Friday, December 30, 2011

Grandmaster Kim Soo - United States Taekwondo Grandmaster Society 2010 Hall of Fame honoree


Grandmaster Kim Soo was honored by the 2010 TAEKWONDO GRANDMASTER SOCIETY HALL OF FAME.
This is a video tribute to Grandmaster Kim Soo which was presented
at the Hall of Fame. Inside Chayon-Ryu wishes to congratulate Grandmaster Kim Soo
on this lifetime achievement, and thank him for his life long dedication to martial arts,
and teaching.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Life and Chayon-Ryu

My Life and Chayon-Ryu
By Michael Moore – Saboem-Nim
Bakersfield Chayon-Ryu

My life in martial arts began like many of the children we seen in class.  I wasn’t really a child as I was about 13 or so when I started.  But I had wanted to do something to help me cope with the bullying that I had always dealt with over the years.  I had always been one of the smallest kids in school.  I was often picked on at school and my next-door neighbor relished any opportunity to demonstrate his superior wrestling ability on me and the rest of the neighborhood kids.
I had always been a good student in school.  I tried to make friends with the “right” people.  Many times, however, those friends were not around to watch over me.  I was never physically hurt badly, but my ego and self-esteem definitely struggled.  I was afraid to go into the bathrooms at school.  I was sometimes afraid to walk around the neighborhood.
One summer, I had finally had enough.  I talked my father into letting me attend a small karate school in Brenham, TX where he lived.  It was a Chayon-Ryu school taught by Esau McKnight.  I spent the summer there and, although I do not remember, I think I managed to make it to 9th gup.  
By a tremendous stroke of luck, it turned out that the headquarters school for Chayon-Ryu was only about a mile away from my home.  I was able to pick up right where I left off, but this time with the architect of the system!  That was the summer of 1983.  I reached green belt just before the summer of 1984.  I would have been a junior in high school at the time.  I remember, clearly, the day that my next door neighbor (a senior at the same high school) no longer bothered to bully me.  I had instigated an event.  I whacked him with a rolled up swimming towel.  He chased me into my class, but that was all it took.  I think just the mere act of challenging him directly was all it took for me to be free of his bullying for the rest of my life.
It was a slow progression that took place over a long period of time.  Within the next couple of years, I realized that I was not afraid to walk places.  I never recognized anyone as a bullying threat to me again.
I stepped away from Chayon-Ryu for a few years after that when I traveled to Austin for college.  After three years I, again, returned to Houston to complete my college education.  During that time, I was also able to return to Chayon-Ryu.  I helped with Grand Master Kim’s University of Houston classes while I also returned to HQ to resume studying as well.
I am the product of a broken family.  Actually, broken sounds like a little too strong a word.  I guess I would call it a fractured family.  My parents divorced when I was pretty young.  My father has always been in my life while I lived with my mom.  I saw him every week and spent summers with him as well.  But, on a day-to-day basis he was not always there.  Grand Master was.  I can remember him taking me under his wing and asking me to join him when the “school” would go to dinner at the Korean restaurant after a rank exam.  I could not afford to pay and I did not have a ride, as I was too young to drive.  It never mattered.  Grand Master made me feel like one of his own kids.  Later, in college when I would help teach U of H classes, he would offer me some of his lunch.  A simple gesture that makes my heart smile when I think about it now.
It was at this time in my life when I started having some difficulties with a relationship.  I was very sad at times and occasionally when I would be particularly upset, I would think to myself, “I should just go and get drunk.”  But then, I would think about Grand Master’s teachings and I would realize that these difficulties would pass.  That to face them head on was the right thing to do.  I do not mean to say it was easier, just that it was right.  Seek perfection of character.  Endeavor.  These are the rules we are supposed to live by in the dojang, but they are just as important to live by outside as well; maybe more.
I left Houston again – this time to Japan for year.  When I returned I headed off to California with my new wife and soon started a family.  Practicing and studying went on hold for a few more years than I would like.  Eventually my children were old enough to begin down their own path of Chayon-Ryu.  I started teaching them in my back yard and resumed my own study.  I refused to give up on the dream of reaching black belt in Chayon-Ryu. 
Eventually I reached black belt and realized my studies had just begun.  I wanted to honor Chayon-Ryu.  I wanted to help others master their own bodies and personal difficulties.  I started teaching other students.  Teaching others has improved my understanding of what I have learned over the years.  I have only had students for a couple of years now.  I approach those students with the same gentle manner that worked so well for me as a student.  And teaching students has helped me better understand the techniques Grand Master Kim and the other senior students have taught me.  I am also learning the painful lesson of losing students.  I know that each person chooses their own path and there are many paths to choose from.  But I find it sad to see students with great potential or a strong work ethic leave my instruction.  It is difficult to not take it personally.  I just try to do the best that I can.  It does make me think, however, how GM Kim must have felt when so many students over the years have come and gone.
Chayon-Ryu is rich.  I feel so fortunate in this life.  Much of that I owe to Grand Master Kim and Chayon-Ryu.  I know that it was me that made the choices as I have gone through life, but many of those choices were guided by many important people. 
Now I feel like an uncle in Chayon-Ryu.  When I travel home to see the family, they are all still there.  Some of my old Chayon-Ryu family has also found their way back to the school.  I have had many wonderful conversations with several masters over the years.  It truly is a family and I refer to that when I talk to new, potential students.  The old dojang holds a lot of memories for me.  I love the smell of that place.  It reminds me of many wonderful times and where I came from and how I got to where I am now.
I am Chayon-Ryu.
published with permission from the author and Grandmaster Kim Soo.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Schedule a private lesson with GRANDMASTER KIM SOO

You can train with system founder and martial arts Grandmaster Kim Soo in private lessons at the Chayon-Ryu World Headquarters Dojang in Houston, TX.

Lessons are available on these dates:
12/26/11 to 1/15/12

Cost is $80 for a full one hour session.
Available to all Chayon-Ryu Students. 

For more information, or to schedule your private session contact GRANDMASTER KIM SOO

Monday, November 14, 2011


Chayon-Ryu a healing art:

The letter below, published with permission by its author is one example of the healing properties of the Chayon-Ryu method. Chayon-Ryu brings balance and harmony to the lives of its students, and helps them to navigate life with the proper tools of character, integrity and self confidence.

 I have written articles on my own personal experiences on self healting through Chayon-Ryu training, and now I'd like to share those of another student.

