Description of the Karate Program - Sparrows Point Martial Arts

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					Edgemere/Sparrows Point
    Recreation Council
Karate Program Handbook

         Head Instructor: John McConnell

  Recreation Council Representative: Debbie Smith

               Rev Date: 11/28/2012
Description of the Karate Program ............................................................................................................................ 4

Sabumnim John McConnell’s Resume ....................................................................................................................... 5

Why study the martial arts?....................................................................................................................................... 7

Rules of the DoJang.................................................................................................................................................... 9

The History of Tae Kwon Do..................................................................................................................................... 10

The Tenets of Tae Kwon Do ..................................................................................................................................... 13

Sparrows Point Martial Arts Academy Awards/Patches .......................................................................................... 16

Tae Kwon Do Forms - What Are Poome Se? ............................................................................................................ 17

One-Step Sparring .................................................................................................................................................... 18

Information about Testing ....................................................................................................................................... 19

Steps to Mastering a Form ....................................................................................................................................... 21

Padded Weapons Program ...................................................................................................................................... 22

Tae Kwon Do – Korean Terminology........................................................................................................................ 26

Mastering Your Front Kick........................................................................................................................................ 27

Mastering Your Roundhouse Kick ............................................................................................................................ 28

Mastering Your Side Kick ......................................................................................................................................... 29

Kunja ........................................................................................................................................................................ 30

JI DO KWAN .............................................................................................................................................................. 31

Basic Stretching Routine .......................................................................................................................................... 33

The Korean National Flag ......................................................................................................................................... 37

Sparring Rules .......................................................................................................................................................... 38

Martial Legacy .......................................................................................................................................................... 40

Bullying: Help for Bullies and Victims ..................................................................................................................... 44

Hangul – Korean Alphabet ....................................................................................................................................... 48

                         Description of the Karate Program

Welcome to our program! Sparrows Point Martial Arts Academy offers its karate
program through the Edgemere/Sparrows Point Recreation Council and is open to all
individuals from age 6 to adult.

We meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Edgemere Elementary School Gym.
Monthly tuition is paid directly to our ESP Rec Council representative and special
family rates are available.

From 6:15-7:15 PM we have a beginner's class for children and adults from
beginner through yellow belt (higher belts are welcome too!). From 7:15-8:00 PM we
have an advanced class for all students orange belt and up. One Wednesday a
month we have a class for blue belt and above.

The style of martial arts we teach is a combination of the styles studied by our
instructor. Tae Kwon Do is the art that form the basis of our school but we also
incorporate useful components from Hapkido, Kenpo, Okinawan Karate, and
Northern Praying Mantis Kung Fu. Our instructor is John McConnell. He holds a 5th
degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and a 2nd degree black belt in Hapkido and has
been teaching since 1983. Our recreation council representative (and another
student!) is Debbie Smith.

Our classes include: warm ups, exercises, stretching, hand techniques, punches,
blocks, strikes, kicks, sparring, self-defense training, weapons training, joint locks,
throws, and forms.

The format of the first class typically includes 15-20 minutes of warm-ups and
stretching, 15-20 minutes of basics work, 15-20 minutes of rank work, and 5-15
minutes for active games to keep everybody moving and having fun. Thursdays are
our sparring class days.

Promotion testing is done through the United Federation of Tae Kwon Do
Instructors. Tests are held every month or two. Students will be reviewed prior to
testing to insure they have achieved the required level. Equipment is available
through the Century Martial Arts Supply. Uniforms are required prior to promotion

                       Sabumnim John McConnell’s Resume

                                       MARTIAL ARTS RANKS

                                   Tae Kwon Do – Korean Karate
                                 5th Degree Black Belt, October 2009
                                  4th Degree Black Belt, January 1995
                                    3rd Degree Black Belt, July 1992
                                2nd Degree Black Belt, November 1988
                                   1st Degree Black Belt, April 1985

                                  Hapkido – Korean Self-Defense
                                2ndDegree Black Belt, November 1988
                                   1st Degree Black Belt, May 1986

                            Maryland Professional Karate Association
                                    Instructor, October 2007

                     Wah Lum Tam Tui Northern Praying Mantis Kung Fu
                                   9th Level, June 1991

                         AAAI/ISMA Kickboxing Instructor Certification
                                        March 2011

                                      TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Sparrows Point Martial Arts Academy, ESP Recreation Council. September 2008 – Present
Karate Instructor. Instruct and lead karate classes for adults and children.

MPKA Main School. Dundalk. Spring 2008
Instructor. Instruct and lead karate classes for adults and children.

Sparrows Point, Edgemere/Sparrows Point Recreation Council. 2004-Present
Assistant Instructor Karate. Instruct and lead karate classes for adults and children.

Baltimore County Continuing Education Program. September 1994, September 1995
Developed and taught two 10-week self-defense programs integrating Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido.

Orlando Martial Arts Academy, Orlando, Florida. May 1987 – May 1993
Principle Owner and Operator. Responsible for Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido instruction.

Quincy Martial Arts Academy, Quincy, Illinois. May 1984 - August 1984 and May 1985 - August 1985
Principle Owner and Operator. Responsible for Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido instruction of classes.

Don Burns Martial Arts Academy, Bloomington, Indiana. September - May 1983-84, 1984-85, 1985-86
Instructor. Responsible for Tae Kwon Do instruction of nightly classes with adults and children.
                              MARTIAL ARTS WEAPONS EXPERIENCE
                  Nunchuka, Bo Staff, Double Daggers, Broadsword, Katana, and Walking Cane

                                United Federation of Tae Kwon Do Instructors
                                      United States Hapkido Federation

                                         COMMUNITY SERVICE
2003-Present, Boy Scouts of America – Boy Scout Troop 427 Scoutmaster, Cub Pack 722 Assistant Cubmaster, Crew
  427 Advisor, Chesapeake District Committee Public Relations Chair, Chesapeake District Dean of Merit Badges,
                      Chesapeake District Advancement Committee, Merit Badge Counselor
                2005-2009, Cub Pack 722 Cubmaster, Cub Den Leader, Pack Committee Chairman
                     1999-2004, Sunday School Teacher, Graceland United Methodist Church
                      1999-2000, Youth Group Leader, Graceland United Methodist Church
              1993-1998, Boy Scouts of America, Assistant Scout Master, and Merit Badge Counselor

                              MARTIAL ARTS TOURNAMENT RESULTS
                       05/85 Valley Annual Open Karate Tournament – Men – Kata 2nd
                   02/05 MPKA Invitational Sparrows Point - Seniors - Kata 1st, Kumite 1st
                    04/05 MPKA Invitational Sparrows Point - Men - Kata 2nd, Kumite 2nd
              11/05 MPKA Invitational Sparrows Point – Men - Kata 1st, Kumite 1st, Weapons 1st
             02/06 MPKA Invitational Sparrows Point – Men - Kata 2nd, Kumite 2nd, Weapons 2nd
                    04/06 MPKA Invitational Sparrows Point - Men - Kata 1st, Weapons 1st
        04/07 MPKA Invitational Dundalk Community College – Men – Kata 1st, Weapons 1st, Kumite 1st,
                           Grand Champion—Weapons, Grand Champion--Kata
                  08/07 MPKA Invitational Dundalk Maryland – Men – Kata 1st, Kumite 1st.
                 11/07 MPKA Invitational Dundalk Maryland – Men – Kata 2nd, Weapons 2nd.
               04/08 MPKA Invitational Dundalk Maryland – Black Belt– Kata 1st, Weapons 2nd.
              10/08 MPKA Invitational, Dundalk, Maryland – Black Belt – Kata 2nd, Weapons 2nd

                01/2013 – Johns Hopkins, Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Community Service
                         10/2012 – Boy Scouts of America, Scoutmaster Award of Merit
                          04/2012 – Boy Scouts of America, Scoutmaster’s Key Award
                     06/2011 – Boy Scouts of America, Chesapeake District Award of Merit
                                 07/2009 – Boy Scout Leader’s Training Award
                             02/2009 – Cubmaster’s Award, Boy Scouts of America
                June 2008 – Unsung Hero Award for Chesapeake District, Boy Scouts of America
                               04/2008 – President’s Champions 2nd Year Award
                          2008 – Webelos Den Leader Award, Boy Scouts of America
                      2007 - USHOHMAA – Black Belt Hall of Honor-Hall of Champions
                            2007 – Bear Den Leader Award, Boy Scouts of America
                                 01/2007 – President’s Champions Gold Award
                               2006 - Cub Scouter Award, Boy Scouts of America
                                 06/2006 – President’s Champions Silver Award
                                05/2006 – President’s Champions Bronze Award
                                  1996 – Boy Scouts of America, Wood Badge

Why study the martial arts?

Self Defense

Self-defense is often the first reason parents enroll their children in the martial arts. You will find that
martial arts training is much more than a course in kicking and punching! It promotes self-confidence,
assertiveness, goal orientation, calmness, and concentration.

Contrary to what parents might believe, martial arts training does not prepare children for a
showdown with a bully. A bully usually has low self-esteem, and a need to feel powerful causes them
to seek out others weaker than themselves. Martial artists learn to look their opponent in the eyes.
Sparring teaches them to control of their breathing. Forms teach them balance, power and rapid
movement. And students learn to respond to questions in a firm voice. In the most cases, the bully is
defeated not by combat, but by the martial artist’s calm and confident demeanor. Your child becomes
a less appealing target to them.

Grace Under Pressure

Study of the martial arts is a practical means of assertiveness training. The format is simple: apply a
small amount of pressure, teach the student to handle it, then graduate slowly until the student is
comfortable. Practicing and advancing in martial arts will help the student develop this grace.

