Ask any instructor of the Soo Bahk Do® martial art system if they enjoy what they do and virtually all will tell you that they can think of no more personally rewarding experience than teaching students the skills and philosophy of the Soo Bahk Do® martial art and helping them discover their untapped potential and personal power.
"Man is at his best when helping others, at his worst bettering others."
-Moo Duk Kwan Founder Hwang Kee
The best instructors empower their students to change their lives and improve the quality of their life and the lives of those around them in ways that no other teacher or mentor can and they show students how they, too can experience the rewards of sharing Soo Bahk Do® with others.
Kwan Jang Nim H.C. Hwang is once again scheduling Presidents Vision Tour II appearances around the world and conveying his message that the future of our art lies in the hands of enthusiastic, motivated instructors and students who are empowered to take personal actions in support of our art and its Moo Do values.
“Individual participation is the Key Energy necessary to strengthen our foundation
– HC Hwang, Kwan Jang Nim
If you'd like to take a personal action that can give something back to your instructor for all you have received from their guidance, and if you'd like to serve your art, serve your studio and serve your local community by attracting new students to your school, then you can do so by participating in or hosting one or more Moo Duk Kwan® Kick-a-thons during 2014.
Dan members and qualified Gups also have an additional opportunity to shine at the 2014 National Festival by acquiring sponsors and participating in the super exciting 10 rounds of rapid fire training that is the National Moo Duk Kwan® Kick-a-thon.
The Federation's Board Directors have provided a 2014 Moo Duk Kwan® Kick-a-thons National Grand Studio Prize that is there for the taking by the most motivated instructors and students who help their studio generate the greatest amount of support during 2014.
Winning the National Studio Grand Prize will require enthusiasm, creativity, leadership skills, motivation and most importantly, individual participation and personal action.
The top studio will win an expense paid trip to attend the 2015 National Festival or apply the prize toward attending the Moo Duk Kwan 70th Anniversary Celebration in Korea in 2015.
So, why is your instructor so happy?
"Happiness... consists in giving, and in serving others."
- Henry Drummond
When your instructor observes your personal actions and your personal successes, they are enjoying the fruit of their life's work.
When Spokane Soo Bahk Do® instructor Bud Bolan launched their Kick-a-thon for the Moo Duk Kwan®, he even recruited the parents of students to participate in the exciting event. He backed up his request for parents to join in by personally sponsoring each parent for $20.
Spokane Soo Bahk Do® parents and students kicked up their heels for a good cause and had a blast!
"Spokane Soo Bahk Do® students can only signup for 60 days at a time due to YMCA policies.
The classes were originally limited to 6-12 year olds, but at my request, the YMCA has now expanded the program to allow 5-16 years olds which provides those approaching age 12 with an opportunity to continue the program.
The Kick-a-thon participants include students with a wide range of abilities and special needs as well as parents.
I was extremely pleased with the strong and high energy response that took place with the invitation to participate in the Kick-A-Thon, by Federation Members and YMCA Members alike, as well as the parents.
Their combined participation in the program was incredible!"
-- Bud Bolan
It was 1992 and the Lubbock, Texas Community Center was beginning to empty as we showered and I finished quickly and waited in the lobby. The last two days had certainly been an experience. How else would you describe packing 14 people in a motorhome designed for eight and then heading 600 miles across West Texas with half a ton of bricks and boards to give a series of Demonstrations in multiple cities hundreds of miles apart in only two days? Officially, we were here to promote and unify Master Chu's remote schools, but it seemed that togetherness and cooperation were the real theme of this trip.
As I sat comfortably on a couch in the lobby, I remember seeing Master Chu coming out of the dressing room with a towel in one hand and his uniform in the other. Kris Poole and I noted that he looked somewhat tired and distracted, but we figured it was because of the tremendous amount of energy he had expended in his part of the demonstrations over the last few days. After all, jumping over four people and breaking six concrete blocks, sparring 2 people, doing several forms and numerous other board breaking feats three times today plus traveling three hundred miles and doing it all again could make anyone look tired. I thought no more about it.
