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A Moment With The Masters... And Then It's Gone

A Moment With The Masters... And Then It's Gone

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As a member of the USA Federation, you have access to top Moo Duk Kwan instructors in the world and the finest training experiences available.

The Federation hosts A Moment With The Masters in conjunction with the 1st weekend of the Ko Dan Ja Shim Sa in order that fellow members have an opportunity to share a few moments with the wave of new Ko Dan Ja rank applicants and current Ko Dan Ja leaders and visiting Ko Dan Ja Alumni who are also  participating in the week long Ko Dan Ja Shim Sa experience.

For a brief, fleeting moment every Federation member has the opportunity to share a moment with the masters and experience “Oneness” with the most senior practitioners and Ko Dan Ja in the entire U.S. Federation as well as international Ko Dan Ja.

The Moment With The Masters is a wonderful opportunity that literally calls for action… it calls for attendance.

It is calling you.

Learn More About It

Trick or Treater Safety School

Trick or Treater Safety School

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Pumpkin For Trick Or Treat Held By Girl In Vampire Costume

Halloween is despised by some and enjoyed by others, but regardless of your perspective about Halloween I am sure you agree that safety is important.

Safety is especially important on Halloween when young kids may be roaming the streets in the dark and when widespread mischief and mayhem may be the norm, so being alert and attentive to personal safety is a high priority.

Adults and tots can both benefit from attending a fun and educational Trick or Treater Safety School offered as a community service program by participating Moo Duk Kwan® Certified schools nationwide.  Look for local ads or flyers about programs near you.

So have fun this Halloween whether you avoid it or relish it, just be safe and remember that you can safely Trick or Treat us by Text message the whole month of October!



Trick Or Treaters Welcome!

Trick Or Treaters Welcome!

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Have you ever Trick or Treated for Halloween by  Text Message? No?

Well, during the Federation's Fall membership Drive  you can Halloween Trick or Treat us from anywhere, in or out of your costume during THE ENTIRE MONTH OF OCTOBER and we are giving away some really neat treats.

Even ol Christopher Columbus can't discover a better deal than this!


Special Needs Hero Among Us In Scotch Plains, New Jersey

Special Needs Hero Among Us In Scotch Plains, New Jersey

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Paul Del Sordo, Sa Bom, Dan Bon 29822

Paul Del Sordo, Sa Bom, Dan Bon 29822

Paul Del Sordo is a Moo Duk Kwan® internationally certified master level instructor (Sa Bom) for the proprietary Soo Bahk Do® martial art system and owner of Del Martial Arts in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. 

He has helped, and continues to help, special needs children make progress in ways that medical professionals admit they simply cannot.

In fact, many medical professionals refer parents with special needs children to explore his program for their child because they find the children are far more eager to attend his classes than to come to therapy sessions and their progress is often much better than achieved through other therapy alone.

It makes sense when you think about it. When special needs children come to his classes and engage in therapeutic activities based on the Soo Bahk Do® martial art system and even practice the Soo Bahk Do® martial art system right alongside fellow students, they are "taking karate" just like everyone else.

However, when they go to medical professionals for therapy, then they may think "there must be something wrong with me," otherwise I would not be going to a doctor's facility.

The mental stigma associated with "going to a doctor" is completely eliminated when special needs children get to "go to karate" instead.

Master Del Sordo provides a gateway to life-changing growth and development for these children that is totally unavailable to them without his dedication to making a positive difference in the lives of these special children.

There is substantial research documenting the positive benefits of karate training and one of the more interesting studies documents how karate changes your brain. 

Findings of this study may provide some insights into why Master Del Sordo's program is so effective with autistic and special needs children.

"We think that ability might be related to fine tuning of neural connections in the cerebellum, allowing them to synchronize their arm and trunk movements very accurately."

Parents of special needs children owe it to their child to explore Master Del Sordo's Soo Bahk Do® program to provide your child with a mainstream experience that medical professionals acknowledge as surprisingly effective and beneficial.

You can pitch in and help him sustain his wonderful program for special needs children through his GoFundMe page.

