Category: Master Yoo’s Training Guide



Levels of achievement go hand in hand with the degree of concentration one applies to any given task. When starting a new activity or endeavor, one’s concentration tends to be high since we are in the learning phase. Once we gain some familiarity and approach a “knowing” phase, the level of concentration tends to decrease. Think about how much concentration you used when first learning to ride a bike compared to how much concentration you apply to riding the bike now that you “know” how to do it.

Progressing further from knowing something to being good at it requires greater concentration. From this point on, reaching a greater level of achievement (very good or impressive) is difficult and demands even higher concentration. Think about how the difference in concentration that you apply to riding a bike compares to someone who does BMX bike tricks.  Which rider consistently applies a higher level of concentration while riding the bike? The vast majority of martial arts students struggle at achieving or surpassing the “good” stage and reach a plateau. Only with greater effort and deeper concentration (80%-90% or higher) can the journey to “very good” or “impressive” be reached.



Using concentration while practicing Ji Gam Meditation is essential. Just like with biking, if you reach up to a knowing level, your concentration level may quickly drop. If you clap your hands, shake them and bring them facing one another and concentrate on your palms, you will be able to feel subtle tingling and heat. At that level, someone who is learning may apply 60% concentration, while someone who already has felt that before, risks becoming distracted and less enthusiastic towards the training, thus experiencing a drop in focus. To grow that sense, one must apply 70% concentration or higher to feel further energetic sensations such as pulsing, magnetic forces and circulating energy between their palms. This will bring the meditation practitioner into a state of high concentration allowing them to feel impressed with their progress.

In applying concentration to meditation, anxious desire can serve as a barrier to reaching the goal of SungTong (The state of finding true self). There needs to be a balance because the ego can tell you that you experienced what you need to know and now it is time to move on to something else, perhaps prematurely. In Ji Gam meditation, experiencing the physical phenomena of tingling, warmth, and magnetic force can be quite exciting.  Once it becomes familiar, it may seem pointless to practice. However, if one can trust in a teacher’s instruction that there are levels higher to go and focus on the training without overly seeking results, one can advance at the proper pace. If one thinks he/she already knows and/or doesn’t have the dedication to practice routinely, one cannot truly experience what the teacher has spoken about.

So a few important things to note on the topic of meditation:

  • Have a teacher who is at high level of meditation himself/herself
  • Even after experiencing some phenomena yourself, have enough intelligence and humility to know you still have improvements to make
  • Have enough love and trust in your teacher to persistently continue the path, despite the sacrifice, time, and effort you will have to put in
  • Remain present and enjoy the journey, rather than being anxious about reaching the destination.

Progress in reaching a high level of achievement can accelerate significantly if one sustains and builds on the level of concentration applied at the beginner level. In other words, do not drop your concentration level even as an activity becomes seemingly easier. By maintaining high concentration and sincerity you will reap the benefits much sooner than most and reach a level you did not think was possible.

— Lectured by Master Yoo

— Written by Hyun Sa Myung Duk (Drew Vanover), Ji Sun (Joe Lipman), Shin Min (Patrick Malonso) and Chun Shim (Carlos Stern)


Training for Partner Dummy Kicking


Improve speed and reaction time by cooperating with partner


Method of checking speed and reaction times:

If the dummy leans toward you – opposite from your kicking force — then your speed and reaction time are slower than your partner’s.


Method of improving speed and reaction time:

Speed and reaction time are not only the result of physical conditioning; it is possible to improve through your mindset. It is a similar situation when sparring: your eyes can see when your opponent is about to kick – you must use this split second moment to beat your opponent’s timing by countering with an faster kicking that will beat your partner’s speed, even if your counter-kick started after your opponent’s.

Such reaction time is only possible with an alert and clear mindset.


If the trainee is able to apply this mindset on Partner Dummy Kicking Training, he or she will find improvement in both speed and reaction time, which will translate into better sparring skills.


Written by G. Master Yoo       Edited by HyunSa Carlos Stern and Melanie Zessos


Musa Rank Promotion Test Requirements


The First Phase Olympic Style Sparring One on one 3 round, Two on one 1 round
The Second Phase Street Fighting Technique KwonBub(Hand Method) and KaakBub(Feet Method)
The Third Phase Sword Basic Cut part 1.2.3
The Forth Phase Combination Course Speed Roundhouse Kick+Jumping Roundhouse Kick
Agility Blocks+Jumping Front and Roundhouse Kick in the air

Tae Kwon Do Philosophy

-Written by new Taekwondo Black Belt Bryan Wong


When we first moved to Tarrytown, I decided to visit Yoo’sMartial Arts because I was interested in getting Tyler involved in an activity that would improve his confidence, physical conditioning and discipline.  I then realized this was an opportunity for me to pursue a martial art which was something I’d always wanted to learn as a kid.  Of course, the first thing you think about is how cool it would be to break a board or throw a spinning roundhouse kick.  But you quickly realize that the benefits of Tae Kwon Do are much larger than improving your physical capabilities.