Goal Orientation

The martial arts offer clear bench marks of progress that are not found in many modern-day activities.
The belt ranking system bestows a different colored belt for each step up the ladder which provides a
constant sense of achievement. New belt rankings are attained by passing a promotion test offered at
periodic intervals. A by-product of this is learning poise in front of the instructors and an audience.
Lastly, the belt system also gives them a goal to work toward – the rank of black belt.

Concentration and Schoolwork

Concentration is definitely a by-product of martial arts training. The traditional forms (a set of
prescribed movements against an imaginary opponent) are lessons in focus and self-control.
Maintaining a low stance, remembering each intricate move, and delivering it with power requires a
great deal of concentrated effort.

Positive role models

A good martial arts school is full of positive role models in the instructors, junior leaders, and other
students. Martial arts studios are places where you find ordinary people doing extraordinary things
that are only possible through practice and determination! Children exposed to this type of
determination have a greater chance of incorporating this attitude into their own personality.

As children advance they are given the opportunity to lead and teach in their class. This is valuable
experience in developing leadership skills and confidence that will help them throughout their whole

Physical Benefits

Karate has physical demands that work on the child’s motor coordination. Both upper and lower body
must perform intricate, coordinated movements. In a child, neurological development is a occurring at
a rapid pace. Children lacking coordination may find the martial arts to be one of the best activities to
develop balance and fluid movement.

Flexibility is a standard part of the martial arts training. A sport that promotes flexibility makes a young
athlete less prone to injury and more flexible in later life.

Fulfilling the Need to Belong

A distinct advantage of martial arts study over team sports is that every child can participate. Unlike
team sports, where a youngster may not make the cut or ends up on the bench, martial arts study lets
everyone perform at his or her highest level. Children in the martial arts are often leaders in their peer
group. They have an investment in their value system and things like alcohol, cigarettes and drugs are
viewed as a risk to that investment!

                                Rules of the DoJang

The following are standard rules to follow while in our Tae Kwon Do Classes:
  1. Complete attention must be afforded the instructor. Do not talk or interrupt
     when the instructor is speaking. There is no place in Tae Kwon Do for horseplay.
     A missed instruction producing a poorly executed technique could mean an injury.

  2. The student should be sure to keep his or her uniform clean and in good repair.
     Toenails and fingernails should be cut short. Do not wear rings, watches, jewelry,
     or any other sharp objects to practice. Inform the instructor if a ring cannot be
     removed. DO NOT chew gum, candy, or have anything in your mouth unless
     instructed to wear a mouthpiece.

  3. Use equipment and supplies only when permitted and never without an
     instructor present. Report defective equipment our hazards to the instructor

  4. Report accidents of sudden illnesses to the instructor immediately. If you are not
     feeling well, do not participate, observe instead.

  5. DO NOT attempt to help or teach a skill without the instructor’s permission.

  6. Show respect for our DoJang by never performing an activity that would damage
     the practice area, the building it is in, or any contents or equipment in the
     building. Try to leave the area in the same or better condition than when you
     found it.

  7. When practicing emphasize control, accuracy, focus, and non-contact methods.

  8. Treat everyone with RESPECT – your instructors, fellow students, spectators, and

                             The History of Tae Kwon Do

Literally translated, Tae Kwon Do means "the art of kicking and punching." Tae means "to
kick" or "to strike with the foot", Kwon means "to punch" or "to strike with the fist", and Do
means "art" or "way of life", creative rather than destructive in one’s life.
Tae Kwon Do is a very effective means of self defense and a great cardiovascular workout
for in Tae Kwon Do the legs and its very powerful kicking techniques sets it apart from all
other martial arts. However, Tae Kwon Do is more than a physical art but also a
philosophical art and a state of mind.

Over 2,000 years ago, Tae Kwon Do's earliest records first appeared in the Koguryo
kingdom as mural paintings back in about 50 B.C. on the ceilings of the Muyongchong, a
royal tomb. These paintings show various unarmed techniques similar to modern day Tae
Kwon Do.
At the time, Korea was divided into three kingdoms: Silla, which was founded on the
Kyongju plain in 57 B.C.; Koguryo, founded in the Yalu River Valley in 37 B.C.; and Paekche,
founded in the southwestern area of the Korean peninsula in 18 B.C. In the capital of Silla,
Kyongju, carved in the tower wall are two giants facing each other in Tae Kwon Do stances.
This indicates that Tae Kwon Do was practiced before these tombs were built in the years
A.D. 3 and A.D. 427. The earliest known form of Tae Kwon Do was known as Taek Kyon.
Silla, the smallest and least civilized of the three kingdoms; coastline was under constant
attack by its neighboring kingdoms. It is at this time that Taek Kyon is thought to be
                      introduced to Silla's warriors, known as the Hwarang, in strict secrecy
                      by early masters of the art and Buddhist monks for concentration.
                      Eventually this inspired the people of Silla to rise and conquer their
                      enemies and soon the Korean peninsula was united as one country for
                      the first time in history. The Hwarang adopted Taek Kyon as part of
                      their basic training regimen, plus history, philosophy, morality,
                      archery, riding, and specializing in poetry, singing, and dancing. They
                      were to travel throughout Korea to lean about people and regions and
needed a system of self-defense.

The Hwarang are credited with the growth and spread of Taek Kyon throughout Korea
during the Silla dynasty, A.D. 668 to A.D. 935. Taek Kyon was primarily a sport that
promotes physical fitness activity. It was not until the Koryo dynasty, 935 - 1392, that Taek
Kyon changed to a fighting art and became known as Soo Bak.
               During the Yi dynasty, 1392 - 1907, in order to promote the art of the
               general population and not just the military nobility as in the past, the first
               book, Muye Dobotongji, was written on the art of Soo Bak. This book had
               kept the art alive for the first half of the dynasty. However, during the next
               half, the practice of Soo Bak had declined and returned to its original
               purpose of physical fitness for political conflict and the de-emphasis of
               military activity led to more pursuits that are scholarly. Once more, the art
               was practiced in secrecy and was handed down from generation to
               generation amongst individual families with limited knowledge.
In 1909, Japan invaded Korea and occupied the country for the next 36 years. During this
time, native Koreans were banned from the practice of all military arts. Ironically, this
rejuvenated and renewed the growth of Soo Bak. Koreans then formed an underground
training and traveled to Buddhist temples to study their martial art, Soo Bak or Taek Kyon.
However, some left Korea to China and Japan for work and study, but were exposed to the
arts of those countries as well. In 1943, judo, karate, and kung fu were officially
introduced and the interest in the martial arts flourished. It was not until 1945 when
Korea's liberation from Japan established its own and known fighting arts. These Korean
arts varied due to the influence that the Chinese and Japanese arts had on the Korean
masters and how much they had modified over the years.
In 1945, the first kwan ("school") opened in Seoul. It was named the Chung Do Kwan. Over
the next several years, more schools began to open. They were The Moo Duk Kwan, Yun
Moo Kwan, Chang Moo Kwan, Chi Do Kwan, Ji Do Kwan (our style), Song Moo Kwan, Oh Do
Kwan, and a few more. Each claimed to teach the traditional Korean martial art, however,
each also emphasized a different aspect and soon different names were known for these
styles. They were Soo Bak Do, Kwon Bop, (spread by Buddhist monks in China), Kong Soo
Do, Tae Soo Do, Tang Soo Do (traditional Korean name), and Dang Soo Do, as well as Taek
Kyon. In addition, in 1945, the Korean Armed Forces was formed and Taek Kyon became
a regular part of the military training over the next several years and into the Korean War.
The art was further publicized by demonstrations for both the military and general public.
           Special commando groups, the Black Tigers the most famous of these groups,
           were martial arts trained soldiers and were formed to fight against the
           communist forces of North Korea. They performed espionage missions and
           assassinations. Many had lost their lives during this time. After the Korean
           War, the Korean 29th Infantry Division was formed in 1953 and was
           responsible for all Taek Kyon training in the Korean Army. In 1955 Tae Soo Do
           became a common name for all schools and styles for the benefit of the art and
the schools. However, in 1957 the name changed again, this time to the familiar and
modern name of Tae Kwon Do, for its similar name to Taek Kyon and for its meaning of
"the art of kicking and punching".
In 1961, the Korean Tae Kwon Do Association was formed and sent instructors all over the
world to perform demonstrations to governments and the general public. Tae Kwon Do
spread from the Korean Army to high schools and universities. The art was everywhere.
During the Vietnam War instructors were sent to train the South Vietnamese troops
because Tae Kwon Do was known for being an effective fighting art. Soon other
governments were requesting Korean instructors to train their countries in this art.

                                   The Kukkiwon in Korea

By the 1970's Tae Kwon Do was known worldwide. The World Tae Kwon Do Federation,
WTF, was formed on May 28th, 1973, as well as the Kukkiwon (the national sports center
in Seoul and WTF headquarters) and is the only organization recognized by the Korean
government as an international regulating body to coordinate Tae Kwon Do activities
outside of Korea. During that same year the first World Tae Kwon Do Championships were
held in Seoul and are now held around the world every two years. Tae Kwon Do was
soon recognized by the General Association of International Sports Federation, GAISF,
which is an association of all Olympic and non-Olympic international sports. The GAISF
introduced Tae Kwon Do to the International Olympic Committee, IOC, and in 1980, the
WTF was admitted. The art became an official Demonstration sport in the 1988 Olympics
in Seoul, Korea and in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. It is now an official Medal
sport in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
In such a short period, from the formation of the WTF in 1973, Tae Kwon Do has seen such
a rapid growth that it is the most practiced martial art in the world with well over 20
million practitioners in over 140 countries. Tae Kwon Do is an art that benefits all people
and with its worldwide popularity and Olympic representation the art will only continue
to grown. Tae Kwon Do originated as a martial art and will always be a martial art.
However, in recent years it is being promoted as a sport. Only 10% train in Tae Kwon Do
for competition, the remaining 90% train for learning respect, discipline, self-defense, and
confidence. Combination of the two enhances this martial arts system.

