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Spotsylvania Soo Bahk Do



A Brief History of the Moo Duk Kwan

What Makes Soo Bahk Do Different from Other Styles?

There are many fine styles of martial arts. However, two of the many things that make Soo Bahk Do distinctive and unique are its versatility and philosophy. Because ancient Korea was constantly attacked by both Japan and China, Soo Bahk Do became versatile out of necessity, resulting in an art which demands mastery of the entire body, not just kicking and punching. Challenging techniques range from quick and spontaneous movements, to slow, graceful, flowing movements, giving not only a variety, but also a challenge to everyone who participates in the art.

Another difference is the Philosophy. Many styles of martial arts teach effective self defense and fighting principles. However, Soo Bahk Do offers much more than just that. Learning fighting techniques without a strong philosophy is to burden society with more dangerous people. We use Soo Bahk Do to realize our full potential and emphasize "Virtue in Action," thereby demonstrating courage, discipline, confidence, and humility through our sincere fefforts in training and our behaivor towards others. You won't just hear our philosophy, you will see it in action. This is what makes Soo Bahk Do VERY DIFFERENT!

Soo Bahk Do is the art that we study. Moo Duk Kwan is the style. Soo Bahk Do is the technical side. Moo Duk Kwan is the philosophical side. The name "Bahk" originated in the age of Chun Chu over 2,700 years ago, according to the Moo Yei Dobo Tong Ji (one of the oldest records of Korea's martial arts.) Soo Bahk Do (literally meaning "combat with bare hands and feet") is the only Korean martial art handed down from the Ko Ku Ryo Dynasty, thereby making it the oldest Korean martial art at approximately 2,000 years old!

Click on these links for more information.

Standard Terminology

8 Key Concepts

10 Articles of Faith on Mental Training

The 5 Requirements and 11 Points of Emphasis on Mental Training

The 5 Requirements and 10 Points of Emphasis on Physical Ability


5 Moo Do Values*

1.  History  (Yeok Sa)
History is a chronological record of significant events often including an explanation of their cause.
2.  Tradition  (Jon Tong)
Tradition is that which is inherited, established, or transmitted and passed on as a customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior; the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs.
3.  Philosophy  (Chul Hak)
Philosophy is a set of ideas or beliefs relating to a particular field or activity; an underlying theory, a system of values by which one lives; the most general beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group.
4.  Discipline/Respect   (Neh Khang Weh Yu)
Discipline is the study or practice of a subject using a specific set of methods, terms and approaches.
Respect is the objective, unbiased consideration and regard for the rights, values, beliefs and property of all people; deference and courteous regard for people's feelings.
5.  Technique  (Ki Sool)
Technique is the manner in which technical details are treated or as basic physical movements are used.   Techniques are very visible elements of Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan.
*The above information was taken from "The 5 Moo Do Values in Action" by H.C. Hwang   October 30, 2005 


Colors in the Moo Duk Kwan flag are the same as those used in the belt ranking system. Do you know what your belt color represents?

Emptiness, innocence, hidden potential, purity
Growth, spreading, advancement
Ripening, "Yang," active



Maturity, "Um," passive, harvest

*Our traditional colors were originally just four. However, orange was officially added in 1975 under the Grandmaster's approval, as an extra step for motivation between white and green belts.



South Korean Flag Description

The flag, called "Tae Kuk," symbolizes the thought, philosophy, and mysticism of the Far East.

The circle in the center, red upper half and blue lower half, represents absolute, or the essential unity of all being. The Yang (positive) and the UM (negative) divisions within the circle represent duality. Examples of duality are heaven and hell, fire and water, life and death, good and evil, or night and day

The four trigrams also indicate the duality of opposites and balances. In the upper left trigram, three unbroken lines symbolize Heaven; opposite them in the lower right, three broken lines represent Earth. In the upper right trigram, two broken lines separated by an unbroken line is the symbol of Water; opposite them is Fire, symbolized by two unbroken lines separated by a broken line.

Symbolic of the nation is the white background (the land), the circle (people), and the four trigrams (the government). All three make up the essential elements of the nation.

(This information is from Moo Duk Kwan Academy website.)


Common Courtesy

An'nyon Ha Sip Ni Ka

Kahm Sa Ham Ni Da
Thank you

Chon Mhan Eh Yo
You're welcome

An'nyong Hi Kye Sip Sio
Go in peace, goodbye



Pyung Ahn

Pyung ahn, peaceful confidence, is represented in the two chinese characters seen at left.

The top character is pyung, which illustrates a well balanced scale.

The bottom character is ahn, the top strokes represents a house or home. The three crossed strokes under the roof represents a woman holding her baby.

Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan students achieve a well balanced secure confidence through hard work and disciplined training.