Kyuki-do

Ceicei

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akfathens said:
Our primary tenets include:
Courtesy
Humility
Integrity
Perseverance
Self Control
Indomitable Spirit
<snip>
Additionally, Kyuki-Do strives to develop students both spiritually, mentally and physically. Education, strong family ties, service to your community, tolerance and love for all of humanity, and the improvement of character are strongly stressed.
<snip>
That, to me, is a good summary of the philosophy of Kyuki-Do: that we have a responsibility as martial artists to use our knowledge to improve the world around us.
How do you help your students develop this philosophy and practice these tenets? Do you hold discussions, have your students write papers, or just merely post this information somewhere in a visible place in the dojang?

- Ceicei
 
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akfathens

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How do you help your students develop this philosophy and practice these tenets?

Therein lies one of the fundamental difficulties of teaching martial arts. =)

Our students are required to memorize the pledge and the tenets, and adherence is enforced in the dojang. As students progress in ranks, they are required to demonstrate a clear understanding of what the tenets mean, and eventually they are asked to quantify how they are adhering to the philosophy of Kyuki-Do in their day-to-day life.

So, a white belt student might be asked "what is the first student pledge?" A blue belt might be asked "what are the tenets, and which is the most important in your mind?" A brown belt might be asked "in what way do you personally strive for peace and camaraderie in the world?"

Of course, all of these questions are only intended to stimulate understanding and consideration of the art's philosophy... it isn't possible to make someone become a better person, and I recognize the fact that there are numerous people who are interested in the martial arts not as a "way of life" but rather as a system of self defense, a fun way of exercising, or an opportunity to do something novel and exciting. If I was to ask a high ranking student "in what ways have you worked to further camaraderie in the world" and he or she were to say "um... I don't know. I guess I haven't," my response would only be "perhaps that's something that you should consider further."

There is a place in the Kyuki-Do dojang for everyone, and even if someone isn't committed to an abstract goal such as "perfection of character," there are still many positive things the arts can offer them.

In addition to in-class discussion, I strive to communicate Kyuki-Do's philosophy by way of example... by treating students with compassion, respect and patience, and by demonstrating a positive outlook on life and an interest in making the world a better place.

I appreciate the questions; this is a helpful discussion for me in that it is making me articulate elements of my teaching style that I haven't given conscious thought to before.

Best,

Ken
 
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Ash_MT

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If I could add a little bit to that, at the beginning of all of our classes where I train Grandmaster Park or one of the other instructors gives us a 10 minute or so talk about being a better person, being humble, respectful, courteous, etc. I don't know if it's common in all Kyuki-do classes, but Grandmaster Parks main emphasis is Jungdo, which means 'right thinking/right doing'.
 
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akfathens

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Hey Ash_mt,

Do you happen to have a literal translation of Jung Do? I get the gist of it (the right path, the proper way of thinking, speaking and acting, the teacher of life), but I'm not sure if I've ever heard an exact translation.

By the way, that is really neat that Grand Master Park speaks on ethics and morality before your classes. Does he do it before every class, or is it a more occasional thing?

Best,

Ken

By the way, I maintain a small forum over at akfathens.com. It isn't tremendously active, and a lot of it is devoted to school-specific criteria, but I wanted to offer you an invite to go ahead and join up if you are so inclined.
 
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dosandojang

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Hi. Thanks. I was talking about the Korean Art that looks like Muay Thai.
 

Ceicei

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When students are recommended for black belt in Kyuki-Do, are they required to do a written thesis? What are the general physical requirements to achieve a black belt?

- Ceicei
 
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akfathens

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Ceicei,

Yes, for promotion to black belt a written paper and resume are required. The resume is to include all details of your testing history and participation in the art (including tournaments, seminars, Federation functions and so forth). The written paper varies by rank, but includes four or five short answer questions (things like "what are the legal implications of using martial arts in self defense") and one longer essay. The essay is generally an assigned topic, but there is some leeway allowed if a given student has a subject they particularly want to write about (one of my instructor's students -- a mathematician -- wrote an essay on the mathematical principles behind the generation of force for purposes of board breaking).

The general physical requirements demonstrated during a black belt promotion include proficiency in a series of fifteen forms (including a falling form and pinning form, as well as a personally developed weapons form), sparring, one steps, kicking and striking drills, escapes from various grabs, and whatever else the testing board (generally comprised of five or more masters as well as Grand Master Kim) wishes to see.

