Oom Yung Doe
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"Kyong Gong Sul Bope" (경공술법 flying side kick) is an achievement claimed by John C. Kim. Here Kim purportedly leaps from the equivalent of an 8-story building.[better source needed]
|Focus||Hybrid martial arts|
|Creator||John C. Kim|
Oom Yung Doe (음양도; 陰陽道) is a line of martial arts schools founded by John C. Kim (Grandmaster "Iron" Kim). In addition to teaching a broad range of physical movements and self-defense, the training also incorporates meditation, philosophy, and the use of herbal formulas and equipment. Some students describe substantial benefits including self-defense skills, mental and physical health, and improvements in conditions such as asthma, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and blood pressure. Critics, however, accuse the school's founder and instructors of unethical behavior, charging large fees, and pressuring students to commit to long-term contracts. Beginning in the late 1980s, several TV and newspaper reports publicized these accusations, and described the school as a "cult." While none of these accusations were ever proven, Kim and four of the organization's instructors were found guilty of conspiracy to commit tax fraud in 1995. Despite those issues, certain benefits of the training such as increased lung capacity and the healing of treatment-resistant back pain have been demonstrated to be effective in clinical settings; and there have also been several news reports publicizing some of the benefits described by the students.
- 1 Lineage and history of Oom Yung Doe
- 2 Training
- 3 Legal Proceedings
- 4 Other Controversies
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Lineage and history of Oom Yung Doe
John C. Kim was born in South Korea and emigrated to the United States in the early 1970s. Kim opened his first school of martial arts in 1973 in Westmont, IL, teaching Kong Su. In 1976, John C. Kim began operating a line of martial arts schools called "Chung Moo Quan" (충무권), teaching the same 8 martial arts styles that are taught in modern Oom Yung Doe schools. "Chung Moo Quan" was effectively renamed to "Chung Moo Doe" (충무도) in 1989, and again to "Oom Yung Doe" in 1999; the instructor corps and training techniques for the three schools have been substantially similar, and they have all been founded by John C. Kim.[better source needed]
Oom Yung Doe practitioners describe the techniques taught within the school as "moo doe." Moo doe is generally translated as "martial arts," but within the school the original term is used to contrast Oom Yung Doe's techniques against "common martial arts" or "fabricated movement" which is more commonly taught in the United States. In common martial arts, students learn "general sequences of movements; movements that are basically the same for everyone. In this case the student/practitioner can truly only 'copy' the movement and cannot truly absorb and make it 'one' with their mind and body."
In contrast, moo doe movement / technique must match the individual. Each person is unique and therefore needs training that matches by them. The main line of Oom Yung Doe training is directed by a traditional master (not a school instructor, but a 9th degree international master who is required to clearly demonstrate their skill and ability). Because the master is able to "fit" the movement to the individual, each student/practitioner can fully absorb the movement.
Training is adjusted to fit the individual student, allowing even older individuals or individuals with injuries or conditions such as arthritis to participate. In fact, instructors claim (and some students have reported) that Oom Yung Doe training can help older or disabled individuals dramatically improve their condition.
Some of the main goals of practicing moo doe are said to be:
- To develop skill and ability (speed, strength, timing, flexibility, and coordination)
- To bring the mind, body, and movement together as one
- To bring full balance to the mind and body for increased health
- To develop strong self defense capabilities
Movement taught by a master is often demonstrated in a tournament. In tournaments, practitioners demonstrate movement and self defense ability, and are judged based on:
- Correctly connecting movements
- Focus (eyes)
- Top body movement
- Middle body movement
- Lower body movement
Acupressure and herbal equipment
Herbal formulas and acupressure points are an essential part of Oom Yung Doe practice. Herbal formulas used by practitioners are said to improve circulation and remove toxins from the body, and some movements taught within the school are designed to stimulate internal pressure points (similar to acupuncture).
Some critics have contended that the herbal equipment used in Oom Yung Doe represents little more than an additional revenue stream for the school. During an investigation for a news program, Steve Given and Allen Sayigh (respectively the dean of the School of Oriental Medicine and manager of the Chinese Herb Dispensary at Bastyr University) examined a set of dry herbal equipment sold for fifty dollars and concluded that "The entire bag couldn't be worth more than a couple dollars."
Oom Yung Doe has been represented as a way to build health and longevity; students and instructors report increased physical health as a major benefit of Oom Yung Doe practice. Students report benefits such as strength, flexibility, increased energy level, and a general sense of well-being, as well as improvements in conditions such as asthma and diabetes. One study published in the Journal of Asian Martial Arts found that students practicing qi gong techniques taught within the school had significantly better lung capacity than the general population (20-25% greater for students 35 years and younger, and 30-45% greater for older students).
The school also teaches techniques designed to repair damage to the body. A retrospective study of 58 patients suffering from herniated disks who had been treated by the school indicated significant improvement:
After 120 days, 90% of the patients had been completely free of back pain for 2 weeks; another 4% of patients had partial relief. These patients all had complete resolution of pain after 140-160 days of therapy. All patients who had taken leave from work were able to return.
