Saturday, June 7, 2008

Something new: Moo Doe

As part of my exploration of fitness options, I did some web research on Seattle area martial arts programs. But, somehow, nothing called to me.

Friday, after leaving the car to be detailed on Aurora Avenue, I walked over to the Greenwood & 85th business district. It was cold and rainy and not a very exciting day to be out and about. Not much is open before 11, except for a couple of tiny local coffeehouses. One of the closed businesses I walked by was a martial arts studio, of the very traditional variety: many faded black and white photos of masters, a few stacks of simple brochures by the door. I was staring at the brochures when I realized someone was beside me, opening the door. He asked if he could help me, and we went in and talked about the School of Oom Yung Doe (for that's what it is).

I was impressed by the explanation that Adam, the master, gave about the relationship of the martial arts to yoga, and by his insistence that each individual's practice be tailored to her or her own body and capabilities. (I will not be expected to go flying through the air, kicking people! The emphasis is on health and efficient use of energy, not on combat moves.)

Today I stopped by the studio with Zorg, who practiced martial arts some years ago and talked with Adam again. Starting the week after next, I am going to give Moo Doe a try. I remarked to Zorg that my renegade yoga teacher, who had nothing but disdain for paternalistic Eastern programs with people bowing to "masters" and murmuring in foreign languages, would be horrified.

"She left," he said. "You can study anywhere you want."


Jinx '75 said...

Whatever you do- do not study there. The school is a front for a cult- most of their teachers moved here from the midwest after their teacher (the guy side-kicking into the air in the front posters) went to jail for defrauding students, running a criminal conspiracy, and income tax evasion. During the trial, his ex-wife and former associates came clean about the cult's practices and the "Iron" Kim's claims. He never won any competitions in Korea, and never studied many of the arts the school claims to teach.
Various Information about the art and the cult:

Again- the teachers of this school are all from the midwest, after they had to leave town because of the publicity surrounding the cult when Kim was sent to prison.
We are very lucky in Seattle- we have an amazing number of world class MA schools. Do not go to this school. Feel free to ask if you have any questions.

The Mysterious Traveler said...

I went and read the sites critical of Moo Doe that you referenced in your comment; most of them incoherent rants that repeated the some unattributed rumors. Plenty of small businesses run into trouble with the IRS; the financial problems referenced happened in Kansas, not in Washington state, and using those anecdotes to smear the reputation of a small Seattle martial arts school seems pretty feeble. The prices quoted to me for training were reasonable, and I'm not at all vulnerable to cults -- even if, by some extremely far-fetched eventuality, this were one.