We began as a small club receiving private instruction from Mr. Ui Jung Kim,
a sixth degree black belt from Korea. Mr. Kim was trained in the
original martial form of Tae Kwon Do, long before it was reorganized into
the more sport-oriented form commonly found today. He was not a
professional martial artist, but simply a local business owner looking for
like-minded individuals with whom he could share his experience. We
embraced his training, appreciating its purity. Many of us continued
the practice and have been perfecting our skills for over 30 years.
The original club is still active.
In addition, many of us teach privately. We are also looking forward
to expanding the experience into additional clubs as time allows.
What Sets Us Apart:
As you examine our methods, beliefs, and teachings, you will find we are
quite different from other Tae Kwon Do schools. To start with, our
target audience is adults. Most of the money in martial arts today is
in teaching children. There you will find large picture windows, big
trophy cases, a rainbow of belt colors, and a goal of someday achieving
black belt. We have found that most adults aren't interested in
learning point-sparring for tournaments. The adult martial artist is
looking for more private instruction in a self-defense oriented style where
they can learn how to survive a fight.
Do you teach sparring? Of
course. It is a necessary part of training, allowing students to
practice defense and attack. Our adult form is quite different.
Where as most modern day schools focus on accumulating points (any
significant contact will suffice), we strive toward devastating strikes.
In addition, our rules more resemble those of an actual fight -- meaning
joint locks, chokes, and take-downs are all legal and turning your back on
your sparring partner in an attempt to suspend the match is not recommended.
We are a truly power-based style.
What does that mean? No flashy flying kicks -- those can get you
arrested in a public altercation. Our techniques are low to the
ground, fast, hit hard, and are often subtle to onlookers. Our
philosophy is very straight forward. We do not block a punch to
deflect it. We block with the intention of breaking the arm (so they
won't throw it again).
This sounds pretty brutal... What
about injuries? As with any high-impact activity, we do have our
share of injuries but they are not common place. If we were training for
tournaments our focus would be on speed and tactics. Since this art
form focuses on power, all of our training sessions blend an even amount of
practice in both force and control. The learning curve is longer, but
you end up with extremely effective techniques and the ability to choose the
level of damage you believe is appropriate.
What about the smaller adult?
Welcome! We are not about being big and muscular. We are about
focus and power. When Tae Kwon Do changed to a more sport-oriented art
form, they discarded (or greatly reduced) their methods of teaching power.
It simply became less important as it does not significantly improve the
chances of winning a tournament. We have retained these skills and
integrate them into all of the techniques. Students discover that
power not only comes from muscle, but also from focus, grounding, and
energy. Periodically a new student will challenge the idea of
"energy", necessitating a physical demonstration. Our 5'6" instructor
takes great joy in throwing this large individual across the room.
What else was lost when Tae Kwon Do
went to sport? Self defense, joint locks, arm bars, chokes,
take-downs, nerve techniques, and targeting vulnerable areas. Energy
work seems to have become a lost art, as well as methods of surviving a
heavy strike. We still practice all of these.
We teach a truly martial form of Tae Kwon
Do, with an emphasis on self-defense. We believe that avoiding or
escaping a fight is the best way to win, and only use the skills if we have
no other choice. We live in integrity and hold ourselves accountable
for our actions.
Welcome to martial arts for grown-ups.
Mr. Kim believed that a martial art is something to share with community; In
its practice, we benefit society as a whole (see
Philanthropy). None of the instructors
within our organization are professional martial artists. We believe
that a martial art is all about intention, and turning it into a profitable
endeavor negates its true form. In the outside business of martial
arts it is very common to have skilled individuals open schools with a goal
of keeping true to their art. In the beginning, the art is the focus
and the money is a distraction. Unfortunately, over time that
reverses. The money becomes the focus, and the art form is now the
We actively promote the idea of moving martial
from its current connection to capitalistic gains, and bring it back to its
origins; a method of creating a community of safety and integrity. We plan
to accomplish this by establishing not-for-profit clubs, managed by dedicated
educators, with a goal of providing these skills to any adult who has the
desire to learn.
Currently, none of our instructors charge
for teaching classes.
Han Moo Kwan Tae Kwon Do:
Tae Kwon Do is based on an ancient Korean fighting art and means “The Way of
the Feet and Hands.” The style of Tae Kwon Do practiced by our club
from Han Moo Kwan (a military form of Tae Kwon Do). Mr. Ui Jung Kim,
sixth-degree black belt, was our founding chief instructor. He passed away
in January of 1999. The foundation of our techniques includes strikes,
kicks, blocks, self-defense, sparring, and hyung (commonly called “forms” in
English, and “kata” in Japanese).
Our Han Moo Kwan clubs retain the traditional style and philosophy taught to
Mr. Kim in the 1950s, before the unification of the Kwans (schools) into the
World TaeKwonDo Federation (WTF). Unlike WTF, which markets its training
toward younger students desiring to achieve through competition (sport),
this form addresses the needs of the adult who wishes to practice a power
form designed for personal combat. This fighting art is used strictly for
self-defense using only bare hands and feet, no weaponry, to fend off
The physical (body) aspect of our training provides the student with an
aerobic and anaerobic workout. Other benefits include increased flexibility,
improved balance, and strength training. The mental (mind) aspect of the art
form teaches power and focus. Other benefits include stress reduction and
increased self-confidence. The discipline of blending these body-mind
skills is based on a respect for oneself and others.
Han Moo Kwan Tae Kwon Do uses traditional rankings with a limited set of belt colors
including white, green, blue, brown, and black (in various degrees). At the
end of each semester, students demonstrate their skills through
formal testing. They are then awarded their new rank, and often treated to a
Although the art form is often seen as “harsh”, the clubs retain their
underlying goal of building community. Studied by men and women, the young
and not so young, a strong sense of camaraderie develops among club members.
Han Moo Kwan Meaning:
The word Han is the South Korea name for Korea, the word Moo means Military
or Martial, and the word Kwan means School or Hall; together Han Moo Kwan
means "Korean Military School".
The Han Moo Kwan Tae Kwon Do Emblem:
The emblem contains the symbols of the Han Mu Gymnasium, a connection to the
school where Mr. Kim was trained. The emblem contains a "V"; for victory,
olive leaves for peace, and a dragon for power.
for the history of the original club (.pdf file)