightweight class (tentatively named Sobaek class) under 70kg.
Chairman Hwang said, “Only aggressive wrestling is our way to survive,” and ordered, “Efforts are needed from field leaders so that various wrestling skills can come out in the game.” Chairman Hwang is a famous coach who trained star players such as Professor Lee Man-gi and Kang Ho-dong (Cheonha Jangsa, 5th episode) while coaching in Changwon City, Gyeongsangnam-do.
Prof. Lee Tae-hyeon (Cheonhajangsa 3rd episode), who was known as the ‘Prince of the Sand Plate’ following Professor Lee Man-ki and Kang Ho-dong, said, “If there is a sacred place for wrestling, it will be of great help in spreading its history and legitimacy.” ‘Do’ was the opinion. In Japanese sumo, the ‘Ryogoku National Museum’ leads to a sacred place, but in reality, it is difficult to find a place that is as symbolic as this in wrestling.
Kim Min-jae, who attended as a representative of active players, said, “We need to increase the prize money for the tournament. He also needs to build a career education system to do other things after quitting midway through wrestling. That way, we can bring in young players,” he said. Kim Min-jae became the first university student to become the world champion in 37 years since Professor Lee Man-gi, who was a senior at Kyungnam University in 1985, when he was a student at Ulsan University last year. This year, he won the Baekdu Masters consecutively at the Lunar New Year’s Day and Mungyeong Merchant’s Competitions.
Minister Park expressed his expectation, saying, “As we go from Lee Man-ki’s (initial) MK to Kim Min-jae’s MJ, the era of wrestling revival is opening.” We plan to expand the base of wrestling by promoting it anew.”
Minister Park continued, “I am convinced that wrestling is the sport in which freedom and solidarity, the philosophy of state affairs of the Yoon Seok-yeol administration, can flourish most splendidly and fruitfully. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will prepare various support measures so that K-ssireum can be in the limelight around the world, and will help in a structured way.”