Dianna Hume Receives Lifetime Membership From Anonymous Donor

Dianna Hume Receives Lifetime Membership From Anonymous Donor

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Master Dianna Hume, Dan Bon 29789

       Master Dianna Hume, Dan Bon 29789

Master Dianna Hume of Burlington, Washington just received a very nice surprise when Headquarters notified her that a generous anonymous donor had paid for a Lifetime Membership in her name PLUS they donated a Moo Duk Kwan® Preservationist contribution in her name.

lifetime_fed_fist_patch_300_dpi_transparent-8-300x309Master Hume has made substantial contributions to the furtherance of the Federation's mission objectives and accomplishment of its chartered purposes.

Her spirit and tireless contributions are well known to those who know her and we are honored to welcome her as a new Lifetime Member and Moo Duk Kwan® Preservationist.

moo-duk-kwan-preservationist-trans-4x4-v12-8-800x800Thanks to the generosity of this anonymous donor, Master Dianna Hume, Dan Bon 29789 now joins the Federation's prestigious group of Lifetime Members.

And she will also have the distinct honor of being named as a Moo Duk Kwan® Preservationist in the autobiography of Moo Duk Kwan® Founder Hwang Kee when it is published.

Master Hume, thank you for your years of service to the Moo Duk Kwan® and Congratulations!

And "Thank You" to her generous supporter!




World Gratitude Day Sept 21

World Gratitude Day Sept 21

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gratitudewordcloud-med-3000x2000Some say that World Gratitude Day began in 1965 in Hawaii when an international gathering decided that it would be nice to set one day of the year to formally express appreciation and gratitude for the many wonderful things in the world.

After the meeting in Hawaii many of the attendees began to mark September 21st as Gratitude Day when they returned to their respective countries.

Since the first anniversary in 1966, the number of people celebrating Gratitude Day has continued to grow.

gratitude-changes-everything-med-3165x2087The founders of Gratitude Day hoped to increase awareness of the benefits to one's life and those around us when we are grateful, appreciative and positive.

The wanted to take one day a year to emphasize those things and reflect upon the many amazing things and people we have in our lives.

World Gratitude Day presents an opportunity to be grateful.

  • Celebrate milestones in your life
  • Pleasantly surprise someone
  • Perform a random act of kindness gratefully
  • Be sincere
  • Be specific
  • Express gratitude publicly.

There is a lot of research indicating how being gracious and expressing gratitude can positively impact the life of the grateful person as well as the lives of those around them.

I am grateful for every Moo Duk Kwan® practitioner who is benefiting from Soo Bahk Do® training and positively influencing the lives of those around them by embodying and expressing our five moo do values.




Accept The Challenge!

Reading Time: 2 minutes.

A few know that challenges are actually opportunities in disguise and can't wait to accept them.

Will you?

Board Director and Lifetime Member Andy Arvidson Sa Bom Nim jumped right out there and issued a challenge for everyone:

“During the Federation’s inaugural Fall Membership Drive I am challenging all my fellow Dan and Ko Dan Ja Members and Lifetime Members to join me in celebrating our respective training anniversaries by contributing a dollar for each year you have trained. May 2016 was my 19th year and I have written my check for $19.00 and mailed it to the Federation today!   Will you please join me?


Sa Bom Nim Anna Oulashin jumped right in and rounded her contribution UP for good luck, then Sa Bom Nim Susan Fittanto elevated the challenge to a whole new level when she DOUBLED her training anniversary contribution AND added an ADDITIONAL in-kind contribution equal to her studio anniversary!

I also understand that this challenge has even spawned another challenge in Region 8 among school owners seeking to recruit the most new members during the Federation's Fall Membership Drive!


This is a bit reminiscent of the 2016 National Festival Silent Auction when Sa Bom Nim Bill Nelson was auctioneering it so enthusiastically that he had people happily bidding against themselves! 🙂

Master Roberto Bonefont then piled on with his training anniversary contribution big time and rounded UP well... just because he could as did Sa Bom Nim Steve Lemner.  A number of other GUPS and DANS have also donated but have not yet posted a comment on the Training Anniversary Challenge page.

What say you fellow members and school owners?

Will you accept the challenges before you during the Federation's inaugural Fall Membership Drive?