Physical requirements are adjusted based on the physical makeup of the person testing... If we have a fifty year old man with bad knees promoting to first dan, it isn't expected that he's going to be whipping off flying spinning hook kicks. On the other hand, it is expected that he will have developed a high degree of functionality within his particular limitations.

Promotion to first degree black belt is relatively rapid, generally averaging four years. Grand Master Kim views first degree black belts as students who have gone through the basics, and are now "ready to learn." Promotion to higher degrees requires substantial investment of time (minimum of two years between first and second dan, three years between second and third) as well as teaching experience. Promotion to Master (5th dan in our Federation) also requires black belt rank in another art (generally Hapkido, Judo or Jujitsu), as well as substantial teaching experience and the required amount of time spent "in rank" (at this point something like eighteen years of total training time... and that's for someone who really kept their nose to the grindstone and promoted in the bare minimum amount of time).

Hope that answers your questions, and that you all had a happy thanksgiving!

Ken
 

Ceicei

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akfathens said:
Promotion to first degree black belt is relatively rapid, generally averaging four years. Grand Master Kim views first degree black belts as students who have gone through the basics, and are now "ready to learn."
That is fairly quick. What are the color belt ranks and the average time at each rank? What are the summarized requirements of these ranks?

The general physical requirements demonstrated during a black belt promotion include proficiency in a series of fifteen forms (including a falling form and pinning form, as well as a personally developed weapons form), sparring, one steps, kicking and striking drills, escapes from various grabs, and whatever else the testing board (generally comprised of five or more masters as well as Grand Master Kim) wishes to see.
This seems to be a very extensive course of study. Which specific parts are learned initially at certain ranks? Does Grand Master Kim come to every black belt promotion? Is the federation small enough that allows him to go to these testings?

Promotion to higher degrees requires substantial investment of time (minimum of two years between first and second dan, three years between second and third) as well as teaching experience. Promotion to Master (5th dan in our Federation) also requires black belt rank in another art (generally Hapkido, Judo or Jujitsu), as well as substantial teaching experience and the required amount of time spent "in rank" (at this point something like eighteen years of total training time... and that's for someone who really kept their nose to the grindstone and promoted in the bare minimum amount of time).
Do students get hands-on training with teaching (assisting the black belts with the beginner level classes, for example) before becoming a black belt?

I understand Kyuki-Do also includes Tae Kwon Do. You mentioned that being promoted to 5th dan requires another black belt (usually in Hapkido, Judo, or Jujitsu). Is TKD already incorporated in Kyuki-Do that a separate black belt with TKD is not needed?

Thank you,

- Ceicei
 
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akfathens

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Ceicei said:
That is fairly quick. What are the color belt ranks and the average time at each rank? What are the summarized requirements of these ranks?
Our ranks are as follows:

White, Yellow Stripe, Yellow, Green Stripe, Green, Blue Stripe, Blue, Brown Stripe, Brown, Red, First Degree Black. Most schools hold tests every three months, and it is mandatory that between white and black a student skips a test (i.e. goes at least six months at a rank) before promoting again. This means that the minimum time requirements between white and black are 36 months (ten tests, one test every three months, two skipped tests). Of course, those are minimums... no one that I can think of off the top of my head has promoted that rapidly.

In my particular school, I run tests every two months or so (because I am relatively new and have a large number of beginning students, having more frequent tests works well). After the first belt or two, I start having students test every other available test, meaning they promote every four months or so. That slows down again at the higher ranks (testing to red and testing to black usually involve a minimum of six months between ranks), so we work out to about a four-year progression.

Rank requirements vary by school, but always include all of the forms the students have learned up to that point (one form per rank for white through brown stripe and two forms per rank for brown and red, plus a falling form and pinning form around green stripe and a personal weapons form around brown stripe or brown belt). Around green stripe, specific throws become a requirement, and around blue or so grappling, chokes and arm bars become a requirement. Of course there is also terminology, question and answer, one-steps, kicks and blocks.

