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The World Moo Duk Kwan® Proudly Remembers Alex Baran, Sa Bom Nim, #27164, 1944-2022, passed away on Dec 9, 2022, after a courageous fight against covid. An original student of Master Donald Southern, as a dedicated practitioner, who went on to open his dojang under the name of Baran's Soo Bahk Do, situated in the Mid Hudson Valley, in Fishkill, NY.
As the writer of this memorial, this is a personal loss for me, having joined the "House of Baran" in 1996, it was an enjoyable journey in Moo Do, with Alex Baran, Sa Bom Nim, providing myself and many hundreds of other Dan and Gup members with excellent instruction and guidance in the Art of Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan. His influence has touched so many lives over the years, instructing hundreds of students and guiding approximately 8 Dan members to the level of Ko Dan Ja, including one TAC member. Needless to say, he will be missed.
Below, these photos are but a few, that stand in testimony of the mettle of Alex Baran, Sa bom Nim. May he rest in eternal peace.
A personal reflection:
It was a very sad day for me Dec 9th. receiving an early morning call, that I hesitated to answer, because I felt I knew what was about happen. I waited. The phone rang again, and I immediately picked it up. I told her, "don't tell me"... but she had no other choice. One of my former instructors, Debbie Lindemann, Sa Bom Nim, told me that our instructor, Alex Baran, our Sa Bom Nim, had passed away that night. We loss him to Covid, she told me. As she went on to describe what happen, the more she explained, the more my eyes welled up. And I could not stop it, at first. But seeing her eyes filled with tears, and hearing her speech quivering, just left an empty feeling in my gut. I don't remember much after that. But I did let my former instructor know, that we were all there for her, anytime. This is the second day now, and I did have most of the day to let this empty pit in my stomach fill with the feeling of knowing, we had shared some great moments together. All of us, all the students, parents, friends, and loved ones. The hardest time honing our skills, sweating until our do boks got heavy, or doing so many repetitions that our arms and legs felt they could do no more. Then we'd hear this loud deep, that shook the room kiap, that woke us up, and just from the sound, told us to do it again. We thought, we were good, and we were. But Baran Sa Bom Nim, knew that his high standards had to be met. Looking back, it was always my very expressive opinion, that whenever I was asked... "So how is Baran Sa Bom Nim?" Usually my answer was... he builds dan members, period!! He also knew how to make "Masters." I cannot truly remember him allowing a candidate who wasn't ready, to go to Dan Testing... the prep classes were exhausting, and he would double that for Master candidates. I know... I was one of several. Just like those that went before me, well prepared. I prepared six months before ever going, when I got the invitation. Just as he maintained the standard with Master candidates, he did with Dan candidates. And if you were at your dan shim sa, I know many who sweated just a little more, when Baran Sa bom Nim, sat in front of your group to evaluate you. Seen too many times. I will always be grateful to all my former instructors, many of them were tough too. Alex Baran Sa Bom Nim, will be missed for his high standards, and character building he left us. God grant him everlasting peace, of the highest standards. Soo Bahk! -Mr. B
Another Personal Reflection from Master Rachel Alethea:
I walked into a karate school at 9 years of age on Elm Street in Fishkill, not knowing the profound impact it would have on my life. Would you believe I was shy before that? I had the opportunity to train through blood, sweat, tears, and the occasional … I had the opportunity to make lasting life-long friendships with wonderful people, both older and younger than me. I had me the opportunity to travel around this country, to Belgium and to Korea to demonstrate the art. Baran’s Soo Bahk Do was not just a karate school for me but a 2nd home. It sounds cliche but so be it. It was my first job. It allowed me the opportunity to co-facilitate a school while in college and meet more awesome people. It was also a family affair- it was something unique that David, Alethea and I shared as we all attained the rank of Dan.
I rose through the ranks because of the dedication of my instructors to excellence. As I reflected this weekend and pulled my belt out, a few memories jumped out, like… climbing into his Bronco and caravans to tournaments, Eye of the Tiger, “No friends in the ring”, trips to 6 Flags and sitting front row in the American Scream Machine, summer picnics, and of course hearing the word “Again” when I was convinced my legs and/or arms might actually fall off. Being on the Region 2 sparring team and the dragon headgear and making team USA. There was also the familiar “Good Morning Sunshine” as I rolled in at 9ish to teach the 9am Saturday morning class. I am profoundly grateful to Sa Bom Nim Alex Baran and Debbie Lindemann for the their tutelage, support, and love. To the only person who could even entertain the thought of the Mountain Belt… thank you! Until we meet again, Sir. -Rachel Alethea Schepperly
Roberto Bonefont, Sr., Kyo Bom, #13927