                             The Tenets of Tae Kwon Do


                       To be polite and courteous to one another.
                           To encourage the sense of Justice.


                         Being able to define right from wrong.
                       Being able to admit when you were wrong.
                                 To have a conscience.


There is and old oriental saying, “Patience leads to virtue and merit”. A serious student
          must learn to be patient and to continue steadfastly and persevere.

                                      Self Control

 This tenet is extremely important inside and outside of our DoJang (school), whether
 conducting one’s self in free sparring or in one’s personal affairs. A loss of one’s self-
               control can prove disastrous to both student and opponent.

                                  Indomitable Spirit

 A serious student will at all times be modest and honest. He/she will confront injustice
and face fear without hesitation. He/she will never give up, never quit and never submit
               to defeat at those times when challenges seem impossible.

                             Uniform Requirements

   White Belt – students may wear sweat pants and t-shirts (SPMAA club shirts are
                                    preferred) for class
 Advanced White Belt – student must wear complete white Do Bok (uniform) for their
                                         rank test
Orange Belt – student should have added the following patches to their Do Bok prior to
their rank test: Sparrows Point Martial Arts Academy club patch and United Federation
                            of Tae Kwon Do Instructors patch.
 Green Belt – Students should add the United States and Korean national flags to their
                     Do Bok. Students may wear a full black Do Bok.
           Red/Black Belt – Students may were mixed black & white Do Bok.
                  Black Belt – students may wear other colored Do Bok.

                               Tournament Introduction

                  Remember to be LOUD and PROUD of who you are!
Approach the judges, bow, and get into a ready stance. Be crisp and powerful! This is your
                                      time to shine!

                Judges, my name is _________________________
               My school is Sparrows Point Martial Arts Academy
                        My instructor is John McConnell
                     The form I will be doing is __________
                With your permission I will step back and begin
                                (Wait for judges to say yes)
                                   Thank you judges
(Bow to the judges, step back, get into ready stance, take a deep breath, and then begin!)

     Sparrows Point Martial Arts Academy Awards/Patches
Academic   Achievement – Be on the Honor Roll in your school or have at
           least a “B” average for one year. Bring your report card in!

           Excellent Attendance – Participate in at least 100 hours of practice in a
           single calendar year.

           Tournament Patch– Awarded after participation in 3 tournaments.

     Presidential Physical Fitness Award -- Go to,
     create an id for yourself (and one for your kids too!). Our group name is:
     SparrowsPointKarate and our Group ID Number is 78756. And start logging your
     time every day! It just takes 6-weeks!

           Senior Instructor - Demonstrated teaching ability with individuals and
           groups. Leadership of other instructors and junior leaders. Usually awarded
           at 2nd degree black belt.

           Instructor – Demonstrated teaching ability with individuals and groups.
           Leadership of other instructors and leaders. Usually awarded at black belt.

           Asst Instructor - Demonstrated teaching ability with individuals and
           small groups. Usually awarded at brown belt.

           Junior Instructor (Youth) – Must assist in teaching other students during
           class and leading exercises. Must “set the example” for younger students.
           Provide leadership for Junior Leaders. Usually awarded at brown belt.

           Junior Leader (Youth) – Must assist in teaching other students during class
           and leading exercises. Must “set the example” for younger students.
           Usually awarded at purple belt.

                      Tae Kwon Do Forms - What Are Poome Se?
        One of the most important aspects of Tae Kwon Do training is poome se (patterns or forms).
Poome se, sometimes called hyung, are a series of offensive and defensive movements arranged in a
predetermined pattern and practiced by the student against multiple imaginary opponents. There are
a variety of poome se in the various different Kwan’s of Tae Kwon Do and almost all martial arts
include some form of pattern practice.

        While some poome se movements are designed to develop external strength, power, and
balance, other poome se were created to help cultivate internal strength "Ki" (pronounced Kee).
External strength is developed through proper tensing and relaxing of the muscles, dynamic and
rigorous body movement, and by maintaining correct posture, form, and balance. Internal strength is
amplified within poome se by means of correct breathing, focus, centralization of power, and by way
of intense concentration with a calm mind. But this is not all poome se have to offer. They combine the
internal and external forces to stimulate the timing, speed, and ability of the student to apply the
techniques within the poome se.

        Diligent training and correct mindfulness while learning and practicing poome se lead to real
understanding of combat principles. Physical routines were a logical way to preserve and pass on this
type of knowledge. The various moves have multiple interpretations and applications and are
applicable for actual self-defense.

       Poome se stress the development of correct basics. Each block, strike, and stance must be
without flaw. If correct execution of a technique in a hyung is overlooked, then the student will be off
balance, thus greatly reducing the amount of power he can generate. The technique would be, to a
great extent, ineffective due to lack of power and focus. Since advanced combinations consist of basic
movements, the practitioner must have solid basics.

          Basic patterns consist of a few blocks and strikes combined with little in the way of footwork.
This early integration of basic techniques helps the student develop rhythm, power, and control. As the
student progresses through the ranks, the poome se become increasingly complex. Footwork and body
movement intensify until movement becomes more natural and the student's techniques become
fluid. It is the coordinated effort of the mind and body, internal and external powers, and reaching for
perfection which make poome se an integral part of Tae Kwon Do.

One-Step Sparring

One step sparring is the foundation of self defense, as you get higher in grade your technique will
improve with more power and accuracy. It is important when defending, that you know exactly where
your technique is attacking your opponent.


Attacker and defender face each other in attention stance and bow
Both go into ready stance
The attacker steps right leg back into front stance with a low section outer forearm block and yells
The defender yells
The attacker then executes a face level front punch in a right walking stance,
The defender then counter attacks yelling
After the attack is finished, both attacker and defender return to a ready stance, then the same
procedure is repeated.

It is very important that both the attacker and defender execute with power and control.

      Purpose

       One-step sparring helps you to improve:

            o   Accuracy
            o   Balance
            o   Control
            o   Distance
            o   Speed

Partner training also helps improve self control, cooperation, and respect.

                             Information about Testing
We have two different promotion systems:

   1) The first and primary one for our school is through the United Federation of Tae Kwon Do
      instructors and is for advancing in rank (changing colored belts) in Tae Kwon Do from white belt
      through black belt. Below black belt ranks are called “Kups” or “Gups” from 10th to 1st. Levels
      of black belt are called degrees and go from 1st to 10th.
   2) The second is an optional padded weapons certification where special patches will be used to
      denote your rank from white through black. Students that want to master the padded
      weapons – short sword, long sword, bo staff, nunchuck, and knife participate and test in this

Each of these systems has its own test requirements and test fees associated with it.

Promotion testing is based on a standardized set of requirements and when you test you are expected
to demonstrate a certain level of skill. Students will be asked to go through all of the requirements
during the testing and do them at a level appropriate to the level they are testing for. For example, a
green belt’s roundhouse kick should look much better than a white belts kick and is graded based on
their level.

Are you ready to test for your next rank? Make sure you download a requirements sheet for your rank
or pick one up during class! Here are some things to think about:

   1) Are you doing your forms well? Are you doing the correct stances and doing your techniques
      and blocks with strength and spirit?
   2) Can you do all of the required techniques well? Throws? Self defense?
   3) Can you do all the kicks for the rank? All the combination kicks?
   4) Can you do the one-steps, two-steps, and/or three-step sparring techniques?
   5) Do you have mastery of your required weapons?

Get a UFTI or Padded Weapons requirements sheet from our website (or from Mr. John) and check to
make sure you know all the requirements for the rank you are testing for. You should practice EVERY
DAY prior to your test! That way you are ready and can be proud of your test!

What to expect?
  1) The day of your promotion test you should report to class in a full, clean, white uniform wearing
      your current rank belt. You should have any required patches on your uniform (depends on
      your rank.)
  2) You should have trimmed nails and no earrings, necklaces, or other loose jewelry on.
    3) You will need to complete a SPMAA Waiver if you have not already done so.
    4) You should fill out a testing sheet for the rank you are testing for.
    5) You should pay your test fee (depends on rank.) Make checks payable to SPMAA.
We will usually warm up, as a group, prior to a test. Then we’ll sit everybody down and call out the
testers names one at a time. When you hear your name jump up, bow to the judges, and say “Yes sir!”
Then we will tell you where to stand.

 Do your best. Demonstrate power and spirit when doing all of your techniques, forms, one steps,

We will then lead you through the test requirements for your rank. Usually, you will be testing with
others of possibly different ranks. You will receive a score from one to five for each technique, kick,
form, etc. that you do on the test. A plus or minus may also be added to the score. A score of three
means that you are performing the technique, form, etc at the level that is acceptable and expected
for that rank. A lower score (2 or 1) means that you need to work on that technique. To pass the test
the average of all the scores must be at least 3. If your average is less that 3 or there is some other
egregious problem you will not pass your rank test.

Many things influence the scores – power, technique, crispness, stance, breathing, spirit, and many
others. Your objective should be to do your best.

You will receive your test score sheets back when you receive your promotion certificate. Read it and
work on the things identified that need improvement.

Study of martial arts is an individual thing. You may or may not test at the same rate as others in your
family or as your friends. This is not a bad thing. It just means you learn at a different pace. Younger
children generally do not advance as quickly as older children and older children don’t advance as
quickly as adults. This is just due to learning capabilities, attention, and ability innate to children.

