Soo Bahk Do in a Teenager's Life

Last summer when I started Soo Bahk Do.  I was a wimpy slouched over kid. I was just coming off a school year were I had to switch schools twice do too kids picking on me. I was really shy and did not have a lot of confidence in my self. My Mom wanted me to do a Martial Art. After hearing about Wasatch Martial Arts I decided to start. Now I am testing for green belt and I cant help but look back and see how amazing it has been and what I have taken away from the class.

I have noticed when walking down the hallways how my posture has changed. I used to hunch over and stroll down the hallways and I looked like and easy target. When starting Soo Bahk Do I was pushed to have a better posture. Now I notice when I walk down the halls of West High I no longer slouch. I feel like this proud young man.

I have also learned how to defend my self. In 8th and 9th grade I was constantly picked on. Kids would make fun of my voice, push me over, and punch me and many other things. I am glad to say that at West that has not happened but if it were I would know how to defend my self.  If someone where to punch me out of the blue it makes me happy that I would know what to do.

Soo Bahk Do has also made me think more about philosophy. How there are the heavens, the earth, the fire and water. And how those are all incorporated. How strength does not come from ones arm but from the waste. I just think that is fascinating.

While reading over my paper it hit my what Soo Bahk do is to me. It is not a sport, activities or a hobby. To me Su Bahk Do is a way of life. The impacts that it has on all aspects of my life. Training in Su Bahk Do has so many more implications than maybe just playing basketball. That what makes Soo Bahk Do so special and how it makes me proud to be a person who trains in Soo Bahk Do.

— Written by Jack Schweibert, 6th Gup Soo Bahk Do

Grace – Cho Dan Essay

What Soo Bahk Do Means To Me

Grace - Cho Dan
Soo Bahk Do means a lot to me. Soo Bahk Do has helped me become a stronger person both mentally and physically.  Soo Bahk Do has helped me mentally because, I have to do things in Soo Bahk Do that I wouldn’t normally think I can do but when I try I am able to do it. If I didn’t have my mind telling me that I can’t do something I wouldn’t be troubled by the voice in my head saying “stop that’s wood” for me I just need to get over the voice that says that. Although I need to work on that still Soo Bahk has helped me a lot with that. Soo Bahk Do has helped me physically because I have gotten so much stronger and more flexible. My whole body has definitely gotten stronger, I am able to do pushups and situps more easily. When I am stronger I feel better about myself and I feel as if the better I feel about myself the more confident I am about myself the better I do while training Soo Bahk Do. My flexibility has also increased and although I am not the most flexible person I will continue to work on it. Soo Bahk Do has become part of my life, in fact it has become a lifestyle. I used to just go to class and only think about it right before and right after class but now I often think about how what I’m doing will help me during Soo Bahk Do. I think I have kept on training Soo Bahk Do for all these years because I really love it! I started Soo Bahk Do when I was five in Sun Valley, Idaho with Master Whitcomb when I moved back from Sun Valley to Salt Lake City I was disappointed that I could not do Soo Bahk Do any more. When I was in third grade Master Corrales decided to open his own school in Salt Lake City when I heard that I was very excited. Even though sometimes I feel as if it is too hard I know that it is making me stronger and that stronger is better. Soo Bahk Do has also helped me in life out of Soo Bahk Do because I have missed a lot of soccer for Soo Bahk Do and even though I am missing soccer I have gotten in shape for soccer while I am training Soo Bahk Do. When I go to soccer we have to do sit-ups if we mess up and I find that they are a lot easier to do after training Soo Bahk Do because we do sit-ups in Soo Bahk Do. Soo Bahk Do has also helped me a lot in my school life. It has helped me be more disciplined with my homework and school work. I have learned how to be able to work really hard at something even though it is hard or I do not want to do it. This is a great lesson for me because it would be only too easy to give up a lot of things just because I am struggling with them,  instead if I stick with things I will get good at them and then they become more fun. Through my Soo Bahk experience I have met Master Corrales, Mr. Snarr and Mr. Rios. They all have helped me to progress and become the martial artist that I am. Master Corrales is definitely one of the reasons I have continued to train Soo Bahk Do. He has helped me a lot. He has told me that he will only let me test for my Dan if I am ready. He said I am ready to test and I believe him. He has helped me especially to understand that I am going to need a balance in my schedule because I have so much going on. He told me, “You can’t run too fast for too long eventually you have to slow down.” Master Corrales has also helped me to understand that there is so much more to Soo Bahk Do than just going to class and training because you have to have a balanced diet also. Having to have a balanced diet for Soo Bahk Do is an excuse to have a balanced diet in life and that is really good for me. Sa Bom Nim Corrales told our class that our plate of food should always be colorful and that if it is naturally colorful it is most likely a very healthy meal. Mr. Snarr is a very exciting person that is very fun to train with because he makes sure that I know that he is there to help me achieve my Dan. Mr. Snarr has helped me because he has helped me to understand that breaking is just breaking a big piece of paper. He. Mr. Rios has helped set an example of what I need to look like because he truly is a Dan. I have found that when I train Soo Bahk Do if I was tired or not feeling well before I often feel better after I train. Soo Bahk Do is a sort of healing method for me. I think Soo Bahk Do is a very good thing for me to do when I don’t feel so good because it is a natural way to feel better. For me I am always very proud when people say they do karate or something and I can say that I do Soo Bahk Do because Soo Bahk Do is special and it is not just about fighting there is an art to it and it is as if it is almost a dance. I feel like sometimes you are peaceful while training Soo Bahk Do and sometimes you are not. Training can help me deal with my problems.  I like the balance of the two because training one way can help me deal with one problem I might have and training the other way can help me deal with another problem. Overall, Soo Bahk Do has become one of the things that I hope to continue because I hope that if I continue training I will continue to become a better and stronger person. Soo Bahk!

