Tae Kwon Do Times interview with the Founders of Ko Am Mu Do

This is a transcript of an interview with Grand Masters Jun, Chung, Guak and Kim by Dale S. Peck published in the March 1998 issue of Tae Kwon Do Times magazine.

The Eastern martial arts have been growing and flourishing in the west since the end of World War II. Our perception at that time was that the arts were mysterious, magical and maybe even a little frightening. Now we see they have pervaded our very culture in the form of many of the movies and television shows we watch to the books we read and even to our acceptance of ancient medical therapies such as acupuncture and acupressure. This fifty year span is only a beginning for martial arts in the west, especially considering the centuries of history and tradition the martial arts have enjoyed in Asia. The arts here are akin to a young baby just taking his first few tentative steps on what will be his lifetime journey. And just as that baby is in his formative stages the martial arts in the west are at a time of vulnerability. There is a lot left to learn.
The explosion of the popularity of the martial arts here has given literally millions of people the opportunity to enjoy the many benefits of martial arts practice. With this growth and the instant gratification mentality of modern times, many western martial arts students have not demonstrated the patience necessary to deeply learn and integrate the rich philosophies and traditions that are the foundation of the martial arts.
Seeing this inadequacy and fearing the loss of age old, time honored traditions and possessing over 160 years of combined martial arts experience Grand Masters Yung Ho Jun. Jin Chung, N.G. Guak and Jun Kim decided to try to recapture the true essence of the martial arts. The result of this extraordinary three year effort is Ko Am Mu Do. Eager to share Ko Am Mu Do with others and the desire that the new Ko Am Mu Do not be misunderstood, these Grand Masters arranged to have an interview to describe their intent and their aspirations for Ko Am Mu Do.

Dale S. PeckWelcome gentlemen. There are so many diverse martial arts in the world today. What made you decide to create a new martial art?

Grand Master Yung Ho Jun – First off I’d like to say we did not create a new martial art. Ko Am Mu Do is the culmination of over 2000 years of Korean martial arts. We have merely reunited the traditional Korean martial arts and teach them with a focus on courtesy, respect and ki development in addition to teaching solid self defense and weapons techniques that have been proven in unarmed combat and on the battlefield throughout history. This is the way martial arts have been taught for centuries. We have just decided it’s time to go back to our traditions, to our roots.

So it ‘s the feeling that we are losing our traditions that has inspired you to develop Ko Am Mu Do?

Grand Master Jin Chung– Exactly! With the martial arts growing so fast today, many people are not taking the time to truly learn the philosophy that make the martial arts so powerful. About 30 or 40 years ago many martial arts started to become more sports-like and this has been the focus ever since. There is nothing wrong with going to tournaments, wanting to be in the Olympics and winning trophies but there is so much more to the arts. In the true martial arts everyone is recognized for their accomplishments. There are no losers. Everyone who gives it his best effort is a winner because he is not competing with others he is competing with himself. Different schools have developed more and more advanced physical techniques but they have lost the true guiding principals of the martial arts. one of the reasons older people find it hard to enjoy the martial arts is since there is such a focus on the physical training they feel they cannot keep up or they get hurt and quit. This is sad because these people are not receiving the full benefits of the martial arts.

Grand Master Jun Kim – How true. That’s why, when we began to look back on our prior martial arts experiences three years ago, we felt something was missing.

Something missing from the martial arts?

GM Kim – Well not exactly from the martial arts, but from my martial arts training. You see when I was younger the emphasis was strictly on physical training. We practiced hard for long hours. The focus was completely on learning to spar and doing well in tournaments. In fact we have won many national and international championships. But then, as we began to teach, we realized that by teaching our students only the hard, physical side of the martial arts our students were missing out on many of the other wonderful benefits the martial arts have to offer.

Grand Master N.G. Guak – And even at that we felt our physical curriculum was limited. Many of our students, especially black belt students, wanted to learn more about weapons, ground fighting, self defense and so on. We began to look around and noticed that this was not only true in our schools but in most martial arts schools throughout the world. We knew that between us, we have the knowledge and the expertise to develop a martial arts curriculum that is superior to one that any of us could have created on our own. That, in part, was the inspiration to develop Ko Am Mu Do.

It ‘s great that four Grand Masters could set aside egos and persevere long enough to develop a martial arts curriculum. It is really a tribute to your strength and humility.