UFTI Test Fees (9th-4th kup)                                Padded Weapons Test Fees
Belt/Rank                      Test Fee                     All ranks (yellow through black) - $10
9th Kup Advanced White         $20
8th Kup Yellow                 $30
7th Kup Orange                 $30
6th Kup Green                  $30
5th Kup Purple                 $40
4th Kup Blue                   $40

                                    Steps to Mastering a Form
                                                   Step # 1

 Learn in small increments. Have your instructor show you only five or six movements at a time. When you've
                              memorized them, ask to see the next five or six.

                                                   Step # 2

   Memorize the entire form. Once you have been shown all the movements, practice the form all the way
 through. Don't worry about whether each movement is correct yet. Count off each movement the same way
                        your instructor would when going through the form in class.

                                                   Step # 3

 Work on your stances (make sure you are in the correct stance!). Put your hands on your hips and go through
 the form using only your feet. Check the width of your stances, the length of your steps and where your weight
is during each movement. Make your turns are smooth and you are not off balance. Don't spin and don’t stomp.

                                                   Step # 4

 Work on your hand techniques (make sure you are doing the correct strike/block at the correct level). Once
 you have gotten your foot movements perfected, add your hands. Make sure your blocks protect your body;
your punches are straight and on target and your upper body is facing the correct direction for each movement.

                                                   Step # 5

  Work on your head. Make sure your eyes are always on your imaginary opponent. Turn your head before
                           turning your body. Never turn without looking first.

                                                   Step # 6

Work on the timing. Most techniques, blocks, kicks, or strikes can be formed into logical combinations. As you
 practice, some movements will naturally go together and just think about the combinations. For instance, a
 block, grab, turn and throw are all part of one technique. Ask your instructor to perform the form. You'll see
                          how he or she allows one movement to flow into the next.

                                                   Step # 7

Add energy & power. Perform the combinations with the same speed and power you would if you were fighting
 a real opponent. Anyone observing your performance should make a mental note to never force you to defend
                                       yourself. Don't forget to kihap!
                              Padded Weapons Program

An optional program within our curriculum is our Padded Weapons Program (PWP). Students learn how to use a
series of classical martial art weapons traditionally (forms practice, visualization drills) and then have the option
 to test their skills through controlled classroom sparring. The revolutionary foam padded weapons we use for
  weapons sparring allows students to strike each other at full speed minimizing the risk of bruising or injury.

The word “weapons” usually scares people. We refer to all traditional weaponry as “tools” during class and this
                      helps to create the right perspective for all who participate.

  Participation allows students to learn a greater sense of responsibility and self-control while expanding your
                    martial art education and appreciation of movement and body mechanics.

 The theory of weapons training flows naturally into empty hand self-defense as well as the standard weapons
      we use in our regular testing/promotion system. With the PWP training, you can learn better range
           identification and the angling skills that will give you greater awareness and confidence.

                                       Padded Weapons “Tools” Practiced
Wakizashi (short sword): A short sword.
Katana (sword): The katana is a longer sword, and is often called a “samurai sword.”
Staff (Bo): a long staff
Escrima (stick): “Escrima” or “Eskrima” refers to a class of Filipino Martial Arts that emphasize stick and blade
Knife: a short bladed weapon.


There is a separate requirements curriculum and testing structure for the padded weapons program. This
testing is completely separate from our existing UFTI Tae Kwon Do testing structure. After completing the test
students receive a special patch indicating their PWP rank.

                                  Palgwe and Taegeuk Forms
The World Tae Kwon Do Federation uses poomse for patterns. Poomse originate from the book 'I
Ching', a Chinese oracle. The I Ching has 64 hexagrams, a combination of two sets of three lines, closed
or broken. The sets of three lines are called trigrams.

The closed lines represent Yang and the open lines Um (Yin in Chinese). In the Chinese language, the
unity of Yin and Yang is called 'taich'i'. In the Korean language, the unity is called T'ae-guk.

"Palgwe" is literally translated as eight ("pal") symbols ("gwe"). The "eight symbols" being referred to
are the 8 trigrams, various arrangements of three lines that are either solid or broken in half. There are
exactly 8 possible arrangements, and each form has a unique symbol associated with it. The symbols
carry deep, philosophical meaning, and explain the actions and significance of each form.

The words Taegeuk and Palgwe essentially represent the same thing, the universe. They are derived
from the Jooyeok, the Book of Changes. In the Book of Changes the universe is divided into eight
subsequent combinations derived from the major forces, um and yang (Korean for yin and yang). Each
combination is represented by a symbol called a trigram, because it contains three lines. The lines of
the trigram can be broken (um or negative principle) or solid (yang or positive principle).

The eight trigrams are arranged in a circle, around the symbol for um and yang, so that opposite pairs
are across from one another. This represents the relationship that the trigrams have for one another,
not opposites but, rather "interdependent polarities" that compose the universe.

Taegeuk Il Jang/Palgwe Il Jang
The general meaning of this form and associated trigram is Yang, which represents Heaven and Light.
Also, this trigram has a relationship to South and Father. The first form is the beginning of all pumsaes,
the "birth" of the martial artist into Taekwondo.

Taegeuk E Jang/Palgwe E Jang
The associated trigram of this pumsae represents the Lake. Also, related to the symbol is South East
and the relationship of the youngest daughter. The movements of this Taegeuk/Palgwe are aimed to
be performed believing that man has limitations, but that we can overcome these limitations. The Lake
and its water symbolize the flowing and calm nature of the martial artist. This form is to reflect those

Taegeuk Sam Jang/Palgwe Sam Jang
This trigram represents Fire. Related to this symbol is also East and the relationship of the Second
Daughter. Fire contains a lot of energy. The symbol behind the fire is similar to the symbolism of the
water in that both can aid and both can destroy. This form is intended to be performed rhythmically,
with some outbursts of energy to reflect fire's rhythmic and energetic dualism.

Taegeuk Sa Jang/Palgwe Sa Jang
This trigram represents Thunder. Also, the trigram is strongly connected to northeast and the
relationship of the Eldest son. Thunder comes from the sky and is absorbed by the earth, thus,
according to the beliefs of the I Ching, thunder is one of the most powerful natural forces. This pumsae
is associated with power and the connection between the heavens and earth. This pumsae is intended
to be performed with power resembling the Thunder for which it is named.

Taegeuk O Jang/Palgwe O Jang
The trigram associated with this pumsae represents Wind. The trigram is also related to southwest and
the relationship with an eldest daughter. The I Ching promotes that wind is a gentle force, but can
sometimes be furious, destroying everything in its path. As such, it is intended that this pumsae is
performed like the wind: gently, but knowing the ability of mass destruction with a single movement.
The performer and audience should be aware of the duality of the form.

Taegeuk Yuk Jang/Palgwe Yuk Jang
The trigram associated with this pumsae represents Water. Also, there is a relation to West and the
relationship with a Second son. The movements of this pumsae are intended to be performed like
water; flowing, powerful and cleansing. Sometimes standing still like water in a lake, sometimes
thriving as a river, sometimes powerful like a waterfall. The water is to symbolize calm and cleansing,
while also possessing the attribute of being violent and destructive.

Taegeuk Chil Jang/Palgwe Chil Jang
The trigram associated with this pumsae represents a Mountain. Also, it represents the northwest and
youngest son. The symbolism behind the mountain is the indomitable and majestic nature that all
mountains possess. This pumsae is intended to be performed with the feeling that all movements are
this majestic due to their unconquerable nature.

Taegeuk Pal Jang/Palgwe Pal Jang
The trigram associated with this pumsae represents the Earth. Also, there is a representation of North
and Mother. The associated trigram of this pumsae is Yin. Yin, here, represents the end of the
beginning, the evil part of all that is good. This being the last of the pumsae Taegeuk, it represents the
end of the circle and the cyclic nature of the Earth.

All together these concepts and symbols represent the balance of all nature. In the training of
Taekwondo as well as in life we all hope to find the balance. The poomse carry with them not only the
physical movements but also the meaning of Taekwondo.

