Seowon Song Moo Kwan

seowon - song moo kwanFighting Tigers Academy of Martial Arts ~ 816 East Main Street, Mesa, Arizona 85203


Today’s martial arts studios often are a conglomeration of multiple systems. Many times these systems are those with solid training from their instructor’s past, taking roots in a new system of their own development. While this can be of great benefit to many, the question of how to advance beyond their current position comes from alignment with those of greater rank from… other systems.

Song Moo Kwan® practitioners have found that their roots are solid enough to weather the myriad of systems that have come to (supposedly) replace what has been set down by true grandmasters. Methods of training that provide safety, security, and well being, for all modern-day practitioners. Proven self-defense techniques that do not concentrate on anything more than the complete and utter defeat of the opponent in less than three seconds. Or, the amount of time necessary to make a safe getaway from harm.

The key is in not fearing the consequences of any action, reaction, or circumstance. This comes from understanding your opponent in each and every situation. It comes from the confidence of your personal skills. And, it comes from knowing that there are no second chances when the life of loved ones is on the line.

Regardless, you deserve the finest training available—bar none.

Learn of the legacy that existed before there was Taekwondo… and a host of other martial arts systems. Then set your sights higher.

[jbox color="blue" radius="2"]Grand Master Kirk KoskellaGrand Master Kirk I Koskella


What’s New in Song Moo ….2
New Dojang Charters………..2
Senior Grand Master…………3
Responsibility / Leadership..3
Caraway’s Song Moo Kwan…4
Hapkido or Hoshinsul………..5
Why Practice With Weapons..6


  • Caraway’s SMK/TKD School’s Chief Master Jeremy Selch.
  • Kumdo/Gumdo Organizations.
  • Qui Gong Training

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Senior GM Ro He Sang


Senior Grand Master Ro, Hee Sang

Congratulations are in order as this past month applications for Official Dojang Charters were approved for nine Dojangs in the United States and Canada. There are approximately fifteen applications yet to be processed, and the list of those seeking true martial arts training and roots continues to grow.

From World Song Moo Kwan Association Headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Senior Grand Master Ro is directing the reestablishment of the Song Moo Kwan® worldwide; “I want to see technical proficiency and honor restored to the martial arts. I don’t care if only fifteen people attend a school, as long as those fifteen people are the best they can possibly be.”

The character of those who pioneered modern-day training in Tae Kyun/Taekwondo/Hapkido and the like represent wisdom, honor and strength.

In this current updated vision, the strength of technique, combined with solid character traits, and a return to martial arts origins, permits greater freedom to today’s martial artist.

Truly; “If you can do one thing, you can do anything.”

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“Do not be afraid to go out on a limb…That’s where the fruit is.” – Anonymous

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To all unaffiliated:

  • schools
  • affiliates
  • clubs
  • organizations

Notice is hereby given that the name “Song Moo Kwan” is a registered trademark of the World Song Moo Kwan Association TM , which grants exclusive written permission and right for which is represented by a formal Dojang Charter.

This Charter must be displayed at the entrance of each member or affiliate school.


Please contact:

Grand Master Kirk I. Koskella,

Worldwide Spokesperson for the World Song Moo Kwan Association ®TM for more details.



World Song Moo Kwan Association— an ASMKA Welcome!

The American Song Moo Kwan Association SM congratulates the following Charter Dojangs which have been formally accepted, or re-established, as formal representatives of the World Song Moo Kwan Association® TM.

Litchfield Crow River Martial Arts Est. 1989
Chaska River City Martial Arts Academy Est. 1998
Minneapolis* World Martial Arts Center (WHQ) Est. 1965
St. Paul World Martial Arts Center of St. Paul Est. 1993
Pasco Caraway’s Song Moo Kwan TKD School Est. 1966
Mesa** Fighting Tigers Academy (NTC) Est. 2013
Mesa** Seowon University Est. 2013
Ontario Cooke’s Martial Arts Est. 1996

* World Headquarters of the World Song Moo Kwan Association. ** National Training College and University, ASMKA Headquarters. Dojang Charters issued in September for YOUR school will be announced in our next Issue.

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Responsibility of leadership “It is the responsibility of leadership to provide opportunity, and the responsibility of individuals to contribute.” – William Pollard


How do you determine the “leader” on the mat? Do you search for the eldest, the loudest, or maybe the one that ‘appears’ to be in charge? We all know that ‘appearances’ can be deceiving. We may have even overstepped out bounds a time or two. But there is one difference that can lead you to the right determination. Ask a question and ’see’ who everyone looks to for the answer. Invariably, the person they look to will be the one in charge.

Does your school stop everything when the Senior Master comes into the Dojang? Are students called to attention and them bow, as directed? Do you wait for the instructor’s acknowledgement and return of respect before returning to practice?

When your school held its last testing, was there an appreciation from the testing applicant that included presenting their instructor with a plaque, or some other form of “thank you?” Not from a single individual, rather the whole testing body?