GM Jun – The development of Ko Am Mu Do is revolutionary in the martial arts because 4 Grand Masters with over 160 years combined knowledge and experience worked together for three years of exhausting hours, sometimes late into the night. Sometimes we would sleep on the Do Jang floor for only a few, short hours and then wake to meditate and train.

GM Guak – It was difficult but we did it out of a love for our students and a love for the martial arts. We feel the martial arts, while adhering to ancient traditions, must grow and change to better meet the challenges facing our modern society.

How did you arrive at Ko Am Mu Do as the name for your new curriculum?

GM Chung – It is easy to assume on first glance that Ko Am is is an abbreviation for Korean/American. This is simply not the case. The Korean word Ko can be translated to mean Heaven, sky or high. The English meaning of the word Am is big, stone, ground or earth. And Mu Do means martial arts or the art or way of human life. Thus the study of Ko Am Mu Do is the art of human life that is as limitless as the heavens but is still grounded on solid, fundamental principles.

GM Kim – The colors in the Ko Am Mu Do seal are also significant. Each one represents one of these three basic building blocks of Ko Am Mu Do. Red represents Heaven or the sky, blue stands for the earth or ground and yellow symbolizes the way of human life.

You stated that you had decided to make some changes in your curriculum. What are some of the things you have added?

GM Guak – The curriculum of Ko Am Mu Do is designed so that even the beginner on his first day will learn something of value, an effective self defense technique for example. Even at the white belt level students are being introduced to basic weapons training, Hap Ki Do techniques and so on.

GM Chung – When we were first developing Ko Am Mu Do we decided to standardize the curriculum. In other words the same types of techniques are taught at each belt level. Each belt level is responsible for a form, self defense technique,combination kicking, weapons, Hap Ki Sul, breathing techniques, defense against weapon attack, board breaking and a oral or written test. Of course, the difference in the techniques taught at the various belt levels is that the farther you progress the more challenging the skills become.

So even beginners are being taught weapons techniques?

GM Jun – Yes, if they are ready for them. Obviously young children and people with very little interest in weapons are not being forced into extensive weapons training.

Could tell us a little about the different weapon’s skills taught in Ko Am Mu Do?

GM Kim – Sure, let’s start off with the weapon we begin teaching at the white belt level, the song jul bong or nun chuks. We start by teaching just the basics. How to properly move your hand, your wrist and your shoulder. But so as not to make learning these basics boring we have incorporated them into a simple nun chuks forms. Then, obviously, as you begin to advance through the belt ranks the nun chuk forms become more intricate and challenging requiring you to master more and more difficult skills. By the time you are a blue belt you will have learned a very advanced nun chuk form and should feel a great sense of satisfaction at your progress.

GM Chung – After the first few belt ranks we begin introducing other weapons such as the dan bong or short stick, the joon bong or medium length stick, the jook do or bamboo sword and then at purple belt students begin jahng bong or long stick training. First basic defending and attacking techniques are learned. Then as students move through the belts more advanced techniques are taught. Students learn a variety of different skills designed to make them feel comfortable with the weapon. To make them feel almost as if the weapon is a part of them. Then as students reach the black belt level they are taught advanced forms that bring together the skills they have learned in the color belt ranks.

GM Guak – At the brown belt level we begin teaching the sword. Again we start with the basic techniques taught as short forms. Students learn various blocks, attacks and the different ways to cut with the sword. This kind of training makes it easy to learn movements that are repetitious and that might otherwise be boring. Then by the time the students reach black belt they are taught an advanced, full length sword form.

It sounds as though Ko Am Mu Do has a very extensive weapons program.

GM Chung – That’s true, but of course weapons training by no means ends when you reach black belt. More advanced techniques and forms are taught all the way through the fifth degree master level. By the time you have made it to 5th Dan in Ko Am Mu Do you will truly be a master of over 10 different weapons.
There certainly are a variety of weapons techniques presented in Ko Am Mu Do.

Why so many weapons?

GM Guak – Weapons training in the martial arts is essential for many very important reasons. Not only for balance mentally, but for physical conditioning as well, especially flexibility and coordination in the upper body. Learning to properly use a weapon helps the body and mind achieve a natural balance through the required use of both the right and the left sides of the body.

GM Chung – Another reason to train with a weapon is the fact that if you understand how a weapon is used, you will be better able to defend yourself against that weapon. And besides that, learning to use a weapon is fun!

