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officerha
4/17/2007 6:26pm,
Hello, I'm a high school grad from OH (boring state if you ask me) bout' to go off to college. I'm half korean and my primary art was Soo Bahk Do until I left my school (financial reasons and I wanted to strike out on my own) since I was six (I'm 18 now). I figured I might add some information about Soo Bahk Do, before people mistake it for TKD.

What my school looked like
Our school was basically a wood floor with a basement for changing along with a mat in which the advanced students would bring up to roll on. The surroundings were clean and plain, it had an overall "old-school" feel to it.

Curriculum
Most of the terms spoken for techniques are said in korean, such as Dojang, Soo Bahk (our salute term but the korean translation ironically means watermelon, no joke) etc. Lots of kicking was done at our school as a typical korean martial art, even more so than other Soo Bahk Do Schools. Along with kicks and hand strikes, there were also coreagraphed sparring sets along with hyungs(forms,kata) and self defense where if attacker does this, you do this, but you do it with speed and efficiency.

In terms of sparring, we don't use any protection but we try to keep the contact down so we don't whale on each other. Much emphasis is taken on control and speed over brute force. But if you got hit, you learned from it and sucked it up. Matches between dans (black belts) can resemble three degrees to full contact.

No weapons training at all, just practical hand to hand combat if you call spinning kicks practical.

Also, no grappling (gasp!), but we did have freestyle self defense, which only the dan members are allowed to do.

It also takes dedication to get a black belt, took me nine years to get mine.

Pro's and cons of Soo Bahk Do

For this section, I really can't post anything other than the usual complaints when people thrash about the uselessness of TKD. But what made my experience different from a Mcdojo school would definitely have to be my instructor, who proves that women can teach.

By now, she's probably in her late 50's but I don't have the balls to ask her age. She's short but can give speeches that would revive a dead Spartan. She wasn't aiming to teach to help people fight with grappling, strikes and "death touch techniques" but her goal was to make a person into a better human being.

Looking back on my experience, it was definitely the teacher, not the style that made the difference. The forms, discipline, helped forge a state of mind that helps in all aspects of my life, especially martial arts. Striking out on my own in the martial arts world, I recently discovered MMA on my own and figured it would be worth taking a shot at. Who cares if I can't use fancy jumping kicks as long as I have the state of mind to learn new ones.

Sadly, there are Mcdojangs in the Soo Bahk do Federation whose students would fall in the blend with TKD practitioners, though the ratio compared to TKD is slightly better. My instructor proves that just because there's a weak federation doesn't mean all the teachers are incompetent.

Long story short, learned an improved state of mind, instead of a fighting art. I think I'm going to like it here :D


Soo Bahk Do, TKD with Seoul (hehe, bad pun)

TKDBot
4/17/2007 6:28pm,
So officerha, you decided to go ahead and register huh? Cool. Don't forget to review your dojo (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=83).

kwoww
4/17/2007 9:22pm,
Sounds interesting. I was always under the impression that Soo Bakh is mainly hand techniques (whereas TKD is mostly kicks). Fact or fiction?

But it does sound like a neato school/style. Welcome to Bullshido.

officerha
4/17/2007 9:56pm,
Well, Soo Bahk Do means hand strike way in korean. However, our school was known as the "jumping school" so maybe the other schools rely more on hand techniques? I wouldn't really know because my school was good enough for me at the time.

lamont37
4/18/2007 4:48pm,
The "Jumping School"...... That's not good.