Thursday, April 16, 2009

New Sword Class in Hoboken, NJ!

Hello everyone, I will be teaching a new sword class in Hoboken NJ on THURSDAYS at 7:00PM. The style is SIL JUN DO BUP, similar to Iaido, but focuses more directly on actual cutting. More details are below. If anyone is interested, you can email me at or call me at 201.317.9517

The following is a repost from the Waterfront Weekly Journal, where it was featured as the cover story:

Get moving ... with swords

Monday, April 06, 2009

A new kind of martial arts will soon be coming to Hoboken.

Sil Jun Do Bup is a Korean form of sword practice, which literally translates to mean "real sword training." It is similar to Iaido, a Japanese form of sword practice that focuses on the drawing of the blade from the kneeling or sitting position. Sil Jun Do Bup, by contrast, focuses on cutting and strikes.


But don't worry, the classes being offered by teacher Raab Rashi at Monroe Movement Space are completely safe.

"You begin training with a wooden or plastic sword," says Rashi, 29. But even before the sword is picked up, "we focus on respect."

Rashi began training unofficially seven years ago, later being taken under the wing of Grandmaster Jin K. Seong, a seventh degree black belt from Korea.

"I was always into swords and martial arts, but I never had the opportunity (growing up) to formally train," says Rashi.

He soon took up teaching at Grandmaster Seong's school, The Kendo Academy in Dumont. The school has two other locations in Closter and East Brunswick. Seong was interested in expanding the school, and Rashi thought Hoboken would be a good fit for this unique style of practice.

"It's a community where people are very open to international ideas. There's a real global awareness and consciousness in Hoboken."

During the first class, Rashi will explain the form of Sil Jun Do Bup, the etiquette involved and then begin to introduce basic movements such as bowing, drawing the sword, stance, basic cutting and sheathing.

"(The basics) are things you work on throughout your journey," says Rashi. "Even masters will be working on these things."

And even though the art involves a lot of physical discipline, what is most important is the mental discipline that practitioners of Sil Jun Do Bup will develop.

"You can go into it with some expectations," Rashi says, "but you will find other things in the art that you weren't expecting to find. You can want to improve your stamina and physical well-being, which you will, but you will also improve your mental focus and reaction time. It will make you a more aware person."

For Rashi, who says that studying sword movement has made him more "grounded," he hopes his students will develop "a sense of calm and focus."

Classes in Sil Jun Do Bup are wholly unique to the Hudson County area, which makes it an even bigger draw to anyone interested in martial arts or sword training.

"We're the only program around like this. There's a few wonderful Kendo schools in the area," he says, but none in the county that specialize in Sil Jun Do Bup.

Classes in Sil Jun Do Bup will run Thursdays at Monroe Movement Space, 720 Monroe St. in Hoboken. Prospective students may show up for a free first class, and then sign up for six months, 24 months or a full year. For more information or to register, call 201-317-9517.

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