                         Tae Kwon Do – Korean Terminology
                                    Advanced White Belt Terminology
Attention – Cha ryut                                       Bow – Kyong Ye
Ready Position – Jhoon Bee                                 Up – Baro
Yell – Kihap                                               Tae Kwon Do – Way of hand and foot fighting
                                        Yellow Belt Terminology
Begin – Shee jak                                           Stop – Go mahn
Relax – She yo                                             Tae Kwon Do School - Do Jang
Uniform - Do Bok
One – Hana                                                 First – Il
Two – Dool                                                 Second – E
Three – Set                                                Third – Sam
Four – Net                                                 Fourth – SA
Five – Da shut                                             Fifth – O
                                        Orange Belt Terminology
Instructor – Kyo Sa                                        Turn – Dora
Blocks – Mak gi                                            Strikes – Chi gi
Kicks – Cha gi                                             Front – Ahp
Back – Dui                                                 Side – Yup
Round/turn/spin – Dol Yuh                                  Front Kick – Ahp Cha Gi
Round House Kick – Dol Yuh Cha Gi                          Side Kick – Yup Cha Gi
Six – Yo Sut                                               Sixth – Yook
Seven – Il Gop                                             Seventh – Chil
Eight – Yeu Dal                                            Eighth - Pal
                                        Green Belt Terminology
Low Section – Ha Dan                                       Middle Section – Joong Dan
High Section – Sang Dan                                    Inside – Nea
Outside – Wea                                              Low Block – Ha Dan Mak Gi
Outside Middle Block – Wea Su Mak Gi                       Inside Middle Block – Nae Su Mak Gi
High Block – Sang Dan Mak Gi                               Punch – Jun Jin
Knife – Soo Do                                             Form – Poome Se or Hyung
Jump – Deo
Nine – Ah Hope                                               Ninth – Koo
Ten – Yeol                                                   Tenth – Sip
                                         Purple Belt Terminology
Stances – Ja See                                             Horse Stance – Kee Mah Ja See
Front Stance – Chum Gool Ja See                              Back Stance – Hool Gool Ja See
Cat Stance – Mal Bal Ja See                                  Side Stance – Yup Ja See
Below black belt rank – Kup                                  Black Belt – Dan
Front Straight Leg Kick – Ahp Chao Li Gi                     Inside Crescent Kick – Nea Cha Gi
Outside Crescent Kick – Wea Cha Gi                           Back Kick – Dui Cha Gi
Back Side Kick – Dwito Yup Cha Gi                            Back Spin Kick – Dwito Mon Ton Cha Gi
                                           Blue Belt Terminology
Ridge Hand Strike – Yuk So Do Chi Gi                         Palm Heel Strike – Toop Chi Gi
Spear Hand – Kwan soo                                        Foot Sweep – Moto Golgi
Inside Front Kick – Pal Ton Cha Gi                           Knee Kick – Mur Up Cha Gi
Side Knife Hand Strike – Yup Soo Do Chi Gi                   Double Hand Block – Sang So Mak Gi
Knife Hand Block – So Do Mak Gi                              Front Heel Kick – Mon Ton Cha Gi
                                         Brown Belt Terminology
Elbow Strike – Phal Kup Chi Gi                               Forearm Strike – Phal Duk Chi Gi
Back Fist – Kahp Kwon                                        Hammer Fist – Yu Kwon
                                           Red Belt Terminology
X-Block – Kyo Cha Mak Gi                                     Wedge Block – He Cho Mak Gi
Jump Front Kick – Deo Ahp Cha Gi                             Jump Side Kick – Deo Yup Cha Gi
Jump Round House Kick – Deo Dol Yul Cha Gi                   Half Moon Kick – Pal Dung Cha Gi
Master – Sa Bum Nim
Mastering Your Front Kick
The Korean name for taekwondo front kick is Ap Chagi.

Basics: Your target should be straight in front of you. First lift your knee towards the target. Then
drive your foot out towards the target by straightening your knee. Then bend your knee to bring your
foot back. Before placing your foot to the ground. Just so you're clear... Your knee bends. Then
straightens. And then bends again.

Your foot position is very important for an effective front kick. You're aiming to strike through the
target with the ball of your foot. To get this right try pointing your toes like a ballerina. Then pull your
toes back while leaving your ankle in the same position. So your foot is extended but your toes are
back. It might take you a while to build up the strength in your foot to do this. You can try practicing
while you watch TV. Try to achieve this foot position as early as possible in the kick. Ideally by the time
your knee is chambered your foot is in the right position.

To get more power in the kick you need to use your hips. Your taekwondo front kick should penetrate
forwards into the target. And to do this with power you need to drive your hip forwards into the kick.
But not so much that you end up leaning backwards.

Your standing foot needs to rotate. This helps you to use your hip properly. As your kicking leg comes
through allow your standing foot to naturally turn outwards about 45 degrees.

Keep your knee up through the kick. It's important that your knee doesn't drop down until your foot
has come back.

   1. Fighting stance
   2. Bring kicking leg’s knee up into chambered position.
   3. Snap kick out from chambered position into the target hitting with the ball of the foot (to face
      or chest) or the top of the foot (to the groin).
   4. Re-chamber kick.
   5. Return to fighting position.
                     Adapted from:

Mastering Your Roundhouse Kick
The Korean name for roundhouse kick is Dol Yuh Cha Gi.

Basics: Your kicking foot comes round in a horizontal arc. So the impact on the target is sideways. Not
up or down. To let this arc happen your top hip has to rotate up and over your bottom hip. And then
extend forwards towards the target. And your standing foot has to turn. When you extend your round
house kick your standing foot heel should be pointing toward your target and your standing foot toes
pointing away from the target area. If you don't turn your standing foot your knee will rotate -
something it's not designed to do!

Your hip flexibility is important if you want to improve your taekwondo roundhouse kick. You need
flexible muscles around your hip joint. And the hip joint itself needs to be flexible. Don't worry too
much at the beginning. Just training each week will help your flexibility. Over time training your
roundhouse kick will become more powerful.

Traditional taekwondo round house kick is great for breaking. You hit the target with the ball of your
foot. With your toes pulled back. First lift your knee. Then bring it round in a large arc with your foot
and knee level. Your hip and knee move together. So as your knee goes round. Your hip comes with it.
Your knee extends (snaps like a front snap kick) at the last minute. And the result is a powerful
horizontal strike through the target.

   1. Fighting stance
   2. Chamber kicking leg up and in front of you, turning your hips. Kicking knee is passed target.
      Pivot standing foot so heel is toward target.
   3. Snap kick out from chambered position into the target hitting with the top of the foot or ball of
      the foot.
   4. Re-chamber kick.
   5. Return to fighting position.

                 Adapted from:

Mastering Your Side Kick
The Korean name for tkd side-kick is Yup Chagi.

First you need to understand that you strike primarily with the heel and to a smaller extent bottom of
your foot. Side kick is a thrusting kick rather than a snapping kick (like roundhouse.)

Practice your kick slowly. It can help to hold a wall for balance. Stand sideways on to the target and lift
the knee of your front leg. Then stop and think about your kicking foot. Your ankle should be flexed.
And the heel of your foot should be ready to strike. Next drive your knee straight out towards the
target. Extend your leg fully. Then bend your knee again - Before you place your foot to the ground.

The key is in your standing foot! Here's why... To do a taekwondo sidekick properly you must turn
your standing foot through 180'. This means that when you strike the target the toes of your standing
foot point backwards. You need to turn your standing foot for two reasons. Firstly the turn allows
your hips to open up so your foot can strike the target in the correct position. And secondly it's the
turn of your standing foot that creates the power in taekwondo sidekick.

As your foot turns you can push off it. This lets you use your powerful hip, bum and core muscles to
drive your kicking foot out. So you turn power from the ground into power going forwards into the
kick. Keep your knee up! It's important to keep your knee high throughout your sidekick.

So if you lift your knee to waist height at the beginning, your knee should be waist height when your
foot is on the target, and waist height when you re-chamber your leg. If you let your knee drop your
taekwondo kick will not go horizontally through the target.

   1. Fighting stance
   2. Chamber kicking leg up and in front of you, turning your hips. Kicking knee is passed target.
      Pivot standing foot so heel is toward target.
   3. Extend side kick straight out from chambered position, thrusting straight into the target. Your
      foot, hip, and shoulder should be in a straight line with the attacker.
   4. Re-chamber kick.
   5. Return to fighting position.
         Adapted from:

The word "KUNJA" is considered to be a very high class word in the Korean language. According to
the Korean-English dictionary, Kunja is "a man of virtue, a true gentleman; a wise man." Kunja is a
person who is a model of virtue, a person with wisdom, courage, and understanding of natural
laws with a deep appreciation of humanity.

As martial artists we must strive to uphold the ideals of humanity, such as, justice, courtesy,
wisdom, trust, goodness, virtue, loyalty, and courage as well as endeavor to incorporate these
ideals into our daily lives in order to attain perfection of character. For example, we must strive to
make courage mean more than simply never retreating in the face of the enemy. Courage not only
pertains to fighting, but also to our jobs, our homework, or the way we conduct our personal, and
professional lives, and relationships. It is action, when action must be taken.

The study of the martial arts is much more than just learning to punch and kick, joint lock and
throw, or the physical study of self defense. We have all heard that the martial arts are "a way of
life." While many martial artists pay lip service to this concept it is rarely explained in real-life
practical applications. Rather it is discussed in vague, mystical terms. It is often thought that,
somehow, as a student progresses in the martial arts, they will simply understand how this all fits
together when they become a black belt. We cannot leave such an important phase of the martial
arts to providence.

So, how do the martial arts improve your character and make you a "better" person? In the West,
we tend to explain ideas in straightforward and linear terms. While in the East, the approach to
the teaching of concepts is more indirect. A lesson apparently designed to teach one specific task
actually has broader implications. We should realize that the basic lessons learned from the
martial arts have meaning beyond that of the physical realm. We use the physical lessons and
concepts such as balance, focus, flow, and control as a vehicle for teaching skills for living.
Employing these concepts into one's life allows us to mature and grow physically, mentally,
emotionally, and spiritually.

The concept of Kunja is very important to martial artists. As disciples of the martial arts we should
all aspire to become Kunja. We should strive to become persons who are models of virtue. We
must always endeavor to demonstrate wisdom through intelligent decision. We must strive to
overcome our selfishness and partiality as well as shed our egos.

It is said that the ultimate goal of the martial arts is the perfection of one’s character. However,
perfection is a relative term. It is a goal constantly strived for but never really reached. Indeed it is
the constant "striving" for perfection which is the key to becoming "Kunja", not perfection's

We all must take the time to emphasize the ideals and virtues of Kunja. We must learn to uphold
and employ these ideals and acquire virtues through our actions, and example. Our main concern
should not be only how hard we can punch or kick, or how many boards we can break, but rather,
we should be proud of the way we conduct our lives.

Written by Professor Don Burns, 7th Dan Tae Kwon Do, 7th Dan Hapkido

Jidokwan is one of the original nine schools of the modern Korean martial arts that became Taekwondo
and was founded in what is now South Korea. Its name translates as "School of Wisdom".

The Ji Do Kwan symbol consists of 3 circles. A circle represents wholeness, since there is no beginning
and end. The large outer circle represents the universe. Within the outer circle, the larger circle
represents Earth and the smaller circle represents life on earth. All of these circles are interconnected.

