Chung Do Kwan USA Vision
What’s this vision thing?
The traditional martial arts organization has a grand master and is run for the benefit of that individual. We have a vision of a national organization that avoids the pitfalls of a feudal structure and one that preserves the martial art known as Chung Do Kwan. Chung Do Kwan is no longer taught in Korea. The uninformed view Tae Kwon Do as an Olympic sport and have no idea that Chung Do Kwan exists as a martial art. Feudal systems fracture and disappear when there is little benefit to member schools. We want to preserve a unique style of martial art and provide an organization that benefits independent member schools and their students.
Hence, a vision that the Tae Kwon Do style we learned from the various masters of Chung Do Kwan, should have a place in the pantheon of martial arts out there. A martial art that is known and described by what it is - not an art explained by explaining what it does not embody. A martial art that continues to evolve and be influenced by the positive changes brought about by planting this art in an occidental setting.
First, a historical reference.
The Chung Do Kwan style of Tae Kwon Do began with the strength of purpose, practical nature of self defense, and as a spirited form of physical training for a nation rebuilding after World War II. There was differentiation from Shotokan, from which it is derived but we can only speculate that the aspects that make CDKTKD different from Shotokan are evolutions of Won Kook Lee and those that have come after.
Forms were taught with less attention to the subtle applications and more for the performance of strength and speed. Sparring had been subject to various experimental formats to date. The sportive style of continuous, nonstop sparring was a significant change the Chung Do Kwan settled on. There was no reliance on safety equipment in the early stages. When CDK arrived in the US, safety
equipment was introduced, primarily by Jhoon Ree. This has evolved into a divergent style of sparring, questionably, outside the original intent.
Today, in our Chung Do Kwan organization, there is an attempt to enhance Forms training and recapture the motivation and value of original forms by understanding more of the applications of the traditional movements. There are still styles of CDKTKA that use no safety equipment yet the safety of contestants is of paramount importance. This style of sparring still has the realism of power and use of blocking to deal with strong technique. This is very much part of the basis and the tradition we seek to maintain.
It is this strong style approach to training and concern for safety that we seek to perpetuate by creating an organization with shared historic roots. The value to members is an organizational modern structure to maintain and validate the traditional art.
Recognition by a National Review Board to certify schools, clubs, students, and instructors is well along in development. By having a Chung Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do organization dedicated to the integrity of these significantly important structural identities, we are hoping to define our art into the future.
What's in it for me, as an individual, a potential member of Chung Do Kwan USA?
This organization is first and foremost, keeping the values of Chung Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do as a style of self defense, a style of sport that is safe and yet consistent with self defense, and a physical activity that is beneficial to the individual, which is seen as self preservation through healthy activity; life time self defense in the pro active mode. It is for you the individual, self being the operative word in all these phases, to practice Chung Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do under the auspices of a bona fide board of Masters and certified instructors with a national scope of recognition providing a credible source of certification and standards. This recognition entails both your rank and the historic connection to Chung Do Kwan; it's founding, and lineage.
As part of a national organization, each member also has the opportunity to participate in numerous sanctioned events every year.
What's in it for an instructor?
The formation of this organization is predicated on developing a model for the perpetuation of this style of Tae Kwon Do based on a more equitable accommodation with the participants, rather than a top down feudal structure. This is happening because we come to this not only from a cultural tradition that is non feudal but from the educational perspective of the modern corporation business model.(In addition to the bylaws, there is a business model available for your viewing)
We have avoided the feudal model by beginning with regional Executive Directors. As the organization grows we see a governing council that runs the organization with rotating leadership much like the Chamber of Commerce structure. For expediency we have begun as an LLC but the business plan is to take us into a corporate model.
Why begin now? Why not continue as we are?
The most straight forward answer is that many of the participants of this style of Tae Kwon Do have come of age. There are now many practitioners, with legitimate time in rank, at master level - people that have been participating in Chung Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do for 35 years or more. This has happened not in isolation or within the confines of one Asian culture seen through the eyes of one Asian teacher but in the ever widening market place by way of an Occidental educational environment.
This is not only a reason for the now but very much the vision for the future. By creating a national organization, this style of Chung Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do will be able to be recognized as lineal descendant with the legitimate claim to keeping the precepts intact, while evolving to the modern Occident. The isolation of schools and clubs only lead to a perpetuation of idiosyncratic, feudal structure and all it entails. We are looking for members who would like to share our vision of the future. Members who benifit from the opportunities offered by a national organization in finding sister schools when they vacation or move. An organization that provides more networking, recognition, and opportunities for all.