The principles we study as part of each belt’s curriculum provide the balance to the physical aspects of the martial arts.  Understanding the importance of the brown belt principle of Do & Tae Kwon Do is essential.  It is the balance of physical skills and a focus on living life in a way that benefits humanity is what makes us complete.  Without the focus of leading a “good way of life”, the benefits of the physical combat skills of Tae and Kwon will lead to aggression and a negative impact on society.

The starting point of the journey is the white belt principle of Respect.  The important aspect here is that without first respecting yourself, you will be unable to show respect to others.  In order to improve your self-respect, you must align the three aspects of who you are – mind, body and spirit.  The physical training (Jung Choong) of Tae Kwon Do sets the foundation of building your overall Ki.  Secondly, we must clear our mind of negative emotions via KJaang training via meditation and a positive outlook.  The third aspect is Shin Myung training to build up our spirit.  This requires that we remove the preconceptions in our minds that keep us from realizing our true potential.  Once you have a better position on respecting yourself, you can look to extend that respect to those around you.

Now that the journey is in progress, we must understand that the journey never ends.  While we must strive to achieve the red/black belt principle of Conquering mountain of Tae Kwon Do, it is the journey itself that is the true purpose.  It is critical that we don’t end up in a place of arrogance by thinking that we have conquered the mountain and achieved all that there is to achieve.  The yellow belt principle of Humility is where we must focus as we journey up the mountain.  It is the realization that there is always more to learn that helps to set the context of our journey and to avoid the pitfalls of an arrogant lifestyle.

The journey to be a better person and to benefit humanity is a difficult one.  There are constant distractions that will attempt to side-track us from our goals.  In order to combat these challenges, we have several tools at hand.  When we were orange belts, we learned the importance of Perseverance.  In the face of challenges, we must continue to move forward step by step.  This requires the green belt principle of Self Control.  We will have to battle frustration, anger and the desire to quit by maintaining control over those states of mind.  One way to do this is to use meditation to enhance our concentration (purple belt) on our goals.

As we build up our inner strength, we are enabled to share that strength and positive energy with those around us.  The blue belt principle of Honesty is critical to being able to share our wisdom and energy in efforts to serve the greater good.  If we are sincere, people will see that in how we live our lives and will be more receptive to what we have to offer.

All of this leads to us becoming more complete at human beings.  The many principles are interlinked and work together to equip us as servants of humanity.  Our training in both physical and mental discipline will help us to build a strong belief (red belt) that we can make a difference in this world and that our Tae Kwon Do journey is a core foundation that empowers us.



Concentration and its development provide many benefits in daily life as well as in Tae Kwon Do. Having a better capacity to concentrate allows for greater focus while performing tasks at work or school, or doing chores around the house. It enables learning and retention of new things.

There are two types of concentration cultivation; through tension and through relaxation. Tense concentration can occur when an individual is in a high pressure situation like attempting to score a winning penalty goal in a soccer game, taking a test, or trying to meet a deadline. Relaxed concentration is commonly experienced when in meditation or doing simple activities like walking in nature, or cleaning with mindfulness.

In both, the capacity for concentration and focus increases. The difference is in the effects and the duration. In a tense situation, one’s concentration rises quickly. However it is not sustained at that level for long and once the tense situation is over, the concentration drops to at, or even sometimes below, the starting point. The physical after effects typically leave one feeling drained, tired, and mentally foggy.

When building concentration through relaxation, the focus takes a longer time to develop. However this allows for a steady growth over time. While there are still peaks and valleys in the capacity of concentration, the overall trend is that one’s concentration grows for a prolonged period. Through relaxed concentration, the level of concentration cultivated rarely diminishes and the physical after effects are more positive; typically instilling a sense of calmness and clarity.

One of the effects meditation can have on a person is lengthening their breath. With deep breathing comes a slower heart rate and calm mind. All of these things relax the sympathetic nervous system and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. This relaxed state of concentration can be highly beneficial to balance out the normal stresses our body may experience from work, school, and family responsibilities.

Another point to consider is that there are changes in the brainwaves that occur for each method. Our concentration will impact the brain as well as other parts of the physical body. The universal vibration is set to 7.5 Hz, the natural frequency of infants. It is thought this attunes them to the universe and is why they are happy and inquisitive.

In the normal day to day living, our brainwaves are in the Beta range (13-30 Hz). In this range, attention is directed towards cognitive tasks and the outside world in the condition of tension and instability.

Below that is the Alpha range (8 to 12 Hz) which shows up when we are calm and awake, but the brain is resting.

Below that is the Theta range (4 to 8 Hz) which is where our brains go into sleep and deep meditation.

And the lowest for our purposes is the Delta range (0.2 to 3 Hz) which is where deep sleep and the deepest of meditative states occurs.

By changing the frequency our brains operate at, we can facilitate better learning and cultivate more capacity for concentration. How we manage our brain frequency (either through tension or relaxation) determines the long term benefits of heightened concentration.

— Spoken by JiDoJa YOO, JM
— Written by Hyun Sa Myung Duk (Drew Vanover) and Shin Min (Patrick Malonso); Edited by Hyun Sa Chun Shim (Carlos Stern)