What Soo Bahk Do Means to Mia

By MiaBella Brickey

Age 12, Cho Dan

Mia's first time wearing her dobok as a Cho Dan.

Ms. MiaBella Brickey is our senior Cho Dan with a unique story. She is an inspiration to many in our community and a joy in the dojang. Below is her essay she wrote during her Cho Dan test:

What Soo Bahk Do means to me is strength (I have become much stronger), balance (I have learned how to be ‘heavy’ or ‘light’), safety (I have learned how to protect myself), being prepared (I have learned to be one step ahead of my opponent), and making good decisions (I have learned how to do the right thing). I started Soo Bahk Do in third grade. What it meant to me then is very much different from what is means to me today. Back then, Soo Bahk was a class for me to go to every week and it was something I liked doing with my friends. I had fun pairing up with my friends and working on my ‘one-steps’. I thought it was something I was just going to try, I didn’t know that I would keep training. I didn’t think that I was good enough to become a red belt. I grew to love and understand the art, but really I did not realize the deeper meaning of Soo Bahk Do until I was a green belt. As I became stronger and as my understanding of the art grew, I found myself loving it more and more. I started to realize that I could become a black belt and I began to feel more confidence in my abilities. I began to believe that I was actually good at it!

My class and I ended up with the opportunity to go to California where I competed in a sparring competition. I hadn’t done a lot of sparring and in my final bout I was paired with a boy who was older and bigger than I was. I was scared and nervous, but did my best. Although I did not win, I did win third place! I was so proud of myself! Soo Bahk Do has helped shape me to become the person I am today. Master Corrales has helped me to understand and embrace the concept of “peaceful confidence”, and has helped me with my flexibility and my overall fitness. I have become stronger by being disciplined with my forms and my stances and in becoming healthier by respecting my body and eating correctly every day. What I mean is, I have been eating healthy food not junk food. That is why you don’t want to do drugs and drink to much alcohol because what you eat or drink plays a big role in your life! You have to understand that everybody has their bad days and everybody has had the thought of not wanting to go to class or even wanting to quit. I’ve had those days, but I have never thought about quitting. Soo Bahk Do is too important to me. Every time I would think about that, I would say to myself, “Are you really just going to give up like that?” or “Is that really the best sidekick I can do?” Knowing that I am almost a black belt, I think that giving up now would be the worst decision I’ve ever made. I’m so close and I’ve worked so hard to get this far that I can’t even imagine quitting. That’s not the kind of person I am. For example, there used to be six of us that were testing in April and I remember Master Gibbons calling us the six pack… Now there’s only four of us, and were all extremely excited to accomplish something that we’ve all been working on for so long. My friends that are testing with me are awesome when it comes to supporting you, they help me when I need it, they give me advice when I ask for it. Soo Bahk Do is something I look forward to every week and I enjoy it a lot. Master Brian Corrales has inspired me for so long, and Mr. Snarr has taught me to be confident in myself. Mr. Rios is what I want to look like when I’m an E-Dan and I will always look up to him. He is always working hard and giving class a lot of effort. He is usually the one that is sweating the most after class. And he stinks. 🙂 Mr. Snarr always shows incredible discipline and is a huge mentor. He is always encouraging me with my breaks and helps me polish my technique. Master Corrales is the master of discipline. He expects and encourages 110% from me every day. Master Corrales is also a great mentor. Master Corrales has helped me to believe that a person’s physical size is not as important as ones mental strength and determination. He has taught me that through hard work and discipline that I can become anything I want to be. Soo Bahk Do has also helped me with my schoolwork. For example, I used to hate taking tests. I would get so worked up over them and because of the pressure; I would not do very well. Soo Bahk Do has taught me that if I try hard enough and set my mind to it, I can do it, and I can succeed.