Neal R. Conrey and his grandson study at the Corpus Christi Chayon-Ryu School under the guidance of Sabomnim Black Belt Instructor Gerald Tashnek. Recently Neal sent this letter to Grandmaster Kim Soo, and Grandmaster contacted me and asked me to publish it here as an inspirational letter to all students and prospective students of Chayon-Ryu.

Respected Father,

Please allow the heartfelt sentiments of this old man to attempt to convey how grateful I am to you, your organization and our Sabomnim Gerald Tashnek. My grandson, Austin, has come through very troubled times in his young life. After enduring drug abuse and criminal conduct from his parents he has come to live with his Grandmother and myself. His pain and trauma is evident in how he sees himself and the world that has shown him less than love and security. It breaks my heart to see him recoil as he tries to function in a life that has stripped him of his dignity and sense of value.

Though we have attended only a few instructions, this little seven-year old boy is changing right before me! His downcast eyes now rise to meet mine and hold their gaze with growing confidence. He recites his Sabomnim's words with clarity and understanding. His stature and general presence is increasing daily. It's as if I am witnessing the butterfly free itself from its old form and rise, with your help, to spread his wings and take flight.

With tears of gratitude, I am faithfully yours,

Neal R. Conrey
Corpu Christi, TX.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hoshinsul: the art of self-defense

Self-Defense of the mind..

"Hoshinsul (the art of self-defense) is first taking good care of yourself." - Grandmaster Kim Soo
Hoshinsul: the art of self-defense is first taking care of your own personal health. This is physical health and wellness,
mental and emotional well-being, and the health of your spirit.  All of these things go into makeup the being we
identify as the "self."
Externally self-defense is utilized to protect us physically from all kinds of hazards and pitfalls. Not just physical attack from assault, or violent intentions, but other things we encounter in everyday life such as accidents, slipping or falling,
avoiding being cut by a knife or scissors, pricking ourselves with sharp objects such as needles. We employ the principles of self-defense to guard against all things such as these.
Interally, the application of self-defense is just as important. And we are under assault internally in our lives far more than
we will ever be externally (unless your occupation is that of high risk). What enemies assault us internally?
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • insecurity
  • self doubt
  • low confidence
  • low self esteem or self worth
On that note, these things are vital to personal mental/physical/spiritual wellness:
Stress management- deep breathing (Bokshik Hoheub), meditation (sitting, standing and forms practice)
Positive mental attitude- employ the qualities of the bamboo (honesty, humility, loyalty, sincerity, purity)

Proper diet and exercise- Kimasae Chiruki 100 times daily, regular practice, and work out.  At least 15 minutes a day can make a difference!

Sleeping enough- rest the body and the mind. Sleep deprivation adds to anxiety, and causes physical illnesses.
Drink at least 64 oz. of water everyday- dehydration can lead to many illnesses.
Avoid situations that put you at any kind of risk, whether mental, physical, or emotional.- Any encounter with an attack,
whether physical, mental or emotional, can take its toll. Avoid these situations when possible. The first rule of self defense.
Recently I've had a lot of stress in my personal and professional life, caused by negative encounters bullies on the internet who follow me around and harass me, and my business.  why do people do these kind of things? Many reasons, most of which have to do with feelings of jealousy, envy, greed, huberous. Our society has become unkind, and the internet is like the wild west, where people brawl in the streets and bullies run amok. This has created a lot of stress for me and my family, but I have been able to cope utilizing the Chayon-Ryu method of Hoshinsul.
Chayon-Ryu helps me to keep sight of my own behavior as well. Do I exercise humility? Am I a good person? It encourages self examination, and introspection. And it teaches us not to let encounters with negative individuals to cause
us to become negative.
Chayon-Ryu is for every day of your life, not just in the dojang. Sometimes we cannot go to class, but the lessons we learn
can help us every day, no matter what we face in life. This is why Chayon-Ryu is different from other martial art philosophies and methods. It is training for a lifetime.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


The following letter is published with permission from its recipient, Grandmaster Kim Soo. It was written to him by a black belt in the system, recently promoted to 1st Dan. It speaks of the underlying true lessons contained within the Chayon-Ryu method of training, and the deeper philosophical meanings inside Chayon-Ryu.

Grand Master,
Hope all well with you and yours.

A few days ago, I was thinking about you. I was thinking about how I had come to know you.
Fifteen or sixteen years ago I set out on a mission to learn martial arts.
I wanted to learn self defense and improve my chronic back trouble. At least that's what I thought I wanted.

True, I learned martial arts and self defense, and I am grateful and proud of these accomplishments.
But, the real treasure came in the most unexpected way.

From you I learned patience and humility. I learned to be graceful and contemplative; I learned the true meaning of respect and so much more.
It is undeniable that you are a great martial artist. But your true greatness is that you are a great teacher of life. Martial arts are incidental, merely the vehicle, the medium for the divine teaching the deeper lessons through you. 

The remarkable aspect of this is that you never specifically told me that these were the true lessons for me to learn. You simply continued to teach me forms and
regardless of how much I practiced a particular form, regardless of how accomplished I became at executing a particular movement, I remained humbled by the pursuit of that perfection -- a priceless and timeless lesson. In time I came to understand that learning the lessons I "needed" to learn was far more important than learning the lessons I "wanted" to learn. Of course one was the inexorable pathway to the other.

Thinking of it now reminds me of the story you told me of the hungry man who posed as a famous calligrapher to gain entry to the rich man's house.
The hungry man thought that he went to the rich man's house because he was hungry, but his journey taught him patience and perseverance. Without intending to,  the hungry man indeed became the great calligrapher.

Your teaching was (and remains) an Aristotelian exercise in the infinite  approximation of what Aristotle described as the perfection of the forms, the perfect
circle, the perfect triangle and so on. And all of it taught by a man from the East. What extraordinary intellectual and spiritual elegance to experience the perfect circle of East meeting and becoming West becoming East -- Eastern Zen and Western Existentialism melding, transcending the the limitations of definition and simply becoming itself.

It's interesting how the road of life leads us, and it is important to remain receptive to learning and spiritual enlightenment

In the end  Gracias, Grazie, Merci... its all Thank You
Your humble student, and forever your friend,
Michael Testa, Kyosanim, 1st Dan, Chayon-Ryu

Thursday, October 13, 2011


 A reminder to all instructor level Chayon-Ryu members (Blue Belts - Black Belts) that this month's TUKSU SURYON Instructor Clinic will be held Saturday October 22, 2011.