The center figure is a balanced figure that will not stay down if knocked over, it will right itself
automatically. This automatic righting is representative of the Buddhist saying "Seven times down,
eight times up".

The Ji Do Kwan symbol outer edge is represented by a lotus flower with eight petals. Each petal
represents one of the "Eight Manners of Solemnity." The number eight is also symbolic of balance and
harmony, organization and personal success.

Right Speech - Practice being true and courteous in all communications. Aim to promote peace,
harmony, and unity. If one has nothing of value to say, one should keep a dignified silence. Practice
being considerate in listening, become a student of life. Do not however, waste your consideration and
time listening to inappropriate or negative communications.

Right Action - Arises from a clear mind state which must begin with basic wholesome conduct, that
helps others and ourselves by our actions, to live a peaceful and prosperous life. Most of all, one must
have in mind that proper motive for doing so, for the motive is more important than the deed. Refrain
from destructive behavior such s killing, stealing, abuse, truthlessness, intoxication, unruliness, etc.

Right Livelihood - Participate in a trade, occupation, profession, organization, or group which is
compatible with Correct Action, so that one’s efforts are contribution to the greater good. Mental
Discipline - To bring about in the mind, orderliness and efficiency to its process, by rigorous training
and habitually thinking of the positive good.

Right Effort - The incessant will to achieve self reliance, to give ourselves and others daily reminders of
the good and wholesome properties of life. To be found participating in the friendship and
encouragement of peers following the knowledgeable way. Apply effort to; 1. Prevent wrong and
unwholesome states of mind for arising. 2. To remove all wrong and unwholesome states of mind that
already exist. 3. To develop and perfect the good and wholesome states of mind that already exist. 4.
To acquire still more good and wholesome states of mind unceasingly.

Right Awareness - The path of mental liberation, the breaking of the bonds of ignorance, and the
striving for happiness. Not dwelling in the past, study the world and aim to live here and now with our
mind and body. The present offers the greatest opportunities. All that we are is the result of all that we
have thought, been and done. Each of us in this moment, whether consciously or unconsciously, is
determining our future.

Right Concentration - Decide to be in charge of one’s thoughts. Do not let distraction take charge.
Focus the mind like a laser beam to a single subject at hand, to the exclusion of all else, until the mind
becomes that which is ponders upon, to gain a full comprehension of the subject. Intellectual
Discipline - To exercise the action of applying the power of the mind by which one knows or
understands, in distinction from that by which one feels and that by which one wills.

Right Thought - We will become what we think. Occupy one’s thoughts with subject matter that will
enhance the lives of all beings, including oneself. Work to uncover and resolve unrecognized emotional
obstructions and egocentric values. Observe that we do not always think and act with clarity and logic.
Emotional obstructions can control the direction of our reasoning, preventing reasoning from moving
beyond a familiar fixed point. Ultimately one must eliminate the tension and anxieties with the proper

Right Understanding - Strive for an intellectual grasp of the truth. The ultimate reality is only visible to
those who attain the highest wisdom. Observe the true nature of yourself and all things, without labels
and names. Only when the mind is in a clear state, a state brought about by the development of
freedom from the tyranny of the selfishness and self-destruction, is this deep, penetrating insight

The colors red and blue have significance to the meaning of the Ji Do Kwan symbol. Red is the color of
energy and power, courage and attention. Blue is for peace, calm and friendship. Placed together they
create balance and harmony.

                                   Basic Stretching Routine

1. To stretch your calf , stand a little ways from a solid
support and lean on it with your forearms, your head
resting on your hands. Bend one leg and place your foot
on the ground in front of you leaving the other leg
straight, behind you. Slowly move your hips forward until
you feel a stretch in the calf of your straight leg. Be sure
to keep the heel of the foot on the straight leg on the
ground and your toes pointed straight ahead . Hold an
easy stretch for 20 seconds . Do not bounce. Stretch
both legs.

2. To stretch the soleus and Achilles tendon areas,
slightly bend the back knee, keeping the foot flat. This
gives you a much lower stretch, which is also good for
maintaining or regaining ankle flexibility. Stretch for 10
seconds on each leg. This area needs only a slight feeling
of stretch.

3. To stretch the upper hamstrings and hip , hold onto
the outside of your ankle with one hand, with your other
hand and forearm around your bent knee. Gently pull the
leg as one unit toward your chest until you feel an easy
stretch in the back of the upper leg. You may want to do
this stretch while you rest your back against something
for support. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds . Make sure the
leg is pulled as one unit so that stress is not felt in the

4. Sit with your right leg bent, with your right heel just
to the outside of your right hip. The left leg is bent and
the sole of your left foot is next to the inside of your
upper right leg. (Try not to let your right foot flare out to
the side in this position.) Now slowly lean straight back
until you feel an easy stretch in your right quadriceps .
Use your hands for balance and support. Hold an easy
stretch for 30 seconds . Do not hold any stretches that
are painful.

5. After stretching your quads, sit with your right leg
bent, right heel just to the outside of your right hip.
Practice tightening the buttocks on the side of the bent
(right) leg as you turn the hip over. This will help stretch
the front of your hip and give a better overall stretch to
the upper thigh area. After contracting the butt muscles
for 5 to 8 seconds , let them relax. Then continue to
stretch quads by slowly leaning back (stretch #4) for
another 15 seconds .

6. Next, straighten your right leg. The sole of your left
foot will be resting next to the inside of your straightened
leg. Lean slightly forward from the hips and stretch the
hamstring of your right leg . Find an easy stretch and
relax. If you can't touch your toes comfortably use a
towel around the bottom of your foot to help you stretch.
Hold for 30 seconds . Do not lock your knee. Your right
quadriceps should be soft and relaxed during the stretch.
Keep your right foot upright with the ankle and toes


8. Put the soles of your feet together with your heels a
comfortable distance from your groin. With your hands
around your feet slowly contract your abdominals to
assist you in flexing forward until you feel an easy
stretch in the groin . Make your movement forward by
bending from the hips and not from the shoulders. If
possible, keep your elbows on the outside of your lower
legs for greater stability during the stretch. Hold a
comfortable stretch for 20 to 30 seconds .

9. Sit with your right leg straight. Bend your left leg,
cross your left foot over and rest it to the outside of your
right knee. Then bend your right elbow and rest it on the
outside of your upper left thigh, just above the knee.
During the stretch use the elbow to keep this leg
stationary with controlled pressure to the inside. Now,
with your left hand resting behind you, slowly turn your
head to look over your left shoulder, and at the same
time rotate your upper body toward your left hand and
arm. As you turn your upper body, think of turning your
hips in the same direction (though your hips won't move
because your right elbow is keeping the left leg
stationary). This should give you a stretch in your lower
back and side of your hip . Hold for 15 seconds . Do both
sides. Don't hold your breath; breathe easily.

10. Stretch diagonally . Point the toes of your left foot as
you extend your right arm. Stretch as far as is
comfortable. Hold 5 seconds , then relax. Stretch the
right leg and left arm the same way.

11. Interlace your fingers behind your head and rest your
arms on the floor. Using the power of your arms, slowly
bring your head, neck, and shoulders forward until you
feel a slight stretch. Hold an easy stretch for 5 seconds .
Repeat three times. Do not overstretch.

12. Next, straighten both legs and relax. Then pull your
left leg toward your chest . For this stretch keep the back
of your head on the floor, if possible, but don't strain.
Hold an easy stretch for 30 seconds . Repeat, pulling
your right leg toward your chest.

13. Bend your leg and, with your opposite hand, pull that
bent leg up and over your other leg as shown. Turn your
head to look toward the hand of the arm that is straight
(head should be resting on the floor). Make sure the
back of your shoulders are kept flat on the floor. Now,
using your hand on your thigh (resting just above the
knee), pull your bent leg down toward the floor until you
get the right stretch feeling in your lower back and side
of the hip. Keep your feet and ankles relaxed. Hold a
comfortable stretch for 30 seconds , each side.

15. In a standing or sitting position, interlace your
fingers above your head. Now, with your palms facing
upward, push your arms slightly back and up. Feel the
stretch in your arms, shoulders, and upper back . Hold
the stretch for 15 seconds . Do not hold your breath.
This stretch is good to do anywhere, anytime. It's
excellent for slumping shoulders.

                                   The Korean National Flag
                                        The Korean National Flag, the symbol of the Republic of Korea
                                        South Korea, is named "T'aegukki." The name was derived
                                        from the taeguk circle in the center.

                                        The circle is divided equally and in perfect balance. The red
                                        upper section represents the yang and the blue lower section
                                        stands for the yin. According to traditional Oriental Philosophy,
                                        the two symbolize the great cosmic forces, which oppose each
                                        other but achieve perfect harmony and balance.

The taeguk circle stands for the eternal principle that everything in the universe is created and
develops through the interaction between yin and yang; thus it symbolizes creation and development.

The four trigrams surrounding the circle denote the process of yin and yang going through a spiral of
change and growth. The three unbroken lines at the upper left represent heaven        (kun), the three
broken lines at the lower right represent earth (kon), the two broken lines with an unbroken line in
the middle at the upper right represent water       (kam), and the two unbroken lines with an broken
line in the middle at the lower left represent fire    (yi).

The white background of the flag symbolizes the purity of the Korean people and their peace-loving
spirit. The flag as a whole is symbolic of the ideal of the Korean people to develop forever together
with the universe.

The symbols

        Yin means dark and cold, while Yang means bright and hot. A very old book called Choo-Yuk
        which is written by a Chinese claims all objects and events in the world are expressed by the
        movement of Yin and Yang. For example, the moon is Yin while the sun is Yang. The earth is Yin
        and the sky is Yang. The night is Yin and the day is Yang. The winter is Yin and the summer is
Yang. Yin and Yang are relative.