Membership Drive Ends In
[ujicountdown id="2016 Festival Group Room Rate Ends" expire="2016/10/31 23:59" hide="true" url="" subscr="Discover Soo Bahk Do" recurring="" rectype="second" repeats=""]

Accept The Training Anniversary Challenge Here


Aspire Higher, Stay In School

Aspire Higher, Stay In School

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Creative concept by Spikes Kangerga


Carlos Norris and Delbert Bryan presenting Lt. Gen Archie J. Old with an honorary 1st Dan Moo Duk Kwan Certificate from Hwang Kee at March Airforce Base in California

Students enrolled in a martial art program are more likely to graduate according to the findings of the KickStart program started by martial art legend Chuck Norris.  The Houston Chron reports that as of 2015 the non-profit Kickstart program is operating in more than 50 schools in Houston, Texas teaching character through karate. 

Norris began his training in Hwang Kee's Moo Duk Kwan® organization while serving in the United States Airforce in Korea and earned his Moo Duk Kwan Dan Bon® 2819.

Like many American service men, when he returned to the U.S. he brought the rigorous training he had received from his Moo Duk Kwan® instructors back to America.

Later Norris formed his own martial arts organization United Fighting Arts  and has become one of the most distinguished Moo Duk Kwan® Alumni in the world. His KickStart martial art program brings the benefits and values of martial arts training into the lives of thousands of students a year and has a proven track record of keeping more kids in school.


Black Belt Magazine Man of the Year, H.C. Hwang

Today, Hwang Kee's successor organization, the World Moo Duk Kwan is led by his son H.C. Hwang and has representatives in twenty three countries. As the Moo Duk Kwan® President (Kwan Jang Nim), he preserves and sustains the Moo Duk Kwan® organization's Dan Bon legacy by personally issuing each new Dan Bon (black belt ID) earned by practitioners worldwide and records them in the Moo Duk Kwan records® which have continuity back to its inception in 1945. There is  only one Moo Duk Kwan®.

He also serves as Life President of the United States Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation® which is a nonprofit members' organization with a mission objective of increasing public awareness of, study of and practice of the Korean martial art of Soo Bahk Do®.

Since its inception in 1976 the U.S. Federation has registered over 200,000 members and has nearly 300 Certified Instructors and 130 Certified Schools across the country dedicated to teaching the core Moo Duk Kwan® philosophy and the importance of continual education and personal growth.  Soo Bahk Do® students aspire higher.


Moo Duk Kwan® Certified Instructors Combat Bullying Everyday

Moo Duk Kwan® Certified Instructors Combat Bullying Everyday

Reading Time: 5 minutes.

Japanese Occupation of Korea

Japanese Occupation of Korea

History reveals time and time again how entire countries have been overrun and the populace then bullied - often to death - by those who breached their borders.

Hwang Kee

Hwang Kee

In fact, the Moo Duk Kwan® martial art organization founded in 1945 by Hwang Kee in South Korea sprung from just such circumstances and is celebrating its 70th year Anniversary throughout 2016.

The unfortunate events that unfolded in those overrun countries may have been different had more of the population been equipped to confront and diffuse bullying behavior before it transformed into war, societal oppression and even genocide.

Today in America bullying has become an epidemic in our society and we see more and more evidence of parents, schools, universities, churches, governments, etc. adopting policies they hope will minimize bullying behavior.

iStock_000023492726_Full-1600x1060-loUnfortunately, policies are no better than those who have the ability and courage - or lack thereof - to enforce them and those charged to prevent bullying cannot do so if they are not present to witness and intervene in bullying incidents.

When victims succumb to bullying behavior because they feel they have no other recourse, the bully inflicts a feeling of helplessness and shame upon the victim and often infects the victim with a feeling of cowardice; a stigma that the victim many carry with them their entire life.

Where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.
~ Mohandas Gandhi

The bottom line is that bullies are most effectively stopped by the intended victim.

iStock_000018403414_Full-1600x1067-loWhen a victim is able to effectively diffuse, or if necessary, defend against bullying behavior rather than passively submitting to it or allowing it to continue and even escalate, then the bully can be defeated.

iStock_000023503347_Full-1600x1800-loWhile it is often true that unfortunate circumstances in the life of a bully are factors that drive the bully to engage in their errant behavior toward others, those circumstances in one person's life do not justify their infringement upon another's life.

In some cases the bully may even be a person in a position of authority or trust who abuses the power of their position. Bosses, co-workers, teachers, coaches, clergy and others can be adult bullies who take advantage of those entrusted to their supervision or care.

