UM & YANG

Sabumnim's um and yang symbols are the bright spots of color on his dobok.

Yin and Yang (Chinese). Um and Yang (Korean). In and Yo (Japanese). No matter the words, realizing the 2 forces are present is essential to a balanced life. As martial artists, we are much more aware than the average person of the concept of the duality. Whether we are working our techniques or practicing our form, we are always thinking about- should I extend or contract? Should I go fast or slow? hard or soft etc? We do this until one day, hopefully, we will get to a point where we are martial artists like Sabumnim, who doesn't even think about what to do. He flows with the situation whether it calls for Um or Yang. This is also another reason he's an extraordinary master- his ability to provide that for the students as well. Some days he puts us through the paces, pushing us physically so hard. Some of us call it "an old school class"; the kind where you take a peek at the clock thinking half an hour has gone by and are astonished to see only 8 minutes has passed. Other days, he delves deep into a specific technique or form. This fall he is focusing on having contrasting Saturday 2pm/Sunday 1pm classes. Last weekend's Saturday class was a totally Yang/high energy affair. The following day saw us working our baton/knife techniques. It required extreme focus, footwork and awareness of the surroundings. Both were challenging and fun but very different. We hope to see you at some of the um/yang classes this fall! (check out Wikipedia's page for a brief read on Um and Yang)