Thursday, October 28, 2010

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

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