The benefits of vigorous exercise, in general, are now so well documented and so widely accepted that one can spend too much time dwelling on the most obvious benefits e.g. improved cardio-vascular conditioning, improved bone density, increased flexibility, enhanced immune system, increased muscle mass, decreased levels of body fat, stress reduction….the list goes on.
There is no doubt that Sooyang Do will provide the practitioner with all of the health benefits listed above, as of course will many other sports, including other martial arts, and there is an ever increasing variety of activities for individuals to choose from.
Never before has there been so much information available to help us to lead longer, healthier, and more enjoyable and rewarding lives. Despite this, as a society, we are witnessing ever increasing obesity levels and lifestyle related illnesses in people of all ages. It is for this reason that we believe we have a responsibility to be as accessible as possible to all.
Within the Sooyang Do organisation we enrol people of all ages and fitness levels, some of whom have not done any exercise for many years, and others who may be extremely fit and looking to “cross-train” either for the fun of it or to improve their performance in their chosen discipline. We also enrol many “converts” from other martial arts systems.
For those seeking to “cross-train” there is no doubt that Sooyang Do can and does improve performance. The specific techniques employed in Sooyang Do help to maintain and develop the range of motion in the sport-specific skeletal areas in a manner which minimises stress to the joint(s) thereby ameliorating the inevitable consequences of extremely repetitive movements such as in cycling and running. For those of us who are already committed to training constantly, no matter the discipline, there are, therefore, enormous benefits to be gained from training in Sooyang Do, not only in terms of overall performance, but also in terms of “athletic longevity”.
For those who consider themselves unfit or who lead generally sedentary lifestyles, the benefits are even greater. Of course you will experience the fundamental benefits which you would gain from participating in any regular physical activity, as listed above, but in a manner which will not put unnecessary stress on joints such as knees, ankles and hips, which can often lead to injury in the early stages of a return to training or in someone who has never trained before. Such injury can be catastrophic, leading to the individual giving up and returning to a damaging and stressful sedentary lifestyle.
As well as this of course, there is the benefit of acquiring a realistic and practical self defense capability, within a non-competitive stress free environment, where everyone from the extremely fit and/or experienced student, to the complete novice, is engaged in intense physical training and encouraging others to do the best that they can.
We cannot stress enough that we are not linked to Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Kickboxing, or MMA. That is not to say that we have anything other than total respect for these and indeed all martial arts systems and responsible martial arts instructors. We do, however, have a different philosophy, which is not based on individual competition, but rather on collective encouragement and improvement within an extremely supportive environment, ultimately aimed at enhancing the lives of all of our students.
It is a matter of regret that a lot of the debate within the martial arts fraternity continues to be focused on which system is the “hardest” or the “most realistic”, claims which of course can never be proven, rather than concentrating on how martial arts instructors can make a positive contribution to society. For this reason, we seek at all times to reinforce our tenets of “courtesy”, “integrity”, “humility”, and “respect”.
It is an indisputable fact that children can, and do, benefit greatly, both mentally and physically, from training in martial arts which are taught by conscientious and responsible instructors. Within the Sooyang Do organisation, we pride ourselves on maintaining strict discipline and nurturing technical excellence by setting easily understood parameters and by positive reinforcement, rather than indulging in harsh and potentially damaging negative criticism. We also seek to ensure that the more naturally gifted young students are encouraged to use their good fortune to help and inspire those who may have more difficulty, rather than fostering an “elitist” attitude.
One of the specific benefits of this philosophy is that Sooyang Do is of particular benefit to children who may have been identified as having additional support needs or those who may for whatever reason, have had difficulty fitting into a competitive sports environment. We take great pride in our work with such young people and from seeing the progress they make.
Ultimately we seek to play a part in the development of all our young students, working with parents, and where possible teaching staff, so that they become respectful, well adjusted and successful citizens of the future.
Finally, whilst Sooyang Do continues to be enormously successful, in terms of numbers of participants, we continue to strive to improve and to provide the best service possible to our students. Despite such success we do not compare ourselves, favourably or otherwise, with other martial arts, and have total and complete respect for all other martial arts systems and some of the wonderful athletes and instructors who participate in them. Sooyang Do is open to all and we hope to continue helping people to achieve their goals.