Don’t mess with Hojin Jo… He trained with the Korean Special Forces

Hojin Jo is one of the newest members of Climb Base5’s Open Performance Team for the 2016/2017 season. The 29-year old climber from Korea was selected to be on the team not only for his outstanding climbing abilities, but also because he has a positive spirit and passion for improving as a climber and as a person. He’ll be competing in the Open category at this weekend’s November Sessions.

How did you get into climbing?
I fell in love with climbing the first time I tried it and have been doing it for the last six years. I started climbing around 2010 and it really made a strong impression on me after my first climbing trip in China in 2012. There was no specific reason why I started climbing. I just wanted to try and I liked it. I’ve made it part of my life every since.

Climbing is different from any other sports that I’ve done before. Every single movement is different and every problem, hold, and angle of the walls are unique. There is so much variety that it never gets boring. And that makes climbing always a lot of fun!

There’s also a specific goal or purpose in climbing, like trying a new grade or trying for a competitive ranking. It helps me to focus on climbing without losing my direction. In the end, climbing is about challenging myself and not about comparing myself with others.

What are your climbing accomplishments?
My climbing history and career isn’t as long as the other team members, but climbing has been part of my life since I’ve gotten into it and I have dedicated myself to it. I’ve been able to send 5.13a and V9… for me, the best accomplishment is becoming a route setter.

What does it mean to be on the Open Performance Team?
It’s been an amazing experience so far and I consider it to be a turning point in my climbing life. I take it seriously being on the team because I want to improve at climbing. It’s an opportunity to train with others and to be part of a team. I also want to be coached and learn new methods to be a better climber. The training and coaching will help me get stronger, both physically and mentally.

How does climbing help you in your life?
Climbing helps me to think clearly and to focus. It also makes me think positively so that I can imagine the glory of grabbing the finishing hold. I tell myself “I won’t fall, I can do it.” Climbing also makes me feel alive. It makes me passionate about my life because it’s fun, social, and motivates me to see the world. It also keeps me employed!

What don’t we know about you?
When I’m not climbing, I usually work, run, bike and swim. I really love music – I sing in and perform with a Korean band in Vancouver. I also served two years with the Korean Marine Special Forces.

Follow Hojin on Facebook and Instagram.

This is part of a series to profile the 2016/2017 Open Performance Team members.