A warrior may choose pacifism; others are condemned to it.
~ Author unknown

What can be done to prevent bullying?

Many schools of thought exist about how to address the root causes of bullying, but unfortunately the scope of many of those well-intended solutions seek institutional change or societal change over years or decades and provide little or no help for those who are currently being bullied and who will be bullied tomorrow and the days thereafter.

keep_child_safe_600x1406_smHowever, there is a pragmatic solution available today in the form of the Soo Bahk Do® martial art system available in more than 130 locations across the country.

The Soo Bahk Do® martial art is ideal for anyone who wants to learn superior conflict resolution skills or personal self defense skills or just be more prepared should a bully or assailant come unexpectedly into their life or the life of someone they care about. Soo Bahk Do® is equally suited for individuals of all ages with any and all physical capabilities or disabilities.

Certainly, understanding bully behavior and factors that drive it - or deter it - can help provide one with a strategic advantage by helping one to be educated and mentally equipped to deal with a bullying encounter and/or the bully.

"Know the smallest things and the biggest things, the shallowest things and the deepest things. As if it were a straight road mapped out on the ground ... These things cannot be explained in detail. From one thing, know ten thousand things. When you attain the Way of strategy there will not be one thing you cannot see. You must study hard." The Book of Five Rings
~Miyamoto Musashi

For those interested in reading and learning more about bullying, the United States Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation® wiki provides links to some excellent educational resources about bullying. Today another one has been added from Learn Psychology at the request of Dominic Silva-Martin, Chief Communications Officer of
Learn Psychology who states:

"Highlights of this guide include:

- Extensive resources to help those dealing with a bully, as well as resources that school administrators can utilize
- Expert advice from Jonathan Fast, author of “Beyond Bullying: Ending the Cycle of Bullying, Shame and Violence
- Specific bullying prevention strategies

We can't stop bullying from happening, but we can spread awareness and share resources for those dealing with a bully."

Moo Duk Kwan® certified instructors embrace strong core values and a philosophy that guides their instruction of the Soo Bahk Do® martial art system for the benefit of students of all ages. Surprisingly, physical prowess is often not the most needed skill to effectively diffuse bullying encounters or to stop a bully in their tracks; however, knowledge of effective self defense skills and the ability to apply them are definitely a critical secondary line of defense should other conflict resolution strategies fail.

Don’t hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit softly.
~ Theodore Roosevelt

I invite you to add your support to the efforts of Moo Duk Kwan® Certified Instructors who combat bullying everyday in our society and to explore the benefits currently being enjoyed by thousands of Soo Bahk Do® practitioners of all ages across the country by contacting a Moo Duk Kwan® Certified Instructor near you.

Summon your courage, your brave energy, your yong gi and refuse to tolerate bullying behavior.

Do our society a favor and take a stand against bullying when any opportunity to do so presents itself to you.

Five Moo Duk Kwan 8th Dan Rank Certifications Awarded

Five Moo Duk Kwan 8th Dan Rank Certifications Awarded

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Perry Araeipour, Sa Bom Nim captured an historical moment through the lens of his camera when for the first time in history, five members were awarded their 8th Dan rank certifications at the same time.

The members came from all across the  United States Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation®  and were  awarded their Moo Duk Kwan® 8th Dan certificates by H.C. Hwang Kwan Jang Nim on November 21, 2014 in Ramona California at the 2014 Ko Dan Ja Shim Sa.

Left to right Fred Messersmith, Sa Bom Nim (Dan Bon 20729) from Torrance, California, Daymon Kenyon, Sa Bom Nim (Dan Bon 19839) from San Diego, California,Vic Martinov, Sa Bom Nim (Dan Bon 10189) from Santa Ynez, California, H.C. Hwang, Kwna Jang Nim,from Springfield, New Jersey, Larry seiberlich, Sa Bom Nim (Dan Bon 1815) from Maplewood, Minnesota, James Donnelly Sa Bom Nim (Dan Bon 14436) from Hampton Roads,Virginia, Kris Poole, Sa Bom Nim (Dan Bon 20632) from Longview, Texas and Bill Nelson, Sa Bom Nim (Dan Bon 21420) from St. Cloud Minnesota