Your Instructor must create and maintain a curriculum. They must train others in that system of training that would best represent quality, consistency, and reality. Reality comes from understanding your roots, embracing them. It comes from exemplifying your skills by demonstration… and acts of gratitude.

Your instructor attempts to keep politics off the mat. But, they too, have a responsibility for continued learning. Even if burdened with education, work and family duties — The ability to set aside time for yourself to train, and/or to teach, could make the difference in personal failure, or success.

simple humilityResponsibility doesn’t stop because you paid a testing fee. Just as advancement includes giving back to those that trained you. Not is grandiose fashion. Simple thank you cards can suffice. Just make it from the heart.

Simple humility and gratitude make a big difference!

[jbox color="blue" radius="2"]SENIOR GRAND MASTER

Senior Grand Master Hee Sang Ro inspires others to take their time when seeking advancement. His level of review rests in technical proficiency. Then in humility. He watches as those under his tutelage strive for perfection. He watches how they handle failure… delay…, and then success.

Time and contribution to Song Moo Kwan are not measured in how much money you can give. It is providing positive growing experiences to those you teach; patience in your own growth — maybe a delay in testing, or relearning lessons of the past.

Rank is earned. Humility is the key.

So, what will you give back?

Master Raymond Smith

overwhelming odds or uncertain danger

Overwhelming odds, or uncertain danger?


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[jbox color="blue" radius="2"]caraways The Way lies... The way lies in softness and patience, as the softest water cuts through the hardest rock.

The river of Life can cut though solid rock – in its own time.

– Jonathan Lockwood Huie



Since 1966, Senior International Master H.T. Caraway established the Caraway Song Moo Kwan Taekwon-Do School. As a student of Grand Master Chung, Sun Do his Song Moo Kwan lineage is unquestionable. But, so too, the technical prowess under which another generation of young masters now trains.

Master Caraway has oft been courted by Taekwondo organizations looking to increase their own status. His work and advancement in the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) did not change his roots. And, as the days and years passed, his attention to detail in the Taekwondo and Hapkido also did not diminish. Caraways Martial Arts This past month, the World Song Moo Kwan Association sought to reestablish formal ties with those that would not compromise their integrity and place within the Martial Arts Community. Senior Grand Master Ro, Hee Sang directed Grand Master Kirk Koskella to formally contact Caraway Song Moo Kwan Taekwon-Do School.

After a review of the facts, and report of Master Caraway’s steadfast resolve, Grand Master Koskella reported his desire to recommend formal Dojang Charter.

Grand Master Koskella also recommended Senior International Master Instructor H.T. Caraway be promoted to 8th Dan Black Belt in the next testing cycle.

There have only been very few people selected to advance to this Grand Master ranking. A formal recommendation represents the belief that unshakable character traits are present. Accompanied by years of service to the Song Moo Kwan, without divergence from its core tenets.

Recommended Grand Master Caraway, we salute you. Congratulations in exemplifying the highest standard of character held in the Song Moo Kwan family. See us on Facebook

Senior International Master Caraway and Chief Master Jeremy Selch

Senior International Master Caraway and Chief Master Jeremy SelchCARAWAY’S SONG MOO KWAN’S MASTER SELCH

To hear Chief Master Jeremy Selch talk is to know the love for his father and Kwang-jang-nim H.T. Caraway. But, in his own right, Master Selch exemplifies what every father would hope his son to become.

We recently spoke of the first time he witnessed his father splitting a rock with a knife-hand strike. That simple river rock became one in a series of life-long lessons to be overcome.

Months of practice, without being told how, led to a personal discovery. The break took place in class before his father arrived. But the enthusiasm of that moment remains a building block for further achievements.


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We already know that Hapkido deals with joint-manipulation. We hear it compared to, and even stated to come from Aikido. Yet in the studio of Japan’s most famous martial arts studio, we find a painted mural of the Kumgansan Mountains in Korea and a pictorial of the origins of Aikido—coming from Hapkido.

martial trainingNow this would cause numerous debates among scholars and martial artists alike. No more so that those who would claim modern day Hapkido did not come from Choi Yong Sul, but rather a number of those founders claimed on the internet.

I have only so many words to cause controversies that would take a look at Hapkido versus Hoshinsul. So let us start there.

Hapkido has many differences to modern Hoshinsul. Though the origins may be the same, Hoshinsul has added the practice of Poomse (or Hyungs) which are menat to further develop the ability to move, roll and progress in softness. Understanding the rigidity with which Taekwondo practitioner may use, this practice seems to make sense.

Yet, within Hapkido itself, that certain softness comes from control of ones opponent. Remaining close to the opponent’s body and ‘feeling’ each angle, movement and nuance of the opponent as we complete our task of devastation in their defeat.hapkido training

Hoshinsul’s application of forms does seem to permit the combination of hard and soft which may frustrate the hardcore Hapkido practitioner. Then why not learn, or at least understand both?