Training begins at 10am and will end at 11:30. Afterwards there will be a Chayon-Ryu demonstration at the Houston Korean Festival held downtown at Discovery Green.

Log on to the Chayon-Ryu World HQ website for details.

See you there!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


By Grandmaster Kim Soo, 10th. Dan & Founder, Chayon-Ryu Martial Arts

Written by Master Mark Newkirk

When people hear the word control they usually think of sparring, which is important, but control is much more than that. The purpose of training is to have the mind and body together. The mind and body work together toward a common goal, mu shim, one thought one purpose. In sparring the mind and body must have good intension that will keep people from getting hurt. If you lose your temper or are not focused you can hurt someone or get hurt yourself. This is why we should only spar with the appropriate pads. If you use heavy sparring pads or gloves you may not be as careful and your focus is not there. You should only need correct sparring pads and control (mind and body together)
Forms are also about control. Forms are moving meditation, once again the mind and body together. That is how you can teach many people at the same time. Asking them questions like which foot to move when they are learning H pattern forces them to keep concentrating on what their body is doing at the moment. They cannot daydream. Some instructors know a lot of forms but they are fakes. They are just showing off. The public doesn’t have a principle foundation and they are impressed. These instructors do not have the mind and body working together. They just go through the motions. They don’t have control. Some people keep track of how many times they have done a form, they can do a form a thousand times and it still looks bad. Why? They only care about how many they have done and they don’t think about the movements. Suryon is physical and mental training together. Ask yourself why you are doing this movement. What is the purpose?
You must be able to adjust to the situation. That’s why we have an eclectic martial art that is based on common sense. If a friend has been drinking and is bothering you, a kick to the groin or a neck chop would be inappropriate. Some soldiers have a hard time adjusting after returning from war because they have lost control.

Our system patch contains the symbol for the mind signifying that everything starts in the mind. At the Spring Branch dojang there is the sign that means dancing in the sky and playing in the ocean which literally means to be ambitious. Everything starts in the mind whether it’s H pattern or a new business plan that you may have.

Control is physically, emotionally and spiritually being together and balanced not only with sparring but forms and everyday life. That’s why we meditate when entering the dojang to prepare for class. This gets your mind to slow down from things outside the dojang and bring your mind and body together.

Monday, September 26, 2011


If you live in the greater Houston area, you can train at the Chayon-Ryu World Headquarters Dojang with 8th degree Black Belt Master Sean Kim

Master Sean Kim is the son of Chayon-Ryu founder Grandmaster Kim Soo, and is an accomplished martial arts master and instructor with over 20+ years of teaching experience. 
Master Kim has dedicated a lifetime to the study and practice of the "Natural Way" method. 

Study in a supportive, clean, traditional Asian system under the guidance and expertise of Master Kim. Master Kim is a patient and and energetic instructor with a positive motivating personality.
Master Kim is great with kids.  Master Kim teaches Chayon-Ryu at the University of Houston HPE department.

Follow Chayon-Ryu/Kim Soo Karate on Facebook.
Visit the Chayon-Ryu website for class times and registration information.

Chayon-Ryu, "The Natural Way" is a model martial arts system in GREATER HOUSTON for 43 years, emphasizes a CLASSICAL, OLD-WORLD style of training by utilizing natural body movements for a safe, easy, efficient and effective way of practice.

Rank Test At World HQ October 1, 2011

Inside Chayon-Ryu wishes good luck to all the students testing for rank this weekend! 
White and Orange Belts begin at 10:00 am
Demonstrations by students and black belt level instructors at
11:30 am.
Advanced level students (Yellow - Black Belts) at
1:00 pm
Be on time, be silent, be serious, show good spiritGOOD LUCK!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What does it mean to be a Black Belt in Chayon-Ryu?

My dobok and belt.
What does it mean to be a black belt?

This is a question that every martial arts student ponders from the first time they tie on their new white belt.
For me, it was something I thought about constantly. I studied the black belts who were my instructors, and the ones I would see at rank exams and combined training events. You see a lot as a student, when you are wide-eyed and eager in your first year of training. You tend to put everyone on a pedistool, and see them as larger than life. But, in reality, black belts of Chayon-Ryu are for the most part, reasonably humble people.

A position of responsibility vs. a position of power:

Chayon-Ryu Outdoor Training in the park held twice a year.
The role of a black belt in Chayon-Ryu is very service oriented. We are taught from early on that with greater rank comes greater responsibility. We are expected to teach, and help students learn; to set a good example by cleaning the dojang and observing all of the dojang rules of conduct. We are expected to show a positive attitude toward our Chayon-Ryu family, and actively participate in all aspects of the school, whether teaching, or volunteering for the many combined training events or activities throughout the year.

We are expected to volunteer our talents and time to further Chayon-Ryu. One example is, I keep this blog as a way to reach people and help educate them on Chayon-Ryu; and to help introduce Chayon-Ryu to the world.  I also produce instructional material for Grandmaster in the way of DVD's, and other collateral. It gives me great joy, personally, to help promote the system which has enriched my life so much. Once we achieve our black belts, which is an accomplishment in and of itself, we begin to pay it forward. There is much joy in giving, which to me is one of the greatest lessons Grandmaster has to teach.
When we as black belts teach classes, or give one on one instruction to another student; not only are we helping someone learn life changing skills, we are improving our own skills and cultivating deep mental insight. Grandmaster tells us, "You teach to share your knowledge, and this increases your own understanding." 

Black Belts who volunteer to judge rank contests pose with
students who tested for rank.

Even in the humble act of cleaning the floor there is wisdom to be gained, and a feeling of accomplishment. I think of a Native American saying, "leave the earth better than you find it."  This ideal is present within me when I help clean, sweep and organize the dojang before and after class. The space is there for us to use to increase our skills, knowledge and enrich our lives. Keeping it clean and orderly is a show of respect for the space, and the people who have come before us, as well as an example to those who follow us.
We have to be mindful of who is behind us, because they will be watching and studying us, just as I studied the black belts who stood in front of me.

Recently I received my rank certificate, even though I had my belt for some time. The certificate is the official recognition of rank in martial arts. Seeing it framed on my wall prompted me to think about my role as a black belt.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Grandmaster Kim Soo- founder of "The Natural Way"

Who is Grandmaster Kim Soo?
This short video is an introduction to Grandmaster Kim Soo, founder of the
Chayon-Ryu "Natural Way" martial arts system.

