Full Rescue Possible for Even Nonswimmers with Easy 'Leaf Survival Float'
Full Rescue Possible for Even Nonswimmers with Easy 'Leaf Survival Float'
  • Ahn, Kyong A Reporter
  • 승인 2016.04.28 17:33
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Despite Parkinson’s disease, an international finance expert Director Kim, Cheolghee becomes a missionary of survival swimming

ㆍOnly several hours training enables survival in the sea for one to two hours
ㆍ300 Philippines youths' demonstration of the new survival method on April 7th praises 'great success'
ㆍ With the new survival swim method  '1 hour golden time' for rescue in case of water accidents is possible

By Kim, Chang yeoung (bodang69@gmail.com) / Representative Reporter & Publisher

On April 7th, more than 300 Filipino youths were demonstrating Leaf Survival Floating at the Santa Cruz Beach in Mindoro Island, the Philippines.

On April 7th, more than 300 Filipino youths gathered to participate in a pilot survival exercise by floating on the sea at the Philippines Island Mindoro Santa Cruz Beach.
This incredulous event was headed by Survival Techniques Coach Paul Ahn (Ahn, Chi Kwon, 45) and and Korea Parkinson's Disease Association Sports Director Kim, Cheolghee (59).

The training the youths received consisted of only three hours of actual survival techniques called "Leaf Survival Float" learned in the high waves at the beach the previous two days.
All preparations were completed owing to the dedicated efforts led by the youth volunteers from the Incheon Yeram Church (Pastor Woo Young Gyoon 58).

In unison they shouted the campaign slogan, "Save the children from drowning!" and simultaneously all jumped into the sea. It was an amazing scenic moment to see all floating on the water 'like a leaf' with only the buoyancy of the body without any supporting devices nor swimming movements.

A few struggled with fear upon realization about the unknown depth of the deep sea and began to flap but soon all regained calmness by following the moderator’s direction  of two sentences━"lie on the back" and "breathe in". Then approximately 100 youths and assisting instructors held onto two long ropes tied to a small boat and moved in a lying position to the middle of the ocean.

They demonstrated the actual survival techniques by holding hands with each other, or floating on their backs waiting for the rescue team. Experiencing the deep sea was the first time for the most participants. However, with only a few hours of “floating leaf’ survival techniques learned, all were rescued easily.

On April 7th, more than 300 Filipino youths were demonstrating Leaf Survival Floating at the Santa Cruz Beach in Mindoro Island, the Philippines.

On the 24th the Safetimes met with the Parkinson's Disease Association's Director Kim, Cheolghee who successfully finished with this massive event to demonstrate the 'Leaf Survival Float' survival swimming method in the Philippines.

The Korean Ministry of National Public Safety has set ; "one hour" to be the golden time for the Ministry's rescue window in marine disasters after the incident of Sewol Ho Ferry casualties. The Ministry’s goal is to dispatch the helicopters and to rescue everyone if the victims can endure the waves for one hour in the cold waters.  In-depth interview was conducted on this breakthrough survival technique, where with only a few hours of training a person who cannot swim can extend the time endurance needed for the rescue. 

The person who spearheaded and oversaw the campaign "Save people from drowning!" is a patient suffering from Parkinson's disease. While working close to 20 years at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), an international organization, he assisted many underdeveloped countries. It led to his love of helping with the humanitarian spirit that is now ingrained in his life. Thus, he is pursuing this campaign by contributing his talents.  He is active as a missionary to promote the 'Leaf Survival Float'.

'The Leaf Survival Float' is not the conventional way of swimming by moving the arms and legs. It is a very highly effective survival swimming method. This method utilizes very little energy when both arms stretched straight above and make the body a buoy by using the breathing techniques that will make the body to naturally float on the water.

By completely relaxing the whole body one gives oneself to the water to ‘lie’ on the water like a leaf floating. Thus, it was coined 'Leaf Survival Float’. This survival method was developed by his swimming coach Paul Ahn. In case of emergency, this method allows waiting for the rescue, even fully clothed with pants and shoes, using one’s own body buoyancy to float for one or two hours without any supportive devices.

