Category Archives: Values


Seven Characteristics of a Moo Duk Kwan® Quality Soo Bahk Do® Practitioner

Reading Time: 3 minutes

70th_Anniversary_Challenge_Chip_2_150x150What characteristics exemplify a Moo Duk Kwan® “quality practitioner”?

Certainly, producing practitioners with technical excellence is a proud distinction of the Moo Duk Kwan® and some may think of “quality” only in terms of technical performance, but there are so many other dimensions to becoming and being a Soo Bahk Do® practitioner, that viewing quality through only the narrow lens of technique is like trying to see all of our art through the peephole of a door.

The Kwan Jang Nim refers to “quality of practitioners” in his Vision Objectives as being one of the two most important outcomes of the Federation's activity. He goes on the define a quality practitioner as one who embodies and exemplifies our Moo Do values in their daily lives outside the dojang.

Charles Smith, Sa Bom Dan Bon 33141, R10 Elected Board Director, Lifetime Member

2009 Board Chairman, Charles Smith, Sa Bom Nim once requested a group of people to provide him with a one-word description of  how they perceived him.

His question prompted me to think about the NPVT work that supports and quantifies some attributes of Quality Practitioners as they correlate to the contextual meaning expressed in the President's Vision Objectives and the Five Moo Do Values.

What are characteristics (or qualities) that you associate with a quality student practitioner, instructor, leader and/or Federation official?

The following thoughts are what I have come up with so far. I invite you to contemplate how you would express what “makes” a Moo Duk Kwan® quality Soo Bahk Do® practitioner and distinguishes them from other practitioners.

Seven Characteristics of a Moo Duk Kwan® Quality Soo Bahk Do® Practitioner

  1. Strives to achieve the technical expectations of proficiency expressed by the Kwan Jang Nim and TAC for practitioners
    1. takes pride in achieving Gup Rank Testing expectations
    2. takes pride in achieving Dan Rank Testing expectations
    3. takes pride in achieving Ko Dan Ja Rank Testing expectations
    4. takes pride in meeting and fulfilling Instructor Certification expectations
    5. takes pride in meeting and fulfilling Studio Certification expectations
  2. Demonstrates and supports a high moral and ethical standard of personal conduct that is appropriate and proper for a martial artist
    1. conscientiously adheres to the Federation's membership code of conduct
    2. abides by the Federations Joint Board and TAC Administrative Policies
    3. respects and abides by the Federation's Policy of non-discrimination and harassment at all times
    4. understands and abides by the terms of the Certified Instructor Letter of Understanding
    5. avoids unethical conduct at all times
    6. avoids conflicts of interest
    7. avoids creating or allowing any circumstances that could jeopardize one's credibility or integrity as a martial artist representing  the Moo Duk Kwan® or the Soo Bahk Do® martial art system.
  3. Embraces and supports the spirit of the Founder's Mission 2000 Objectives
    1. seeks understanding and takes personal actions intent upon improve human relationships
    2. has a keen understanding of the concept and precepts of Moo
    3. demonstrates embodiment of Moo in one's daily life, ergo Moo Do
  4. Diligently displays key attributes of a martial artist as expressed by the Founder
    1. 8 Key Concepts
    2. courageous – possesses and exhibits the Yong Gi ~ brave energy necessary to speak up and/or standup for themselves, for others and for justice even in the face of adversity.
    3. 10 Articles of Faith on Mental Training
    4. self motivated – needs no external urging to take individual action
    5. composed – demonstrates Pyong Ahn ~ peaceful confidence and calm resoluteness, especially when confronted by adversity
    6. intent – demonstrates contemplation and thoughtfulness prior to speaking or taking action
    7. focused – demonstrates keen concentration ~ Chung Shin Tong Il before and while taking action
    8. * please post a COMMENT to add your characteristics or qualities to this incomplete list *
  5. Contemplates and embraces the essence of the Five Moo Do Values
    1. strives to exemplify the proper behavior of a true martial artist at all times
    2. conscientiously adheres to the Federation's membership code of conduct
    3. respects and abides by the Federation's Policy of non-discrimination and harassment at all times
  6. Comprehends and appreciates the intent of the President's Vision Objectives
    1. initiates personal actions that demonstrate Vision Participation
    2. initiates Random Acts of Moo Do
    3. actively embodies and applies mission objectives and vision objectives in one's daily life interactions with others
    4. engages in active advocacy of the Moo Duk Kwan® and the Soo Bahk Do® martial art system.
    5. seizes every opportunity to promote the public visibility of the Moo Duk Kwan® and the Soo Bahk Do® martial art system.
  7. Supports the Federation's initiatives to assure the long-term preservation of the Moo Duk Kwan® and the Soo Bahk Do® martial art system
      1. appreciates and embraces the Concept of Unity, community and purpose
      2. believes in acting for the common good of the community
      3. has read and understands the Federation's 501c4 Charter & Bylaws
      4. supports the Federation's 501c4 Chartered Purposes
      5. understands, appreciates and respects the Intellectual property shared by the Hwang family
      6. engages in active advocacy of the Moo Duk Kwan® and the Soo Bahk Do® martial art system

Think about the characteristics you observe in others, that you admire, aspire to, are inspired by, that motivate, etc. and help the NPVT in their work by contributing your perspective to this list of Seven Characteristics of a Moo Duk Kwan® Quality Soo Bahk Do® Practitioner.