Ceicei said:
This seems to be a very extensive course of study. Which specific parts are learned initially at certain ranks? Does Grand Master Kim come to every black belt promotion? Is the federation small enough that allows him to go to these testings?
In general the lower ranks are devoted largely to kicks and strikes (very similar to TKD). Around green stripe, Judo and grappling become more of a focus. For the most part, all elements of the art are represented throughout each rank, but the degree of complexity varies substantially.

As an example, a white belt promoting to yellow stripe needs to know five basic kicks, five basic blocks, three or four specific one-steps, escapes from a cross wrist and double wrist grab, form Kibon, the first pin (kesa gatame), seated back falls and prone side falls. As you can see, the breadth of the material is substantial (covering elements of TKD, Judo and Hapkido even at this low of a rank), but the depth is very limited at the low ranks.

Black belt promotions are held twice a year (sometimes three times) at Grand Master Kim's school in Elgin, Illinois (the western schools have a different protocol which I am not familiar with). Grand Master Kim does travel extensively, but for the tests everyone is expected to come to headquarters, so to speak. The average test group is between six and twenty-four students.

Ceicei said:
Do students get hands-on training with teaching (assisting the black belts with the beginner level classes, for example) before becoming a black belt?
Absolutely. My personal experience indicates that being responsible for teaching a technique develops a superior understanding of that technique. Furthermore, the elements of leadership, confidence and responsibility that come with teaching are very important. I usually let my students start to assist in the classroom, with me present, around the mid-ranks. Around brown belt I expect them to be capable of running portions of a class on their own (though I am always present in the school). At red belt they are expected to be able to run an entire class on their own if need be... though even then I am almost always in the dojang.

Ceicei said:
I understand Kyuki-Do also includes Tae Kwon Do. You mentioned that being promoted to 5th dan requires another black belt (usually in Hapkido, Judo, or Jujitsu). Is TKD already incorporated in Kyuki-Do that a separate black belt with TKD is not needed?
I am not 100% certain that a black belt in TKD would fulfill the requirement for Master's promotion. Because TKD forms the core of our style, I would imagine that a separate black belt in TKD would be at least somewhat redundant, particularly for someone who had attained or was close to attaining a 5th dan in Kyuki-Do. That is not at all intended to disparage TKD... it's just that the styles share so many similarities, and TKD techniques are so fully integrated into Kyuki-Do, that I would imagine the board of directors would want to see involvement with a style that would be more dissimilar and offer a greater variety of new material.

Again, I'm not positive about that. I'll check with my instructor and get back to you.

Best,

Ken
 

deadhand31

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My sister joined up at a Kyuki-do school in the Madison area, I need to say, it looks like a great school. The master there has a heavy knowledge base in jiu-jitsu, and from I have seen he looks like he really knows his stuff. Also, all the one steps I saw before watching their classes left me questioning the usefulness of one-steps. Then I saw how THEY do it. Their one-steps looked very practical, and quite fun.

There is also alot of weapons training at her school. I've seen people do the sai, bo, jo, kama, and nunchaku. Instead of the flashy, flamboyant whirly-twirly stuff, all the weapons usage was grounded in actual fighting with the weapon. I may actually make some trips out there to get private lessons with the instructor on the sai.
 
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akfathens

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Deadhand31,

Is that school in the Madison Wisconsin area? Do you know the name of the school and instructor?

I'm originally from Janesville (about 45 minutes away from Madison), and I plan on eventually returning to the area (probably to Madison itself). I wasn't aware of any Kyuki-Do schools in Madison proper, so I'm very curious about this one.

Best,

Ken
 

shesulsa

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Kom Map Sam Ni Da, Mr. Blumreich. Your responses have been very helpful and titillating!

For those who are interested in reading, here is a link to an article on GM Kim's recent seminar.

Respectfully,

Georgia Ketchmark
 

deadhand31

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akfathens said:
Deadhand31,

Is that school in the Madison Wisconsin area? Do you know the name of the school and instructor?

I'm originally from Janesville (about 45 minutes away from Madison), and I plan on eventually returning to the area (probably to Madison itself). I wasn't aware of any Kyuki-Do schools in Madison proper, so I'm very curious about this one.

Best,

Ken


Well, the school is actually in Janesville. Madison is a little more well known, which is why I said madison area. The school itself is called AKF Martial Arts, and it is run by Master Lloyd Holden. You said you were from Janesville, did you already train with Master Holden?

