Philosophy of Soo Bahk Do

Philosophy

Each class at the Martial Arts of Westchester is filled with East Asian philosophy (not religion) that teaches virtues, ethics, and discipline.  Soo Bahk Do adheres to an “Action Philosophy”.  The late Grand Master Hwang Kee taught about action philosophy in this manner:  “If someone were to try to hit you in the nose, would you think about blocking the attack, or physically block it?”  Action and thought should be one and the same.

Various principles will be taught such as courage, patience, humility, discipline, and respect to your elders.  These principles will be discussed and then put into action during our training.  This is unique to our school and our art.

Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan is an "Action Philosophy" based on the Moo Do (Martial Way / Discipline).We use Soo Bahk Do to realize our full potential both physically and mentally to emphasize "Virtue in action" demonstrating courage, discipline, confidence and humility through our sincere efforts in training and our behavior towards others.

8 Key Concepts

Yong Gi — Courage
Chung Shin Tong Il — Concentration
In Neh — Endurance
Chung Jik — Honesty
Kyum Son — Humility
Him Cho Chung — Control of Power
Shin Chook — Relaxation/Tension
Wan Gup — Speed Control10

10 Articles of faith on Mental Training

  1. Be loyal to your country - sacrifice yourself for your duty to your country and your people. This is based on the spirit of the Hwa Rang Do
  2. Be obedient to your parents - children should be dutiful to your parents and parents should be charitable to their children
  3. Be loving between husband and wife - love and affection between the sexes develops mankind’s happiness and harmony in life
  4. Be cooperative between brothers - hold together with cooperation and concord
  5. Be respectful to your elders - protect the rights of the weak with courtesy and modesty
  6. Be faithful between teacher and student - learn the truth through practice of duty and affection
  7. Be faithful between friends - be peaceful and happy with harmony and faith towards each other, regardless of race, and towards all mankind
  8. Face combat only in justice and with honor - be able to distinguish between good and bad with fairness and rightfulness
  9. Never retreat in battle - Sacrifice for justice with capability and bravery
  10. Always finish what you start - Move to action with sureness and hope

Mission 2000

As a member of the US Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation, we strive to meet the objectives of that organization’s mission statement.

  1. Human Relationships:  Continue to develop the atmosphere of Respect, Courtesy, Friendship, Brotherhood, Cooperation and Goodwill, within the Soo Bahk Do membership.
  2. Human Relationships (Worldwide): The Atmosphere identified in number one should become consistent throughout the world.  The U.S. should be the leading energy force developing and distributing this atmosphere.

  3. Moo Do Organization: We are a martial (Moo Do) organization and we must continue to develop appropriately.

  4. Administration of the Organization: The officers and the Board of Directors should take a more active role regarding the administration of the Federation.

  5. Members’ Organization: This is a member’s organization. We must all work to produce a caring and helpful atmosphere for mutual benefit.

  6. Financial Stability: We should take a more aggressive approach toward creating a financially stable organization.

Moo Do Shim Gong

Sip Sam Seh

In the course of the part several centuries, ancient martial arts have developed into a system of theories. One of these theories is the Sip Sam Seh. The Sip Sam Seh is one of the principles that has developed the modern martial arts. Sip Sam Seh translates into the Thirteen Influences or Postures. The Sip Sam Seh is divided into two categories: O Heng (5 energies) and Pahl Gwe (8 forces/directions). The O Heng concentrate around the leg and foot movements and the Pahl Gwe focus on the hand and upper body movements.

O Heng means five elements (five strategic movements), which are Gold (Metal), Wood, Water, Fire and Earth. These five elements connect us to the surrounding nature that we come in contact with. Oneness with nature and contact with natural surroundings is taught through the five requirements of Mental and Physical training. A detailed description of the O Heng is as follows:

  • Gold (Metal)—The only metal that does not corrode, rust or deteriorate. It cannot be changed from one material to another, such as iron to steel. Gold is therefore associated with the highest form of purity, incorruptibility, unchanging and of the highest value. (Value of training, Wisdom)
  • Wood—The characteristic of wood is that it has strength, yet it can bend. Strength and suppleness are its characteristics. (Continuity in our training, Consistency)
  • Water—The characteristics of water are its' ability to change from calm to stormy, from heavy (downpour) to light (steam). It can be hard (ice) or flow and be soft. Water adapts to the circumstances. (Cooling, Refreshing, Relaxation)
  • Fire—The characteristic of fire is directed energy. Concentration, determination, power, focus, come from concentration of Ki (energy); Neh Gung and Shim Gung. (Concentrated power, Purify, Heat)
  • Earth—Earth is "Um" manifested into "Yang;" the potential of becoming the existence. The invisible energy becoming the visible energy. Blooming, fertility, growth and development are its nature. (Stability, Solid Stances, Earth Connection).
Element Name Movement
Gold Ban Circumspection
Wood Ko Retrospection
Water Toi Retreat
Fire Jin Attack
Earth June Stay Put

Pahl Gwe means eight directions (Eight Koe, eight tactical movements). The directions consist of the four cardinal directions: North, South, East and West. Additionally, the four corners are included: Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest). The Pahl Gwe are also broken down into external and internal areas. A description of the Pahl Gwe is below:

Direction Name Movement
North Ahn Back
South Jae Front
East Bong Left
West Ryou Right
Northeast Chae Back Left
Northwest Ryoul Back Right
Southeast Joo Front Left
Southwest Koh Front Right

Song of the 13 Influences (Ship Sam Seh)

Never neglect any of the Sip Sam Seh.
The Source of the will is in the waist.
Pay attention to the slightest change from full to empty.
Let energy flow through the whole body continuously.
Stillness embodies motion, motion stillness.
Seek stillness in motion.
Surprising things will happen when you meet your opponent.
Give awareness and purpose to every movement.
When done correctly all will appear effortless.
At all times pay attention to the waist.
Relaxed clear awareness of abdomen, the energy can be activated.
When the base of the spine is erect, energy rises to the top of the head.
The body should be flexible.
Hold the head as if suspended from a string.
Keep alert and seek the meaning and purpose of your art.
Bent and stretched, open and closed,
Let nature take its course.
Beginners are guided by oral teaching.
Gradually one applies himself more and more.
Skill will take care of itself.
What is the main purpose of the martial arts?
The mind is the primary actor and the body the secondary one.
What is the purpose and philosophy behind the martial arts?
Rejuvenation and prolonging of life beyond the normal span.
So an eternal spring.
Every word of this song has enormous value and importance.
Failing to follow this song attentively, you will sigh away your time.

Taken from Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee Volume II

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