8 Martial Arts
Oom Yung Doe schools claim to train in eight different martial arts taught as one. These are listed as the following eight styles of martial arts:
- Hap Ki Do / Ai Ki Do
- Kong Su / Tae Kwon Do
- Udo / Ju Jitsu
- Kom Do / Samurai
- Kung Fu
- Tai Chi Chung
- Bagwa Chung
- Ship Pal Gae
Uniforms and ranking
|white belt||white||white Korean-style||student|
|1st-6th section||partially black||white Korean-style||student|
|1st degree||black||white Korean-style||student or instructor|
|2nd degree||black||white or black Korean-style||student or instructor|
|3rd degree||black||black Korean-style||head instructor|
|4th and 5th degree||black||black Chinese-style||regional-level instructor|
|6th and 7th degree||gold||black Chinese-style||national-level instructor|
|8th degree||gold||black Chinese-style||national-level instructor|
Beginning Oom Yung Doe practitioners are ranked into "sections" until reaching first degree black belt. Beginning students receive a white belt, sections of which are dyed black at each promotion until the rank of first degree black belt is achieved, at which point the entire belt is black. Higher-level instructors have a gold belt as part of their uniform trim, although their rank continues to be that of "nth degree black belt".[better source needed]
Oom Yung Doe instructors are likewise promoted through a series of instructor positions. Rank generally indicates skill and ability, while position generally indicates a practitioner's involvement with teaching. The two are independent, although there's a typical correspondence between them as indicated on the chart on the right.[better source needed]
All Oom Yung Doe practitioners wear standardized uniforms while practicing in the school. Students and beginning instructors wear white uniforms, and main instructors and higher-level practitioners wear black uniforms. Practitioners at 3rd degree black belt and below wear Korean-style uniforms similar to Karategi. 4th degree black belts and above wear Chinese-style ("Kung Fu") uniforms which button together at the front (similar to a button-down shirt).[better source needed]
1989: Allegations of violating the Consumer Fraud Act in Illinois
In 1989, the Attorney General for the State of Illinois filed charges against the school. What was alleged in this complaint was that John C. Kim and five other instructors “violated the Consumer Fraud Act....by inducing Illinois consumers, through fraud, coercion and breach of fiduciary duty, to pay sums of money in excess of $2,500.00 per year for physical fitness services, failing to give consumers copies of contracts signed for these services, failing to notify consumers of their three day right to cancel said contracts, and coercing consumers into signing contracts for increasingly expensive courses...”. This began a legal battle which continued until 1994, when the case was ended without trial—the parties entered into a consent decree in which the defendants did not admit wrongdoing or misconduct, but did agree to abide by the laws governing businesses associated with physical fitness, and did pay $4,000 to the State Project and Court Ordered Distribution Fund for Consumer Enforcement and Education.
1995: Conviction for tax conspiracy
In April 1995, Kim and thirteen other instructors were arraigned to federal court for conspiracy to defraud the United States IRS. The federal indictment alleged that force and threats were used as part of the conspiracy. However, separate charges for those criminal acts were not filed, nor were charges alleging tax fraud itself—in contrast to the crime of tax fraud (which requires an "overt act" of fraud), the charge of conspiracy requires only that defendants had discussed or planned activities which, if carried out, would have been fraudulent. Kim and four other defendants were found guilty of conspiracy on December 6, 1996. The court estimated that the conspiracy withheld or planned to withhold $2,172,800.00 in taxes. The four defendants were sentenced to five years in prison and Kim was fined $2,550.00 and sentenced to five years in prison. He was released on April 13, 2001.
Kim's claims of achievement
John C. Kim claims to have competed in and won the All Asia Championship (Chung Dong Yang Moo Sul Yun Moo Dae Hwey) in 1956 in the Cho Leung area of Pusan. Internal Oom Yung Doe literature lists Wang Po as the sponsor of the tournament, and Yang Chou Fai, Wang Sei Kau, and Hwan Byung Quan as the presiding judges. Also said to be in attendance were Mok Jing Quan, Chae Jung Su, Park Hyun Su, Yu Gee Han, Chil Sung, and Park Yung-Gil.[better source needed] This claim has attracted criticism. Nam Tae Hi, one of the founders of modern Taekwondo who ran a competing school in Chicago at the time, made a statement to a reporter investigating Kim's claims indicating that becoming champion of all Asia in the 1950s was "Not possible."
Another achievement claimed by Kim is a technique he refers to as "Kyong Gong Sul Bope" (경공술법 or flying side kick) which he claims to have demonstrated by jumping from the equivalent of an 11-story building. While in the U.S. in 1972, Kim claims to have again performed the Kyong Gong Sul Bope movement by jumping from the equivalent of an 8-story building and landing without injury on a sloped surface.[better source needed]
Some critics accuse Kim of falsifying these claims and promoting outlandish legends of his abilities.