It was about midnight when we arrived at the local Instructor's apartment where we were to spend the night. Everyone was exhausted and looked like walking zombies as we stumbled from the motorhome out onto the apartment complex parking lot. Master Chu called us into a circle and said he knew it would be crowded, but we should stay together and accept the Instructor's hospitality so we would not hurt his feelings. Last night in Abilene, Texas we had trouble finding places for 14 people to lie down at that instructor's home and tonight there was even less room in this apartment, but we were all willing to try. Everyone that is, except one Dan who insisted he would go to a hotel so there would be more room for those who wanted to stay.
Once more, Master Chu repeated his instructions and requested him to accept the inconvenience and stay with the group, but the Dan insisted he would go to the hotel and take a couple of people with him so it would be less crowded. We were all beginning to get uncomfortable because he was being requested, by his Instructor, to do something specific and he was absolutely refusing. He was our junior, but we said nothing to him thinking Master Chu could handle any discipline problem better than we. For the third time, Master Chu repeated his instructions and still the Dan insisted on departing. Master Chu just stood quietly as the Dan said his goodbyes and departed with three others who evidently decided comfort was more important than togetherness or did not understand what our Instructor was saying.
We were glad the tense situation was over and everyone started toward the apartment when Master Chu called Mr. Poole and I to return to the Motorhome with him.
We stepped up in the vehicle which had been our home for the past two days and sat across from our Instructor at the tiny table near the side window. He just sat silently, looking down at the tabletop for what seemed like an eternity until finally, he raised his head, and looked right through us with dark, tired eyes and in that instant, I had the strangest sensation I've ever experienced in my whole life. It felt as if he had already spoken a thousand words when he looked at us yet, the silence was broken by only one lonely question, which hung interminably in the night air.
We stared blankly, confused by his question. The silence screamed at us but we could not make out what it was saying and then the screams became respectfully silent as he spoke ". . . Earlier, when we finished the demonstration and everyone went to the showers, I had to get my own towel. In Korea, someone would have been waiting with my towel and clothes. Now, a junior Dan refuses to do as I ask and my senior students stand by and do not say a word . . ."
There was that question again, and with it the screaming started anew, but now it was beginning to become understandable. "Why had we not taken a more active role in assistance to our Instructor?" it shouted! Why could we not see our responsibility to help him in matters that need not command his personal attention? He was always there when we needed him, where were we when he needed us? How much had we actually helped him to spread our art's benefits to others? What real assistance had we been to him for all he had done for us? Without another word he disappeared out the door and into the darkness as we sat in awkward silence.
Maybe somewhere in his being he already knew his death was approaching and maybe this whole trip was an attempt to bind us together to withstand his absence or maybe the years of teaching students who quit and the endless hours of sometimes seemingly thankless travel and dedication had just taken it's toll for him to choose this moment to make these remarks to us. Whatever the reason, we knew we had missed something very important that our teacher had tried to show us. For nearly ten years he had traveled hundreds of miles and conducted thousands of hours of classes. He had 16 schools and more than 600 students but apparently not even two senior students who could answer his question. How had this happened? Clearly, our responsibilities were more than we had realized. We had plenty to think about that sleepless night.
Not many months later, our Instructor was gone and we were left to ponder the question he posed that lonely night in West Texas.
The togetherness of that trip has been enjoyably replayed in our lives four times since then; multiple times in England at the Internationals, multiple times in Korea and multiple times at Ko Dan Ja Tests all over the country; however; I hope we do not ever cause the other part of that experience to be repeated.
The Founder has said that man is at his best when helping others and if we apply that concept to our training and the relationship we share with our Instructors we may better ourselves and come to understand togetherness, brotherhood, prevention of conflict and harmony in a way that few people ever have the opportunity to experience.
