Proper Body Connection

In order to have proper body connection, it is important that each member of the body works together as one harmonious unit.  Kwan Jang Nim Hwang often teaches the concept of “chain of command”.  The chain of command begins with your mind (general).  Your mind, or general, only speaks directly with your huri (waist).  Your waist is your physical center of gravity and should be the pivot point for all movement.  Nothing moves until your waist does.  The rest of your body must react to the movement of your huri.

This concept is imperative to proper technique.  Without it, your body does not move as a harmonious mass, and your technique will become disjointed and lack power, poise, and precision.    It will lack power because your full body mass is not behind your movement, only a fraction of your mass is.  You will also lack poise because your body will be off center.  It’s impossible stay balanced and keep the base of the spine erect if you do not move from your waist.  Failing to move from your waist will also lead to a lack of precision in your movement because you will be incapable of following proper commands from your commander–your mind.

Once your body reacts to the actions of your waist, pay attention to both your elbows and knees, which are the sergeants.  The sergeants talk directly with your waist, as to bring order and discipline to your technique.  For example, while executing a choong dan kong kyuk, your elbow should make direct contact with your huri as it passes from the chamber position to the target.  Failing to do so, will cause your punch to have a glancing blow against the target.

Your soldiers in turn are your weapons (hands and feet).  As long as you follow the proper chain of command of mind -> waist -> elbow/knee -> hand/foot, think of your waist as your wrist, and your limb as a leather whip.  Don’t force the technique with muscular strength.  Think of the way you would crack a whip.  Jus as you would keep your wrist loose, and with sudden quickness, snap your wrist, you should also snap your waist into position as youu execute a technique.  Your limb will then naturally snap into position, reacting to the twist of your waist.  The most important thing you can remember is that your weapon reacts to the movement of your waist.  Your waist initiates the movement.

Custom Embroidered Ko Dan Ja (Master) Belts

belt.jpgI tested for my 4th Dan this past summer at the Ko Dan Ja Shim Sa in Ramona, California.  I’ve been looking all over the place for a company that specializes in custom embroidery for master belts.  It’s not easy to find brands that make midnight blue belts rather than the more common black belt.  It’s even harder to find midnight blue belts with a solid red stripe like the ones used in Soo Bahk Do to denote a master.   For example, http://awma.com has the belts but doesn’t do embroidery.  After a lot of searching, I finally found this website:  http://www.eosinpanther.com/.

Not only does this website sell midnight blue belts with solid red stripes, but also does custom embroidery and translation of Korean, Japanese, and Chinese.  There’s even examples of Soo Bahk Do master belts.  Everyone who is promoted to 4th dan in Soo Bahk Do should be able to find this site, even though I had never heard of it!  The formats are exactly what I was looking for!

The belt I ordered was close to $100, but the quality can’t be topped!  All belts are handmade right here in the USA.  Even the embroidery is done by hand rather than by a computer, giving your belt a real craftsmanship to it.

Take Care of Your Do Bok (Uniform)

My students have been struggling with tying their own belts, so I’m providing this link to help.

Please remember to take care of your do bok. White do boks can be bleached. Never wash your belt. The wear and tear of your belt is a symbol of your past training that stay with you throughout your life. Washing your belt is akin to abandoning your past accomplishments.