The State of California has re-issued the mandate to close all indoor fitness activities, which includes martial arts studios. Practicing social distancing, adhering to the CDC recommendations of wearing personal protective masks and gloves has failed to resonate with the American people. As we watch the number of COVID-19 cases increase across the country, we must ask ourselves, why? Why is this great nation falling so far behind the rest of the world in containing this deadly virus?
DeJohnette Martial Arts Academy will resume ZOOM-only classes beginning Saturday, July 18, 2020. Students will be advised of the new days and times for online training.
The State of California has lifted the ban on in-person training in gyms, fitness centers and karate schools. “Social distancing,” wearing masks and tennis shoes are all required while training. Our studio will re-open on Tuesday June 16th. I am looking forward to getting back into the dojang, in-person with my students. However, the pandemic has severely altered the way we train. In order to maintain safety, partner drills, including sparring and self-defense grappling will be performed as stand-alone drills. The training emphasis will be placed on development of basic techniques, flexibility and strength training, forms and their potential applications.
The evaluation of gup students (white to 3rd degree red belt) during testing gives the Instructor an understanding of the students’ true progress and development. Areas where more training is needed are observed and noted by the students’ master. Gup tests are administered every 2 – 3 months, and can last 2 – 3 hours depending on the number of testing candidates. Students must demonstrate good Technique in their performance, and show Discipline and Respect throughout the entire test. Testing areas for gups include:
Gi Cho (basics) – consists of various kicks, strikes and blocks in combination
Il Soo Sik (one-step sparring) – consists of eighteen defend and counter partner drills
Ho Sin Sool (self-defense) – consists of various break away defenses, wrist and joint locks, sweeps and take-downs
Hyung (forms) – includes the three basic forms, the five Pyong Ahn forms, Bassai, the first three Chil Sung forms, and Nai Han Ji Cho Dan
Kyok Pa (board breaking) – various techniques are used in board breaking to demonstrate speed (Wan Gup), power (Him Cho Chung), focus (Chung Shin Tong Il), and courage (Yong Gi)
In Neh (endurance) – consists of a series of speed punches, rapid kicks and various calisthenics performed in rapid succession for 30 seconds to one minute
Testing of gup students is conducted by a masters’ panel (Shim Sa Ko Nim) in the studio. Dan (1st to 3rd degree black belt) tests are conducted at the Region 9 Dan Shim Sa with masters and studio owners from California, Nevada and Hawaii in attendance. The results of the tests are submitted to the National Headquarters of the U.S. Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation in Springfield, New Jersey, where they are evaluated. Official certificates of promotion are issued to studio owners and distributed to students in a traditional ceremony.
Soo Bahk Do combines elements of Shotokan Karate, Su Bak, Taekyon, Tai Chi and Kung Fu into one dynamic martial art.. The Ko Dan Ja or Sa Bom Nim who teaches this art, will add his or her own personal style to the varied techniques, one steps, combinations and hyung. This is called Ryu Pa. Translated, it means "river flows down divided." From Teacher to Student, from Master to Disciple, the river flows, taking the path of least resistance. The river represents both the flow of knowledge, and the spirit of the Dao.
The next Gup test is scheduled for Saturday, September 29th at 3:00 PM. Parents and students should arrive at least 45 minutes early to complete the registration process. Students must also turn in their pre-test documents before the test (i.e., “Bad Habit,” “Citizenship”). To receive an official Certified Moo Duk Kwan Rank Promotion Certificate, students must be currently enrolled and in good standing with the Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation. Expired memberships will result in certification rejection. (Click Here for Federation Membership)
See Master DeJohnette if you have any questions regarding the testing requirements.
Four students tested on Saturday June 16, 2018 at DeJohnette Martial Arts Academy. Two white belts, an orange and a red belt performed all the required portions of the shim sa for their particular rank achievement. Sa Bom Nim Tim Bennett and Master Darno DeJohnette graded the students using the new Federation Guidelines for Gup promotion testing. The candidates all did extremely well. Here are a few images of the shim sa.
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Pretest instruction to student performing palm heel strike
Shim Sa opening ceremony with Tim Bennett SBN
Masters Bennett and DeJohnette with testing candidates
The next Gup test is scheduled for Saturday, June 16th at 3:00 PM. Students should arrive at least 45 minutes early to complete their registration. Be sure to turn in your pre-test documents before the test (i.e., "Bad Habit," "Citizenship"). Stay hydrated, stay safe! Soo Bahk!