Terminology troubles

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Rough Rider

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Hey, guys, I'm back. Things have been crazy at work, so this little project has been on the back burner. Anyway, I have another one that has to do with titles. I know that Kwan Jang Nim is Grand Master or school owner. My study guide lists Sabum Nim as Master and that matches with most web sites I've checked, although some also say it means Instructor. Now it gets tricky. The next listing is Sa Boo Nim for Instructor. So, we have two different, but similar, names for Master and Instructor. Has anybody heard of Sa Boo Nim before?
 

TrueJim

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...The next listing is Sa Boo Nim for Instructor. So, we have two different, but similar, names for Master and Instructor. Has anybody heard of Sa Boo Nim before?

I have seen websites that claim "sa boo nim" means grandmaster. For what it's worth, Google Translate translates 禺 as "judge". So I guess "sa boo nim" and "kwan hang nim" could both be translated as "grandmaster". In the one case, it would mean something like "respected judge" whereas in the latter case it would mean something like "respected school director".

As others have pointed out, the suffix "nim" is just an honorific...kinda like appending "sir" to the end of the title (or prefixing the title with "respected"). So for example, Google Translate says that "sa bum" 禺 alone means "master". So "sa bum nim" would be like "master sir" or "respected master".

It would be interesting to see a complete list of all the various words used in taekwondo for instructor, master, and grandmaster.

Also, as an aside, recently I was taught that "seonbi nim" is how you might address somebody who has a higher belt rank than you: like a 2nd dan addressing a 3rd dan. You might recognize the word seonbi from the shape of the floor pattern for the Koryo poomsae (the Chinese character for seonbi, also the name of a ruler/warrior class in ancient Koguryo).
 
OP
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As others have pointed out, the suffix "nim" is just an honorific...kinda like appending "sir" to the end of the title (or prefixing the title with "respected").
Yes, I'm well aware of that.

Also, as an aside, recently I was taught that "seonbi nim" is how you might address somebody who has a higher belt rank than you: like a 2nd dan addressing a 3rd dan.
We use Sun Bae Nim for senior belt, which seems similar and may be another poor romanization.

I should also note that we don't really go around addressing each other by these titles- we usually use the English version. For example, "Master Jones, can you help me with my form?" or "All yellow belts, go to the back with Instructor Smith." The titles come into play when we're bowing in and out of class. "Face Master Jones. Cha-reut. Sabum Nim kkeh. Kyung-nye." "Face Instructor Smith. Cha-reut. Sa Boo Nim kkeh. Kyung-nye."
 

KangTsai

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Hey, guys, I'm back. Things have been crazy at work, so this little project has been on the back burner. Anyway, I have another one that has to do with titles. I know that Kwan Jang Nim is Grand Master or school owner. My study guide lists Sabum Nim as Master and that matches with most web sites I've checked, although some also say it means Instructor. Now it gets tricky. The next listing is Sa Boo Nim for Instructor. So, we have two different, but similar, names for Master and Instructor. Has anybody heard of Sa Boo Nim before?
Finally. Saboo is the same word as 'shifu.' It basically means 'master.' Usage context is... Unclear. Rarely used.
 

KangTsai

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Yes, I'm well aware of that.


We use Sun Bae Nim for senior belt, which seems similar and may be another poor romanization.

I should also note that we don't really go around addressing each other by these titles- we usually use the English version. For example, "Master Jones, can you help me with my form?" or "All yellow belts, go to the back with Instructor Smith." The titles come into play when we're bowing in and out of class. "Face Master Jones. Cha-reut. Sabum Nim kkeh. Kyung-nye." "Face Instructor Smith. Cha-reut. Sa Boo Nim kkeh. Kyung-nye."
Saboo sounds awkward used in that context. Also technically it's gyeong-re but phonicised writing + English butchering has gotten to that it seems.
 

Earl Weiss

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For ITF Stylists. Boo Sa Bum = Assistant Instructor 1-3rd Degree, Sa Bum = Instructer 4-6 Degree, Sa Hyung = Master Instructor 7-8 Degree, Sa Sung = Grandmaster 9th Degree. These are useages and Sa Sung is not a literal translation.
 

WaterGal

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Hey, guys, I'm back. Things have been crazy at work, so this little project has been on the back burner. Anyway, I have another one that has to do with titles. I know that Kwan Jang Nim is Grand Master or school owner. My study guide lists Sabum Nim as Master and that matches with most web sites I've checked, although some also say it means Instructor. Now it gets tricky. The next listing is Sa Boo Nim for Instructor. So, we have two different, but similar, names for Master and Instructor. Has anybody heard of Sa Boo Nim before?

My understanding is that calling a high-level martial arts teacher "master" is a Western affectation, and that Sahbum does, properly, mean teacher.

I've heard of a number of different terms used for assistant/junior/lower-ranked instructor (at schools in the US headed by a Korean instructor) - I'm not sure which is the correct one, or if there's more than one correct one.
 
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