The Principles of Choikwangdo

The Principles of Choikwangdo

CKD aims to achieve

Humility (Gyum-soan)

Honesty (Jung-jik)

Gentleness (On-yu)

Perseverance (In-nae)

Self-control (Guk-gee)

Unbreakable Spirit (Bool-gool)

The school motto “Pil Sung” translates as ‘certain victory’ but not in an aggressive manner, and not always in respect to outside forces. It means we never give in unless it’s the right thing to do. We never give up until we achieve victory and we never allow our spirit to break. The Pil Sung attitude allows us to overcome any obstacle to achieve our goals.

“It is a sad fact that there is a great need for people of all ages to learn self-defence skills in the modern world. Even if you are not a direct victim of violence, its constant presence, and its overplay in the media, can cause you worry and stress, which can undermine your health and lessen your enjoyment of life.

Students at Choi Kwang Do learn how to take care of themselves, often without violence, which leads to more effective self-defence and greater peace of mind.”

CKD self defence techniques follow certain principles. You might find that the acronym MEDEM helps you to remember them.

Maximum force is generated

Easy to learn

Develop reflexes and ability to respond to threats

Enhance your health

Mental and physical conditioning


“Students learn first how to avoid physical confrontation by calming an attacker if possible. Since CKD is a noble art we prefer forgiveness and compassion to kicking and punching. If we can’t avoid a defence situation, we remain humble before responding and never telegraph that we know martial arts by putting our hands up. We try to resolve the situation without striking a blow. If, however, we must protect ourselves, we know how to take sudden confident action with our concealed CKD weapons.

Our techniques are very effective and powerful and can stop an attacker but we will only use them as a last resort. We don’t like to see people get hurt – that’s why we don’t support martial arts competitions. CKD teaches usable applications, quite unlike the kicks and punches seen in martial arts movies and demonstrations.”

Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification.
– Martin H. Fischer, 1879-1962, German-born Physician and Author

It is always better to know a few techniques well rather than many techniques badly. You will find the Choikwangdo syllabus to be very simple. The key is to learn each technique so well that you could use it without thinking when attacked.

If you have to start using your brain at the moment of attack, you will hesitate and may lose.

Let your muscle memory decide instantly what technique to use and how to use it. Regular training and a simple, clear and powerful syllabus will develop this memory.

Usually, the more you train the better you get. But you do need to avoid over training which can result in injuries.

Many of us need to dream of more and to do far more than most people think is necessary. Some years ago I watched a judo lesson taken by the Olympic Champion
Brian Jacks. He demonstrated a somersault in the air landing on his back. He did
this three or four times impressing everyone present.

He mentioned that when he trained in Japan, he had to do 1500 of these
before he could even start his lesson. To the average person this sounds mind
boggling. It is far more than most people would think of doing in 20 actual
lessons let alone doing it before one lesson started!

Bruce Lee, the famous martial artist who later became a great film star, used to
do 500 kicks with one leg and then 500 more with the other leg on the same day.
His kicking skill became legendary. Very few people do even one kick a day.

Grandmaster Kwang Jo Choi does hours of daily practice and is fitter and faster than many young men in their twenties.

Very few of us do our best in practice. If we do, we shall probably outshine many others since most people fail to do their best.

However, Choikwangdo is all about improving on your own best performance and not competing with that of others. The Grandmaster, Kwang Jo Choi once said that some people are like a Ferrari; others are like a Ford. It does not matter how much skill others have. We can all improve on what we start with.

In some cases and with much practice the Ford can start looking like a Ferrari.