                                                Kun           Heaven

                                                Yi            Fire

                                                Kam           Water

                                                Kon           Earth

Parts of this text were contributed by Byung-Gyo Suh

                                            Sparring Rules
Approved safety equipment must be used at all times. The following safety equipment is required:
protective footwear, protective hand wear, head guard, mouth guard, and groin guard (males only).
Optional equipment includes shin guards, chest guards (for women), or trunk protectors. All students
should have their own safety equipment.

No jewellery should be worn during sparring.

Sparring is allowed only in the presence, and with the permission, of an instructor.

Sparring is CONTROLLED LIGHT CONTACT only. It is important to remember that members are training
partners and not opponents. For orange belt and above - techniques to the head guard are to be made
only with a controlled light tapping, sufficient to indicate a point but insufficient to cause the
recipient's head to move in any way.

No full-contact sparring will take place under any circumstances.

Students will never be forced to spar with anyone. At any time before or during a match or round,
students may, without reservation, bow out of the match by indicating to both the training partner and
the instructor that you do not care to participate.

The following Sparring Rules are based on the ITF

a.   Trunk of the body from shoulder to navel vertically and from a line drawn from the armpit
     vertically down to the waist on each side including the sides of the body (excluding the spine).
b.   Orange belt and above only – Head - sides but not at the back and not to the face.

a.    One (1) point will be awarded for:
      Controlled hand attack directed to mid section (body).
      Controlled foot attack directed to mid section (body).
      Controlled hand attack to the side of the head (not the face) – ORANGE AND ABOVE ONLY
b.    Two (2) points will be awarded for:
      Controlled turning kick to the mid section (body).
c.    Three (3) points will be awarded for:
      Controlled foot attack directed to high section (side of head).

In competition a technique is valid when:
a.    it is executed correctly.
b.    it is dynamic, that is to say it is delivered with strength, purpose, rapidity and precision.
c.    it is controlled on the target.
a.   Misconduct against officials or ignoring instructions.
b.   Heavy contact.
c.   Committing three (3) fouls.
d.   Any competitor being under influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs.

One point will be deducted for the following offences:
a.    Loss of temper.
b.    Insulting an opponent in any way.
c.    Biting, scratching.
d..   Attacking with the knee, elbow or forehead.
e.    Attacking a fallen opponent.
f.    Attack to an illegal target with contact.
g.    Excessive Contact.

Warnings will be assigned for the following offences:
a.    Attack to an illegal target.
b.    Stepping completely out of the ring (both feet).
c.    Falling down, whether intentional or not (this means any part of the body, other than the feet,
      touching the ground).
d.    Holding/grabbing/pushing.
e.    Leg sweeping.
f.    Faking a blow, pretending to be injured to gain an advantage.
g.    Intentionally avoiding sparring.
h.    Pretending to have scored a point by raising the arm.

The sum of three (3) warnings automatically means deducting one (1) point.

If an athlete is pushed out of the ring with intent (without undergoing a technique) then he will not
        receive a warning.

Martial Legacy
The following is adapted from the article written by Dakin Burdick. The goal is to provide my students
with my “martial arts ancestry.” I found this article fascinating as it provided a link for me, from where I
am today, through my instructor, and his masters all the way to the home of Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido
– Korea.

"It is the aim of Tae Kwon Do to achieve peak development, never hesitating to
absorb the finer aspects of any existing martial art of tested repute." -- Mu-Gil Lee

The UFTI was founded in 1980 by students of Mu-Gil Lee and Sung-Jae Park. Both of these instructors
immigrated to the United States from Korea around 1970, but they came from two separate kwans
(training halls). Mu-Gil Lee was a member of the Sangmukwan, and taught the pumsae of both the
WTF and the ITF, while Sung-Jae Park was a member of the Chongdokwan, and taught only ITF

Sung-Jae Park began learning Tang Su Do in 1958 under Dae-Young Ha. He also studied under Jae-Hwa
Kwon, who now teaches Tae Kwon Do in New York City. He came to the U.S. in 1969 as an exchange
student at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, and was the first person in Indiana to teach
accredited courses in Tae Kwon Do. In 1970, he earned his MBA from Butler University and began
teaching Tae Kwon Do in Indianapolis. One of his students, Mike Merienthal, later helped found the

Mu-Gil Lee taught in Germany before John George (a Captain in the Army) brought him to
Bloomington, Indiana, in 1972. At the time, Master Lee was a 7th Dan and one of the highest ranking
black belts in Tae Kwon Do in the United States. He started Tae Kwon Do in the early 1950s, and was
"first instructor' with the Korean Navy and Marines from 1958 through 1966. In 1970, he went to
Europe to teach the NATO forces, which is where he met John George.

Lee’s first student to reach black belt was Joe Maire, who was soon followed by Dexter Grove. In late
1973, he tested Donald Burns for his 1st Dan, along with Dave Gibson, Charles Ansback, Charlie Tang,
Dennis Miller, and Peter Nau. Master Kim (an 8th Dan) flew in from Los Angeles for the test. Mr. Burns
would eventually become Lee's top student in Bloomington, and was responsible for establishing a Tae
Kwon Do club at the university.

Mu-Gil Lee was greatly responsible for the spread of Tae Kwon Do in Indiana. Not only did he open a
series of schools, but he also brought a host of other Korean instructors to Indiana. He first brought
over Il-Sik Kim and Ki-Duk Lee, but later brought over masters Kwok, Ko, and Sa as well. He handed the
Bloomington school over to Ki-Duk Lee. He then opened a school in Highland which he later gave to
Kim (who later moved to Gary). Mu-Gil Lee then opened a school in Columbus, which he then gave to
Master Ko (one of Master Ko's students, Daniel Coblentz, now runs an academy in Greensberg). Master
Lee then opened a school in Terre Haute, which he gave to Master Kwok (like Kim, Kwok later moved
to Gary), followed by the "M-G Lee Flying Tiger of Karate Kung-fu" school in Louisville, which he gave to
Master Sa. He also opened a school in Dyer, which he gave to Dexter & Patty Grove. Mu-Gil Lee himself
was last heard of in Austin, Texas, where he was still teaching Tae Kwon Do. One rumor has it that
Master Lee later became ill and returned to Korea.

Although there was a Korean Karate Club at Indiana University in 1969-1970 (run by Dennis Callahan),
the I.U. Tae Kwon Do Club as we know it was started in 1972 by Joe Maire, Donald Burns, Michael
Bonaventura, and Monte Anderson, under Mu-Gil Lee's instruction. The club was started "to give
students a chance to participate because most students could not pay the tuition at the center." Other
members that year were Dave Gibson (then a freshman) and Cliff Higgins. In 1973, the Tae Kwon Do
Club participated in its first intercollegiate tournament on Mar. 30, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dave
Gibson later became the coach of the club during the 1970's, while Mr. Burns was faculty adviser. In
the 1980's, Mr. Burns took over all instruction. In 1992, he gave control of the club over to Bryan
Robertson. After Bryan moved to Indianapolis in 1994, Dakin Burdick took over instruction of the club.

Ki-Duk Lee took over instruction of the First Street academy when Mu-Gil Lee left. Ki-Duk Lee was a
member of the Ji Do Kwan ("Way of Wisdom Hall"), and introduced the Bul-pai and Roh-pai pumsae
from that style. He later moved to New Jersey, leaving the school in the hands of Mr. Burns, who ran it
for about ten years and then gave it to Jeff Boyd. Many of Mr. Burns' students have gone on to teach
Tae Kwon Do themselves, including Bryan Robertson, Lynda Mitchell, Don Johnson, Dakin Burdick, Greg
Lucas, John McConnell, and Ron Tubbs.

Mr. Burns is now a WTF Kukkiwon 7th Dan in Tae Kwon Do, 7th Dan in Hapkido, and 2nd Dan in judo.
He began his martial arts training in judo when he joined the U.S. Air Force in 1961. After he left the
service in 1965, he began taking classes at Indiana University at Kokomo, transferring to Bloomington
in 1966. In his second year at Bloomington (1967), he began teaching judo for the school of Health,
Physical Education & Recreation (HPER), both in the classes and for the Judo Club. He taught classes
free for a year, until the university decided to pay him an hourly rate. He became a member of the
faculty in 1972 and eventually he earned his tenure, becoming the Martial Arts Coordinator for the
university. He introduced basic classes in Tae Kwon Do at the university in 1972, followed by an
intermediate class in 1974 and an advanced class in 1975. He is the author of An Introduction to Judo
for the Student and Teacher (1976) and An Introduction to Karate for Student and Teacher (1977) and
taught both the Tae Kwon Do Club and Self-Defense Club for many years.

Mr. Burns is credited as being the founder of the Martial Arts program at Indiana University. When he
retired in 2006, the IU program enrolled between 1,500 and 1,700 students per semester, making it
one of the largest martial arts instructional programs in the United States. But for Burns, teaching
wasn’t about large enrollments; it was about motivating students beyond the grade and into life-long
learning. “I really feel a sense of pride when my students finally get their black belt and start to teach
their own club or classes after leaving Indiana University.”

Mr. Burns now concentrates on the healing side of the martial arts, continuing his training as a
massage therapist and giving seminars in Reiki and other healing arts.

John McConnell began training under Mr. Burns in January of 1982 as a member of the Indiana
University Tae Kwon Do Club. During each school year, from the fall of 1983 through 1986, he taught
classes at the Don Burns Martial Arts Academy. During the summers of 1984 and 1985 John opened
and operated the Quincy Martial Arts Academy in Quincy Illinois.

John earned his 1st Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do from Mr. Burns in 1985 and his 1st Degree Black
Belt in Hapkido in 1986. In 1986 John also received his Varsity Letter from the Indiana University Tae
Kwon Do Club.

