Sunday, October 31, 2010

Can You Imagine Your Kids and Family Learning Martial Arts Together?

 Martial Arts in Phoenix for Kids and Family

USA Martial Arts is a unique martial arts school specializing in children and families.  What else can you do together as a family that is so beneficial?

Here are just some of the benefits:
1. Structured quality family time
2. Fitness and health as a family goal
3. Reinforced values you teach at home
4. Mutual encouragement and relationship building
5. Connect with other kids and families for positive friendships
6. Excitement, motivation and fun
7. Confidence, discipline and concentration
8. Control weight
9. Manage stress
10. Earn Black Belt together!

"A Family That Kicks Together, Sticks Together!"

USA Martial Arts offer special family rates.  Enroll now and save 50% off tuition!

USA Martial Arts Phoenix
4731 E. Greenway Rd Suite 9
Glendale, AZ 85032

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Curriculum Design

The art of Soo Bahk Do involves the development of the mind and the body.  There are three areas of development that we focus on in our training: Neh Gung (Internal Energy), Weh Gung (External Energy) and Shim Gung (Mental/Spiritual Energy).  Neh Gung can be considered our breath during our technique, Weh Gung is our body’s action (use of hip) and Shim Gung is our attitude; our discipline (Moo Do).  Our Founder, Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee, introduced a systematic and scientific method of training to enable us to realize our full potential.  Through this system, each area builds on the next and is progressively more involved.  Our art consists of the following training areas:

Ki Cho (Basic Motions)

There are many factors that make our Moo Duk Kwan style very unique under our Founder, Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee.  One factor is our unique way to emphasize the use of hip (Hu Ri).  The use of hip is extremely important in helping you to understand coordination of speed, power and balance.  Proper use of hip will help you achieve higher levels in your training and in other physical activities that you may become involved with in the future. 
To understand this unique aspect the first step in our training is to break down this application and apply its philosophy in basic hand (Blocking/Punching) and foot techniques (Kicking).  As a result the use of hip is broken down into defense and offensive hip.  The techniques used are taken from our Hyung (Forms).  This basic process will aid in our understanding of the techniques that are later applied in more difficult situations.  Ki Cho is the foundation of the techniques in Soo Bahk Do.   

Hyung (Forms)

Ancient people had a deep interest in the development of forms as well as a profound understanding of them.  Below is a quote from the Moo Yei Do Bo Tong Ji, which is the oldest documentation of Korean Martial Arts (300 Years), the author is unknown:
"Performing with hands and feet and conditioning the body is the beginning of the study of the art of Tang Soo Do (Soo Bahk Do).  In actual combat, form does not seem in an obvious way to be a necessary part of the martial arts.  However practicing forms perfects the ability to perform hand and foot techniques freely.  This is fundamental to making the best use of one's body at all times."
Basic to all martial arts is this:  After the basic movements are learned they are applied to and transformed into forms.  As established, traditional and clearly defined sets of steps, jumps, blocks, kicks and punches, each of the forms in our art has a unity and purposed.  The elements which make up the character or personality of a form are as follows:
  1.         Form Sequence
  2.         Power Control
  3.         Tension and Relaxation
  4.         Speed and Rhythm Control
  5.         Direction of Movements
  6.         Spirit or Attitude
  7.         Power of Technique
  8.         Understanding Form Technique
  9.         Distinctive Features of the Form
  10.         Perfect Finish
  11.         Precision of Movements
  12.         Intentness
These twelve elements may be used as a basis for evaluating a form and for the study of its improved performance.  For additional information on selected Hyung please click here
The Hyung of Soo Bahk Do were influenced by Ryu, or styles.  One style is Weh Ga Ryu(Outside/External House Style).  Weh Ga Ryu came from Southern Chinese Schools emphasizing speed, aggressiveness and dynamic action.  Examples of the Weh Ga Ryu style are the Gi Cho Hyung, Pyung Ahn Hyung, and Passai.  Another Ryu is Neh Ga Ryu (Inside/Internal House Style).  Neh Ga Ryu came from Northern Chinese Schools emphasizing more deliberate technique, stability and fluid motion.  Most of our advanced Hyung come from the Neh Ga Ryu, such as Nai Han Ji.  The last Ryu is the Joong Gan Ryu (Middle Way Style) This Ryu was a Korean influence due to the fact that they had to be versatile because of the threat of living between China and Japan.  The traditional Soo Bahk Hyung like the Yuk Ro Hyung and Chil Sung Hyung come from this style.
The types of moves in a Hyung are important to the character also.  These techniques often represent something from nature.  By symbolizing an animal in our Hyung we show a respect for nature, as we should for all life.   

