김도진, 태권도로 동아프리카 평화에 기여
‘화합 전까지 돌아오지 않겠다’

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아프리카의 열악한 환경을 극복하고 태권도 활성화에 힘쓰는 김도진(45) 해외파견사범.

그는 젊은 시절 우크라이나에서 힘들게 얻은 KOICA(한국국제협력단) 파견사범 경험을 바탕으로 2015년 에티오피아 국기원 해외파견사범에 지원했다.

2015년 말, 합격통지를 받은 그는 이삿짐 151개를 컨테이너에 싣고 동아프리카 에티오피아로 향했다. “빨리 가서 태권도를 보급하고 싶었는데 통보도 늦었고 현지 내분으로 출국일정도 지연됐다”는 그는 열정이 강했다.

하지만 26년 만에 다시 찾아온 내분으로 국가비상인 에티오피아는 쉽게 그의 열의를 받아주지 않았다. 당시 에티오피아인들은 중화이주정책으로 대부분의 아시아인을 중국인으로 인식했다. 중국인에 대한 적대감도 고스란히 한국인에게 전해졌다.

현지에 도움을 주기 위해 이주한 김 사범도 부당한 대우를 받아야 했다. 그는 이런 인종 차별을 한국인의 온정으로 되돌려 줬고, 현지인들의 얼은 마음이 녹아 내렸다. 그리고 그들에게 태권도라는 새로운 무도를 보여줬다.

노력하는 그에게도 고난은 있었다. 그는 지방순회 세미나를 하던 때, 현지 음식을 잘 못 먹고 장티푸스에 걸린 일을 떠올리며 진저리를 쳤다. 당시 갑작스러운 장티푸스로 체중이 15킬로그램이나 빠졌던 한동안 그 충격에서 벗어나지 못했다고 한다.

이런 힘든 환경을 극복하는 그의 옆에는 늘 아내가 함께하며 버팀목이 돼 주었다. 대학시절에 음악을 공부한 부인은 KOICA 선배였다. 우크라이나 파견 동아리에서 처음 만났고 2011년 39세의 나이로 결혼했다. 김 사범은 “부인이 현지에서도 몇 없는 식재료로 모국의 음식을 만들어줘서 다행이도 잘 생활하고 있다”며 고마운 마음을 표시했다.

김 사범은 한국전쟁에 연합군으로 참여했던 에티오피아에서 태권도를 지도하는 것을 특별히 보람되게 생각하고 있었다. 그는 “6ㆍ25 전쟁에 연합군으로 파병부대를 보내준 에티오피아를 우리는 낯설어 한다. 할아버지 연세가 된 당시 파병군은 지금도 아리랑을 부르고 태권도 기합을 넣으며 한국을 그리워한다”며 “한국 태권도 사범을 반겨주는 파병군의 자녀들에게 태권도를 가르치는 것이 마치 빚을 갚는 것 같아 보람차다”고 말했다.

김 사범은 에티오피아 정부 요청으로 파견되어 승단 심사, 주니어국가대표팀과 세미나 교육 등 업무를 맡고 있다. 2년 간 현지 생활에서 그는 빈부의 격차를 가장 큰 문제로 지목했다. 지방이나 수도 빈민가에는 교육시설 및 물품조차 없는 경우가 많다는 것이다.

에티오피아를 살결로 경험한 김 사범은 단순한 태권도 보급이 아닌 정신을 가르치기를 희망한다. 그는 “경기 태권도가 아닌 무도로서 태권도 정신을 가르쳐 사회질서 준수를 이끌어 평화로운 사회를 만들고 싶다”며 “겨루기와 다르게 품새를 통해 태권도 정신을 가르치고 인성교육을 하고 싶다”고 설명했다.

다양한 부족과 종교로 제각각인 에티오피아 국민들은 김도진 사범에 대한 모든 것을 궁금해 한다. 현지인이 그에게 종교에 대해 물으면, 그는 망설임 없이 “나의 종교는 태권도이다”라고 답한다.

“에티오피아가 태권도를 통해 한 가족으로 화합할 때까지 한국에 돌아오지 않겠다”는 그의 말에서 강한 의지와 열정이 엿보인다.

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