You can post a comment on the page by using the COMMENT button at the bottom of the page and you can also help a friend add their thoughts by emailing them a link to this page or sharing the page on Facebook, etc.

Master Mary Ann Walsh, Sa Bom

When The Student Is Ready The Master Appears

Reading Time: 4 minutes

“When the student is ready the master appears.”
Buddhist Proverb

Master Mary Ann Walsh first shared a message from a book written by Jeanne Gibbs during a circa 1984 seminar that she taught at the Phonecia Pathwork Center high in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State by handing out a piece of paper with the book excerpt printed on it.

Now mind you that participants in her seminar were all barefoot outdoors on a hillside in slippery grass wet with dew and we were all wearing dobahks which is not the optimal time or environment to receive printed materials that we need to pay attention to and keep up with, but regardless of those circumstances, she distributed her handout to everyone in attendance.

Kris Poole and I had traveled from Texas to New York for this event and by some miracle, the page she handed out managed to find its way back to my room at the camp and days later into my luggage and finally all the way back to Texas where it eventually retired in a nice, safe desk drawer at my studio office and lived there quietly and in obscurity until years later.

When I received the handout from Master Walsh during her seminar, I recall reading it quickly and sensing that the words had some special significance for her to be handing them out, but their importance eluded me and my understanding was not enough for me to take action on them at that time; however, a little voice in my head did keep telling me not to lose this piece of paper and to keep it. And that was about all I did.

Years later three mothers of students (two of them students themselves) came into my studio office and said they wanted to present the opportunity for Soo Bahk Do training for elementary age school kids to the local school board in an upcoming school board meeting that they planned to attend. Jo Ann Easley, Bobby Milstead and Donna Gentry requested literature from me that they could hand out describing our art and a free community service program that our studio in Henderson, Texas might offer to elementary age children. Sa Bom Nim Daymon Kenyon of San Diego, California had previously suggested a similar idea to me for connecting school kids with our art but I had been too busy to act upon it.

At the time they came to me I was very busy running my electronics company, traveling to multiple towns teaching Soo Bahk Do at multiple studios, flying all over the world to places like New York, England, Greece, Korea, taking care of my family and here were three mothers requesting a big block of my limited time to conceive a special program and design literature to describe it and print and prepare all the materials they would need for their presentation during the school board meeting.

I thought to myself that I did not need this extra demand on my time.

I was already stressed and time crunched and really did not feel that I had time to be helping them execute their idea. What would the flyer say? What would the offer be? What might the school board respond positively to? What could I afford for our studio to do for free as a community service? I did not feel that I had time to stop what I was doing and figure all this out for a project that I did not conceive and that was not in my schedule or my plans. I was a bit exasperated by their request.

Then I remembered that piece of paper that Master Walsh had handed out at her seminar years ago and I even managed to recall where it had retired to in my desk. I reasoned that since Master Walsh was a teacher and she had felt these words were important, then it seemed logical that other educators and teachers might also pay attention and give weight to them. However, I was mainly thinking that the best thing about her flyer was that I could just hand the paper to my students and tell them, “Use this” and get them on their way, so that I could get back to my work. And that is pretty much what I did.

I had no idea of the astounding, almost unbelievable events that would soon unfold as a result of handing that piece of paper to my students. No idea at all.

The wisdom Master Walsh had shared with us that day on that grassy hillside in the backwoods of New York state had sat quietly in my desk drawer all those years with its potential unrealized. It had waited patiently for the perfect convergence of circumstances to finally bring her lesson to life. Although the lesson had been shared with me years earlier, I had been unable to fully grasp its meaning until my students and their actions revealed the hidden potential that I had kept locked in my desk drawer.

It was mind boggling.

Something in those words and the spirit of my students presentation resonated so powerfully with school officials, teachers and parents, that what followed next was literally unbelievable.

After that piece of paper bearing Master Walsh's selected book excerpt was handed from me to my students in Texas, just as Master Walsh had handed it to me in New York, a few weeks passed and then on the very first day of the program that my students had goaded me into sponsoring, one-hundred-sixty-nine new students all appeared at our studio on the same night for their 1st class and then – and only then – did the master finally appear for this student.

Thank you Sa Bom Nim Walsh for touching hundreds of lives that would never have been touched by Soo Bahk Do were it not for your wisdom and the will of my students to take action on that piece of paper you handed out on that hillside.

Read the rest of the remarkable story here