Kim Soo Instructional DVD series

Now Available: for the student, instructor or branch school dojang archive,
this instructional DVD series features system founder Grandmaster Kim Soo,
demonstrating many of the forms, self-defenses, and practical techniques of
the Chayon-Ryu "Natural Way" system.
To order go to the Chayon-Ryu World HQ dojang store.

Friday, September 16, 2011

In commemoration of 43 years of Chayon-Ryu

this poster was designed by Kihop Productions in commemoration of the 43rd anniversary of the
Chayon-Ryu "Natural Way" Martial Arts system founded in September of 1968 in Houston, TX, USA.

Friday, September 9, 2011

LIFESTYLE MARTIAL ARTS- What does that mean?

We hear the term lifestyle martial arts in class, and we read about it in the articles and philosophy of Chayon-Ryu every day.

But what does it mean? For me it is applying the principles we learn in our MA training in every day life. Lifestyle martial arts is for longevity, success, fitness, health and personal growth. It's a path to enlightenment, and becoming a truly self aware being. We can apply principles to any situation and utilize the techniques in ways we never think of when we are learning down blocking, or break falling, or breathing.

I think of a recent discussion that took place on my facebook page. I took a photo of Master Kim Geary's break at her 8th dan rank exam on Dec. 11, 2010. I watched from the sidelines and listened to what was going on. I heard the instruction Grandmaster had given her, and I framed up my shot.

First principle: chew before you swallow. Grandmaster says this to us, and it means to consider all possibilities before we settle on one.

I had the pleasure of training with Master Geary back in 2008 at her newly built dojang. The focused heavily on fundamentals, which is the foundation of our training. I remember the isolated motion lessons for preparation of blocking. Step forward, make the preparation, then execute. But it's more than that, even though those are the very simple basic steps.
True complexity comes from simplicity. We go from the general to the specific in all creative venues. Martial arts is an art, and a creative and living art at that.

She told us to "aim and fire". This stuck in my head. So simple, but so specific at the same time. Three words. A Chayon-Ryu principle of timing and balance of motion.

I framed up my shot...I took aim. Because I am also a martial artist I could anticipate when she would take her strike, and I watched her body. I knew Grandmaster had instructed her to do three practice runs. And on the fourth I saw her body tense in preparation, then came the execution and I took my shot just as her foot penetrated the boards. It was a beautiful shot.
This basic principle I learned in class has helped me become a better photographer.

My Chayon-Ryu training has helped me in ways I never imagined it would. It transcends kicking and punching, and permeates the being. I have gained patience, endurance, a critical eye (which is vital in design work), a very strong work ethic, and am regarded now as one of the top people in my field in this city. I have applied my Chayon-Ryu discipline to my work, both conscientiously and unconscientiously. It is with me wherever I go, it is a part of me.

Chayon-Ryu is lifestyle martial arts.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lifestyle Martial Arts for Health, Success & Longevity

Introducing our system and philosophy of lifestyle martial arts from local to international points. Martial arts is not about fighting and violence, but instead, about finding harmony through non-competition and respectful balance.

Founded in 1968, KIM SOO KARATE, a model martial arts system in greater Houston, Texas,  for 43 years, emphasizes a CLASSICAL, OLD-WORLD style of training by utilizing natural body movements for a safe, easy, efficient and effective way of practice.
Ideal for adults, teens, and children, Chayon-Ryu is a perfect choice for a family fitness program.  Chayon-Ryu is also ideal for the adult individual seeking a peaceful balance philosophy along with a self-defense system.  Students begin at age five and range in age from five to eighty five. Chayon-Ryu is for everyone!

Lifestyle Martial Arts for Health, Success & Longevity
Chayon-Ryu is based on natural movements found within each of its parent styles:

Chinese Chu'an-Fa
Korean Taekwon

Chayon-Ryu teaches natural body motion as the basis of all techniques, in order to promote power, safety, health, and fitness.
The same normal body motions found in such ordinary activities as twisting, throwing, and running are employed in Chayon-Ryu for the delivery of strikes, blocks, and kicks. Relaxed, natural motion flows more smoothly and efficiently, so power generated from natural motion is far greater than from contrived moves.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Anniversary Chayon-Ryu- 43 years

Join us in celebrating 43 years of Chayon-Ryu. Chayon-Ryu was founded in Sept. 1968
by Grandmaster Kim Soo. Chayon-Ryu, "Natural Way" martial arts is a world class system
of schools, teachers and students practicing lifestyle martial arts for self-defense, fitness and

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Preserving martial arts history and tradition in Chayon-Ryu

Recently I was in a martial arts discussion group and the topic of katas came up. Are they vital to martial arts training? Coming from a background of rich and varied teaching lineage, and a system that is mission directed to preserve ancient martial arts forms, I was shocked at the responses of some of the participants in the discussion, and the cavalier way in which they just tossed the idea of kata aside. It made me very grateful for the path of Chayon-Ryu and that from my time as a white belt on, the notion of  the rich treasures contained in the forms are the wealth of our system was instilled in me.

There is a decided difference between form and technique. Techniques are in and of themselves simple gestures that go to make up the movements of self defense. But forms, are art, they are wisdom, they are the life work of a Grandmaster who composed them and put them together. It is our duty to preserve this legacy for posterity and future generations. Grandmaster Kim Soo speaks of this often, and how it is each black belt's responsibility to be the legacy of the future. So I am posting this clip of an interview with Grandmaster about the preservation of forms:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

WHAT IS CHAYON-RYU? In 30 seconds or less...

Discover Chayon-Ryu, "the natural way" martial arts system. Chayon-Ryu teaches students
Self-Defense, Fitness, and gives them the tools for success and longevity! Chayon-Ryu is Sang Whal Mu Do, which means "Lifestyle martial art" ... practioners can train their whole life. Unlike competition sports where injuries occur and atheletes have a finite lifespan in the sport, Chayon-Ryu promotes health, and longevity through the repitition on the movements and fundamental principles. Students range in age from age 5 to 85. What are you waiting for? Log onto our website and find a class near you!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Why Meditate?

What is meditation?
It's a state of deep peace that occurs when the mind is calm and silent.  Think of it as a stress-free/distraction-free zone.  The mind normally can be compared to a crowded noisey room, but when it is in a state of calm and silence, it's like being in a library--just waiting to be filled with new knowledge. Think of martial arts class as the collection of books in that library, you need the peace and quiet so you can comprehend what it is you are reading.