Also, for everyone who is looking for the site, it can be found here:

www.kyuki-do.com
 

Ceicei

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akfathens said:
I am not 100% certain that a black belt in TKD would fulfill the requirement for Master's promotion. Because TKD forms the core of our style, I would imagine that a separate black belt in TKD would be at least somewhat redundant, particularly for someone who had attained or was close to attaining a 5th dan in Kyuki-Do. That is not at all intended to disparage TKD... it's just that the styles share so many similarities, and TKD techniques are so fully integrated into Kyuki-Do, that I would imagine the board of directors would want to see involvement with a style that would be more dissimilar and offer a greater variety of new material.

Again, I'm not positive about that. I'll check with my instructor and get back to you.

Best,

Ken
Any further word?

I do have more questions for you, but I'll have to post them later on when I have more time. Thank you.

- Ceicei
 

Ceicei

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akfathens said:
Yes, for promotion to black belt a written paper and resume are required. The resume is to include all details of your testing history and participation in the art (including tournaments, seminars, Federation functions and so forth). The written paper varies by rank, but includes four or five short answer questions (things like "what are the legal implications of using martial arts in self defense") and one longer essay. The essay is generally an assigned topic, but there is some leeway allowed if a given student has a subject they particularly want to write about (one of my instructor's students -- a mathematician -- wrote an essay on the mathematical principles behind the generation of force for purposes of board breaking).
Do you ever have students who don't always remember everything needed to put down on their resumes, especially if it takes four years on average before reaching black belt? If that is not an issue, do you require them from the very beginning to keep a sort of a journal that would then help compile their experiences into a resume? I assume that there are careful record keeping of all federation functions to keep track of who attends. If so, a person who might not remember when would be able to find out, correct?

Are tournaments required as part of the rank advancement or is it an optional activity?

I find it interesting that the essay topics are usually assigned. What are some examples of such topics?
akfathens said:
The general physical requirements demonstrated during a black belt promotion include proficiency in a series of fifteen forms (including a falling form and pinning form, as well as a personally developed weapons form), sparring, one steps, kicking and striking drills, escapes from various grabs, and whatever else the testing board (generally comprised of five or more masters as well as Grand Master Kim) wishes to see.
I had a person ask me this question some time ago, "What are one-steps?" I didn't have an answer then since I do not study Kyuki-Do. How would you respond to that question?

Thank you,

- Ceicei
 
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Ash_MT

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akfathens said:
Hey Ash_mt,

Do you happen to have a literal translation of Jung Do? I get the gist of it (the right path, the proper way of thinking, speaking and acting, the teacher of life), but I'm not sure if I've ever heard an exact translation.

By the way, that is really neat that Grand Master Park speaks on ethics and morality before your classes. Does he do it before every class, or is it a more occasional thing?

Best,

Ken

By the way, I maintain a small forum over at akfathens.com. It isn't tremendously active, and a lot of it is devoted to school-specific criteria, but I wanted to offer you an invite to go ahead and join up if you are so inclined.
Hey Ken,

Sorry for the delay in replying, was busy with Thanksgiving stuff :) Unfortunately I don't have a literal translation of Jungdo. I was hoping it was on the little sheet of definitions I got in class one day but it's not :(

Yes, Grandmaster Park speaks at pretty much every class. I only remember one class where he didn't. His english isn't real great so sometimes he'll only speak for a few minutes and let one of the black belts expand on what he was saying. He actually usually runs most of the class generally after one of the black belts get us warmed up and stretched.

Thanks for the invitation to your board, I'll be sure to check it out :)
 
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akfathens

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Hello everyone,

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to reply to all of these; for some reason my e-mail notification hasn't been working.

Shesulsa said:
Kom Map Sam Ni Da, Mr. Blumreich. Your responses have been very helpful and titillating!

For those who are interested in reading, here is a link to an article on GM Kim's recent seminar.


You're very welcome! The picture in the article you linked is my instructor, Master Lloyd Holden.

Deadhand31 said:
Well, the school is actually in Janesville. Madison is a little more well known, which is why I said madison area. The school itself is called AKF Martial Arts, and it is run by Master Lloyd Holden. You said you were from Janesville, did you already train with Master Holden?

Also, for everyone who is looking for the site, it can be found here:

www.kyuki-do.com

Yes indeed! Master Holden is my instructor. I'm glad to hear that you liked what you saw.