Tell me a little bit about your unique approach to teaching self defense skills.

GM Jun – Basic self defense skills are taught from the very beginning. White belt techniques are, of course, fairly easy to master, but this in no way takes away from their effectiveness. Ko Am Mu Do students begin learning from the very first day how to defend themselves against different types of attacks ranging from punches to knife thrusts. Then as the students move though the belts they learn more varied and advanced techniques such as defense against knife attack and some Hap Ki Do techniques.

So Ko Am Mu Do students are learning Hap Ki Do skills in addition to other self defense techniques?

GM Guak – Right. We are teaching the basics of joint locking and throws. Also we show how to locate the various pressure points and we teach the students how to use his opponent’s weight and momentum against him. A little practice with these techniques and it is possible for people to defend themselves against attackers that may be much larger than they are.

Are there any other physical skills you teach besides weapons and self defense techniques?

GM Kim – Of course there is a board break required at each promotional test. The main purpose behind breaking is to build confidence in the student. We do this by starting with relatively easy breaking techniques such as hammer fist break and slowly progress toward spinning kicks and breaks with multiple targets.

GM Chung – Also once students get to the black belt level the Ko Am Mu Do breaking techniques are geared more as demonstration style techniques. By this I mean that not only are students just breaking boards, they are putting breaks with multiple targets together with blocks, kicks and hand techniques in a short choreographed form. As these students move through the black belt ranks and they gain confidence in these multiple breaks these breaking forms become really spectacular.

So Ko Am Mu Do training intensifies at the black belt level?

GM Guak – That’s right. Unlike training at many other schools, Ko Am Mu Do training does not stop once the student earns his black belt. Once a student reaches the black belt level he or she will have learned not only mental and physical self defense and advanced techniques with a variety of different weapons, but should also have a very strong foundation to begin to study the art more deeply.

You mentioned the difference between Ko Am Mu Do and other martial arts is that Ko Am Mu Do stresses the importance of traditions. Is this what you mean by study the art more deeply?

GM Kim – Yes, but it is so much more than that. Ko Am Mu Do training trains the mind and the spirit as well as the entire body. It is taught with a strong focus on the oriental principles of um and yang, ki, and the oh hang system.

The principle of ki energy is important in Ko Am Mu Do training?

GM Chung – Yes, very important. In fact the first thing we did when we began to develop Ko Am Mu Do was to incorporate the development of the ki energy. People in Europe and America usually think of energy as meaning only power such as the type that comes from machines or mechanical devices. But in Asia we recognize another type of energy as well. This is life force energy or ki. The fact that the balance of ki and a person’s health are directly related has been understood for hundreds of years in Korea. In fact Hoh Joon, a 16th century Korean physician, wrote a medical book called Dong we Bo Gom in which he described how to cure many ailments by the manipulation of ki energy. Ki energy must be able to flow freely through our bodies, if we have a problem with the flow of ki we experience disease and unhappiness.

So a person ‘s ki energy actually flows through the body?

GM Guak – Yes, you see there are 14 ki channels or meridians through which ki flows throughout the human body. The Korean term for these channels is kyung lak. The continual practice of Ko Am Mu Do’s healthy ki breathing method vastly improves the circulation of ki in our bodies. The diversity of physical techniques and mental disciplines in Ko Am Mu Do training balances the internal (spirit) and the external (muscles).

How do we insure a healthy balance of ki in our bodies?

GM Jun – With the correct practice. The emphasis in Ko Am Mu Do is to develop the Tan Jun (the point approximately 2 inches below your navel) this circulates ki through out the entire body and this insures good health. Ki is a complete, universal and harmonious energy which students need to learn to balance in their bodies, not too much or too not little.

As martial artists most of us have heard of Um and Yang at one time or another but I ‘m guessing we as Westerners don’t have a complete understanding of the concept. Would you go over this a little more deeply?

GM Chung – Sure I’d be happy to. About 25 centuries ago the Asian people discovered that there are two opposing but complimentary forces existing in the universe without which, each existing in proper balance no live thing could exist. The development of all Asian philosophy and culture has been influenced by the um and yang concept. Um and yang can be symbolized by heaven and earth, sunlight and shadow, male and female, moving and still, etc.. Um and yang was discovered while people were studying the universe and nature. So the principal of um and yang philosophy is a cycle of nature and therefore human beings are a part of nature too. This means that people 25 centuries ago had already discovered our place in the natural universe. And since you and I are part of the cycle of nature, we must follow nature which is truth. As long as we follow nature we will be well balanced. This means we’ll be healthier, stronger and live longer. If we don’t follow nature we will be destroyed. This is what Ko Am Mu Do training is based on.

