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AMERICAN MOO DUK KWAN SOCIETY - page 4 / 32

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The nature of the universe is constant change, a flux between harmony and discord; so it is with mankind.  Even is our generation, the world community is greatly lacking in those virtues most crucial to humanity's survival, Namely: self-discipline, self-confidence, tolerance and patience at the individual/personal level.

Ancient records indicate the origin of systematized combative arts stems from the cradle of civilization in the pre-Egyptian Mediterranean area.  However, each successive culture has incorporated its own psychological approach, and therefore technical modifications, to both armed and unarmed physical conflict resolution.  This occurred because cultural variance is based in divergent psychological perspectives for conflict resolution, different social systems/conditions, and evolving technologies.

China, long recognized as the mother of far eastern cultures, is credited with the rational organization and codification of oriental combative arts.  Purportedly, the monks of the Shaolin monastery were instructed by an Indian monk (ch.: Bokidharma/ Jap.:Daruma) in exercises which emulate animal movements and their psychological responses to confrontations with other species.  Naturally, these took the form of attack and defense; activities associated with hunting or being hunted for food.

Subsequently, the Chinese, in particular the monks of the fabled Shaolin monastery, are credited with the evolution of these exercises into highly organized, diversified methodologies for waging combat.  Due to the extreme diversification and specialization introduced at the Shaolin temples, no one individual could master all aspects of their art.  These techniques were considered secret because such knowledge was considered too dangerous for the general public to possess.  Therefore, they were taught only to students that needed them and /or to the most ethical of students.  Thus, these skills spread slowly throughout all of southeast Asia.

By the late 1600's, the Japanese had entered a relatively peaceful era under the leadership of the Tokugawa Shogunate.  During this period they subjugated the Ryukyu Islands, including the island of Okinawa.  Okinawa, deprived of armaments, adapted to their situation by learning "empty-handed" combative arts from the Chinese.  These skills were streamlined, by making them more efficient for conditions in Okinawa.  After almost three hundred and fifty years, Gichen Funakoshi, an Okinawan, introduced Okinawa te (Okinawa hand) to the Japanese public.  Due to the enormous public acceptance, Funakoshi moved to Japan and change the name of his art to Shotokan.

In 1909, the Yi dynasty of Korea came to an end with the Japanese Occupation of that nation.  The Occupation lasted until Korea was liberated by the Americans during World War II.  During this time the Koreans covertly studied Japanese fighting arts; especially Karate, Judo, and Jujutsu.  They incorporated much of the Japanese arts into their own combative styles, thus changing them forever.

Moo Duk Kwan History

After World War II, the masters of the various Korean schools still existing came together and agreed to call their art  "TaeKwonDo" (the way of hand and foot).  Since that time, the World TaeKwonDo Federation (a branch of the Korean government) has concentrated its efforts on installing TaeKwonDo as an Olympic sport.  To this end, TaeKwonDo has been simplified and exported to virtually every nation on the face of the Earth.

In 1962 Dr. Richard Chun arrived in New York city from Seoul Korea to attend Long Island University where he received a Master's Degree in Business Administration .  By 1964 he was teaching Americans the art of MooDukKwan -TaeKwonDo.  In 1984 he was awarded Ninth Dan (the highest rank attainable in that art), for his efforts at promoting TaeKwonDo in the United States.  One of his students was James Rene Diaz.

Mr. James Diaz moved to Miami Beach, Florida in 1970 to teach MooDukKwan -TaeKwonDo there.  Long recognized as one of Dr. Chun's finest students, by 1982 Mr. Diaz had produced over twenty black belt students from the Miami area.  Regretfully, Mr. Diaz died of cancer  on April 9, 1983; he was Fourth Dan.

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