Il Soo Sik Dae Ryun (One Step Sparring)

Il Soo Sik Dae Ryun is pre-planned sparring with a partner that helps develop balance, focus and distance control.  Through this area of training you will develop many effective combinations before being introduced to Free Sparring.  When you begin Free Sparring, it will be easier for you to perform the techniques required.  Il Soo Sik Dae Ryun is performed in a formal manner with a proper start, execution of the technique and a proper finish.  It involves the following ceremony:
  • Bow to your partner from the attention position
  • Jhoon Bee (Ready Stance) together
  • Measure distance
  • Junior side challenges with Ha Dan Mahk Kee (Low Block) and proper Ki Hap
  • Senior side response with Ki Hap
  • Junior side performs Sang Dan Kong Kyuk (High Punch)
  • Senior side defends attack performing Il Soo Sik exercise
  • Both sides Ba Ro (Return to Ready Stance) together upon completion
Bowing to our partner is Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan (Sang Ho Kan E Kyung Ret) is of the utmost importance as it shows the Respect and Discipline that comprise one of our 5 Moo Do Values.  Our training involves potentially dangerous techniques and without respect and discipline the techniques may be used in a negative manner.  The physical action of bowing shows the constant mental awareness and concentration required, as well as respect towards yourself, your partner and towards the art.   

Ho Sin Sool (Self-Defense)

Ho Sin Sool has been taught in Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan classes since the Founder established the Moo Duk Kwan in 1945.  Ho Shin Sool can be translated as follows:
  • Ho:        Protection, Defense
  • Sin:       One’s own body (Yourself)
  • Sool:      Technique
Ho Sin Sool begins with awareness of your surroundings, circumstances and potential threatening situations.  With proper awareness a conflict should be prevented long before a physical confrontation takes place.  Typically, the defender is grabbed and pulled in a variety of ways as a result; the defender needs to work in close quarters to escape the attack (grab or various weapons).  The purpose of Ho Sin Sool is to subdue attackers (redirect aggressive force) using minimal physical power that could be much larger/stronger than you.  "You can face danger with courage, but you need to have techniques to defend yourself."
Ho Sin Sool should use the energy of your partner against them.  In most situations, when your attacker pushes, you pull away and if they pull, you push.  The defender should understand the importance of striking quickly while maintaining the highest level of Shim Gung (Mental Energy).  When put into submission the attacker should maintain shi sun (eyesight), good posture and move with the flow of energy for an overall harmonious demonstration.   

Ja Yu Dae Ryun (Free Sparring)

Ja Yu Dae Ryun is designed to simulate real life-threatening combat.  As a result this area is a great test of skill, as it demands not only mastery of individual techniques, but the ability to react and strategize skillfully against an aggressive attacker.  Tactical knowledge of applications, as well as sensitivity towards the slightest change from full to empty in oneself and the attacker are of paramount importance.  Ja Yu Dae Ryun may be practiced with a single partner, multiple partners, an attacker with a weapon or multiple armed attackers.   

Kyok Pa (Breaking)

Kyok Pa is used primarily as a demonstration and test of striking and penetrating power. Wood, bricks, cement or tiles may be broken in Kyok Pa, which is exhibited most often in formal testing. The simplicity of breaking makes it a popular choice for public demonstrations, as it conveys an aspect of technical pragmatism to an audience without any martial knowledge or experience.  Any striking technique may be used for Kyok Pa, though generally the more sophisticated the technique, the more challenging the break.   