Director Kim, Cheolghee stated, "Anyone whether man or woman, old or young if trained for more or less than 10 hours can completely master this technique." He assured that "in case of unexpected water disaster or emergencies, this is very effective and useful."

He has been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for many years and is Class 5 in disability (Disability disorder in brain). Due to difficulty in moving he could not continue his usual daily swimming regimen. He resorted to floating on his back in the children’s pool to do his stretching exercise and ended up hours increasing. Then in September of last year, the couple developed "Yoga Swim’ for those with disabilities, a precursor to the survival swim method 'Leaf Survival Float'. He demonstrated it at the Asia Parkinson’s Disease Forum in Tokyo Japan and received high acclaim.

Korea Parkinson's Disease Association Sports Director Kim, Cheolghee was teaching the Leaf Float at the Nobless Tower Swimming Pool, located in Jongam-dong,  Seoul City, together with his wife and coach Kim, Kyungin.

In January, together with Paul Ahn Coach, he taught survival techniques to the residents of the Mindoro Island in the Philippines and gained enough confidence to successfully finishing the survival education program targeting the Mindoro Island's youths.

Despite his limited mobility Director Kim's ability to do volunteer work donating his talents is attributed to his innate positive mindset. When he was diagnosed with the incurable Parkinson’s disease, he smiled brightly saying to the doctor "Then, I promise to live the balance of my everyday life happier by three times more." This quickly became a sensational topic spread through the SNS.

Even though his mobility is getting worse from the progression of the disease as each year passes by, he stated that has never broken his promise. Instead he performed even more miraculous feat by taking intensive swimming training and earlier this year the couple obtained the survival swimming coach license along his swimming coach. With the swimming and survival training, they are serving the role as the "Happiness Missionaries."

Director Kim said, "After receiving the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease I immediately started to learn to swim and swam every day morning and night for physical recovery a cumulative distance of more than 2000km including the swimming in the sea."

He added, "My ultimate goal is to save people from drowning, and to help the process of ‘floating humanity’".

"We have so far trained several thousands of people, and mostly one hour on the short, and the longest being less than 10 hours of highly effective training to enable floating like a leaf on their own.

Director Kim stated, "In the future, it is only a matter of time before the tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of people to participate to join the ranks of the "floating humanity." He added, "Another disaster like Sewol Ho Ferry Casualties shall not repeat if the elderly and children learn this survival method to take away the drowning risks."

He stressed, "Even though I have limited mobility I would be happy to dedicate myself in relieving the people’s fears."

<Following is the full interview of the Parkinson’s Disease Association’s Sports Director Kim, Cheolghee>

- What is different about ‘Leaf Survival Float’ from other swimming methods?

“This is a new concept of highly effective and easy to learn swimming method that has been invented and developed by my swim coach Paul Ahn.  The “Leaf Survival Float’ method is the very first survival method in the world for the person to use his own body’s buoyancy to lightly float like a tree leaf in the water for a long duration in order to minimize physical consumption of energy to wait for the rescue. There is also an excellent advantage of thermal effect because one can go into the water while wearing clothes and shoes because of hardly no swimming movements.  If one needs to move, as taught together with the ‘Leaf Survival Float’ method, stir the limbs while floating in the lying position.   For Asian body physique, one can learn to float as short as just in one hour of training.  At most, if one takes a standard course of 16 hours, one can utilize this method in the river or ocean for life.  I am certain that this is the most effective method to save lives in water accidents."

The Safetimes' Representative Reporter Kim, Changyoung interviewed the 'Leaf Survival Float' missionary Director Kim, Cheolghee.

- How was the education conducted in Mindoro Island, the Philippines?

"After we confirmed the safety and stability of the survival method, we trained 300 teenagers.  On the first day, we trained them for approximately one hour for them to adapt in the waters of relatively safe beach waters but surprisingly several dozens began to float.  On the second day, we trained them for two hours in the rough waves.  To our surprise most of them floated on their own surviving the high waves and were successful in ‘Leaf Survival Float.’  On the final day, under the stabilized waves, many more kids succeeded in ‘Leaf Survival Float.’  The teens who volunteered together with the assisting instructors hung onto two long ropes of 100 meters and in lying position of “Leaf Survival Float’ moved slowly to the middle of the ocean and held each other’s hands floating completely stationary and were fully and successfully rescued.” 