Soo Bahk Do is like another world for me. I can go to class and just forget about my day, or my problems. I become one with the art. I think that some day Soo Bahk Do will not only change my life but it will help me to change the lives of other people, too.

I think that every body should try to do Soo Bahk Do. I think it will change a lot of people’s minds about Martial Arts. A lot of people think its just kicks and punches and fighting. But really it’s not! It is so much more. It is a way of life. It is a way of being successful and a way of being healthy throughout life. Soo Bahk Do is one of the best decisions I ever made. Master Corrales told me, “You can’t run too fast for too long.” He told me that because I have a busy schedule. I know that sooner or later I will not be continuing with one of my sports, but I hope I can continue Soo Bahk for a very long time. I am very lucky to be able to train Soo Bahk Do and I’m very lucky that I have such a great instructor.

That is what Soo Bahk Do means to me.

A Student's Perspective of Soo Bahk Do Philosophy

Dear Corrales Sa Bom Nim,

The three key concepts I will specify are 1)CHUNG JIK; Honesty 2)SHIN CHOOK; Tension Relaxation and 3)CHUNG SHIN TONG IL; Concentration. These three concepts are my favorites at this time in my MOO DO training because I feel it impossible to assess my past, presence, and future performance without being honest with myself and others. As I face a SHIM SA I must concentrate on the skills necessary for advancement and balance that concentration with the wisdom of the SIP SAM SEH; ‘Bent and stretched, open and closed, Let nature take its course…Skill will take care of itself.’ The natural and essential movement of my lungs teaches me of the continual concept of SHIN CHOOK.

The benefits of the eight key concepts are the high definition and unity they bring as a SOO BAHK DO practitioner incorporates them into his art. They are the keys to WEH GONG, NEH GONG, and SHIM GONG. One of the key concepts-HIM CHO CHUNG; Control of power directly expresses this benefit. Without YONG GI; Courage, IN NEH; Endurance, and KYUM SON; Humility-the combat is over before it begins. In order to fight in justice and rightness we must fight as God gives us the light to see right, then our action philosophy takes over and we preserve life and freedom with the appreciate movement, applying the key concept of WAN GUP; Speed Control.

1975 seems like a pivotal time in the history of SOO BAHK DO MOO DUK KWAN in the United States and around the world, as our style and school reached a more perfect unity and standard. While Kwang Ja Nim Hwang Kee studied ancient texts and different martial art styles, the Federation and Dan pedigrees ensured a tradition with a heritage and a future.

The five MOO DO values are driven for me by KI SOOL; Technique- because of the detail and precision of movement which pushes my mind to remember the history; YEOK SA, appreciate the Tradition; JON TONG, and live by the Philosophy; CHUL HAK, as I work and learn in the DO JANG, where I balance Discipline/Respect; NEH KHANG WEH YU, and develop etiquette with others.

The Ten Articles of Faith on Mental Training are harmonized in the three flags we salute before any training. I am an American and saluting this flag reminds me of my loyalty to my country, obedience to my parents, and love for my wife, all who are Americans and many who were American soldiers. Saluting the Republic of Korea flag reminds me to cooperate with my brothers, respect my elders, be a faithful student and teacher, and be faithful with friends. And lastly, saluting our flag reminds me to face combat in justice and honor, never retreating, and finishing what I start.

James R. Jefferies
Your student

Courage by Eoghan

The following essay was written by Eoghan Knibbe (10 years old) for his red belt test:

Courage is something that everyone needs to grow and progress. Without courage, we cannot earn the rank of our age. A forty year old might have the progression of an infant if he has no courage. We need courage to break through the mental barriers leading to maturation. Some barriers may be thicker than others, but we can get through them all if we have enough courage to break them down. Soo Bahk Do is a great trainer of courage. It teaches you not to be afraid to surge forward in life.

It teaches us how to build up strength to go uphill instead of downhill. A board may not be exactly the same as a mental barrier, but they definitely complement each other. It takes the same courage to do a class presentation, that it does to get up and break a board. This is how I add the courage aspect into my daily life.

Yong Gi

By: Libby Hunt


Yong Gi is the Korean way of saying courage. Yong Gi means a lot. It means standing up for yourself and your friends, not running away from your fears, holding that pose until your arms and legs sting with pain. That is Yong Gi!


I try to show Yong Gi in Soo Bahk Do. It’s harder than you think it is! When we are just standing, I try not to fidget, I try to focus. When we have to hold a pose, I try not to let my arms drop and I try to look straight ahead. I also have a fear of breaking boards. I think that I will hurt my foot or I won’t break it. That is a fear I have to face to be a 3rd gup.