Moo Pahl Dan Khum (Breathing/Energy Exercises)

Daily fitness exercises are part of the Asian culture, with hundreds or thousands of variations.  These exercises called “Ki Gung” (Energy Cultivation) in Korean and “Chi Gung” in Chinese, fall into two major categories:  Martial exercises which build health and increase ones power for self defense, and Scholarly exercises which are designed specifically for health.  These exercises gently work the bones, ligaments, and muscles, as well as the internal organs, circulatory, immune, lymphatic and energy systems.  The Moo Pahl Dan Khum are a set deep breathing exercises that mean the following:
  • Moo:         Military
  • Pahl:         Eight
  • Dan:         Level
  • Khum:       Of Value (Silk)
Moo Pahl Dan Khum and Moon Pahl Dan Khum are one such set of very old exercises developed to maintain health both internally and externally.  They were originally based on an even older set of exercises called the Ship E Dan Khum (12 exercises).  The Ship E Dan Khum were adapted by Marshal Yei, a famous Chinese military General, for his troops.  They were divided into two sets, the Moo (Military) set of exercises and the Moon (Scholarly) set of exercises.  The Moo Pahl Dan Khum consists of 8 standing exercises and the Moon Pahl Dan Khum consists of 8 sitting exercises.
Our Founder, Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee added the Moo Pahl Dan Khum exercises to Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan's curriculum because he believed martial arts should be learned not only for self-defense, but also for the mental, physical and spiritual development. 

* Source: Russ Hanke's Soo Bahk Do College

Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan (aka Tang Soo Do)

Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan is an “Action Philosophy” based on the Moo Do (Martial Way / Discipline).  As the mission of our art is to achieve World Peace through improved human relations, this “Action” is needed to move towards this goal.  Without action and involvement our goals will never be met.  We use Soo Bahk Do to realize our full potential both physically and mentally to emphasize "Virtue in action" demonstrating courage, discipline, confidence and humility through our sincere efforts in training and our behavior towards others. 

Sip Sam Seh

In the course of the part several centuries, ancient martial arts have developed into a system of theories.  One of these theories is the Sip Sam Seh.  The Sip Sam Seh is one of the principles that has developed the modern martial arts.  Sip Sam Seh translates into the Thirteen Influences or Postures.  The Sip Sam Seh is divided into two categories: O Heng (5 energies) and Pahl Gwe (8 forces/directions).  The O Heng concentrate around the leg and foot movements and the Pahl Gwe focus on the hand and upper body movements. 

O Heng means five elements (five strategic movements), which are Gold (Metal), Wood, Water, Fire and Earth.  These five elements connect us to the surrounding nature that we come in contact with.  Oneness with nature and contact with natural surroundings is taught through the five requirements of Mental and Physical training.  A detailed description of the O Heng is as follows: 
  • Gold (Metal) – The only metal that does not corrode, rust or deteriorate.  It cannot be changed from one material to another, such as iron to steel.  Gold is therefore associated with the highest form of purity, incorruptibility, unchanging and of the highest value.  (Value of training, Wisdom)
  • Wood – The characteristic of wood is that it has strength, yet it can bend.  Strength and suppleness are its characteristics.  (Continuity in our training, Consistency)
  • Water – The characteristics of water are its’ ability to change from calm to stormy, from heavy (downpour) to light (steam).  It can be hard (ice) or flow and be soft.  Water adapts to the circumstances.  (Cooling, Refreshing, Relaxation)
  • Fire – The characteristic of fire is directed energy.  Concentration, determination, power, focus, come from concentration of Ki (energy);  Neh Gung and Shim Gung.  (Concentrated power, Purify, Heat)
  • Earth – Earth is “Um” manifested into “Yang;” the potential of becoming the existence.  The invisible energy becoming the visible energy.  Blooming, fertility, growth and development are its nature.  (Stability, Solid Stances, Earth Connection).  
Element - Name - Movement
  1. Gold - Ban - Circumspection
  2. Wood - Ko - Retrospection
  3. Water - Toi - Retreat
  4. Fire - Jin - Attack
  5. Earth - June - Stay Put
Pahl Gwe means eight directions (Eight Koe, eight tactical movements).  The directions consist of the four cardinal directions: North, South, East and West.  Additionally, the four corners are included: Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest).  The Pahl Gwe are also broken down into external and internal areas.  A description of the Pahl Gwe is below:

Direction - Name - Movement
  1. North - Ahn - Back
  2. South - Jae - Front
  3. East - Bong - Left
  4. West - Ryou - Right
  5. Northeast - Chae - Back Left
  6. Northwest - Ryoul - Back Right
  7. Southeast - Joo - Front Left
  8. Southwest - Koh - Front Right
Below is the Song of the Sip Sam Seh:
Never neglect any of the Sip Sam Seh.
The source of the will is in the waist.
Pay attention to the slightest change from full to empty.
Let energy flow through the whole body continuously.
Stillness embodies motion, motion stillness.
Seek stillness in motion.
Surprising things will happen when you meet your opponent.
Give awareness and purpose to every movement.
When done correctly all will appear effortless.
At all times pay attention to the waist.
Relaxed clear awareness of abdomen, the energy can be activated.
When the base of the spine is erect, energy rises to the top of the head.
The body should be flexible.
Hold the head as if suspended from a string.
Keep alert and seek the meaning and purpose of your art.
Bent and stretched, open and closed, let nature take its course.
Beginners are guided by oral teaching.
Gradually one applies himself more and more.
Skill will take care of itself.
What is the main principle of the martial arts?
The mind is the primary actor and the body the secondary one.
What is the purpose and philosophy behind the martial arts?
Rejuvenation and prolonging of life beyond the normal span.
So an eternal spring.
Every word of this song has enormous value and importance.
Failing to follow this song attentively, you will sigh away your time

8 Key Concepts

The eight key concepts of Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan and their literal translation:
  1. Yong Gi - Courage (Brave / Energy)
  2. Chung Shin Tong Il - Concentration (Clean, Clear / God / Govern / One)
  3. In Neh - Endurance (Endure / Patience)
  4. Chung Jik - Honesty (Right / Straight)
  5. Kyum Son - Humility (Humble / Humble)
  6. Him Cho Chung - Control of Power (Power / Manage / Right)
  7. Shin Chook - Tension and Relaxation (Relaxation, Expand / Tension, Contract)
  8. Wan Gup - Speed Control (Slow / Fast)

10 Articles of Faith on Mental Training

  1. Be loyal to one's country:  Sacrifice to fulfill your duty to your country and your people.  This is based on the spirit of Hwa Rang.
  2. Be obedient to one's parent and elders:  Children should be dutiful to their parents and parents should be charitable to their children.
  3. Be loving to one's husband or wife:  From the mother's body develops man's happiness, as harmony and affection form love between the sexes.
  4. Be cooperative to your brothers:  Hold together with cooperation and concord.
  5. Be respectful to elders:  Protect the rights of the weak with courtesy and modesty.
  6. Be faithful to your teacher:  Learn the truth through practice of duty, loyalty, and affection.
  7. Be faithful to friends:  Honor friendship and be peaceful and happy with harmony and faith towards all mankind.
  8. Face combat only in justice and with honor:  Be able to distinguish between good and bad with fairness and rightfulness.
  9. Never retreat in battle:  Sacrifice for justice with capability and bravery.
  10. Always finish what you start:  Move to action with sureness and with hope.

    * Source: Russ Hanke's Soo Bahk Do College

Monday, October 25, 2010

USA Martial Arts Phoenix Arizona USA
Drawing inspiration from the unconventional approach of John Nottingham, USA Martial Arts offers cutting-edge programs that promote traditional martial arts character development through highly effective reality based self defense. At USA Martial Arts, we believe in the importance of honoring traditions of the past, without being bound by them. We have spent decades developing a revolutionary curriculum that focuses on safety while teaching you the most effective combative moves. You train in a dynamic atmosphere with people at the same level and in the same age group.

Martial Arts for Men | Women | Children | Families 
Our mission is to provide personalized service and an unparalleled education. From our friendly staff that knows every member by name to personalized digital records, we monitor your journey toward achieving your goals.

Traditional Martial Arts | Modern Self Defense | Weapons
Martial Arts Programs: Taekwondo (Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do) Karate, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Krav Maga, Jeet Kune Do, Hapkido, Self Defense oriented Mixed Martial Arts, Kickboxing, Fitness Programs & Personal Training.


