Sunday, April 15, 2012

The White Glove Tradition of Chayon-Ryu

by Melissa L. Nichols, Kyosanim, 1st Dan

If you've ever seen Chayon-Ryu black belts wearing white gloves at rank tests, in photos, or videos and are curious as to why they wear them, this is the story of the white glove tradition of Chayon-Ryu.  It all goes back to our senior Grandmaster, a man named Yoon, Byung-In

Grandmaster Yoon Byung-In was the first Korean national to bring the martial art of chu'an fa (commonly called kung fu in the U.S.) back to Korea after studying in Manchuria and Shanghai, China. During World War II, he went to Nihon University, Tokyo, where he studied karate with Toyama, Kanken.  Grandmaster Yoon began teaching these two combined arts in Korea, and this became the foundation and heart of the Chayon-Ryu system. 

Grandmaster Kim Soo wears white gloves to honor
the late Grandmaster Yoon, Byung-In.
When he was young, Grandmaster Yoon was injured when we slipped and fell into a fire, losing two fingers from his hand. He wore white gloves to mask the injury so as not to draw attention to himself, and thus avoid riddicule, or limitations.

During his time as a teacher of the martial arts, students would learn by immitating the movements of the teacher, and out of respect for their teacher, direct students of Grandmaster Yoon began the tradition of wearing white gloves while training. 

This tradition has been passed down to the Chayon-Ryu system by our founder, Grandmaster Kim Soo.  We wear white gloves to so respect for our late senior Grandmaster Yoon.

To learn more about Grandmaster Yoon, you can read about him in an article entitled "Yoon, Byung In, Another Story" by Karen Hoffman as told by Grandmaster Kim Soo.

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