After graduating from IU, John relocated to Florida and opened the Orlando Martial Arts Academy
teaching Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido. OMAA classes were held at Martin Marietta’s Recreation Facilities
in the east and west sides of Orlando. He earned his 2nd Degree Black Belts in both Tae Kwon Do &
Hapkido in 1988.

Continuing to round out his martial arts education, and while living in Orlando, John studied Wah Lum
Northern Praying Mantis Kung Fu under Sifu Chan Pui.

John was promoted by Don Burns to 3rd Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do in 1992, and 4th in 1995. In
1993 John turned over the Orlando Martial Arts Academy to two Tom Cook and David Countryman.

After relocating to Baltimore, John developed and several self defense programs through Baltimore
County Public Schools in their after school/evening education offering.

In 2004 he began studying Kenpo Karate with the Maryland Professional Karate Association where he
attained the rank of Instructor in 2008. John taught classes at MPKA’s main school in Dundalk and the
Sparrows Point class in Edgemere.

In early 2009 he returned to teaching Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido and opened Sparrows Point Martial
Arts Academy. In October of 2009 John completed the requirements and was promoted to 5th Degree
Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do by Don Burns.

In an effort to continue the growth of the martial art, as Mu-Gil Lee stated at the beginning of this
paper, John has intertwined portions of the other martial arts he has studied over the years and
broadened the UFTI requirements to include weapons techniques and forms for nunchukas, sword,
staff, and double daggers.

John’s commitment is to develop the best, well rounded student possible and to further Tae Kwon Do
and Hapkido in Maryland.

                           Bullying: Help for Bullies and Victims

Bullying is the willful, conscious desire to hurt, threaten or frighten someone else.

Here are 3 types of bullying and common examples:

      Physical: hitting, punching, slapping, biting, pinching, kicking, headlocks, knocking you down,
       pulling hair, taking money or possessions, making you do things you don’t want to do.

      Verbal: cursing, teasing, threats, taunting, racial names, cruel remarks, false and malicious
       rumors, embarrassing nicknames.

      Sexual: sexual names, dirty words, touching/attempting to touch, threatening to have sex, ugly
       remarks about reputations, homosexual: gay/lesbian putdowns and slurs.


Bullies are not born, they are created

      Following are some reasons:
      Impulsive: they sometimes act without thinking.
      Power: they feel a need to dominate others.
      Control: they want to make you do things or feel bad.
      Insecurity: they feel they continually have to prove their status
      Family problems: may have more family problems than normal.
      Emotional: may take out their own anger/frustration on others.
      Sensing weakness: they like to pick on weaker kids.
      Unsympathetic: they have little sympathy for victims.


Attention seeking: I am somebody

      To be number one in my class
      It made me feel big in front of my friends
      I did it to show off
      I wanted to show the girls who was best

      At home I’m nobody, at school I’m Topdog



There are three types of victims:

   Passive victims:

      Do nothing to provoke the attack
      Appear not to defend self
      Appear weaker than other kids
      Often lonely and abandoned at school
      They have few, if any friends
      They are highly sensitive
      May be more closely attached to parent/overprotected
      Rejection by peers in middle school
      They may give off an impression of learned helplessness

   Provocative Victims:

      They can be highly aggressive toward weaker kids, but victims of stronger kids
      They may be highly disliked members of their peer group
      They may be at risk for later adjustment problems
      May react negatively to conflict or losing
      May have poor anger management skills


      Watch and do not get involved
      Get almost no attention compared to bullies & victims
      May have low self-respect and self-confidence
      May feel guilt at their failure to act
      May be very fearful
      Often may be confused, not knowing who is right/wrong
      Feel it is safer not to do anything
      Can develop feelings of powerlessness

      Avoidance, withdrawal, escape, anger
      Some important behaviors:
          o Skipping school: 160,000 students miss school each day due to the fear of being bullied
          o Avoiding: places at school, playground, lunch room, bathroom, school-related events
          o Running away: from school or home
          o Life-threatening events: suicide/homicide
          o Weapons: bringing a weapon to school for self-defense or retaliation (29% vs. 9% of
          o Poor academics: up to 90% drop in grades
          o Isolation: few or no friends, problem-solving skills or support
          o Physical responses: bedwetting, crying, head-stomach aches, possessions missing,
             money “lost”
          o Negative perception: of school, peers and teachers
          o Bystander thinking: I’m sorry I can’t help cause then I would be the victim


      Fear of more confrontation
      Some reasons:
          o Fear: afraid to tell someone about it
          o Revenge: fear of retaliation by the bully
          o Uncaring attitude: thinks adults/teachers/parents don’t care
          o Telling/Reporting: doesn’t want to be seen as tattler/snitch by peers
          o Rejection: doesn’t want to be rejected/isolated/excluded by peers


Good things to do:
    Laugh or ignore comments or teasing
    Loudly say “this isn’t funny “and walk away
    Loudly say “leave me alone” and walk away
    Don’t let the bully get you upset (that’s what he wants)
    Stay with a crowd, don’t stay alone
    Tell your teacher, parent or adult
    Telling is not tattling, reporting is not ratting
    Don’t be a victim of rumors; say “that’s not nice” and walk away
    Think like a winner: walk tall and proud, head up, no fear

Not so good things to do:
    Tease back; name calling
      Getting angry
      Crying; hitting; throwing a tantrum
      Threatening to harm someone


Steps to take:
    Set an example of a good relationship
    Have good aggression control yourself
    Insist that violent aggression is unacceptable
    Stop any show of unacceptable aggression immediately
    Identify and name the effects of aggression
    Describe how the victim of aggression feels
    Teach caring and empathic relationships
    Teach responsibility for self and others
    Teach respect for self and others
    Teach appropriate assertiveness and aggression
    Provide firm, clear & consistent standards of behavior
    Maintain a predictable daily routine for everyday life
    Supervise situations where aggression is likely
    Avoid exposure to violence: home, school or video/film


      Talk to your child:
           o Talk to your child about what is happening
           o Talk calmly about the bullying experience
           o Note what your child says: who, how often, where & what
           o Reassure your child he has done the right thing by telling you
           o Explain that any further bullying must be reported to the teacher and you
      Talk to the teacher/principal:
           o Make an appointment with the school immediately
           o Explain the problem your child is experiencing
           o Ask for an investigation of the allegations
           o Ask for reasonable steps to protect your child
           o Help develop a safety plan to protect your child
           o Ask them to let you know the outcome


                                       Hangul – Korean Alphabet

A Korean syllable is divided into three parts:

    1) Ch'osong (initial consonant)
    2) Chungsong (peak vowel)
    3) Chongsong (final consonant).

                                                              Tae Kwon Do
Koreans use their own unique alphabet called Hangul. It is considered to be one of the most efficient alphabets in
the world and has garnered unanimous praise from language experts for its scientific design and excellence.

Hangul was created under King Sejong during the Choson Dynasty (1393-1910) in 1446, the first Korean
alphabet was proclaimed under the original name Hunmin chong-um, which literally meant "the correct sounds for
the instruction of the people."

King Sejong, the creator of Hangul, is considered to be one of the greatest rulers in the history of Korea. Highly
respected for his benevolent disposition and diligence, King Sejong was also a passionate scholar whose
knowledge and natural talent in all fields of study astounded even the most learned experts.

During his reign, King Sejong always deplored the fact that the common people, ignorant of the complicated
Chinese characters that were being used by the educated, were not able to read and write. He understood their
frustration in not being able to read or to communicate their thoughts and feelings in written words.

The Chinese script was used by the intelligentsia of the country, but being of foreign origin, it could not fully
express the words and meaning of Korean thoughts and spoken language. Therefore, common people with
legitimate complaints had no way of submitting their grievances to the appropriate authorities, other than through
oral communication, and they had no way to record for posterity the agricultural wisdom and knowledge they had
gained through years of experience.

King Sejong felt great sympathy for the people. As a revolutionary ruler strongly dedicated to national identity and
cultural independence, he immediately searched for solutions. What he envisioned was a set of letters that was
uniquely Korean and easily learnable, rendering it accessible and usable for the common people.

Thus, the Hunmin chong-um was born. In the preface of its proclamation, King Sejong states, "Being of foreign
origin, Chinese characters are incapable of capturing uniquely Korean meanings. Therefore, many common
people have no way to express their thoughts and feelings. Out of my sympathy for their difficulties, I have
created a set of 28 letters. The letters are very easy to learn, and it is my fervent hope that they improve the
quality of life of all people." The statement captures the essence of King Sejong's determination and dedication to
cultural independence and commitment to the welfare of the people.

When first proclaimed by King Sejong, Hunmin chong-um had 28 letters in all, of which only 24 are in use today.

A Korean syllable is divided into three parts: Ch'osong (initial consonant), chungsong (peak vowel), and
chongsong (final consonant). This is the basic framework that King Sejong and the Chiphyonjon scholars adhered
to when created the letters. Chongsong was not separately created and was a repetition of the ch'osong.
Therefore, Hangul is the consonants and vowels.

The Korean language has a well-developed and expansive vocabulary, and therefore, it is very difficult to express
fully in foreign letter.

Because of its simplicity and the rather small number of letters, Hangul is very easy to learn even by children and

It is no coincidence that by the time they reach the ages of two or three, most Korean children are already
capable of expressing their feelings and thoughts, albeit in primitive form. By the time they reach school age, most
exhibit mastery of Hangul, which is indeed a rare phenomena throughout the world. This fact clearly attests to the
easy learnability and accessibility of the Korean alphabet.

Throughout history, Hangul has been at the root of the Korean culture, helping to preserve its national identity and


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