"Just want to say a really big thank you to Ma'am at SHMA for the confidence and great respect that your Martial Arts teaches my son. He's been selected to be a part of a performing group based on his confidence, maturity for his age and respect he has towards his teachers and peers that they would like him to step up and be in the limelight. Something we never thought would be possible. Thank you for everything you do for our children".
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Tang Soo Do
A style that has become a tradition, this hard style art uses the natural turning and twisting of the body to empower your kicks, punches, and blocks exercised and incorporated into line drills, self-defence, patterned forms, sparring, weapons and board-breaking. These techniques are inclusive of the sport and fitness facet of martial arts including cardiovascular, resistance training, body mechanics control and focus.
Hap Ki Do
Self-defence against a grab using soft style techniques. As water flows around the rock down the stream. The defender moves to safety through joint manipulation, pressure points, re-direction and take-downs. Understanding of body mechanics, balance and leverage.
Ho Sin Sul
Self-defence against a grab using hard style techniques. Blocks, punches, hand, elbow and foot strikes are directed at the attacker with light or no-contact practice. These exercises begin training the mind and body to defend against various types of grabs at different belt levels. Understanding of body rotation, mechanics and strike points are incorporated into these exercises.
Il Soo Sik Dae Ryung
Self-defence against an attacker using hard style techniques. These exercises incorporate defence against a lunging punch using blocks and counter strikes to various areas of the body, focusing on speed, timing and direct power through the use of repetitions.
Taught at higher belt grades, weapons are incorporated though pattern forms and self-defence techniques in a controlled environment.
History of the Martial Arts
It is important to remember that the term “Martial Arts,” though once aptly defined as “violence and the control of that violence” literally means “military skills,” and encompasses all the individual Martial Arts. Karate, Kung-Fu, Judo, Aikido and Kobujitsu complete the oriental line of ancient Asian warfare; however also important are the tactics of India, Greece, Egypt, France and the Americas.
Though drastically different, all forms of the martial arts can be described as being either a form of sport (Judo, Wrestling, Taekowndo e.t.c.), a “jitsu” (Combat Forms) or “Do” , a way of life or art (those of high cultural value and moralistic intent).
Let us first examine the term “martial”. Though many stylised art forms have derived from the professional warriors, the majority of the arts still in practice today were developed by the civilian populations for the purpose of personal defence. However, the term ”martial” is still applicable not only in the militaristic approach with regard to instruction, but also in the warrior ethic developed within each practitioner.
Besides conditioning the body and improving speed, strength and coordination, studying the martial arts increases one’s alertness and self - awareness. It also teaches confidence in one’s abilities to deal with the world around us. With deeper confidence comes calmness and a sense of inner peace; this can penetrate to the very depth of our being.
Any form of self-expression or interpretation and be considered an art. But, the highest level of artistic freedom is found, not in reproduction but in creative expression. In martial arts this creativity may resonate in one’s resources and mental flexibility to formulate a response appropriate to the needs for any given situation. The term “do” is Japanese for “the way” or “the path”. The way to inner peace is through the control of outer disorder. The way of self-discipline is to self-control; and once in control of one’s self, one is better equipped to control one’s environment. Once properly directed and focused, “do” may be a source of unlimited creative energy. The coordination of body and mind produces great power, and with great power comes great responsibility.
History of Martial Arts
The roots of the Martial Arts pre-date any written history. Much of the information that has been compiled with the regard to the “warrior arts” of early civilisations has been found in the other art forms of its culture such as: statues, pottery and paintings on temple walls which depict combat between two or more warriors. For example, in ancient Egypt, artwork on the walls of Benihassan’s tomb depicts techniques similar to those found in Jiu Jitsu.
In 2250 BCE (Before current era), during the Hsia Dynasty, Emperor Yu noticed that pond of water collected diseases, whereas a running stream stayed more pure. He then ordered that his people should exercise in sequenced patterns, and with this, first placed the emphasis on the prevention of disease rather than the cure. These movements may well have laid the groundwork for Tai Chi Chaun, many centuries later. During the Chou Dynasty early Taoist and Confucian texts, including the I Ching (Book of Changes), the Shin Ching (The Book of Poems) and much later, even the Li Chi (Book of Ceremonies and Rites) mentioned the martial arts and produced the Kung Fu Hexagram, or the symbol of “strong yielding”.
The first organised school of combat seems to have been the Palaestra, a school of wrestling in Ancient Greece. Greek boxing experienced it classic era from the time of Homer to the close of the 5th century BCE, and may have been the first to utilise the open-hand as a weapon. The art Pankration (all powers), a mix of Greek boxing and wrestling was carried across the Himalayas into China by Alexander the Great in 326 BCE. Greek forms of wrestling and especially the art of Pankration are said to have Directly influenced the Indian arts of Nata and Vajramushti. These early Indian arts, once coupled with buddhist teachings, gave birth to Yoga and later, Kalari Payet.
Just pre-dating the appearance of Buddhism, in the early Han Dynasty in the 200’s CE (Current era), a famous Chinese surgeon named Hua-To imitated the movements of the deer, bear, tiger, monkey and birds for their health aspects.
The T’ang Dynasty
The T’ang Dynasty (618-907 CE) witnessed a great rise in popularity for the Shaolin Temple and its arts. It was during this period that the monks first served a military purpose and became, in essence, a special detachment of the Imperial army. In quelling internal uprisings and resisting many different invasions, the inhabitants of Shaolin were rewarded with many honours and citations as well as huge amounts of land on which they built on which they built more temples, starting with a second Shaolin in the Fukien province (now an area in Taiwan).
Priests, soldiers, statesmen and scholars, while visiting and studying at these Chinese monasteries were undoubtedly exposed to Chan-Fa and returned to Korea, Japan and the Ryukyu with the seeds of what would soon be their own native art.
Traveling Shaolin monks were responsible for the for the birth of several hundred styles of Kung Fu. They would teach Chaun-Fa to their family, friends and they, in time, would alter and add on to the style, then call it whatever they wanted - usually their Family name.
Japan, during this time, began to proliferate schools of wrestling and swordsmanship, which would later become Sumo and the arts of Kendo. The earliest forms of Kenjutsu are thought to have existed as early as the 6th century BCE and were most likely developed from techniques exhibited by Buddhist monks and scholars relating what they learned abroad. The antecedent of this was to be seen in the transmission of Ch’in-Na from China to Japan in early 900’s CE, becoming the basis for Aiki-Jutsu
In Korea, early developments in Taekyon and Subak (the base arts of Tae Kwon Do) , Hwarang Do (the ancient military art form) and Tang Soo Do (traditional Korean martial art with legendary influence by China, literally T’ang Hand Way) were interpretations of Wai-Chia the external systems of Chuan-Fa. The northern external styles were known for their intricate kicking techniques… and once these were combined with with the spectacular acrobatics of the native Korean kicking arts, the two made for a formidable union.