Meditation in Chayon-Ryu
Why do we meditate?
It is true that historically, there is a strong connection between martial arts and spirituality, if the practioner is seeking a path to self awareness. This marriage of the trinity of body/mind/spirit is arrived at through the repitition of ritual, and training for years in the art or discipline of choice.

Adept awareness unfolds over time, as each visitation of the movements, fundamentals, principles and applications unlocks clearer understanding.  To aid in this gain of insight, meditation can be a very important tool if used properly.  Chayon-ryu is an art that utilizes meditation to aid in further understanding. A multipuropose tool, meditation can be used in many different ways for benefit.

Sitting meditation (Facing the wall) empties the mind of clutter you may have tracked in with you from the business of the day, that may well distract you from the greater knowledge of what you will learn in martial arts class.  You don't want to be thinking about the bills that are due, or the car that cut you off in traffic, or getting yelled at by your boss before martial arts class. You want to leave all of that clutter behind you when you enter the training space. So we face the wall, and breathe, and close our eyes and empty all of that distraction and clutter out of ourselves.

Grandmaster Kim Soo and his black belts do
standing meditationbefore beginning class
at the CYR world HQ in Houston, TX USA.
Standing meditation before warm ups prepares the body to recieve instruction by attuning the senses to a single purpose, so the practioner can move as instructed on command without pausing or hesitation. 
This allows us to breathe in unison, and stay in step with the commands of the instructor, and stay together during drills and forms practice.
It creates group unification. It encourages muscle memory of the repitition, and allows us body awareness and alertness.

Moving meditation-form. Practicing forms is a moving meditation. Forms consist of prescribed, unchanging moves. A form may have taken a Master fifty years to develop. Forms are for training purposes and train the student through repetitive movements and the practice of basic principles of movement. Though some differences of personal styles will be evident, forms are always performed with the same sequence of moves, and this becomes a moving meditation. The body shifting and turning in time with your breathing, the mind, empty does not lead, but follows the flow of the movement.

These are examples of how simple meditation techniques can help each student of martial arts get more out of their training.

Meditation for deeper understanding
Grandmaster Kim Soo tells us a story:
"I am reminded of my childhood in Korea. Every year my mother would travel to the mountain to meditate. As her son, I would carry a large bag of rice as a gift from her to the monks. It was an arduous journey of about one and a half hours on an overcrowded bus with a one-hour climb up the mountain with a sack of rice. When we got there, my mother would meditate for about an hour. Then we would come down the mountain and make our way back home.
I used to wonder about the point of it all. We spent way more time getting there than we spent there. It seemed that the destination and purpose was minor in relation to the effort of getting there.
I eventually came to understand that it's not about getting there, it's about what you take with you when you leave.
So it should be with your training. The time you spend in class may seem small compared with the journey of the rest of your life, but if you take away the right lessons you will find a worthwhile balance. The reward is there, you must be careful not to overlook it."

Meditation is a tool available to Chayon-Ryu students to help them take more away with them after they leave the dojang.  It is a tool that you can use for everyday living. Meditate before work, or any important meeting, for clarity and calm. Being in tune, and aware will help you make better decisions, and better choices. It will reduce stress, and anxiety.  You will gain a deeper understanding of the principles of Chayon-Ryu, and through their application, a deeper understanding of yourself.

Master Sean Kim, 8th Dan Black Belt. Chief Instructor
at CYR World HQ, Houston, TX USA performs Breathing
form on the beach at the annual CYR beach training. This
form is a moving meditation for longevity.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Chayon-Ryu training and Osteoporosis

An article recently published about the benefits of falling practice in martial arts and osteoporosis sufferers concludes that, such training can benefit sufferers in learning to fall correctly to avoid further injury.

Chayon-Ryu uses the "natural way" method for teaching falling, rolling and take-down in martial arts. We teach in a very safe and supervised environment, and as a result many of our students, instructors and practioners can personally vouch for the legitimacy of the method with testimonies of falls in which they might otherwise have been seriously injured.
I am getting older, and osteoporosis is a health concern for women of my age. But I feel confident that through my continued practice and training in chayon-ryu, I will not develop serious conditions such as this, and the practice can even help those who have been stricken.

Chayon-Ryu is Sang Hwal Mu Do, which means lifestyle, or life time martial arts. It means you can practice from the cradle to the grave with no ill effects such as repetative stress disorder, or joint injuries as competative martial artists and mixed martial arts fighter encounter ending their practice early in life. The purpose of Chayon-Ryu is longevity to the practioner. We do not compete, we train for health, success and longevity. 

I will be writing more about the benefits of Chayon-Ryu to training in midlife years into gereatric years. Grandmaster Kim Soo, practices every day, he has been for over 50 years, and is in his 70's.  He is a living example of the legitimacy of his own method.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Women in Chayon-Ryu-Spotlight on Master Kim Geary

Is Chayon-Ryu the right martial art for women?

Just ask Master Kim Geary, chief instructor of the Austin Chayon-Ryu school in Austin, TX, and she will tell you, yes! 

"Chayon-Ryu is a good system for women, and all people, because of the atmosphere of acceptance Grandamster Kim Soo created. He tends to look for the good in people and brings individual talents to the surface." Says Master Kim Geary, an 8th Dan Black Belt who began her training in Chayon-Ryu in 1975 in the original Austin Branch of Kim Soo Karate

What is the biggest benefit women can receive from Chayon-Ryu?

Master Geary performs "Jang Kwon" form with
Grandmaster Kim Soo, founder of Chayon-Ryu

"The main benefit is confidence. Not just the physical confidence that training develops, it is just as much about the mental confidence. I have witnessed many women do things that would possibly have never occurred without training.
I myself went back to engineering school at UT then went on to work in the oil fields. It was all very daunting; school was scary and competitive, flying in helicopters during rain storms, working alone in the desert at night, working in a man's world, facing layoffs during the oil bust, etc.

The confidence I received from training, teaching and demonstrating pulled me through many 'crisis'. I know several women who went back to school, started businesses, made major changes in their personal life, spoke publicly and demonstrated in front of crowds. All things that were previously terrifying, they are now doing."

As one of the highest-ranking women martial artists in the world, Master Geary has received numerous honors and awards for her teaching abilities.

Though renowned for the power and elegance of her forms, and the fighting spirit and strategy of her sparring, she says her favorite aspect of training is: "Learning and practicing forms." And second to that is, "Mat work."