- Why did you select Mindoro Island in the Philippines for the demonstration?

"Nearly 20 years I lived in Manila, where headquarters of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is located. Thus, Philippines is my second home.  Choi, Yong Ki Missionary who was doing mission work at the Mindoro Island requested for training of “Leaf Survival Float’ during the 2016 Vision Philippine Youth Conference period.  Because of frequent high waves at the Mindoro Islands, drowning accidents were rampant; therefore, it was a perfect place for the campaign to start up.  Moreover, a fellow coach, Woo, Young Gyoon who was the Pastor of the Yeram Church in Incheon City sent youth volunteers to assist and was able to complete the demonstration event without incident”

- How was the reaction of the Philippine youths?

"The trainees were upper grades of elementary school and middle school aged students in our country standards.  To sum it in one word, the reaction was a surprise that it was so easy and fun to learn the “Leaf Survival Float.’  Because the children live on the island, they were familiar with waters but due to frequent drowning accidents, they would not dare to enter the sea even on small waves.  They were happy that they would not need to fear the water anymore and would be able to play more.  In next year’s meeting, they wanted to boast about the numbers of children to whom they would teach “Leaf Survival Float’ and gave high praises on the learning.  With just two to three hours of practicing the “Leaf Survival Float’ the children gained self-confidence to finale by moving several hundreds of meters to the middle of the ocean of depths of tens of meters to float and wait for nearly one hour for the rescue makes a definitive statement about the superiority of the ‘Leaf Survival Float’ method.

- Do you have plans to train ‘Leaf Survival Float’ method to the people with disabilities?

"’Leaf Survival Float’ method is very beneficial for the people with disabilities and patients. Just floating in the water to develop a sense of balance itself is a good exercise.  Once the fear of the water disappears, and when the water becomes familiar, then one begins to think about a movement or exercise one can do in the water. When the effectiveness of the drug diminish, my body stiffens and cannot swim normally, I float on my back for long hours in the children’s pool and actually do ‘Yoga Swim’ that I had developed to stretch on a daily basis. Then, I swim again.  This year, together with Coach Paul Ahn, I am planning to develop and distribute an easy stroking technique for those with disabilities and patients."

-It is amazing how you can do this with your disability.

"My favorite word is 'resilience'.  When faced with unexpected difficulties, to place a higher vision and mental strength many times more than in the past, to provide help to enable more people to pursue beneficial paths comes from the strengths of the mind.  The moment when I was diagnosed with incurable disease, the resilience hidden within me sprang out, I think.  As the Parkinson's disease is progressing, by the middle of the day the diminishing efficacy of the drug causes my body and the limbs to stiffen and restricts mobility.  But I am not mindful at all.  I am just thankful for the movement that I do have now and will dedicate my body and soul to saving the world from drowning by promoting the widespread of this survival methods.” 

□ Kim, Cheolghee  (cheolghee@gmail.com) ▲ Birth: Gyeongbuk Gimcheon (1957) ▲ Gimcheon High School (1975) ▲ Korea University Business Administration (1982) ▲ Seoul National University  MBA in International Business (1985) ▲ US Wharton School MBA in Finance (1994) ▲ The Bank of Korea (1982 ~ 1995) ▲ The Asian Development Bank (ADB, 1995 ~ 2014) ▲ Diagnosis of Parkinson's disease (2011. 1) ▲ ‘Leaf Survival Float’ Introduction (2014) ▲ Coaching Qualification (2016) ▲ Korea Parkinson’s Disease Association,  Sports Director (2015 ~ present)

Coach Ahn, Chi Kwon (Paul Ahn) (on the left) and Korea Parkinson's Disease Association Sports Director Kim, Cheolghee were making a big smile after the interview that was held at the Nobless Tower Swimming Pool in Jongam-dong,  Seongbuk-gu, Seoul City on April 24th.

Translated by : Ahn, Kyong A globalwinner77@gmail.com
<Copyright ⓒ the Safetimes prohibits unauthorized copying and redistribution of this article>

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