Most of you now the work that I’ve been doing since learning about my Song Moo Kwan heritage. It has been a struggle. As there are always many different paths that students take, information can be lost…lack of interest at the time or forgotten time. **Ha, here’s a spot for something ages old…the Master has forgotten more than you have learned.**
The struggle to collect information from my branch of Song Moo Kwan has been rough. Mainly due to the fact that I came to learning about it late. Many within my line have stopped training and teaching. Finding the right question to ask can be difficult.
The Chung Bong hyungs (patterns/forms) are very dear to me not only because they were the first hyungs that I learned through Master Tom Sullivan’s Karate North but also because they were created within my lineage. As I’ve been asking questions I’ve learned, hopefully correctly, that the hyungs have some very direct intentions within them. Of the seven hyungs, I’ve been told that 1, 3, and 5 are power based hyungs and that 2, 4, and 6 are speed based with 7 having been influenced to some degree by a Wing Chun practitioner that 9th Dan SrGM Hyon trained with. Once I heard this concept, I started looking back into the hyungs for places where it could be applied, where I found many.
I also took some information from the stories that 9th Dan SrGM Ron Coleman has told during a talk on tournaments “back in the day.” He mentioned how the sparring strategies changed over the years. The examples that he gave brought me immediately to combinations within the Chung Bong hyungs. Once I had learned enough to know that I didn’t know, I had often wondered why many of the Chung Bong hand positions varied from the other Taekwondo schools that I visited. I believe the main reasons are that SrGM Hyon incorporated more obvious practical self defense and sport attitudes into them.
There is much literary license taken when it comes to names within the martial arts. You can even use Song Moo Kwan as the example. The literal translation would go “Pine tree Military House” but the many who learned from SGM Byung Jick Ro present it as the “Ever Youthful House of Martial Arts Training.” Recently, I asked a handful of SrGM Jun Sun “Jay” Hyon’s direct students about how the Chung Bong hyungs got their name. The responses were vague-ish but had a repeating concept. The literal translation of Chung Bong becomes Blue Wood/Tree but I think that is to help keep the name simple. From the responses of his students, it follows more of the concept that even the top of the mountain isn’t the end. Even the top of the mountain has a tree growing toward the blue sky.
SGM Joon Pyo Choi even recognizes this concept. One of the concepts in his Words of Wisdom is “Boodahn NoRyeok” (Never ending effort). It refers to the continuing challenge of ALL martial arts masters and students who are traveling up the same mountain along many different paths..
Please let me know if you have some information about the Chung Bong hyungs or Song Moo Kwan. I am very interested in collecting the knowledge of and about the first Kwan.
Author: Master Robert Frankovich
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