Master Geary opened Austin Kim Soo Martial Arts in October 1990. has taught Chayon-Ryu all over Texas and all around the world in her 36 years of training. She opened a branch of Kim Soo Karate in Austin, Texas in 1990 and served as the Chief Instructor for seven years. Master Geary currently teaches at a private dojang in Austin, Texas, and if you would like to train with her, you can join her class

Master Geary has been selected to teach Chayon-Ryu at the National Women's Martial Arts Federation (NWMAF) "Special Training" summer camp for women (1988,1986, 1993, 2005, and 2007). 

This international summer camp brings women martial artists from Europe, America, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, and Asia, to study with the top female teachers in the world, a small number of whom are chosen from many applications.  In 1994 Master Geary hosted the first Texas "Special Training" in history for the NWMAF.  She has also taught Chayon-Ryu  at the summer camp of the Pacific Association of Women Martial Artists (PAWMA), which serves women in the martial-arts-avid state of California and its upper-state neighbors on the U.S. western coastline (1991and 2005).

Master Geary has been inducted into the Texas Martial Arts Hall of Fame.

Master Geary was featured on "Inside Edition"

For more information about Master Kim Geary, read Women in martial arts by Master Kit van Cleave.
photography by Melissa L. Nichols. All images copyright Kim Soo Karate, Inc. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Grandmaster Kim Soo in Korea

10th Dan Black Belt and Founder of Chayon-Ryu
Founder of Korean Taekwon Academy

Grandmaster Kim Soo began his martial arts training as a child in Korea and was promoted to 1st-Degree Black Belt when he was 13. During high school, he dedicated his life to spreading martial arts; and while in college, he founded Kwon Bop Martial Arts club at Han Kuk University of Foreign Studies. After graduating with a degree in Russian Language and Literature, Grandmaster Kim taught taekwondo club at the Animal Husbandry College of Keon-kuk University and founded the Korean Taekwon Academy in Seoul. He also taught the bodyguards of former Korean President Syng Man Rhee, members of the Korean Military Intelligence Agency, and personnel of the U. S. Armed Forces. Grandmaster Kim served as the first Korean correspondent for BLACK BELT MAGAZINE, authored three best-selling books, and promoted more than 600 Black Belts. The youngest 10th-degree Black Belt in the world (10th-degree is the highest rank), Grandmaster Kim began teaching at both Rice University and the University of Houston in l968.


Keep up with Grandmaster Kim Soo as he teaches Chayon-Ryu in Korea.

Visit his website:

for all the news and writings of Grandmaster while he teaches Chayon-Ryu in Busan, Korea.
If you are in Korea, take advantage of this opportunity to train with world renowned martial arts Grandmaster Kim Soo. Founder of the Chayon-Ryu ("Natural Way") martial arts system. Chayon-Ryu is based on the natural movements found within each of its parent styles - Chinese Chu'an Fa, Japanese Karate, Korean Taekwondo, Okinawa-Te, Judo/ Jujitsu, and Hapkido/ Aikido. Chayon-Ryu teaches natural body motion as the basis of all techniques in order to promote power, safety, health, and fitness. Chayon-Ryu is more than just the physical practice of several martial arts. Within the practice, it incorporates an educational system of teaching: Morality, Purpose, Humility, Common Sense, Persistence, and Patience. From this system, one becomes self confident and through self - confidence, one gains self esteem. With these components, one is able to fight the every day enemies, which are not external (physical attackers) but internal such as stress, worry, insecurity, jealousy, impatience, defeat, and depression. Chayon-Ryu is especially valuable to children. Since the focus is on training ones mind, body, and spirit and not on fighting, violence or competition, the child is able to take away a feeling of accomplishment, self-worth and a way of life through mental and physical balance.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Grandmaster Kim Soo offers a path to "Enlightenment"

the Chinese character for "enlightenment"
My Path to Nam
Written by: Sabom Brian Hammer as told by Grandmaster Kim Soo

You must dig in one place in order to discover water.
Many times I heard these words in my youth. As a junior high school student in 1951, I was shy and lacked life direction. At that time in my life, my role model was my mother. She was not a well-educated woman. She came from a poor but noble family and she had a difficult life in some ways. Yet, she always believed in me and inspired me. She taught me to dream and have ambition.

My mother recognized my lack of confidence and encouraged me to study martial arts. In 1951, during the height of the Korean War, I was in 5th grade. My mother arranged for a neighbor to teach me martial arts. Attracted to what I was learning, in 1952, I enrolled at a Kong Soo Do school in Seoul. On several occasions over the first few years of my training, however, I became bored, experienced setbacks, and was frustrated. I wanted to quit. My mother often used these words to inspire me to keep training.

As I see it now, the water she was referring to was my authentic self. Seeing that I lacked confidence, my mother told me that I could be anything I wanted to be. She told me that everyone has a mission in life, and that I must dig deep inside of myself in order to discover my purpose. This is what she meant by digging in one place to discover water. I remember one day she gave me a blank piece of paper and told me to draw whatever I wanted to be. To this day, I am drawing that picture. Martial arts became my compass—orienting me toward the life of my dreams. I am still digging. And I am living the life of my dreams. My passion and my path are to teach martial arts, and offer to others the gifts I received from my training.

Over the course of my 53 years of martial art practice and teaching, I have thought a great deal about, and have developed, a system of martial arts practice that anyone can study at any time in their life. Chayon Ryu is Sang Hwal Mu Do - a lifestyle martial art.

Chayon Ryu is designed for those who wish to remain committed to the path of martial arts and its many benefits, including self-realization. Consistent, committed martial arts training, whether one is sixteen or sixty years of age, will benefit one physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

The longer one trains, the deeper the benefits. Committed martial artists will develop greater balance and control, a sharper and clearer mind, a more generous and loving heart, an authentic experience, and an expression of one’s true self: the self beyond fear and self-judgment. I teach martial arts because I believe in individual freedom. Everyone should control his or her own life, and enjoy the confidence and passion of the power to be able to live the life of their dreams. Training in martial arts is a path to freedom. The ultimate treasure that long-term or “right” practice offers is a path to liberate the confident, powerful being that one is at the core, but perhaps has lost touch with along the way.
Most people are limited in self-confidence and power because they see themselves as victim to enemies outside of themselves. What I mean by this is that many feel that the world does not seem to be cooperating with their dreams.

They feel unlucky, not smart or young enough, or otherwise hindered by people and situations that are keeping them down. It is my belief, however, that these “outside enemies” are merely a reflection of the “inside enemies.” What people perceive as limitations outside of themselves are generally mirrors of something going on inside of themselves. These inner obstacles most often fall into the categories of negative self-talk, self-judgments, and irrationally held, limiting beliefs about themselves and the world. From this perspective, it is the inner victory over the internal enemies that sets people free.