By following nature do you mean eating right and getting plenty of exercise?

GM Jun – People assume they will be healthy if they eat right, but of course this is not enough. For example they must also get enough sleep. They must also learn to get energy not only from the foods they eat and the exercises they do, this energy is external or ground energy, but also from the space around them. They must learn how to breath. Proper breathing is important for internal energy. People must also learn how to think, to meditate, and they must know how energy travels through their bodies. They must learn how to control this energy at all times. They must learn how to keep these two forms of energy balanced. This is what martial arts training is all about.

I ‘ve noticed in most martial arts classes there is a strong emphasis on continually repeating physical skills while very little time is spent on proper breathing or meditation.

GM Chung – People are so focused on the physical that they think traditional philosophy is unimportant. By teaching the physical techniques as well as the philosophy and history people will begin to see the martial arts as a whole.

GM Kim – Here is a perfect example. People these days are spending millions of dollars to get in shape, but just having a great physique does not mean you are in good health. Your physical appearance is not everything.

So you’re saying a person can look healthy but not really be healthy?

GM Kim – Exactly right.

I don’t know, some of these people walking out of health clubs look pretty healthy.

GM Guak – Even though a person may look healthy on the outside – well defined muscles, slim – he is only really healthy if his internal organs are functioning properly (oh hang) and his spirit is not blocked (ki energy) and he is physically fit. If any part of a person is out of balance, whether it be his spirit, his internal organs or his physical body that person is unhealthy. If the oh jahng yuk boo (internal organs) is out of balance, the health suffers, if the ki cannot flow freely throughout the body then this person is really not healthy, just as when he has no muscle tone or is over weight. All three of these must be in balance. This is the focus of Ko Am Mu Do training – it is not just punching, kicking and self defense techniques but a balanced curriculum which develops the ki, the oh hang and the physical body. Correct exercise is the balanced exercise of the spirit, the internal organs and the external body. This is the way to open the ki channels and more quickly rotate the ki. For this reason Ko Am Mu Do is the best exercise in the world.

Oh hang? I’ve not heard that term before.

GM Chung – Oh hang is the guiding principal of the universe. It is true um and yang balance. The proper harmonious function of the five natural elements of the universe which correlates to the proper and harmonious function of the five major internal organs of the body. For example Ko Am Mu Do escape techniques strengthen and develop proper oh hang function through movement and proper breathing. Escape techniques #1 develops the liver, #2 develops the heart and so on.

You mentioned oh jahng yuk boo. What does this mean?

GM Chung – Oh jahng yuk boo is the system of internal organs in our bodies, even though these five major organs work together as one efficient system some organs are said to generate positive ki and some are said to generate negative ki and therefore certain organs complement one another. For example: the liver compliments the gall bladder, the heart and the small intestine are related, the spleen and the stomach are partners, the lungs and the large intestine are paired and the kidneys compliment the bladder.

GM Jun – Oh jang yuk boo is the concept that just as um and yang represent the two opposing and complementary forces in the universe each of the organs of the body has a corresponding organ that compliments and supports it. When there is a proper oh hang balance in the body these organs help and support one another. They are interconnected.

How is oh hang related to the human body?

GM Kim – Oh hang, literally translated, means the five natural elements. These are: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. As we said before the organs of human body are interrelated (oh jahng yuk boo), they support and help each other in an amazing and beautiful system. These elements are symbols that represent the various internal organs our bodies. The liver and the gall bladder are represented by wood. Wood also represents the capillaries. Fire stands for the heart and the small intestine. The blood is also represented by fire. The spleen and the stomach are represented by earth. Metal stands for the lungs and the large intestine and is also related to the skin. And water represents the kidneys, the bladder and also our bone. If we develop the oh hang it increases our circulation and opens the 14 ki channels in our body which strengthens and improves the flow of ki through these channels.

GM Guak – A person’s true beauty comes from his oh hang balance, by how in line he is with um and yang and the natural principles of the universe. Since the practice of Ko Am Mu Do develops all parts of the human being in a balanced way Ko Am Mu Do practice allows a person’s natural beauty to show through.

