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    Hello everyone.

    Hi, I've just finished reading the stickies and feel like I'm just about ready to post something without someone ramming my poorly thought out thread down my throat.

    I'm a college kid living in the Philippines. I'm 21 and currently struggling to balance my studies with indulging my childhood fantasies of being some humble badass that can rip out a man's spine through their ass without any legal repercussions whatsoever.

    I've never been in a real fight or confrontation besides sparring and tournaments (which don't count) and anyone wanting to punch my face in will first have to run pretty damn hard to catch my retreating ass.

    I've been studying Soo Bahk Do for roughly 6 years which is a drop in the ocean compared to the decades of experience some of the fighters have here. In my 6 years of practice, I have drawn the conclusion that all of my experience makes me suitable to fight only another Soo Bahk Do fighter of equal experience and skill (and no one else).

    Soo Bahk Do has probably already been adequately represented in these forums but for the sake of sharing some info and at the risk of simply repeating what others may have already said, I'll give my observations on the style.

    It really can be adequately summed up as "Korean Karate". Many of the techniques are the same (there are, after all, only so many ways a person can punch or kick someone). Training time (at least in my gym) is usually focused on forms with the instructor repeatedly saying that skill in forms directly translates into skill in free-style sparring (although he emphasizes that sparring is completely different from self-defense).

    The student starts in typical TMA fashion by first learning basic punches and kicks and then proceeding on to katas or hyungs before going on to semi-contact sparring (that is, with helmets and pads and everything). Grappling, what little of it is taught, is focused mostly on escaping holds, countering take downs and finding the quickest way to scramble back on to one's feet.

    Midnight blue belts (SBD's black belt equivalent for philosophical reasons) spar far more intensely and resemble kyokushin full contact sparring with the addition of sweeps, take downs and groundfighting although the referee usually separates the two before they can do more than throw a few extra kicks or punches while on the ground.

    Self defense training comes with a bit of bullshido as we train by assuming we already know what attack the other guy is going to throw then counter it with a flurry of "lethal" strikes that don't actually hit and thus make it difficult to see if the strikes will actually work in real situation.

    Judo throws and sweeps are taught to us as well which are a bit more effective as we can actually practice them on a live and fully resisting opponent without injuring him.

    All in all, it's fair style similar to many other TMA schools such as TKD and Karate with all of its associated advantages and disadvantages.

    Alright, now that I'm done pretending all of you guys care, I'll just go lurk somewhere.


    Welcome to the site.

    I love the Philippines. (for short periods of time)

    Why SBD instead of FMA?

    Omega should be here shortly.
    Carter Hargrave's Jeet Can't Do


      While I was in high school I once mentioned to my parents that I was interested in taking some kind of martial art, maybe aikido or jujitsu. Then one day my mom surprises me with the news, "Congrats son! I just enrolled you in Soo Bahk Do!" Displaying the rapier wit for which I'm quite renowned for, I replied, "What's a soobakdoo?"

      Given the trouble my parents went through in finding a conveniently nearby and affordable martial arts place, I decided to stick with it. I haven't regretted the decision so far.

      When I say affordable, I really mean affordable. My starting monthly fee was 500 PHP which is roughly... just below 12 US dollars at the current exchange rate. This was 6 years ago. Nowadays I get to practice for free as long as I do my part in managing the kids ("Justin, we do not pee on the mat!") who enroll for the summer. It's a fun place to be though it may not be the best place for anyone looking to enter the UFC.

      I tried some FMA once when I joined an eskrima club in college supported by Lightning Scientific Arnis which was founded by Grandmaster Benjamin Luna-Lema but the instructors there were a bit too... gung ho for my liking.

      Thanks for the welcome! I hope you get to visit the Philippines again soon. It sort of grows on you after a while.

      If Omega's coming, I think I better put on a fresh pair of diapers in advance.


        Do you train with Mario Palzuelo in Davao City? They are the only SBD people I know in the Philippines and they teach FMA too don't they?

        I trained with these guys in Korea, really nice guys.


          For anyone who's interested, here's a video of some SBD blackbelts fighting blackbelts from other martial arts such as TKD and Kyokushin Karate as well as each other.

          The video might say Moo duk Kwan but that's because the full name of the organization here in the Philippines is Philippine Moo duk Kwan Soo Bahk Do Inc. (it's a legal entity I think which allows it to sue anyone pretending to be one of it's black belts or giving inferior instructions in its name).

          Most of the fights shown are between SBD black belts and Kyokushin black belts because of the similarity of the two fighting styles which makes for more spectacular highlights (this video was a compilation of last year's tournament and was intended as a promotional video for the current year's tournament). The Kyokushin black belts are the ones wearing the gi with the short sleeves.

          I have had the honor of sparring with Master Steve Grandeza who has gained some international recognition after winning the World Super Welterweight Championship fight against Al Hassan Okine. I am proud to say that though he was going easy on me, I never once landed a single hit on him whilst he rained kicks to my head at will. Fun times. No video of he and I sparring though so you guys will have to take my word for it (which admittedly, isn't much). He's a really nice guy though.


            Do you train with Mario Palzuelo in Davao City? They are the only SBD people I know in the Philippines and they teach FMA too don't they?

            I trained with these guys in Korea, really nice guys.
            Unfortunately I've never had the chance to train under him much to my chagrin. My instructor speaks quite highly of him when it comes to arnis/eskrima.

            We do practice a bit of FMA since our instructors would prefer we know how to use a stick or a length of pipe if we ever chanced upon one on the street. A trained eskrimador would still beat the crap out of me six ways to sunday before I could even move though. Students wishing to learn something more in depth on eskrima are usually directed to Master Mario Palazuelo.

            Since you trained with my masters in Korea, then under Soo Bahk Do protocol, I'm required to call you Sir at all times (if you don't like it, just remember, you brought it on yourself :P).


              I achieved Sam dan in SBD before moving to Canada, unfortunately there is no SBD presence here and I dont really have time to set up a class so I train SBD on my own and FMA here in Toronto.

              It was Master Mario who actually introduced me to FMA when we where in Korea, they did a very nice demonstration of that side of their art which intrigued me so when I moved here in Toronto I looked for that as an oppertunity (plus asawa ko pilipina at anak ko tisoy ;) )

              Master Mario has invited me to Davao so who knows one day we may meet up :)
              Last edited by Pharabus; 8/08/2011 7:17am, . Reason: grammar


                I stand corrected then. I should be calling you Master. :)

                It would be an honor to meet you and I certainly hope I get the chance to attend one of your lectures should you be able to visit Davao again.

                You are quite fluent in tagalog if you don't mind my saying. Did you pick it up from your wife or during your stay in the Philippines?

                I am filipino as well and it's always a pleasant surprise when someone from another country takes the time to learn our language.



                  No, Master is 4th dan and above, Sam dan is 3rd Dan. I am learning Tagalog from my wife it is important to me that our son gets both sides of his cultural mix plus I enjoy the challenge :)

                  mag ingat ka lagi



                    Ah, that's right. My knowledge on protocol is getting a bit rusty these days. In the old days though (at least, as I hear from my instructor), every dan holder was called Master so I'm not too far off the mark.

                    Salamat po sa oras ninyo. Ingat din po kayo lagi at sana patuloy ang suwerte ninyo sa buhay.

                    Thanks for the warm welcome to Bullshido as well.



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