For me then, the true aim of martial arts practice is not to learn how to kick and punch, or defeat the external enemy.Rather, practicing consistent “right” practice with humility and patience allows one to follow a natural path that will defeat the internal enemies that exist in one’s mind. This is what I mean when I tell students during form practice to set up internal enemies in their minds, and then knock them down or destroy them. Consistently and over time, “right” practice of the martial arts will begin to free students from the shackles of fear and self-doubt. With continued practice, students develop the confidence, willpower, and creativity to take the necessary steps and live the lives of their dreams. Commitment to “right” practice is all that is required. Consistent martial arts practice, then, renders much more than physical fitness, self-defense and mental discipline.

One making a commitment to “natural way” practice follows a path of freedom toward enlightenment, or “nam.” What is “Nam”? Over the past 40 years in the west, there has been a lot of talk about enlightenment or “nam.” There has also been a lot of misunderstanding. Enlightenment is often presented as available exclusively to the very few who meditate for hours each day and renounce worldly pleasures. This is not my belief. My understanding is that enlightenment is, in varying degrees, for everyone.
My belief is that we are all already enlightened beings. This is the nature of our souls. Yet we are souls having a human experience, and the human part has forgotten that we are enlightened. Although we are presented with many tools that enhance our enlightenment, we do not always recognize their importance. It is like picking up a small bolt from the road, then putting it in a pocket and forgetting it is there. Then, at a later time when we need a bolt, we remember that we have it and can put it to use. There are many ideas that we are exposed to, yet put away to the back of our consciousness. Then, when we come across a new problem, we discover that we already have the tools we need to solve the problem.

Enlightenment, then, is realizing the true nature of what we have. It is simply seeing more clearly the true nature of things. My greatest wish is for my students to recognize this truth, and live the lives of their dreams. I want my students to be enlightened.  I believe all of us are born geniuses. Within a few years of birth, we are able to grow into walking and talking beings, mastering and deciphering a language that allows us to communicate our needs and feelings. We learn to play sports, create art, fall in love, invent things and ask questions. All of these are amazing feats.

Yet, most of us learn to identify ourselves with what we cannot do, and we lose sight of our genius. We see others who are better than us at drawing and we conclude that we are not creative. Another does better than us at math and we conclude that we are not smart. A third has a better basic form number one, and we conclude that we are average martial artists. We come to judge ourselves as not smart enough, creative enough, talented enough, not as coordinated, worthy, lovable: simply, not enough. It is these judgments, delusions, and irrational beliefs that block our natural state of enlightenment.

How then does enlightenment come? The true path of enlightenment requires a commitment, with humility and patience, to a single practice.

Modern culture is filled with promises for instant happiness and get-rich-quick
schemes. All of these pursuits, in my opinion, lead us in exactly the wrong direction. As my mother said, you must dig in one place in order to discover water.

Enlightenment simply requires long-standing dedication to this path. It is a lifelong journey. One must take the journey with an open mind and with an attitude of humility, not with a specific achievement in mind, such as becoming a black belt. The Chinese refer to this as “tao” and the Japanese and Koreans refer to it as “do.”

Already we are more empowered to live our lives in alignment with our heart, gut and soul. And as long as we stay committed to our practice, we will naturally gain luminosity and brilliance as we reach higher degrees of Nam.  According to mystical understanding from eastern and western tradition, this path continues toward the ultimate revelation of our authentic selves. Complete enlightenment is often called Buddha or Christ consciousness. Few
ever reach this ultimate Nam. I have not attained this stage and cannot, therefore, say much about it. 
In Korean martial arts, this stage is referred to as “do sa.” This is the level of sainthood.

The Three Stages on the Path to Nam:

There are three stages of practice that lead to increasing degrees of enlightenment.

The first stage is practice. Whatever the discipline, in order to advance, there must be consistent practice. Many do not get very far and quit when their practice gets boring and their wandering minds seek new thrills and immediate gratifications. Yet, as described by the Aikido master and teacher, George Leonard in his book Mastery [Plume
1992], the path (what Leonard calls the “Mastery Curve”) is dominated by plateaus during which growth seems stagnant. He encourages us to remain committed to our practice during these times of stagnation because a growth spurt will soon come. Attaining mastery is learning to love the plateaus and the practice itself. I agree, for with consistent “right” practice, the growth spurts are inevitable. Each plateau allows us to perfect our knowledge and prepares us to be ready for the growth spurts.

The second stage requires study. After consistent years of practice under good teaching, the student must look for and discover the principles that underlie his chosen art or discipline. This is a philosophical phase, which leads to a deeper understanding of the art or discipline.
The third stage emphasizes “right” practice, and is critical for healthy advancement along the path of mastery and enlightenment. This stage involves discrimination, in that the student realizes that the principles of his chosen practice are universal principles that he or she must apply to all aspects of his life. For example, balance of movement, rhythm, and proper breathing are critical to healthy, powerful martial arts practice. These same principles, however, also apply to business negotiations and child rearing. During this stage, the practitioner begins
to integrate the physical and mental with the emotional and spiritual. This, in my opinion, is a significant step on the path of Nam.

I came to the United States in order to teach martial arts at the third stage to Americans. As a writer for Black Belt
Magazine in the late 1960’s, I came to recognize that most American martial arts instructors at that time lacked the training and understanding to teach “right” practice discrimination. Instead they were focused on kicking, punching and tournament sparring, with the goal to win trophies. This is low-level martial arts practice that does not lead to
enlightenment, but instead results in injury, quitting, and cancer of the mind. I came to the United States to teach martial arts with the focus on the third stage, and to preserve the purity of the arts that had evolved over thousands of years as a path to Nam.

My Path to Nam:

My first glimpse of Nam came to me after approximately ten years of consistent martial arts practice. It came

In 1953, I first studied Tang Mu Kwan under a 7th Dan instructor by the name of Yu Ki Joon. Yu Ki Joon was a mean Korean marine who carried a big stick and commanded respect through intimidation. He was the first person who taught me Basic Form number one.

Some of what he taught me ultimately became the basis for my first glimpse of enlightenment as a martial artist. On
turns, for example, he taught me to move my foot first, and then to follow with the upper-body turn and block. All the martial artists in Korea turned this way back in the 1950’s and 1960’s. I turned this way for over 10 years, never questioning this approach to turning.