GM Kim – Practicing Ko Am Mu Do brings about the natural harmony of ki and oh hang. Oh hang comes from um and yang. If you understand the universal principal of oh hang, you understand Ko Am Mu Do.

I see, so the goal of Ko Am Mu Do training is much more than developing students physically.

GM Chung – That’s right! Ko Am Mu Do training incorporates the development of balanced ki power in its curriculum and is therefore a complete art. Ko Am Mu Do is a complete martial art not only because there is a balance between physical training and ki training but because there is a balance in the techniques taught, not only punching, blocking and kicking, but forms, effective self defense skills and many different kinds of weapons, healthy ki breathing, meditation, ground techniques, escapes, safe, effective falling, deep useful philosophy, defense against weapons, etc.

I ‘ve been training for several years in another martial art. why should I consider supplementing my experience with Ko Am Mu Do training?

GM Jun – Some people exercise only their bodies to become healthy. They focus entirely on kicking, punching, blocking and self defense techniques. Granted all of these skills are important and they definitely have their place in the martial arts, but this sort of training is limited. If a martial art system teaches only self defense techniques and breaking skills it is incomplete and therefore does not follow um and yang. How many martial arts schools have the right curriculum to properly develop and nurture all aspects of our lives. Ko Am Mu Do is a complete martial art for developing the true potential of its students. Ko Am Mu Do training picks up where other school’s systems and curriculums leave off.

GM Kim – Also limited training produces only limited development of the ki energy. The 14 ki channels are still blocked to some degree. Complete and diverse training in blocking, punching kicking, hand techniques, many different weapons skills, healthy ki breathing, oh hang development and meditation opens all 14 ki channels and allows ki energy (chun ki and ji ki based on um and yang) to flow freely and rotate quickly throughout the body.

Could you tell us more about chun ki and ji ki?

GM Chung – Of course. The goal of Ko Am Mu Do practice is to bring about a natural harmony and balance in our lives. The idea of a natural, balanced martial arts system is when the body, the spirit and the universe are in harmony. That is why one of the areas of focus for Ko Am Mu Do training is obtaining a natural balance and control of the three ki powers we all struggle with during our lives. These are chun ki, which can be translated as Heavenly energy, ji ki, which can be defined as energy from the earth and shim ki, which is the human energy or inner power most of us are familiar with.

Ko Am Mu Do sounds very well rounded. With such a diversity of skills is Ko Am Mu Do difficult to learn?

GM Guak – We have designed the Ko Am Mu Do curriculum so there is a program suited for all types of students of all ages, whether they are men, women, teens or children. Whatever your skill or experience level you will find something in Ko Am Mu Do to challenge you. you are encouraged to learn and integrate the various disciplines at your own pace remembering you are not competing with others only yourself. And as most of you know this is sometimes the stiffest competition of all.

GM Jun – I also think that martial arts students should learn to be more patient. One of the essential values missed by many martial arts students is patience. Most of us want instant results even though deep down we realize that nothing worth while comes to us without a diligent and focused effort applied continuously.

Besides patience what other values do you think are important in learning and teaching the martial arts?

GM Kim – I feel it is very important to teach traditional respect and courtesy in the martial arts. Two thousand years ago the martial arts started from the practice of courtesy.

GM Chung – This is a principle of Ko Am Mu Do: You can only learn from someone you believe, you can only believe someone you respect, therefore you can only learn from someone you respect. This is why martial arts Masters must be respected.

GM Guak – Masters earn respect through proper discipline. This is not to say that a martial arts school should be run like a military base. To earn respect a Master must encourage his students kindly and gently, but still maintain a position of authority.

Obviously these age honored values are important, but is there no room in the martial arts for modern ideas?

GM Jun – Over the last few decades we have developed so many sophisticated technologies. We have put people on the moon and have even sent probes that have landed on Mars. These are wonderful achievements, but it is unfortunate that we still don’t have a deeper understanding of eternal concepts such as um and yang, ki and oh hang.

GM Guak – We have, however, compiled the latest, most effective self defense techniques as a part of Ko Am Mu Do. We not only included techniques inspired by traditional Tae Kwon Do, traditional Hap Ki Do and traditional Korean weapons training, but each Ko Am Mu Do Master added techniques from his unique area of expertise. We then combined the most modern and advanced martial arts science and technology with extensive personal ki power development techniques. The combination of this unique mixture results in a training program that is greater than the sum of its parts and forms the most complete and comprehensive martial arts curriculum in the world.