If your sister is attending the AKF Christmas Party, maybe I'll see her.

I'm also glad to see that the Federation web site is back up. It's been down for several weeks now.

Ceicei said:
Any further word?

I do have more questions for you, but I'll have to post them later on when I have more time. Thank you.

I haven't had the opportunity to ask about whether a black belt in TKD would satisfy the Master's requirement yet, but I will be going back to Wisconsin and Illinois this weekend for the Federation Christmas Party I should get a chance to ask Master Holden then. If not, he'll be coming down to Georgia to run a Judo test for us the following weekend, so I'll definitely get an opportunity to ask then.

Ceicei said:
Do you ever have students who don't always remember everything needed to put down on their resumes, especially if it takes four years on average before reaching black belt? If that is not an issue, do you require them from the very beginning to keep a sort of a journal that would then help compile their experiences into a resume? I assume that there are careful record keeping of all federation functions to keep track of who attends. If so, a person who might not remember when would be able to find out, correct?

I encourage my students to keep track of things that should be included on their black belt resumes, since remembering everything can certainly be problematic. In the old handbook there was a log for compiling tournament experience, promotions and other experience, but it is no longer widely used.


I'm certain that the Federation retains records of tournament participation, but I've never heard of anyone requesting access to them for resume purposes; because we only host two tournaments a year, remembering which ones you attended isn't that hard.

In any case, the resumes are intended to provide a snapshot of the students career and experience rather than an exhaustive report, so approximate dates are generally considered acceptable.

Ceicei said:
Are tournaments required as part of the rank advancement or is it an optional activity?

Encouraged, but optional.

Ceicei said:
I find it interesting that the essay topics are usually assigned. What are some examples of such topics?

Off the top of my head, I remember that one of the long essay questions for promotion to first dan is something like "take one aspect of your martial arts training and explain how your understanding of it has changed over the course of your progression."

Ceicei said:
I had a person ask me this question some time ago, "What are one-steps?" I didn't have an answer then since I do not study Kyuki-Do. How would you respond to that question?

One-steps are a formalized introduction to self defense. Basic one-steps are set up with a designated attacker stepping forward and throwing a straight right punch to the defender, who moves, blocks and executes a countering technique. We start out by teaching specific counters for example, the first one-step we teach is to execute a left hand middle block while stepping forward into a left front stance and striking the attacker's face with a right hand palm heel off the rear leg.

There are some AKF videos here: http://www.kyuki-do.com/videos.htm. The first includes several one-steps that my instructor did at his 5th degree test.

Thanks again for all the interest!

Ken
 
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akfathens

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deadhand31 said:
If you go to day classes, you may end up seeing me, Ken. I spoke with Master Holden on Monday, and I plan on getting private lessons once or twice a month for the sai. I really look forward to them.
Excellent! I'll be back in Wisconsin for a couple of weeks around Christmas time, and I always make it a point to stop in and work out.

Master Holden is very good with the sai. He can do things with them that leave me wrinkling my forehead and thinking "whu... how... ?" =)

Best,

Ken
 

Ceicei

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Ken,

Thank you for explaining more about resumes and black belt essays. It is intriguing to me to find how other styles recommend their students for black belt promotion.

akfathens said:
One-steps are a formalized introduction to self defense. Basic one-steps are set up with a designated attacker stepping forward and throwing a straight right punch to the defender, who moves, blocks and executes a countering technique. We start out by teaching specific counters for example, the first one-step we teach is to execute a left hand middle block while stepping forward into a left front stance and striking the attacker's face with a right hand palm heel off the rear leg.

There are some AKF videos here: http://www.kyuki-do.com/videos.htm. The first includes several one-steps that my instructor did at his 5th degree test.
Ahh, ok! That makes sense to me. With Kenpo, we also do them. They're called techniques. Some are quite basic (especially among beginner levels) and then become more sophisticated (extended variations) with upper levels.

Thank you for the link.

As always, I enjoy your explanations to help me understand Kyuki-Do better. The reason why I am fascinated is because I am taking Judo through the local Royal West Kyuki-Do dojang. They did offer to let me take some Kyuki-Do or TKD or Hapkido classes for free. I had to decline as I'm training with Kenpo as a primary art and Judo as a secondary art, I've got a full plate.

- Ceicei
 
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