Martial Development

Martial arts for personal development

DahnMuDo Revealed

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16 Comments

While waiting for some Chinese takeout earlier this week, I read a brochure for the local branch of Dahn Yoga.  In addition to Yoga and Tai Chi, they now teach a martial art called DahnMuDo.

I had never heard of this martial art before, so I looked it up on the web:

DahnMuDo posture

DahnMuDo is an energy-based, non-combative, healing martial art, with roots dating back thousands of years into Korean history. In Korean, “Dahn” means energy. “Mu” means “martial,” or “limitless” and “Do (Tao)” means, “the way,” or, “the ultimate truth. DahnMuDo is therefore also known as “The Art of Being Limitless. Its mind-body training methods combine martial arts movements with universal energy principles to help practitioners circulate blood and energy through the body, and recover the natural balance and rhythm of the body and mind. Its goal lies in training the body and mind to become one.

Sounds good, but good marketing always does. 

So what does DahnMuDo look like? A few form demonstrations are available on the official USA website and Korean 단무도 website, but I only found one video of actual DahnMuDo practice. Here it is:


DahnMuDo 18 Joint Dance

[tags]martial arts, dahnmudo, qigong, dahn moo doe, dahn hak, dahn tao, dahnhak, dahn yoga[/tags]

Categories: Health and Fitness · Qigong · Video

16 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kelli // Aug 10, 2008

    This video does not show the actual DahnMuDo practice. What it actually shows is the 18 joint dance which consists of exercises to help you gain flexibility in the 18 main joints in your body. It was created as a fun way to warm up before actually practicing DahnMuDo.

  • 2 Viet // Sep 25, 2008

    I have no words to express my disbelief that people would take martial arts to this absurd and abstract level. Naturally, there will be practitioners of this “martial art” who will be offended and disagree with my view. But I shouldn’t be worried since the system doesn’t concern itself with base activities such as unnecessary mental proliferation nor will anyone from this system be able to physically do anything about it in case he/she wanted to teach me a lesson. ; ) Personally, I would have just called it “Mental and Physical Exercise School.”

  • 3 Chris // Jul 26, 2009

    Performance by a Dahn Mu Do demo team:

  • 4 Aaron // Sep 22, 2009

    DahnMuDo is rooted in in ancient study and practice of Tao. All of the movements have combative applications, but these are not taught until much later in the practice. Because the fundamental purpose of DahnMuDo is to enhance the wellbeing of the body and brain, and attain a simple, effective and systemized way to share wellbeing with others that is what is focused on at the beggining.
    The important point is that DahnMuDo is not only effective for personal wellbeing, but also it is easy enough to learn that almost anyone with a a few months of training can share the basics with their loved. Of course, a few months of training does not make one a Master, but it does offer a whole new set of principles and a foundation for a lifetime of practice, (and it does take a lifetime to be a Master.)
    Being able to share the practice is most important and the dance performed in the video here is a very fun and entertaining adaptation of the muscular/skeletal alignment form taught to a beginner of DahnMuDo.
    Nothing wrong with taking a great thing and having fun with it.
    Dahn =)

  • 5 Chris // Sep 22, 2009

    Aaron,
    What concrete skills, if any, are demonstrated in the video directly above your comment?

  • 6 Viet // Sep 22, 2009

    I’m sorry Aaron, I take it you enjoy this art. More power to you. Unfortunately, and I will sound completely racist for saying this, but I stress that it has been my personal experience in the matter: Every single Korean school – Dahn Yoga, TKD, Chayon Ryu, etc. has been concerned more with enrollment, contracts and profit that has been concerned with doing anything helpful for mankind. It seems to be that this is born from a view that Westerners are to be seen as nïave cash cows who are easily harvested for their money. That’s pretty much as bluntly as I can put it.

  • 7 Michela // Sep 23, 2009

    It’s true that DahnMuDo will not help someone defend themselves and lacks “non-cooperative practice”. It never claims to. It does not follow, however, that DahnMuDo is useless. From the practice you gain concrete ways of loosening the joints, opening the body’s energy meridian system, accumulating energy, centering both body and mind, opening the heart (figuratively), aligning muscles and bones, gaining confidence, and developing strength and power.

    Of course, not everyone values or cares about these things. And there is no scientific proof. The only support for these claims are the stories of practitioners, including my own. So I expect many refuting comments to follow, if any comments are made.

    But I can say that, however you want to label it, I really love the practice and know it does good for people. And I know the top-level trainers take it very seriously (as may be expected).

    Here are a few videos to contribute to the list here. The first is about the new DahnMuDo DVDs:

    And here’s another with one of the basic forms that is less commercial:

    Last one, a free-form demonstration by co-founder and over 30-year black belt Master Owoon:

    Thanks, this was fun…

  • 8 Michela // Sep 23, 2009

    Ok, I did the whole video thing wrong. Let me try with links:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9Rw6lL6fb4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ay65JA5uc1M

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWRuRYVf1Ww&feature=fvw

  • 9 Schajas // Mar 7, 2010

    I have looked at the videos and read the comments. I myself have practiced Yang tai chi for many years. What I think needs to be said is that all styles of Tai Chi our beneficial to our health. To say one is wrong and one is right, is in itself on the wrong path. But to in brace and learn more is the true meaning in Tai Chi.

