NAM SEO KWAN

An American Martial Arts Icon

AMERICAN NAM SEO KWAN TAE KWON DO


This system was founded by Keith D. Yates in 1980. Based on the original Chung Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do (Tang Soo Do) that Jhoon Rhee brought to the United States in 1956, the style has added elements of Japanese and Okinawan Karate-Do as well as technical aspects of Ju-Jutsu and Kobudo (all of which Mr. Yates has studied over his five decades of training). Nam Seo Kwan is one of the very few legitimate and recognized American martial systems as listed in these reference books: The Martial Arts Sourcebook: Harper Collins Publishers, 1994 / The Ultimate Martial Arts Q & A Book: McGraw-Hill, 2001 / The Martial Arts Encycolopedia: Createspace Publishing, 2012.

For more on the history of Nam Seo Kwan see Mr. Yates’s book,
The Complete Guide to American Karate and Tae Kwon Do (Blue Snake Books, 2008)—available on the books and video page. Here are the belt requirements for American Nam Seo Kwan Tae Kwon Do.


YELLOW BELT
—It will take you about a month, (six to eight lessons) to earn this rank
Nine-Step Block (Ahop Palchak Marki)
Punching from a Horse Stance
Front Snap Kick and Side Snap Kick
Prearranged escapes from:
Front Choke (twist and palm heel strike)
Wrist Grab (rotate and palm heel strike)
Hair Grab (hold and kick or knee)
YELLOWWITH ORANGE STRIPE
—About a month (or six to eight lessons from Yellow Belt)
Down Block (Harden Marki) and Rising Block (Chukyo Marki)
First eight steps of the form “Chunji” (Heaven and Earth)
Backfist-Punch and Backfist-Ridgehand Combinations
Back Kick and Rear Leg Roundhouse Kick
Self-Defense: Rear Forearm Choke (tuck chin, stomp, elbow turn with guard up)
Bear Hug (stomp, drop, extend, elbow twice, turn with guard up)
ORANGE BELT
—Another month of training
Outside Inside Block (Arb Cheegi) and Inside Outside Block (Yop Marki)
All 19 steps of the form “Chunji”
C-Punch Combination
Double Jump Front Kick and Front Kick Roundhouse Kick
Self-Defense: Rear Shoulder Grab (look, turn to “pinky,” kick or punch)
Pressure Points from choke (base of throat, behind ear lobes)
Name the 3 primary target areas.
ORANGE WITH PURPLE STRIPE
—Another month of training
Knife Hand Block (Soodo Marki)
First eight steps of the form “Tangun” (Legendary Founder of Korea)
One-Step Attack Sequence (both sides)
Low-High Round Kick
Self-Defense: Front Lapel Grab (hold wrists, kick or knee. Also ear slap)
Front Bear Hug (grab waist, knee)
Name the 10 secondary target areas.
One Sparring Match
PURPLE BELT
— Another month of training
All of the form “Tangun”
One-Step Sequence number ONE (inside block, backfist, reverse punch)
Crescent Kick plus Hooking Heel Kick
Self-Defense: Rear Hair Grab (hold and low back kick)
Front Choke Alternates (palm heel, ear slap, shin kick, etc.)
One or two sparring matches
PURPLE BELT WITH GREEN STRIKE
— TWO months of training
Half of the form “Toesan”
One-Step Sequence number TWO (Knife-hand block, reverse punch, palm heel to face)
Turning Back Kick
Self-Defense: Full Nelson (hands against forehead, stomp, elbows down, twist elbow strikes, step away)
Rear Arm Bar (twist away from grab, elbow strike, step away)
One or two sparring matches
GREEN BELT
—TWO months of training
All of the form "Toesan"
One-Step Sequence numbers THREE and FOUR (front kick followed by two punches, front round kick followed by a upper cut punch to the ribs)
Turning Hook Kick
Self-Defense: Head Lock (reach up grab hair, pull back, strike)
Opponent sitting on your stomach (one hand up, one hand down, lift hips to thrown him off)
Sparring
GREEN BELT WITH BLUE STRIPE
—THREE months of training
Half of the form "WonHyo"
One-Step Sequence numbers FIVE and SIX (Upsidedown T-block with a chop to the ribs, the neck and finally a knee strike, Block while striking throat, chop to collar bone, outside sweep and kick to downed opponent)
Reverse Crescent Kick
Self-Defense: Front Shove (side step and strike)
Ground Fighting (Keep your feet pointed to opponent and swivel to get up)
Sparring
One-Board Break