Fact: The “Song Moo Kwan” was established by Supreme Grand Master Ro, Byung Jick on March 11, 1944.
The truth of that fact is more far reaching. Practitioners the world over have ranged from school children, to adults from all walks of life: Home Makers, Carpenters, Roofers, Bakers, Garbage Collectors, Tailors, Airline Pilots and Attendants, Teachers, Farmers, Bankers, Bookmakers, Iron Workers, Car Salesmen, Doctors, Lawyers, and of course Local, State and Federal Police and Soldiers.
Some of these positions can have great earning potential. Some do not. The tie that binds is the pride of being a part of a family (Kwan) that has existed now for nearly 70 years. For the Instructor, that tie is a legacy of strength that permits overcoming any trial. It is the strength of character that weather’s any storm, and overcomes all adversity.
But let me speak now to the Instructor, Master and/or Grand Master who may be reading this message:
You are an important part of a legacy chain that connects the past and the future. You have the responsibility of keeping the lights on so that your students have a training hall. You have to handle all the advertising yourself. You have to manage others whose dedication may not be as strong or focused as yourself. And, in the midst of having to make payroll, you have to find the time to set aside the ‘worldly’ challenges that you may get on the mat to “teach.” To impart that knowledge that consumes your very life.
You could have been that doctor, lawyer, or other professional noted above. But you chose to teach the martial arts. You made a conscious decision to “teach’ something that brings no instant wealth or great financial windfall. You chose to teach something that most people don’t even consider a profession. They look at it as a hobby ‘distraction’ for their children. Not even as a serious sport.
So what makes you different?
Why are you doing this?
You don’t have to answer me. But, you have to answer yourself. Every day martial arts studios close for this very reason. How then will yours be different?
Now let’s look at the method you have chosen to present yourself and your school (Dojang). Do you teach the latest, greatest, television driven martial arts craze. Or, have you honed your personal skills to denote a continuity of training and philosophy that will outlive the current market trends?
The World Song Moo Kwan Association, for seventy years, has outlived those trends. WSMKA instructors can cross-teach (and cross-train), receiving rank certification in Taekwondo, Hapkido, Taeguk Kumdo (Korean Swordsmanship) and Kung Fu. WSMKA practitioners can separate, or integrate, these disciplines as needed to present some of the finest martial arts found in the world today.
There is one thing more, though: Black Belts earned are from the founder of modern-day martial arts. Awards of rank are from the highest ranking Black Belt in the world. The foundation of your martial arts education is in a continuity of lineage. Your lineage can be traced from Supreme Grand Master Ro, to Senior Grand Master Ro, to 8th Dan Black Belt Grand Masters, then all the way down to your present ranking.
Your Instructor/Mentor will assist you in preparations for your next advancement test. Your continuing refinement of curriculum will be with the assistance of those of like mind and goals. Your support organization throughout the world will be such that you can travel to any Song Moo Kwan school on any continent in the world and be received as a true brother, or sister in the martial arts.
The lessons learned in a lifetime of martial arts training include one that cannot be overlooked: Gracie Jujitsu is well respected and well known throughout the world and their schools have a wonderful reputation. When an affiliate opened a school across from mine in Orem, Utah, their Instructor asked to bring over some of his students to work with our Black belt class on Saturday mornings. I gladly agreed.
Their first and last time on the mat was that first Saturday. At the end of the day, their Black Belts were instructed to attend all of our Black Belt Testing’s – but not to get on the mat again. When I asked why, I was told that we didn’t fight fair.
This is the level of training when World Song Moo Kwan Association cross-training is made a part of your every-day curriculum. I am only sorry that the spirit of competition dampened the initial enthusiasm. That sharing our techniques was disconcerting enough that we could not have great future exchanges with our jujitsu friends.
So, what am I trying to say?
The World Song Moo Kwan Association is not a hobby training organization. Those who can’t or won’t raise their standards to our level of technical proficiency tend to seek another place to obtain their certifications. But, those who know the value of training under a legacy, seventy years strong, are always welcomed into the Association as an essential part of our family.
Let me leave you with this Korean Proverb:
콩 심은데 콩나고, 팥 심은데 팥난다
(Anglicized: Kong sim-eun-dae kong-na-go, pat sim-eun-dae pat nanda)
The literal meaning of this proverb evokes many different items for thought:
Beans come out from where beans are planted, and red beans (팥) come out from where red beans are planted.”
Where are your beans planted? How will you be judged in your current surroundings?
Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
Be a part of something unparalleled. For a life (and legacy) of honor and distinction: the World Song Moo Kwan Association.