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Choi Kwang Do is a martial art developed by Kwang Jo Choi, that draws heavily from Tae Kwon Do, although the style relies more on flexibility and fluidity of movement as opposed to the more rigid lines of Tae Kwon Do. To achieve this it combines yoga-based stretching with more modern approach to self-defense movements.
Choi Kwang Do was founded by Kwang Jo Choi, who was born in South Korea before emigrating to Canada in the early 1970s. Choi was a successful Tae Kwon Do practitioner and trainer before establishing his own style.
While teaching and demonstrating Tae Kwon Do in South East Asia, Kwang Jo Choi states that he became injured to the point where he was unable to continue with the discipline. So he left Malyasia (where he was demonstrating at the time) for North America, in the hope of finding orthopedic surgeons who would be able to help with his injuries. Determining that the injuries were caused by the style of martial arts which he was performing, Choi undertook rehabilitative exercises, attended various seminars and studied techniques for rehabilitation. Choi claims that he incorporated these techniques into his own fighting style, and from that he developed Choi Kwang Do.
Today, Choi Kwang-Do is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, and is taught in over 40 countries including the United Kingdom with schools in London and the surrounding area notably Enfield, Wembley and Harrow.
Choi Kwang Do emphasizes the use of biomechanics – practitioners employ natural body movements, reducing “jerks”, and thus limiting the pressure and potential damage on the joints. This has improved its suitability for a wide range of ages, and avoids some of the injuries that usually occur to martial arts practitioners. In particular, the low risk of injury afforded by the style, in combination with the cardiovascular advantages common to many martial arts, has permitted the style to be recommended for groups as diverse as emergency nurses and school girls in Chandigarh, India.
Notable practitioners of the Choi Kwon Do style include:
The basic tenets of the style are:
Choi Kwang Do stopped using the Tenets in 2005. From that point on they used the Principles of CKD as published in the Choi Kwang Do book:
Prior to 1999 CKD had 11 colored belts before introducing “senior” belts for each colored belt. The new curriculum increased the total number of colored belts to 18. Each senior belt retained the original pattern, while the solid colored belts were demoted to a simplified one directional pattern. If a student were to sit a belt exam every month, the minimum time in which they would gain a black belt would be 1 year and 3 months.