American Moo-Do Kwan Philosophy
Moo-Do is the Korean term for martial art. That means that we study and teach techniques of a military or fighting nature. At the same time, these techniques have an aesthetic component. There are many ways of fighting known in the world, but it is the special quality of mental development that offsets the oriental martial arts from its relatives.
Many oriental martial arts techniques resemble dances to the uninitiated. So, the oriental martial arts, without the mental component, could become a dance rather than an effective method of combat. Our name signifies the synthesis of American values and the qualities gained from traditional oriental philosophies.
Our system advocates the original principles established by Grandmaster Chan-Yong Kim of the Oriental Moo-Do School system. That is, the study of all oriental martial arts is of value regardless of style, technique, or nationality, if the martial art is studied in its entirety. By this, we mean that a full appreciation of the techniques and philosophy of each system must be our goal. We study Korean and Japanese martial arts for consistency, but we must accept all traditionally taught oriental martial arts as being of worth.
Our system advocates the belief that adherents of the oriental martial arts must develop physically, mentally, and spiritually. It is our intention to provide students with the most comprehensive program of instruction possible. The objective is to develop a complete person—one of physical strength, moral character, and spiritual insight. Oriental martial arts offer this opportunity to each person.
We are dedicated to the teaching and dissemination of this traditional form of oriental discipline. Oriental ways of teaching need to be preserved. Our instructors pledge to guide students to their greatest accomplishments through the study of oriental martial arts.
Jack L Amsell – January 1, 1988
American Moo-Do Kwan Logo
The logo was conceived by Mike E. Brown. Mike collected all the recommendations of the students and the founder, Jack L. Amsell, and designed a logo that would be a synthesis of oriental (not just Asian) and American graphical images.
The central shape is based upon the oriental concept of Yin/Yang (Um/Yang in Korean). Each of the two circulating, intertwined shapes represent the universal opposites in the universe such as “hot/cold”, “life/death”, “man/woman” or “hard/soft”. Considered together, both shapes represent Taegeuk, the Korean term for Universe. It easily portrays the idea that our school system features both “hard” and “soft” styles.
The Taegeuk symbol is broken into bands and is somewhat modified in shape. That indicates that strict oriental dogmatic philosophies have been modified by the joining of cultural influences. Of course, the colors, red, white, and blue, represent the American vision.
The founding date is listed as 1972, rather than 1988. That is because our system really became an entity with the first Hewlett-Packard Taekwondo Club. Even though we have changed greatly since that time, and we will continue to change over time, the heart of our system still lives in the vision of the founder.
Furthermore, our system does not carry the name of its founder. That is because of the philosophy of the founder. If his concept proves to be sound, then it will be carried on by his disciples. Therefore, the American Moo-Do Kwan is not the property of the founder. It is his legacy.