The Martial art for life

Non-Contact, Non Competitive modern martial art suitable for all

Choi Kwang Do is not designed for competition and does not have the intensity of sports training. The system is meant for the average individual who wants to learn real-life, practical self-defense skills and achieve a greater level of health and well-being, not people solely interested in winning trophies. Because it’s a noncontact, nonfighting, noncompetitive art that stresses mental, physical, emotional and social development, Choi Kwang Do promotes nonviolent resolutions to conflict, practical solutions to cardiovascular improvement, and enjoyable methods of exercise. In addition, with competition removed, students can continually develop—not against each other, but with each other. With a progressive system from White belt to highest level of Black belt, Choi Kwang Do always offers you something new and challenging to learn, experience and enjoy. Our training is based on individual needs, capabilities, skill levels and age. Our students range in years from 3 to 90, and some of our instructors are over 70. Since our primary goals are to prevent or reduce illness and disease and to promote optimum health and longevity by minimizing degeneration of body and mind, we also welcome those with limitations. Everyone is welcome at Choi Kwang Do.

Choi Kwang Do was developed by Grandmaster Kwang Jo Choi between 1978 and 1987 and has proved to be the most effective martial arts system in the world. Choi Kwang Do’s natural, easy-to-learn, sequential movements maximize your body’s force-producing capabilities, but more importantly, they increase opportunities to enhance your health. It’s a unique program based on modern scientific principles from human anatomy, physiology (the branch of the biological sciences dealing with the functioning of organisms), psychology (the science of mental life), kinesiology (the branch of physiology that studies mechanics and anatomy in relation to human movement), neurophysiology (the branch of neuroscience that studies the physiology of the nervous system) and biomechanics (human movement science).

The Choi Kwang Do system is based on the principles that its self-defense techniques should:

  • Generate maximum force
  • Be practical and easy to learn
  • Enhance the individual’s health as they practice
  • Develop reflexes and ability to respond against threats
  • Develop mental as well as physical conditioning

Although we teach pragmatic, efficient self-defense techniques, students learn to focus first on how to avoid physical confrontation by calming an attacker if possible. Since Choi Kwang Do is a noble art, we prefer forgiveness and compassion to kicking and punching. If we can’t avoid a defense situation, we remain humble before responding, and never telegraph that we know martial arts by putting our hands up. We try to resolve the situation without striking a blow.If, however, we must protect ourselves, we know how to take sudden, confident action with our concealed Choi Kwang Do human weapons. Because our biomechanical techniques are very effective and powerful, they can stop an attacker but, again, we will only use them as a last resort. We don’t like to see people get hurt—that’s why we don’t support martial arts competitions. Choi Kwang Do teaches usable applications, quite unlike the kicks and punches seen in martial arts movies and demonstrations.

The basis of our system is using gross motor skills instead of fine motor skills, somewhat like firing at a general target (combat shooting) instead of a specific bull’s eye (target shooting). You see, when human beings are in threatening situations, their brain’s ability to control their body is significantly diminished because of the amount of stress hormones like epinephrine, noreinephrine and glucocorticoid that the adrenal glands release into the body. These hormones decrease the fine motor skills we use when aiming for precision, such as striking pressure points or dot-sized areas on an opponent. Choi Kwang Do understands this phenomenon, so our techniques employ only gross motor skills, which means that we hit larger, more general targets such as the face, body and legs.

Choi Kwang Do is founded in nonviolent self-defense, health, character development and humanity. We want to help each other and anyone else who needs our assistance. Students recite our doctrines and a pledge at the beginning of every class, and living by the Choi Kwang Do principles at all times is considered to be of utmost importance.

Our school motto, Pil Sung, translates as “certain victory,” but not in an aggressive manner, and not always in respect to outside forces. It means we never give in unless it’s the right thing to do, we never give up until we achieve victory, and we never allow our spirit to break. The Pil Sung attitude allows us to overcome any obstacle to achieve our goals.

(Choi Kwang Do Martial) Art InternationalSM (CKDMAI) is an international supportive family system whose primary principle is to affirm each other in our common goal: to live a more productive, healthier, longer life. We want to create compassionate Choi Kwang Do families of individuals around the world and bring those families closer to other Choi Kwang Do families. Because of this goal, once an individual becomes a student at one CKD school, they can train at any other CKD school in the world. And we welcome and encourage all of our students to attend our Choi Kwang Do national and international seminars and festivals.


  • Humility (Gyum-soan)
  • Honesty (Jung-jik)
  • Gentleness (On-yu)
  • Perseverance (In-nae)
  • Self-Control (Guk-kee)
  • Unbreakable Spirit (Bool-gool)
  • Adult Pledge


  • To set positive goals and strive to achieve them
  • To apply self-discipline to further my personal development
  • To stand for justice and honor my word
  • To promote friendly relationships among all people
  • To use what I learn in class in a constructive manner
  • Children’s Promise


  • To always do my best and never give up
  • To obey my parents and teachers
  • To tell the truth and honor my word
  • To always be polite
  • To never misuse what I learn in class

Choi Kwang Do is a holistic health system. Every student within Choi Kwang Do Martial Art International is focused on living a more productive, healthier and longer life. Because of that, we tailor an individual’s training to meet their own personal needs and promote better health in their life. Sports training has little to do with health— the goal is winning. Competitions overstress the body with high-intensity workouts that overtax the immune system and cause injuries. Statistics show more than 10,000,000 sports injuries are treated each year in the United States.

At Choi Kwang Do, individuals may train at any age and enjoy the benefits of fitness and longevity. Levels of intensity, frequency and duration are all systematically developed for wellness. We encourage all our students to exercise regularly and to live a wholesome lifestyle.

We have many exciting and enjoyable drills to develop individuals aerobically and anaerobically. Both are important: Aerobic fitness training develops stamina and endurance, which assists you in daily life. Anaerobic training develops speed, agility and explosive power, which is essential in self-defense. And the combination strengthens the heart and lungs. We also teach a complete stretching method designed to strengthen all muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones, and our patterns use natural, rhythmic, fluid, contra-lateral movements. We systematically train both sides of the body evenly, in coordination with the eyes, which allows students to stimulate and develop their brain as well as their muscles.

All of Choi Kwang Do’s techniques are based on biomechanical principles—sudden, jerky movements are not used. This allows a practitioner to not only produce maximum force and promote health, but also to decrease the chance of injury. Our integrated movements also allow elder individuals to adapt slowly. Joint and muscle strength, mobility level, joints’ range of motion, endurance and fitness can be gradually improved. Because you use your entire body in the exercises, even bones can become stronger.

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