Our Story - World Moo Duk Kwan

Our Story

World Moo Duk Kwan  3 April 2018


Techniques From the Moo Yei Dobo Tong Ji: "A strong man with a soaring spirit can use the fist in a variety of ways. The ability to make cross punches, to leap to the side and lunge and fall depend on the courage that enable one to attack and defend. Thus, spirit is important. In the fist art there is a pattern, however in practical applications there is not a particular formula. There is only action. The variations do not have a predetermined form but that does not mean that they lose their power." Soo Bahk Do is a classical martial art with over 2,000 years of history and is a traditional Korean discipline. It boasts a unique integration of hard and soft techniques. Though we stress its non-competitive, defensive nature, Soo Bahk Do does have strong combat and self-defense applications. It is renowned for its versatility, able to shift between long and short distance combat, and able to engage multiple attackers in any situation. In actuality, the number of individual techniques in the Soo Bahk Do cirriculum is infinite, as once the core concepts are internalized and executed correctly, there is no limitation to the variations and applications one may create.


The art of Soo Bahk Do involves the development of Neh Gung (Internal Energy), Weh Gung (External Energy), and Shim Gumg (Spirit Energy). These human attributes are developed simultaneously through the practice of the combat oriented movements with the internal aspect being directed by the breath, the external by the hip, and the spirit by the eyesight. The training is systematic, beginning with step by step instruction in the methodology of each technique, conditioning of the body and philosophical grounding in the basic concepts of the training. The art can be categorized into 53 training methods, which are not specific techniques in themselves, but approaches to cover particular themes that may apply to an infinite variety of applications. These training methods can be further reduced to 35 hand methods and 18 foot/walking methods. The combinations and applications of these methods are myriad.

The daily training can be divided into several categories:

Ki Cho Kee Seh (basic motions) Hyung (forms)

Il Soo Sik Dae Ryun (one step sparring)

Ho Sin Sool (self defense)

Ja Yu Dae Ryun (free sparring)

Kyok Pa, (breaking)

and Ki Gong (energy cultivation).

Ki Cho Kee Seh

Basic motions are the techniques taken from Hyung (forms) and practiced individually, usually in a line. Basic movements can comprise anything from attacks and defenses using the hands or feet, as well as motions that have not direct martial application but help cultivate internal power, sensitivity and coordination. Like their name implies, basic motions are the foundation of the techniques of Soo Bahk Do.


A hyung is a pre-sequenced set of martial movements performed solo, and set at various paces from meditative (very slow) to combat speed. Hyung is a pivotal part of martial training, as apart from learning to defend against oneself in complex circumstances, it is also, at its highest levels, a form of "moving meditation", designed to cultivate awareness, health and longetivity. The hyung practiced in Soo Bahk Do can be divided into three categories: modern, traditional, and classical. The modern hyung are those invented by the Founder of the Moo Duk Kwan, Hwang Kee. These include the Gi Cho (basic forms) and Chil Sung (seven star/big dipper). The Gi Cho hyung are the first taught to beginner students and embody the simplest principles of our art. The Chil Sung were created as a guiding light (as its namesake implies) for intermediate and advanced practitioners and are among the most difficult forms in our art to execute effectively. The traditional hyung include forms that were practiced at the time of the conception of the Moo Duk Kwan, and are practiced in other styles of martial arts apart from Soo Bahk Do. These include, among others, the Pyung Ahn (peaceful confidence), Nai Han Ji (inward step advance) and Sip Soo (ten hands). These hyung come from various parts of China, both north and south and Neh Ga (internal) and Weh Ga (external) schools. The classical hyung are those derived from the ancient manual Moo Yei Dobo Tong Ji, and include the Yuk Ro (six paths), Sip Dam Kum (ten levels) and Hwa Sun (flower blossom). The Yuk Ro hyung are performed moving only on a single line, and mimic being pushed back and forth by the East and West winds. The Sip Dan Kum have not yet been introduced into the regular curriculum by Kwan Jang Nim (Grandmaster) Hwang, though they are said to include techniques that have a delayed effect. Hwa Sun hyung is one of the highest level forms in Soo Bahk Do, having first been demonstrated by the Founder Hwang Kee in 1982.

Il Soo Sik Dae Ryun

One step sparring is a bridge between individual motions (Ki Cho Kee Seh) and free sparring (Ja Yu Dae Ryun). Students train to react to one or two attacks with a predetermined defense sequence. This helps develop timing, distancing, precision and most importantly, attunement to the "primary action" of defense (ie: moving the body out of the way of various lines of motion). There are 18 basic Il Soo Sik exercises, all of which are performed with a partner.

Ho Sin Sool (self defense) is a category of training that includes defending oneself in close quarters and against various weapons. The defender may be grabbed and pulled in a wide variety of ways, as well as be struck by knives or sticks from multiple angles. The purpose of Ho Sin Sool is to subdue attackers of a much greater strength and size than oneself using minimal physical power. Yielding to and redirecting aggressive force in a graceful and precise manner, specifically at close range, requires a heightened sense of awareness as well as refined technique. There are 14 formal sets of Ho Sin Sool approaches, however these can be divided and reapplied in a multitude of ways.

Ja Yu Dae Ryun (free sparring) is designed to simulate real life-threatening combat, and is the student's most trying 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) 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.

Ki Gong Ki Gong (called Qi Gong or Chi Kung in Chinese), is a term used to denote non-combative postures, breating techniques and exercises designed to cultivate health. The primary set of Ki Gong exercises in Soo Bahk Do is the Moo Pal Dan Kum. Sometimes called "Eight Section Brocade", the Moo Pal Dan Kum is a set of eight simple deep-breathing exercises designed to maintain good mental and physical health, circulation, and enhance bodily longevity. The history of these exercises is rooted in ancient Daoist techniques; they have many variations and are practiced worldwide by a number of internal martial arts, as well as individuals interested solely with health and fitness.

Photo and Article courtesy of :

Steven Lemner Sa bom Nim

World Moo Duk Kwan Webmaster


  • Roberto Bonefont

    Began training in 1967 at the age of 16, as a member of the Brooklyn Highland Park Y.M.C.A., under the guidance and training of Mr. Mike Masley, Jr., Dan Bon 10180, and tested for Cho Dan on June 18, 1969.  Now a certified 4th Dan Ko Dan Ja, and was issued his original testing date Dan Bon 13927 by Kwan Jang Nim H.C. Hwang based on his petition to honor that date and evidence showing Mr. Mike Masley and his instructors,  Mr. Robert Sohn, Dan Bon 6037 and Mr. Vincent Nunno, Dan Bon 7291, were legitimate representatives of the Founder, and Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee and the Korean Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Association in 1969.

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