USA Martial Arts Phoenix
4731 E. Greenway Suite 9
Phoenix, AZ 85032

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Welcome to USA Martial Arts Taekwondo in Phoenix

USA Martial Arts Students Performing at Bank One Ball Park Arizona Diamondbacks

Personal Development Through The Martial Arts

USA Martial Arts Phoenix specializes in Taekwondo instruction for families.  We offer Taekwondo classes for children, teens, and adults.  Our focus is on the study of Taekwondo as a means of personal development, mental and physical, for you and your family.
Expert Taekwondo Instruction in Phoenix
Our instructors are experts in Taekwondo, but more importantly have also carefully studied both the theory and the practice of teaching for children, teens, and adults.  Our instructors are certified, experienced and highly trained.  Our instructors are personally committed to your child and family in every class session as they learn and grow.  Your family’s Taekwondo instruction will help you thrive as you begin to discover, grow, and develop your unique personal potential through your study of the martial arts.
Korean Karate - Taekwondo
We teach the style of Martial Arts called Taekwondo, which originated in Korea in the 1950’s – and has become the most popular style of Martial Arts in the United States, and in the world.  From the very first, Taekwondo was carefully designed with the needs of the student in mind.  Strongly interactive, you’ll learn Taekwondo through doing the art – with demonstration and instruction to help you as you learn.  This makes Taekwondo as a style of Martial Arts particularly well-adapted to your family’s needs as students, giving you stimulating, engaging challenges that boosts your personal growth and development, and empowers your self-confidence.

We have classes available 6 days out of the week, Mondays through Saturdays, to accommodate your family’s busy schedule.  
Sign up today for our Free 1 Week Introductory Course – get to know our school for yourself, and experience the fun, excitement, and personal benefits of Taekwondo at first hand.  You and your family are welcome at our school.

USA Martial Arts Phoenix - Personal Development Martial Arts, Fitness and Self Defense

Try our FREE Intro course!

USA Martial Arts Phoenix - Personal Development Martial Arts, Fitness and Self Defense
You’ve never studied Martial Arts before, but you want to know more about it?  You’re curious, you’ve heard of some of the benefits of studying Taekwondo, but you’re not sure how to get started?  You want to know if Taekwondo is going to be right for you and your family?

These are some of the questions our Free 1 Week Introductory Course was designed to answer.  During your Introductory Course, you will:
•    Get acquainted with our school and character building curriculum.
•    Learn some of the basics of Taekwondo by participating in special classes with other beginners.
•    Get a feel for how our USA Martial Arts classes work, and what you’ll be doing in them.
•    Meet and get to know our instructors, and some of your fellow students.
•    See if studying Taekwondo at our school is going to be a good fit for you and your family.

Just so I’m clear, our Free 1 Week Introductory Course is available to you without cost or any other obligation whatsoever.  This is just a way for you to get to know more about us, get first-hand experience of our Taekwondo classes, and make a fully-informed decision about enrolling as a student.  At the conclusion of your Introductory Course, you’ll also have the opportunity to earn your first belt in Taekwondo – your white belt.

To get started with your Free 1 Week Introductory Course, please click here to e-mail us or call our school at 602-896-8721.

To Mom And Dad: Your Child And The Martial Arts

Letter To Mom And Dad: Your Child And Martial Arts

To Mom And Dad: Your Child And The Martial Arts

A letter to parents –from an old martial art

teacher –about martial arts lessons and children.
I'm going on 50 years old, which really isn't that old, but to talk to you about what a child, your child, stands to learn from taking martial arts lessons, it's old enough. I took my first lesson at the age of 9, received my first degree black belt at 19, and this year I will celebrate my 30 year of teaching and assistant teaching the martial arts.
I'm going to condense my experience into a few hundred words for you; the goal is to give you the 30-year perspective on what I have learned as a result of my training –and what I know your child will learn, should you decide to make the martial arts a part of his or her life.
In some ways, martial arts schools are all the same. Each school is going to be contained in some kind of space, like a shopping mall, a free-standing building, a room in a gym, in an office building, a garage, or maybe on a stretch of lawn in a park or in someone's backyard. What makes a martial school great is not the space it is in, although as parents we want the school to be clean and safe; what makes or breaks a martial arts school is the people that fill that space.
Here lies the primary reason to enroll –and then keep –your child in martial arts lessons, from the moment they first meet the age requirements of a school, until they leave your nest: The people.