Much later in my practice, when I was a 4th Dan, I read a book titled “Practical Karate” by Nakayama Masatoshi, a
well-known master of Shotokan Karate. I read a statement in this book that all karate movement must be “one-unit motion.” This was a bold statement, “all karate movement must be one-unit motion.” Karate is not a style, it is a word that encompasses all martial art styles; and according to Nakayama, all styles must incorporate one-unit motion.

When I read this statement, I was able to connect the importance of this principal to what I had learned in the martial
arts. Through study, I discovered my first martial arts principle. This principle began a process for me in which I questioned every aspect of my martial arts’ practice. I no longer accepted anything I had learned. I questioned and looked for deeper truths or principles. This, for me, began my path of “right” practice. I began diligent and focused
effort to discover other martial art principles, and, in addition, principles of life. This was my study in discrimination. I did this because I saw that practicing martial arts without an understanding of basic principles was causing injury and other physical problems to most students. Many quit after some years of practice because of injury; derailing their path to Nam.

I started the Chayon Ryu martial arts system as a third stage martial arts practice. I have subsequently built the
system based upon the principles that I have gathered since the moment I read that statement in Mr. Nakayama’s book.
My hope is that teaching these principles with this discrimination will serve future martial artists in two ways:

first, by giving students the ability to practice martial arts in alignment with the fundamental principles, thereby avoiding injury and allowing any student to enjoy martial arts practice for as long as they desire; second, I hope to give my students an advantage on the path to Nam by teaching the fundamental principles or “right” practice.

“Right” Practice – Humility:
Humility is critical in order to achieve enlightenment. Humility means “humbleness of mind; lack of pride” [The World Book Encyclopedia Dictionary, 1963]. To practice with humility is to let go of our mistaken self-identifications as “worse than,” “not enough,” “special,” or “better than” anyone else. Humility is recognizing the openhearted, perfect beings that we naturally are. However, it is easier said than done, and cultivating this perspective is a lifetime practice that is very much a part of the path to Nam.

A big part of cultivating this humility is through selfless service. In the case of martial arts practice, we cultivate humility and Kong through service to the dojang and system. But a word of caution: “don’t do it for me!” Students sometimes clean or improve the dojang in some helpful manner, and then let me know in some subtle or direct way that they did this for me. Another student told me that he wanted to write something for me.

Again, “don’t do it for me!” If you think that by cleaning the dojang, mowing the lawn or writing an article, you are going to gain a special status with me, you are taking action for exactly the wrong reason. You are actually taking a step away from humility and enlightenment. I see this as trying to be “special,” and this is cultivating the falsity that prevents us from attaining
our natural state of freedom.

Furthermore, I will not be obliged to you for cleaning the dojang, and I will not give you special status. I don’t teach
for myself, I teach for the benefit of others. As I stated earlier, I do reap Kong benefits from teaching, but this is incidental and I am convinced that those who act in order to reap personal benefit, do not build Kong. Kong is a bi product of service.
Mother Teresa did not become a saint because she figured that feeding the hungry was the best
path to sainthood. Her mission was simply to feed the hungry – her path was one of service. So when you do something in your school, do it for the school, do it for the system, don’t do it for me. This is basic humility, and an essential ingredient for enlightenment.

Again, we are all special, but never because we think we are special.
Humility means letting go of the thought of being special, and surrendering to humility and our innate specialness.

“Wrong” Practice – A Word of Caution:
It is important to mention that there is a dark side to enlightenment, or what I will refer to as “Dark Power.” This battle between the light and dark is represented in mythology throughout human cultural history from the story of Adam and Eve to modern day dramas such as “Star Wars,” “The Matrix,” and The Lord of the Rings. It is important to not confuse “Dark Power” with “Enlightenment.”

Anyone who practices martial arts (or any discipline) for many years will
increase one’s power and insight, and have the ability to influence others. A student may be an outstanding martial artist, having studied martial arts with much diligence. The student may have even attained recognition and fame.  Yet, if the student sees this power as his or her own, and is without proper guidance and discrimination, there is the likelihood that he or she will develop a cancer of the mind, or Ju Hwa Ip Ma.

The student likely will see him- or
herself as superior and special. One may have a gathered knowledge and superior skill, but without humility and “right” practice, what one experiences is a dead-end, ego-serving, and dangerous path. That student is not enlightened.
These are the conditions that result in cult leaders and other forms of powerful deviants. It must be understood that cult leaders generally have light and they are a force to be reckoned with. They use their light or power to exercise control and keep those who follow them dependent and confused. Many people, upon discovering a good thing want to keep it for themselves – often to gain a perceived advantage over others. Ultimately, their leadership is used for their own egos. Consequently, their followers’ potential will be limited and poisoned by the Dark Power.

This is why “right” practice and humility are critically important. Not only is enlightenment a path for one to follow, but it is also a responsibility. Followers will always be attracted to those who seek Nam. Many people are unable to differentiate between those leaders who are Enlightened and those who merely have Dark Power. The difference is that enlightened leaders will teach their followers the way to independence while Dark Power leaders will keep their
followers dependent and confused. The way I see it, an individual must establish him- or herself as fully independent in order to cultivate degrees of enlightenment.

My teaching method is designed to support all students in their desire to express themselves
independently and to pursue their individual paths. I offer the place and a teaching method to cultivate “right” practice. Although I encourage committed practice, the rest is up to the individual. My mother did not force me continue studying martial arts; she merely believed in me and encouraged me. I hope to do the same for my students.


For me, enlightenment is simply following the path of discovery of one’s own abilities and talents. We all have epiphanies, and they come to us after many years of consistent study of a subject. Some study music or painting, some study the art of parenting or good citizenry. My path is martial art and I am happy to share my discoveries with anyone who is serious and interested.

As a martial arts teacher today, I firmly believe that all teachers in my system should attend regular instructor’s
clinics. This is why I established a permanent location to teach martial arts. I want my teachers to teach their students the most correct martial arts movements, as I understand them. This is not to say that my students and my students’ students will not have their own moments of enlightenment and take my understanding of martial arts principles to even greater levels. In fact, I want my students to do this. Yet, at the same time, I do not want my
students to have to reinvent the wheel and again discover what I found ten, twenty, thirty and forty years into my practice.

My hope is that my discoveries will help my students jump-start and accelerate their path to nam, shine
brightness on their paths, and open the way for us all to live joy-filled, inspired, creative and powerful lives.