  • 10 Self Master // Nov 19, 2010

    I agree with Schajas. I have practiced Kung Fu, Qigong, Yang & Sun Tai Chi Chuan style for years, and also have practice this style of “Dahn Mu Do”. They are all different forms of “healing” martial arts. Actually, if you master any of these styles, you can use for combative, healing/therapeutic, or energetic(Chi/Qi/Ki) purposes. Those who say Dahnmudo is not a martial art(if they actually practiced it in its entirety), do not know what true martial art is. Dahn Mu Do is basically a Korean version of Tai Chi. True Martial Art is about mastering oneself, mind, body, & spirit. If one wants to learn to fight dont take tai chi, qigong, or dahn mu do, instead take TKD, Karate, or some other self defensive/combative martial art. If ones wants health/healing & therapeutic benefits take tai chi, qigong, or dahn mu do. Also the video above is just a warm up dance. Try it out first, before you judge. :-)

  • 11 chris // Nov 19, 2010

    I am glad a master has come here to straighten out some points of confusion…

    “Dahn Mu Do is basically a Korean version of Tai Chi.”

    Do any Tai Chi masters of note share that sentiment? Who?

    What is the lineage relationship between Dahn Mu Do and Tai Chi? Who taught who, when and where?

    Or, if there is no relationship, then what is your basis for calling it Korean Tai Chi, any more than it is Korean Pilates?

    Aside from the direct lineage transmission, Tai Chi has a body of written work, that can be used as a starting point when judging whether someone’s performance is orthodox or good. How can you tell whether a practitioner of Dahn Mu Do is an expert or a mere amateur? I previously asked this question in regards to a concrete demonstration (as you can see above), but nobody was willing or able to answer it, and now the video has been hidden from public view.

    This is a serious martial arts forum–at least some of the time anyway–so let’s dig into the details.

  • 12 Self Master // Nov 19, 2010

    Chris:
    There are some tai chi masters that do share my thoughts. Not too many because, not too many masters know about Dahn MuDo. Here is one tai chi master I have trained with that would have a similar view, http://www.atouchofchi.com.

    DanhMuDo is fairly recently developed by Korean Martial Arts Master Owoon( in the demonstration video Michela posted above) and Ilchi Lee the founder of Dahn Yoga. Dahn yoga is actually a “Taoist Yoga” combined with qigong, yoga postures(asanas), forms and exercises. Owoon was a martial artist that studied qigong, tai chi & kung fu, before him and others developed Dahn Mu Do in Korea and brought it to the states.

    I say Korean version meaning “style” of tai chi(martial art) because:
    1.In Korean history they were occupied by Chinese and Japanese, so alot of their history or lineage stems from the Chinese or Japanese principles or philosophies, Taoism, Budhism, etc..
    2. Just as there is a Brazilian style martial art like capoeira, or Isreali style like Krav Maga, we know most of the Japanese and Chinese martial arts, but most people dont know that are many “styles” and forms of martial arts all over the world.
    3. In America Tai Chi is considered a “martial art” even though it is more than that. There are many “styles” of tai chi, many of styles of qigong, many styles of yoga. But all have similar principles, basically for connection, enlightenment and mastery of mind,body & spirit(soul).

    A s far as trying to find out if someone is a master or amatuer. You cant really know that with any style. Because it depends on the style. Yes, you can trace most lineage of different systems. But true practitioners know & understand that they are not masters, but working to master themselves. Especially if you travel to Asia, there are literally thousands of people claiming to be “masters” there, but who really knows? In America the main tai chi styles we know of are Yang, Sun, Wu, & Chen. But there are many more in Asia.

    I hope all this debating can actually help someone make better and educated choice when choosing a practice or martial art. Again what all this comes down too is self practice and self mastery.

  • 13 Leeta // Jan 7, 2013

    Hello, I am also a DahnMuDo practitioner and earned a black belt in 2007. Before that I trained in Tae Kwon Do and also Hap Ki Do. Although the latter two gave me a good foundation in martial arts it was through DahnMuDo that I really started to learn about self-mastery, discipline, energy, circulation, self- awareness, as well as awareness of my surroundings. I totally believe that DMD would be as effective in combat as any other martial art. We learn many combative forms as well as kicking and striking. However, DMD is not intended to be used for this purpose. It is for the purpose of self-healing as well being passed on to others for the same purpose. It is meant to help as many people as possible. Therefore, rather than participating in tournaments and such most DMD Masters and Practitioners perform in demonstrations as well as teach others. It is a wonderful way to be strong, peaceful, and healthy!

  • 14 Kim // Oct 1, 2013

    Here is some information about the founder of Dahn mu do, Lee Il-chi:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilchi_Lee

  • 15 Joshua // Oct 16, 2013

    As somebody who practices a lot of fast, aggressive martial art(Filipino Kali/Eskrima), I’ve never felt intimidated or insulted by people who append the term [something] in front of “Martial Arts”, and I don’t really understand why other people do.

    We don’t live in feudal eras where the local police-force was too weak to be trusted, and if you have a problem with someone, then you go buy a gun; you don’t spend ten year on the mountain learning double-broadswords.

    People want to use the motions for different things? Fine. It keeps interest alive, and there will always be those of us who keep the purely combative spirit alive.

    It doesn’t “demean” or “degrade” anything what that gentleman is doing in the original video, it’s just his and other like-minded peoples’ cup of tea.

  • Conflict Resolution: A Casualty of Non-Violent Martial Arts // Mar 18, 2007

    [...] Members of the second category of non-combative martial arts are not necessarily pacifist in disposition, but are nevertheless harmless due to their complete lack of non-cooperative practice.  In the absence of testing, formerly proven attack and defense techniques decay into empty symbolism.  Dahnmudo apparently belongs to this second category, as do those schools of taiji that omit tui shou and san shou from their curriculum. [...]

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