Cost of Training
Critics have charged that the school's training is overpriced and that students are pressured to pay exorbitant amounts of money for additional courses or seminars of questionable value. Even some critics of the school, however, acknowledge that the rigorous training includes valuable self-defense skills, and students report further benefits such as greatly improved health and even recovery from injury and illness. One student described the training as "like paying for therapy and personal trainers and a gym and all of that stuff rolled into one", and another said that Oom Yung Doe charges "twice what other [schools] charge. But what they teach there is 10 times more than what they teach at other schools."
- "KING 5 Seattle, WA: "It's about living long and comfortably"". Retrieved 2009-04-19.
- "WB 18, Milwaukee: "New Trend on an Old Secret to Health and Longevity"". Retrieved 2009-07-30.
- Ingalls, Chris (2005-02-16). "Students take aim at martial arts school". KING 5 News. Archived from the original on 2006-11-25. Retrieved 2010-10-09.
- "WISN 12 Milwaukee, WI: "Improving Your Health"". Retrieved 2009-04-19.
- Vogel, Jennifer (1992-04-01). "Be True to Your School: The Dark Side of the Moo.". City Pages (Minneapolis - St. Paul). Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- Zekman, Pam (November 2–7, 1989). "Chung Moo Quan: The Cult and The Con". WBBM-TV, Chicago.
- Kahn, Ric (1991-10-25). "Chung Moonies? Critics call Martial-Arts Club A Cult Of Violence and Greed". The Boston Phoenix.
- "Lawsuit alleges Clairemont martial arts group is a cult.". CBS 8 - San Diego California. 2010-04-19. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
- Docket for United States v. Kim, No. 1:95-cr-00214 (N.D. Ill. 1995).
- "Martial Arts School Chief Found Guilty In Tax Scam". Chicago Tribune. 1996-12-10.
- Massey, Patrick; et al (1993). "Increased lung capacity through qigong breathing techniques of the Chung Moo martial art style". Journal of Asian Martial Arts 2 (2): 70–79.
- Nidecker, Anna (December 15, 1996). "Martial Art Therapy Can Ease Sciatic Pain". Family Practice News 26 (24): 21.
- "FOX 13 Tampa Bay, FL: "Oom Yung Doe, Something for Everyone"". Retrieved 2009-04-26.
- White, Thomas (October 2000). "Master “Iron” Kim Establishes the Oom Yung/Chung Moo Style in the United States". An Explanation of Traditional Moo Doe: First Edition. Oom Yung Doe, Inc., San Diego, CA. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- White, Thomas (October 2000). "True Martial Arts Movement vs. Fabricated Movement". An Explanation of Traditional Moo Doe: First Edition. Oom Yung Doe, Inc., San Diego, CA. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- How do you progress when there are no more opponents to defeat?. Oom Yung Doe, LLC. 2011.
- "The Age of Miracles: The New Midlife". Oprah Winfrey Show. 2008-02-28. http://www.oprah.com/dated/oprahshow/oprahshow_20080228. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
- "I'm getting balance, coordination, flexibility and strength that is mental as well as physical.". More Magazine. July/August 2007 Issue. p. 175. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- "Tournament Judging Criteria", Oom Yung Doe informational poster
- White, Thomas (October 2000). "The Eight Martial Arts Styles Taught as One". An Explanation of Traditional Moo Doe: First Edition. Oom Yung Doe, Inc., San Diego, CA. Retrieved 2009-07-02.
- "Rank and Position Uniform Recognition System", Oom Yung Doe informational poster.
- "Becoming an Oom Yung Doe Instructor and Reaching Master Level", Oom Yung Doe informational poster
- "Case Information Summary for Case Number 1989-CH-10044". Clerk of the Circuit Court: Cook County. Retrieved 2009-04-09.
- Final Judgement and Consent Decree Between Plaintiff and Certain Named Defendants. Filed on July 26, 1994. Case No-89 CH 10044
- Janota, Laura (1995-04-13). "Martial Arts School's Top Brass Charged With Tax Fraud". Chicagoland Daily Herald. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- "Inmate Register Number 44555-198". Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- White, Thomas (October 2000). "Master “Iron” Kim Uncontested “Champion of all Asia”". An Explanation of Traditional Moo Doe: First Edition. Oom Yung Doe, Inc., San Diego, CA. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- "Pioneers Grand Master Nam Tae Hi". World Taekwon-Do Alliance. Retrieved 2011-09-07.
- White, Thomas (October 2000). "Photo Explanation: Skill of Kyong Gong Sul Bope (Flying Side-Kick)". An Explanation of Traditional Moo Doe: First Edition. Oom Yung Doe, Inc., San Diego, CA. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- oomyungdoe.com: The official Oom Yung Doe web site
- Videos showing demonstrations of the 8 Martial Arts that Oom Yung Doe schools say they teach: