American football…in Korea

Micah here.  I’ve heard there’s actually a professional semi-pro amateur club football league in Korea. The league is called the KAFA or Korean American Football Association. There are very few foreigners in this league, so Korean-American really means “American football in Korea” (and no…I don’t mean soccer).

As some of you may know, football (the American version) is my favorite sport to play or watch. In some ways I’m very excited to find full contact football in Korea.  I haven’t watched or played a real game since we came here. The season is starting soon, but I’m mulling over the idea of playing because of a few factors: age, physical shape, hurt factor, competition level, and time commitment.

Me, playing for the South Sound Shockers.

Age: I bring up age because I recently turned 30 years old. If you are a Seahawks or Chargers fan you know this – running backs are no good once they turn 30. They “lose a step,” which means quickness, speed, and durability (those guys get hit a lot!!). The proof lies within former NFL MVPs like Shaun Alexander and La’Dainian Tomlinson (whose skills have deteriorated).  Luckily for me, I never played in the NFL and I’m not a running back. Instead, I played defensive back (the guy who guards receivers) or on occasion receiver. Generally speaking, I think most players at my position should play only until their early 30’s because their athletic prime is mid to late 20’s. I guess I technically fit into this area, so that brings me to…

Physical shape: Lisa and I hit up the gym or home gym about four times a week…maybe.  So we’re both in decent shape (she’s in better shape than me), but I’m not really in football shape: agility and speed workouts, power lifting, and flexibility. I don’t have the drive to do power squats anymore, plus my wrists have been killing me.

Me, owning this guy.

Hurt factor: Maybe it’s my age, but my body just doesn’t heal as fast as it once did. I woke up one morning and my neck was killing me.  Geeze…I’m an old man! But besides my old man body, I think there is always the fear of getting injured while playing…thus potentially derailing travel plans.  Also, I haven’t seen the competition level of KAFA, but I know that many of the players haven’t played football for very long, so that alone increases the chances of getting injured by accident.  On the bright side, in all of my years playing, I’ve never gotten seriously injured. So I have history on my side. 🙂

Competition Level: I’ve heard most players are beginners, but I can’t pass judgment until I see them. I don’t claim to be the best football player, but I think that I could be pretty successful in this league.  However, I can’t really bag on the players because when I first started playing, I wasn’t very good. But I really wanted to learn how to play.  And while I was a late bloomer, there were many people who were naturals. So there could be plenty of people out there who are really good.

Time commitment: I’ve heard practice is once a week. The time commitment doesn’t seem too bad, but like I said earlier, I’d like to be in football shape. At least having one game/practice a week is not bad – so I wouldn’t be taking away from our Korean adventure. (Then again, we had a hard time going to Korean language class once a week on Saturdays because it made it hard for us to travel on the weekends.)

Gotta make time for this girl. 🙂

It would be really exciting to be able to strap on the pads again and get in some competition, but I’m not sure if it is worth the commitment (as we are in Korea to learn about a new culture and to travel). But then again, being on a mostly Korean team would allow for more cultural exchange and interactions. So I’m currently undecided. Stay tuned for any football updates. 🙂

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10 Responses to “American football…in Korea”


  1. 1 Tera March 11, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    At first I missed the “Micah here” part, and thought it was odd Lisa was claiming football was her favorite sport to watch and play!! Haha

  2. 2 HEEDO March 14, 2010 at 6:18 am

    Micah. it’s interesting to read what you wrote. I understand how much you miss football there. I came to states 5 years ago and guys at work always talked about ball games, which I had no idea about rules and everything. Now I have been to ball park several times and following the score of Seahawks… Man this sports is the best one ever. Sorry that you miss the amazing part of entertainment but hopefully you find a way to enjoy it.

  3. 3 Danielle September 8, 2010 at 2:44 am

    Hey, I’ve got a question for you! My boyfriend is VERY interested in playing football in Korea. Can you give me any contact information of the club so that he could join? I have been searching without much luck. Thank you!

  4. 4 Brian September 24, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Hey
    I’m interested in playing football
    Not a pro or even a good amateur but played all the time with my friends
    Been in korea for 4 years and missing football in many ways
    Can you send me some info on Korean clubs?
    Thanks
    Brian

  5. 5 Kieran October 10, 2010 at 4:05 am

    Hey!
    I overheard a conversation in a bar last night about this American Football League in Korea. I used to play with the University of Limerick Vikings. Can you send me the contact info of the clubs. Or direct me to a place that I can find info (in English).
    Thanks
    Kieran

  6. 6 Tom Lee June 6, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Hey
    My brother and I are interested in playing football in korea this summer. And we desperately need to practice so we can prepare for next school year. can you please email me the contacts of club american football teams in korea. thanks

  7. 7 Peter January 16, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Pretty much like everyone else can you give me any contact information of the club so that I could join? I have been searching without much luck. Thank you!

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