The teachers (and students) in a martial arts school become leaders, heroes, role models, and friends to your child; and while martial arts teachers, like every kind of teacher, have their various strengths and weaknesses, their influence and friendship is worth every penny you will ever spend on tuition, times 10.
I remember my teachers, I remember the senior students in my classes, I remember my classmates and the students who joined after me. I remember when I was 12-years-old and a red belt student, a man in his mid 20's, told me, nonchalantly, that "practice was the key to being a great martial artist –or a great anything." I can hear his voice as if he told me that yesterday –and the advice has shaped my life. My father probably told me the same thing a 1000 times, but who listens to their parents –until much later in life?
A martial arts teacher is a real man or woman; they're not heroes fabricated by the entertainment industry. These are real people that will be there, in their classes, day after day, patient, persistent, and persuasive. Their message is about consistent effort, about perseverance, about focus and goals and defense and self-control. Even teachers who can't speak English can, with an uncanny ability delivered through their coaching, translate values and powerful, life-changing ideas to their students.
The kind of education a good martial arts teacher provides a young person is different from anything they will learn in grade school, from parents, or from football, soccer, or gymnastics coaches. The magic that forms in the long term relationship between a martial arts teacher and his or her students makes them an incredibly valuable, but all too often unacknowledged, part of "the village" that can help raise your child to be confident, self-disciplined, resilient, and resourceful.
Literally thousands of adults have told me, long after they stopped practicing the martial arts, what a powerful and positive influence their martial arts teacher was, and still is, in their life. I concur. Even the teachers that I came to think were inadequate, when I look back, I realize were a gift.
I owe them all a huge debt of gratitude for helping me develop respect for my self and others, for helping me build by body, develop my coping skills, and for the confidence their constant attention and direction gave me. It took me a long time to understand the value of their friendship, but oh, now, I so completely get it. What a blessing! I would hope that every child would have the chance to interact with teachers like I had, men and women who coached and fixed and taught and laughed and yelled and, as I now understand, loved.
The second most valuable reason to have your child studying the martial arts, any style, any method, is the philosophy that goes with the training. Every style, every teacher of any skill, has something positive to teach your child. Some, of course, do it much better than others, but whether they know it or not, they are imparting wisdom of the most extraordinary kind –and at a time in a child's life that they really need it.
I can still hear my teacher's words:
"Eyes straight ahead! Focus!"
"It's ok to be afraid, just don't let it stop you from moving and trying!"
"What are the two qualities of a champion?" We would answer, shouting, "Attention to detail and follow through, sir!"
"Real bravery isn't found in fighting! It's found in not fighting!"
"Attention! Pay your respect!"
Pay your respect, indeed.
Mom, Dad, every lesson is important and it's worth every penny, every minute you spend convincing your son or daughter that going to class that day is better than watching TV; it's worth every bump, bruise, stubbed toe, and every tear.
The good times, the victories, the understanding of the value of finally breaking through a barrier, the friendships, the little kids, the teenagers, the parents, and the old folks –it's so good, so very worthwhile, and so needed in today's world, that I had to write you about it. I had to encourage you –and try to give you the big-picture perspective on the martial arts. If you can swing it, get your child into a martial arts school and keep them there, even when they don't recognize the value of what they're doing.
They will, someday.

About the Author

Tom Callos is a consultant to martial arts instructors, currently helping teachers to work environmentalism, anger management, kindness and leadership training into their schools. His websites are and He may be reached by phone (PST) at 530-903-0286 and/or by e-mail at

USA Martial Arts Phoenix

4731 E. Greenway Rd Suite 9
Phoenix, AZ 85032
Tatum & Greenway
Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, North Phoenix Community

Keywords: martial arts parents kids children