Wow! With all the benefits Ko Am Mu Do training has to offer I ‘d imagine there are many people wanting to learn more about the art.

GM Chung – There sure are! Earlier this year we held a Ko Am Mu Do seminar in Florida where we introduced the art to over 120 American Masters, instructors and black belt students. The participants were very enthusiastic about the new curriculum. The response from the American students was extremely positive and many of the instructors were excited about teaching the new curriculum in their schools.

GM Kim – This Ko Am Mu Do seminar was a huge success, but frankly it is even surprising me how fast Ko Am Mu Do is catching on both here in the U.S. and around the world.

GM Chung – we really shouldn’t be that surprised when you think about it. Many instructors and even many martial arts masters are hungry for an effective curriculum that has a universal appeal to a wide range of students.

Around the world?

GM Chung – Yes from September 27, 1997 to October 13, 1997 we were invited by the Kukkiwon, the WTF and eight different Korean Tae Kwon Do associations to present the Ko Am Mu Do seminars and workshops to eight different provinces in Korea. We introduced the Ko Am Mu Do curriculum to over 1500 Korean Masters and Grand Masters. The response was incredible. The Korean masters loved the curriculum and since, we have contracted with Korean Tae Kwon Do Consulting to promote Ko Am Mu Do throughout Korea.

So the Korean martial arts community has accepted Ko Am Mu Do and is now teaching the curriculum in Korea?

GM Guak – That’s right, in several schools throughout the country. But that really shouldn’t come as that much of a shock. After all Ko Am Mu Do is the culmination of a variety of traditional Korea arts including Tae Kwon Do, Hap Ki Do and many different Korean weapon arts. It emphasizes over 2000 years of Korean philosophy.

GM Chung – In fact these Korean associations are now planning to send over 1000 martial arts students to a Ko Am Mu Do camp to be held in Florida this summer.

Ko Am Mu Do seems very exciting. It sounds like there are many people interested in learning this art more deeply.

GM Kim – Yes, that is why we have organized another Ko Am Mu Do seminar to be held just outside of Tampa, Florida the first week in May of this year.

It seems like there are so many martial arts seminars around these days. What makes a Ko Am Mu Do seminar so unique?

GM Jun – We noticed that most of the martial arts seminars today focus only on the business aspect of opening and operating a martial arts school. We saw a need for a seminar that presents an exciting standardized curriculum, not only from white belt to black belt but from white belt all the way to 5th degree master, that appeals to a variety of different types of students but still retains the character building qualities and effective self defense techniques of the traditional martial arts. No other martial arts seminar is broader in scope, students learn more advanced ground fighting techniques, self defense skills, effective joint locks and variety of different weapons including long stick, short stick, escrima stick, bamboo sword, nun chuks, wooden sword and so on.

GM Guak – Yes and in addition to all the effective physical skills we introduce techniques such as the healthy ki breathing method and meditation which naturally begin to balance and put into harmony the student’s body and spirit with the universe.
GM Chung – And besides techniques and a curriculum that increases enrollment and improves retention we show how to present the material in a way that make classes fun and exciting. Many of our schools have almost doubled their class size since beginning the Ko Am Mu Do curriculum.

GM Kim – We also show how to test more effectively giving students a greater feeling of accomplishment and inspiring them to continue and learn the martial arts more deeply. This is of obvious benefit to the school as well as the student.

Is this seminar open to the public?

GM Jun – Absolutely! With the overwhelming popularity of Ko Am Mu Do we are now eager to share it with the world public. We know that true martial artists are always striving to expand their martial arts knowledge and our goal is to help train and support martial artists and martial art schools all over the world.

I certainly appreciate everyone taking the time for this interview. Is there anything anyone would like to say in conclusion?

GM Jun – I feel the unique spirit of the martial arts is to grow and mature while, at the same time still retaining the traditions and fundamentals upon which they were founded. It is very exciting that the Ko Am Mu Do Masters have come together and are revitalizing a martial art that has not only been developing effective self defense techniques, but has also been showing students a way to achieve a natural balance and harmony in their lives for the past 20 centuries. This is what makes Ko Am Mu Do unique and it is the direction in which true martial arts will be going in the twenty-first century.