Proper Names

We truly appreciate when parents make an effort to use proper terminology when speaking about our school, our uniforms and our instructors.

However, because we are a Korean martial art and most of the terms popularly disseminated in tv and movies are Japanese, I ask that you learn the correct Korean terminology so your children will learn it also.

So, we are not a dojo, we are a dojang. Our uniforms are do boks, not ghis. Our belt is called a dee, not an obi.

And neither I, nor any of our black belts are sensei. We have our own titles. Mr. Will and I are Kyo Sa Nim – black belt instructor, used for 2nd (Mr. Will) and 3rd (me) degree black belts.

Mr. Ian and Ms. Sarah are Yo Dan Ja, or black belt holders. A senior member of the class who is not a black belt is called Sun Bae.

The Sun Bae is the highest ranking student, other than black belts, in the class. This could be a green belt or even an orange belt. Your child could be Sun Bae Nim (the “nim” honorific added for class opening and closing protocol) and be bowed to if s/he is the highest rank.

Our black belt exam included a master testing. We also had two masters in the house performing the testing. The Korean word for Master Instructor is Sah Bum Nim.

These two particular masters, however, are the heads of their organizations.
Master Garth Charland is the grandmaster of our organization, Tang Soo Do Masters Alliance (TSDMA).

Master David Sgro is the grandmaster of United States Goodwill Tang Soo Do.

Grandmasters are called Kwan Ja Nim.