I have used Yong Gi all my life. I had to tell my friend to include me. I had to go up in front of the whole school and do a form for Putting on the Arts. I had to go up in front of my whole acting class and sing a song. But, after I did all these scary things, I realized they are fun.   My friend now includes me and I have more fun.


 I think Yong Gi is important because if you never face your fears you’ll never learn how to get past them. It’s important to get past your fears because you need to have fun in life. I try to use Yong Gi a lot at Soo Bahk Do and at home.  I will try.              



Moo Do By Jacob Jefferies (4th Gup)

There are many parts of moo do that we’ve learned about in Soo Bahk Do training such as courage (yong gi), concentration (chung shin tong il), endurance (in neh), honesty (chung jik), and humility (kyum son).

First, I am focusing on concentration (chung shin tong il). I have been concentrating on having better stances in class and on learning new forms. Concentrating also helps me be more prepared and when I’m prepared, people look up to me. My teachers reward me for my hard work. When I concentrate I don’t have to do extra work. When I concentrate in piano I can play better. When I concentrate when I’m shooting baskets I can get more points. When I concentrate when making scrambled eggs they don’t get burnt. When I concentrate on carving, my fingers don’t get cut. When I’m concentrating on breaking boards, I don’t get bruises and I can break the boards. When concentrating, you get lots of confidence.

Honesty (chung jik) is another part of Soo Bahk Do that I try to always do. Even though if you do something wrong you may get punished, you can learn with the mistake you made. You can be rewarded by being honest. If you don’t tell the truth the first time, the problem grows and you get into a bigger heap of trouble. If you tell the truth the first time, you don’t have to get in all this trouble. Sometimes, I don’t practice piano like I should, but when my mom asks me about it, I tell the truth. My mom isn’t disappointed in me when I’m honest. People can trust you when you’re honest. One time at school, I was playing freeze tag with some friends. I wasn’t honest about being frozen and they figured it out and I had to be “it”. From this, I learned a lesson.

Finally, I want to talk about courage (yong gi). I showed courage in church by bearing my testimony in sacrament meeting this month. There were a lot of people there, maybe 350 people. I was happy to share my testimony even though it was a big group and I had to walk up to the stand by myself. Other kids followed my example.

I think I should advance to 3rd Gup (red belt). I want to finish what I started. I feel motivated to go to my destination. Soo Bahk Do makes me feel better by letting me focus and know something about self-defense. I feel good about Soo Bahk Do and that I should keep trying. When I do this – when I finish, I go on to the next thing, the next level and try harder. This is why I think I should be a red belt.

How I have reflected the Moo Do Philosophy in my life – Joshua Jefferies (4th Gup)

In my life I have reflected Moo Do in many ways. I have always done this, but even more so after joining Soo Bahk Do Moo Do Kwan. These are some ways of showing Moo Do in my life.

Showing respect to others is very important in Soo Bak and in life. I try to show respect to my parents, teachers, and peers whenever possible. I do this by obeying my elders and following what they tell me to do. A recent way I have showed this was last Friday when a guest came to stay at our house over the weekend. I was home alone and although I did not want to help clean and prepare for this person, I did want them to be in a clean environment. It was a last minute job that I probably could have avoided but I did not complain, did my jobs well, and I even asked if there was anything else I could do to help. By doing this, my mom and I were able to finish the jobs we needed to do.

I am loyal to my friends and other peers by helping them and listening to what they have to say. I am trying to improve on this right now. As Assistant Senior Patrol Leader in my scout troop, our Senior Patrol Leader and I have been trying to encourage another scout to come more often. We are now planning a campout directed towards him to encourage him in scouting. We hope this will get him more involved so we can be better friends.

By following Moo Do I learn and grow in many ways. I have learned Yong Gi (courage), Chung Shin Tong Il (concentration), In Neh (Endurance), Chun Jik (honesty), and other values. I practice these every day, but I worked on honesty just last night, as I was looking for a book I accidently saw our web protection password. I knew that for my safety that this was not something that I should know. I told my parents about how I had seen the password on accident and she changed the password, this experience helped me be more honest, and helped me to be safe.

I also have really been working on my humility and on finishing what I have started. I recently showed this in my schoolwork. About three weeks ago although I did not want to admit that I was failing my History and Math classes and was almost in denial. But I humbled myself to the advice of my parents and teachers and worked hard. I did not want to fail those classes so I voluntarily stayed after school, redid my assignments, and did extra credit work. The term ended this past Friday and I passed both classes with B’s.

Because of Moo Do I have been able to learn many special things about Soo Bahk and other things in life. These values and concepts have helped prepare me for my rank advancement and I think I am ready both mentally and physically for this test. I am ready to take on the responsibility of a red belt and realize that I am someone else’s pier and someone else’s elder and truly believe that I can help others the way I have been helped .This understanding has and will also help me go further in Soo Bahk Do and other fields of life.