Left to right Fred Messersmith, Sa Bom Nim (Dan Bon 20729) from Torrance, California, Daymon Kenyon, Sa Bom Nim (Dan Bon 19839) from San Diego, California,Vic Martinov, Sa Bom Nim (Dan Bon 10189) from Santa Ynez, California, H.C. Hwang, Kwna Jang Nim,from Springfield, New Jersey, Larry seiberlich, Sa Bom Nim (Dan Bon 1815) from Maplewood, Minnesota, James Donnelly Sa Bom Nim (Dan Bon 14436) from Hampton Roads,Virginia, Kris Poole, Sa Bom Nim (Dan Bon 20632) from Longview, Texas and Bill Nelson, Sa Bom Nim (Dan Bon 21420) from St. Cloud Minnesota

Soo Bahk Do® Instructor Changing Lives In Oklahoma

Soo Bahk Do® Instructor Changing Lives In Oklahoma

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Dwayne Townsend, Sa Bom, Dan Bon 37809

Click to Join or Renew Federation MembershipDwayne  Townsend is an internationally certified Master level practitioner of the Soo Bahk Do® martial art system taught in Moo Duk Kwan® martial art schools worldwide.

He operates a certified studio in Owasso, Oklahoma and volunteers his time changing lives at the local Homes For Children Campus in Owasso.

1560778_523697531078071_555766827_n (1)Recently Master Townsend applied to the United States Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation® and the United States Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan FOUNDATION for grant support. He wanted to register ten children in his program as Federation members in order that they could formally advance in their studies with full recognition and legitimate Moo Duk Kwan® rank certification credentials acknowledging their accomplishments.

The Federation and Foundation worked together to fulfill his grant application and ten new Federation members were registered in Owasso, Oklahoma.

Here is what Master Townsend had to say about the results his grant yielded:

I can't express enough how grateful the children are for the membership and support provided by the United States Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation® and The United States Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan FOUNDATION, and how grateful I am to be a part of making this happen for these ten children.

Because of the generosity of both organizations, these children get to belong to a very positive and rewarding national organization with member community values that compliment the teaching they receive at the Owasso Campus. One immediate benefit they have received from the U.S. Federation memberships that you made possible is that once they were Federation members I was authorized to test these students (some of whom have been training with me for over a year) for legitimate Moo Duk Kwan® rank certification and I am happy to report they were all successful in their test and my recommendations to the Technical Advisory Committee were approved for them. We will have a promotion ceremony for them this Thursday.

These children have received a significant boost in self esteem and self confidence from their Soo Bahk Do training. Their receipt of national membership credentials with their name on them and international rank certificates also bearing their name is more important to them than many may think. It is not often in their challenged lives that such recongition is shined upon them. The award ceremony will be a celebration of their accomplishments when we award them their hard earned rank certifications. I can only tell you that this will be a highlight of these children's lives and you have helped make it happen.

Thank you so much for making this possible and supporting my work with them.

I hope this will help others and inspire them to reach out and START something either by volunteering their time or supporting those less fortunate through the Federation and the Foundation.

Humbly yours,

Dwayne Townsend



Donors Save Lives Every Day

Donors Save Lives Every Day

Reading Time: 2 minutes.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has taken the U.S. by storm, but I am not asking you to dump cold water over your head or video it and upload it on the internet or challenge your friends to do the same; however, I am appealing to you to contemplate a few questions and take a couple of important actions.

Donors save lives everyday and you may just be the one who saves a life when you become a donor today.

  • Have you ever been a blood donor?
  • Have you designated yourself as an organ donor?
  • Have you ever considered being a marrow donor?

Sa Bom Nim Fred Messersmith recently launched a Facebook page on behalf of Sa Bom Nim Victor Martinov to bring awareness to the opportunities of registering as a bone marrow donor with  You could make a difference and save a life today by registering as a potential bone marrow donor.

Please visit the Facebook page he set up (shown below) and while you are on the page invite your friends to it as shown below and then take a few minutes out of your busy day to call Stephanie Farah at  (626) 301-8483 and talk with her or visit  their website and learn more.



Lives depend on donors. Are you the one who will take action to save a life today?

No ice water.

No video.

No challenge.

Simply an humble appeal for your support.



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