This is my 2nd time attending the WMDK Heritage Program in the Hudson Valley, in Patterson, NY. This year's program, like last year, was hosted by Leclerc's Martial Arts Schools, Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan
Masters Robert and Laura Leclerc, photo above, have been involved with the Heritage Program since it started in 2019. Last year's attendance was over 140 attendees from their five schools located in the Hudson Valley. This year, 100 attended the heritage event. H. C. Hwang, Kwan Jang Nim, of the World Moo Duk Kwan, was the guest instructor and lecturer for this event also.
There was also an open invitation to WMDK Ko Dan Ja (KDJ) to support and attend this event from the Kwan Jang Nim. The invitation was accepted by several members from Region 1, 2 and as far away as Region 10. If ever I've witnessed what real cooperation and connection should always be in the martial arts, it was at this Heritage Program event. It was evident during the seminar taught by the Kwan Jang Nim, assisted by Frank Bonsignore SBN, and other senior KDJ who were in attendance. Of course, there have been several other Heritage Program events, but I didn't have the capacity to attend.
Aside from the Kwan Jang Nim sharing his vast knowledge of the art, he stressed the necessity to always practice your foundational basic skills, and demonstrated Soo Bahk Do techniques when working with a partner. Explaining how the Um/Yang relationship is present in techniques when working with a partner. He emphasized the MDK Five Moo Do values of History, Tradition, Philosophy, Discipline/Respect, and Technique. See video and photos below from the event.
The other important part of the Heritage Program is learn about the history of the Moo Duk Kwan. The Kwan Jang Nim, presented a Power Point slide presentation, detailing the history of the Moo Duk Kwan by the Founder Kee Hwang, the over 75 years of martial arts excellence, developed by the Founder, and continued by his successor, H.C. Hwang, Kwan Jang Nim. He continues maintaining the tradition standards and improving the art and sharing the Founder's philosophy of the concept of Moo Do.
In my opinion, there may be many Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan practitioners, who may have lost their connection with the Founder. But, have continued training the art of Tang Soo Do, can be an alumni of the Moo Duk Kwan, and have a dan bon from the Founder's organization. The Heritage Program is an opportunity to reconnect with the Founder's Philosophy and the Art. I also believe, that many of those TSD/MDK practitioners may believe or think that this program is a recruitment program for the U.S. Federation. It only seeks to give them an opportunity to reconnect with the Moo Duk Kwan and maintain a connection with the Founder's teaching and philosophy. This event on the 20th of March, provided a fresh look at the Moo Duk Kwan style, and a training opportunity how the Founder's successor has maintained the standards established since 1945.
The Kwan Jang Nim also spoke about the Moo Yei Shi Bo newspaper that had resumed printing, as its purpose was to inform the public and practitioners in the early 1960s, now can be read for free on the World Moo Duk Kwan website, it is a free subscription.
Usually after training is over and closing ceremonies are conducted, it has been a tradition to end with fist salute, motivated by shouting "Tang Soo" or Soo Bahk"... for this event we ended with a unifying shout and salute to "Moo Duk Kwan!" I think everyone in attendance felt that spirit of connection as they may felt in the past or had experienced it for the first time, during this event.
Photos courtesy of Master Tony Le showing some of the many invited Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan members and Masters.
I have included the Kwan Jang Nim's last update on the WMDK Heritage Program website...
Greetings Heritage Program Participants,
This new year has begun with high hopes regarding the activity planned for the World Moo Duk Kwan Heritage Program. There are currently 4 significant events scheduled this calendar year for Heritage participation. I will mention them here, but further event details are in the “Events” section of this web site.
First, in Hyde Park NY, Master Robert Leclerc, Heritage program participant, will be hosting a training seminar on March 20. I will be instructing invited guests and Heritage participants on the Founder’s teachings of history, tradition, philosophy, discipline and respect, and technique over a 3-hour training session.
The following weekend in Salt Lake City March 25-26, our program liaisons led by Brian Corrales Sa Bom will sponsor an invitational Heritage Tournament and training seminars.
August 11-14, a summer camp that will feature designated Moo Duk Kwan instructors will be held in Utah. I also am planning to attend this event.
Finally, Master Dominic Giacobbe is sponsoring a Heritage seminar that I will conduct September 24 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Please see the “Events” section of this web site for a detailed description of each and registration links. The Heritage Program seeks to connect former members of the Moo Duk Kwan and or others who have become disconnected over the years that may wish to re engage with the Founder’s organization. These venues are optimum environments to allow the program objectives of education, relationship building and re-connection to occur. Please consider this my invitation to you as Moo Duk Kwan alumni or former affiliate to attend. Please also coordinate with the event sponsors for your participation. For specific questions, feel free to utilize the “contact” feature in this website for other information.
I look forward to seeing you this year at an official Heritage Program event.
In Moo Duk Kwan
H.C. Hwang Sa Bom, Moo Duk Kwan Kwan Jang
After the event, there was a small delegation that participated in a dinner, and on the occasion we wished Master Robert Leclerc, a Happy Birthday.