Hapkido is not always flashy. It iodes not always demonstrate a grand series of techniques to overwhelm its opponents. In fact, the Hapkido-ist is likely to look boring in the defeat of an opponent as his techniques are so slight and concentrated that no observer can tell what has happened until the encounter has ceased.

Hapkido Kicking techniques, arm bars, and certain hand techniques are lost to the casual observed. Yet, let combat ensue and the prowess of this slightly differentiated techniques will be well received.

True Hapkido is practiced by those whose roots are well known. The Hapkidowon World Hapkido Headquarters, Korea Hapkido Association and the like will assist in defining what may or may not be considered Hapkido. But, it remains for the individual practitioner to take up the mantle of martial skill-sets in defining the differences. When lives depend on their application.

Hapkido training compliments the well-rounded technician.

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“You will find men who want to be carried on the shoulders of others, who think that the world owes them a living. They don’t seem to see that we must all lift together and pull together. – Henry Ford

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Breathing is one of the hardest things to maintain in early martial arts training. It doesn’t have to be.

Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart. Bring your hands in front of you and begin to rub the palms together. (Just like Mr. Miagi did in the original “Karate Kid” movie.)

Rub up and down, back and forth. Then make a circular pattern as your palms rub together. This begins to open up a meridian that is centered in your palms. Then, bending your fingers so that your first knuckle and fingernails rub together — move them back and forth. Include your thumbs.

After ten to fifteen rubs, pull your hands apart and face the palms about 6 inches from each other. Drawing your hands closer and moving them apart as if there is a ball in them.

The sensation you feel might be attributed to ‘static electricity.’ Yet, the energy found there is the awakening of your inner Qui (‘Chi’ or ‘Ki’).

Combine this routine with your morning and evening breathing. About five minutes of each. This is your Qui Gong moment.

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“Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will, his personal responsibility. – Albert Schweitzer

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Song Moo Kwan® training is Seowon Training. Seowon University was established to provide the serious martial arts practitioner a place for advancement — as secondary education, preparing them for positions as instructors anywhere in the world.

Martial Arts Training in Taekwondo, Hapkido, Kumdo, Ki Bon Mu Gi, Qui (Chi) Gung and Kung Fu. Understanding the differences; strengths and weaknesses through technical proficiency and superiority.

Your place in the martial arts community is based on a skill-set that is second to none. Your ability to obtain and retain students is based on that skill and your ability to teach this martial prowess to others.

Your skills are tested and demonstrated internationally that there may be no question as to rank and standing.

Before there was Taekwondo, there was the Song Moo Kwan ®. Proficiency never compromised. We are ready to train you — Are you ready?


practicing with weapons


Many people find it difficult to practice with weapons. They feel that doing so creates an additional burden on someone that detracts from regular training in their martial discipline. However, if one approaches weapons training as an extension of the body; hand, arm, leg, etc., then that extension can compliment — and even enhance training.

In Ki Bon Mu Gi one learns to practice with up to twenty different weapons. In this, there is not a mastery sought in each one. Rather, the ability to understand the dynamics of the chosen ‘extension’ and its application ‘if’ ever sought to be used.

I short, one learns to “master” one, three, five, or more weapons merely to test personal boundaries. Learning the Bo Staff, for instance, can teach you how to extend your body, reach for targets without losing balance, and how to remain light on one’s feet. That is, unless it is necessary to be grounded.

Differences in Korean versus Chinese swords can improve agility as well. But nothing can compare to the knowledge gained in an empty handed opponent. The ability to set aside the presumed ‘weapon’ as it ceases to be a threat.

This is the reasoning behind ’learning.’ There is no threat when one understand their opponent. Even when it is just a stick of wood, or metal. You, then, are the master of your self—the master of whatever used to frighten you, and the master of what you may become.

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“if you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing.”- B. Franklin

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[jbox color="blue" radius="2"] WSMKA logo

The WSMKA is a Proud Sponsor of:


Fighting Tigers Academy 816 East Main Street Mesa, Arizona 85203[/jbox]


There are many organizations that claim authority to teach traditional Korean swordsmanship. There are many that teach single, and double sword. The question remains whether these skills taught may be used in battle — or whether the ’art’ has overshadowed the martial way. The way of the ‘Warrior.’

Taeguek Kumdo encompasses Yu Shin Kumdo, Ki Bon Mu Gi, and returns to practical application, battlefield tactical application, and demonstrations that recreate the feel of actual combat. Taeguek Kumdo is not for everyone. Only those who realize that sheer numbers of practitioners do not equate to technical superiority.

Every student has the capability to achieve an expert level of proficiency. It does not take an overburdened number of repetitive strikes. It takes the correct manner of thought, presence, and teaching to what must happen — when. Logic, concentration, and action. By the age of three, every Korean child knows who General Yu Shin was. Yet, few attempt to follow the path of Yu Shin found in Taeguek Kumdo. Be one of the few who do excel.Warriors“Some Warriors look fierce, but are mild. Some seem timid, but are vicious. Look beyond appearances; position yourself for the advantage.” – Deng Ming-Dao.

The Seowon System Training SystemPage 6