No one is an island and no one can carry the future of our art alone, it is up to the juniors to help and protect their seniors just as it is up to the seniors to help and protect their juniors. It is up to the juniors to learn the skills of our instructors and to emulate our instructor's tireless and unflagging pursuit of learning and of sharing our art. During his life Founder Hwang Kee requested that we make the U.S. a worldwide leader in human relationships and that goal can only be achieved when everyone does their part by improving their own personal relationships.
Take care of your Instructor, don't leave them to do all the work. Learn all you can from them. Ask for opportunities to assume new and challenging leadership roles and in doing so demonstrate your appreciation of them by your example. Dans and Red belts especially, learn all your responsibilities; ask if you are unsure. Trying and making a mistake is better than doing nothing. All students, see if there are tasks or projects you can do for them to free their valuable time. We never know how long our Instructor will be with us and it would be a shame to have wasted any of their priceless time on menial tasks. Pitch in and be the best you can be, take on a project beneficial to your studio, help run a new student recruitment activity for your studio, take on a project for your class, attend a special event and contribute your own unique energy to it, work hard and always be loyal to your Instructor just as they are loyal to theirs'. Be a part of our "Living Art," be active and contribute to it's growth.
We may already owe the Founder and our Kwan Jang Nim several haircuts, but in the future, lets not give them cause to ask . . .
P.S. Some current opportunities to contribute that you may not have thought about:
Dear Moo Duk Kwan Supporter,
I trust this message finds you and your family in the best of health and spirits.
Thank you for your very strong support of the Federation’s and Foundation’s fundraising goals iand we hope you will continue your strong support to help us continue pursuing our Mission objectives and Chartered purposes.
The Federation’s Board of Directors has adopted kick-a-thons as the preferred fundraising means to be employed nationally iand we are asking for your support when a kick-a-thon is hosted at your school or in your region before the end of the year.
All Certified Studios have been sent a packet containing “How To” literature and a link to an excellent demo video prepared by Sa Bom Nim Jim Harwood and which can be viewed on the Soo Bahk Do Institute. The video explains how kick-a-thons are an exciting and motivational activity that can connect you and our art to your local community in a positive and productive manner while raising much needed financial support for the Federation’s causes.
The Kwan Jang Nim, the Technical Advisory Committee, Regional Examiners, 501(c)(4) Board and 501(c)(3) Foundation are fully committed to this extremely important fundraising initiative and will be actively requesting full member support in order to assure its success and to fund ongoing programs to preserve our art’s unique identity and heritage as passed from the Founder to our Kwan Jang Nim and as entrusted to the U.S. Federation to protect and preserve.
The 501(c)(4) Federation and 501(c)(3) Foundation each stand ready to receive the contributions of those who are inspired and motivated to provide their support and donations at this time. These elements will drive the success of the Kick-a-thons for the Moo Duk Kwan® initiative through your strong Moo Do Ja Seh.
Should you require additional materials, clarifications or have questions, please contact headquarters for assistance.
Again, thank you for your strong support!
In Moo Do,
Chairman, Board of Directors
United States Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation
Visit www.mykickathon.org for personal fundraiser pages.
Visit www.soobahkdofoundation for joint 501(c)(4) Federation and 501(c)(3) FOUNDATION Regional Totals
Regional Examiner, Gene Riggs Sa Bom Nim reports that Region 6 is KICKING it with their $2000 donation today and TAC Seminars coming this weekend when Lisa Kozak Sa Bom Nim arrives from Lakewood Ohio in Tulsa Oklahoma!
The Region 6 Soo Bahk Do schools in Carthage, Marshall and Henderson Texas raised $2000.00 for the 2012 "There Is Only One Moo Duk Kwan Fundraising Campaign." Sa Bom Nim Riggs summed up their efforts by saying, "This is what we in Region 6 believe in!"
A hearty "Thank You!" goes out to all those generous Moo Duk Kwan supporters who made this achievement possible!