Chang Moo Kwan: The Source

"Cultivating Capability"

Respectfully Shared By

The Last Students of Chang Moo Kwan's Founder

Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee, 10th Dan

Chang Moo Kwan Events

San Pedro In Photos

Chang Moo Kwan Events

San Pedro In Photos

 
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"The chain of events which brought Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee, the founder of Chang Moo Kwan, to our San Pedro, California traditional Chang Moo Kwan studio are very simple. A set of circumstances unveiled a rare opportunity--a door opened--and we passed quietly, unconditionally, respectfully, and indomitably through it  with  heartfelt compassion for Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee and an unwavering focus on seeking the truth."
 
 
With Respect, Honor, Integrity...
 
Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman, 9th Dan, MA Ed
Last Student of the Late Founder of Chang Moo Kwan
Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee, 10th Dan
Custodian of the Spirit of Chang Moo Kwan

Our Vision

 
Our vision is to share Chang Moo Kwan and Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee's techniques, philosophy, and teachings with those dedicated to the truth, integrity and accuracy of Traditional Chang Moo Kwan.  Based on our own personal experiences and training with Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee, we endeavor to memorialize Grandmaster Lee's life and teachings truthfully and authentically.  By documenting a undeniably factual presentation of Traditional Chang Moo Kwan's history and its influence as a martial art, we will strive to maintain the overall spirit of Traditional Chang Moo Kwan as an art and Supreme Grandmaster Lee as its founder and our teacher.  We are, indisputably, the last students of the Founder of Chang Moo Kwan: Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee.

We do so expecting nothing in return.  We only wish to tell the story of our personal experiences with the late Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee and share the knowledge of his art, which Supreme Grandmaster Lee feared would be lost to the world.  We do not promote any organization, and we seek absolutely no material gain.   We are not a part of any organization Chang Moo Kwan related or otherwise.  We are Chang Moo Kwan.  We invite and embrace any and all legitimate and verifiable photos and information about Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee and Chang Moo Kwan traditions to add and enhance our site.  Please submit any information to Sanpedro99999@aol.com.

Fate handed us an opportunity, and with it we made a promise to Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee.  With the deepest respect, admiration, and love for our late Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee, here  we present our unique story...

Sincerely,

Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman, 9th Dan;, MA Ed Master George  Fullerton, 8th Dan, MA Ed; Master Anthony Barnes, 8th Dan; Master David Johns, 6th Dan; Historian Darrell Cook, and Instructor Cosmo Magliozzi.

(Above) The Late Founder of Chang Moo Kwan Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee performs an advanced Chang Moo Kwan form with Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman, 9th Dan, his highest ranking student, and Master George Fullerton, 8th Dan at the San Pedro YMCA Dojo, where he taught until his passing in August 2000.

(Below) Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee not only taught Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman privately, but once a week taught an adult class at the San Pedro YMCA adult class near to where he lived.  Remarkably, Supreme Grandmaster Lee was not content just teaching, he was consistently joining in a participating in the forms.  Below, Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee does just that.

The Untouchables

 In 1985 a group of seven Chang Moo Kwan black belts got together in a small coffee shop in Walnut,  California and formed a group called the "untouchables?"  They had one simple guiding principal for which to seek the truth in Chang Moo Kwan:  "No person is above the art in which they practice":  No one and no group.   They felt the teacher is a conduit of the art for a given place and time.   Their goal was to find and preserve all which was real and truthful about Chang Moo Kwan.  In seeking the truth they did not form a hypothesis and then try to prove it to be true.  Open-minded, they sought the pure truth.  In their  wildest imagination they never thought they would meet and train with Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee.  To say the very least they stumbled on a lot more than ever expected.   Of the original untouchables three remain:  Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman; Master George Fullerton, and Master Anthony Barnes. 

 

 

Rekindling the Spark

It has been almost 13 years since the untimely passing of Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee. Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee created a martial art which would one day become Chang Moo Kwan in the 1930's during Japanese occupied Korea. When Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman and Master George Fullerton approached Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee to teach them, they asked him specifically to share the message "he" wanted generations in the future to know. This would be a generation the Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee would himself would never see. Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman and Master George Fullerton promised Supreme Grandmaster Lee to relay a clear message.
Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee then asked if the two martial artists if they were truly willing to "empty their cups". They agreed without missing a heart beat.  When Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman and Master George Fullerton emptied their Styrofoam coffee cups onto the shiny Mac Donald's linoleum floor and symbolically placed them empty on the table, Supreme Grandmaster Lee smiled, nodded his head, and never looked back. This is of course, an abbreviation of a wonderfully, complex, and compassionate  story which will be presented later. Supreme Grandmaster Lee and Grandmaster Wiedenman began training privately together and co-instructing the San Pedro, California YMCA adult class with Master Fullerton. 

 

Several Remarkable Truths Unveiled
  
First, Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman and Master George Fullerton  opened the door unconditionally to Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee, allowing him to once again put on a uniform and consequently re-kindle the spark of Chang Moo Kwan which he ignited some 60 years before.  Had they not, much of what is original Chang Moo Kwan technique, form, and philosophy would be lost...forever. Certainly, the essence of Supreme Grandmaster Lee's art and teaching--from his heart as he knew it, acknowledged it, and treasured it...would be vastly diluted or forgotten. Not many instructors would be willing to let go of their past so readily to embrace the future. Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman, Master Tony Barnes, and Master George Fullerton informed their  respective studios "guess what, everything is subject to change with very little notice...so hang on!"

Second, Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee may have never again put a uniform on. He had told Grandmaster Wiedenman and Master Fullerton he had not trained or taught in several decades.  Supreme Grandmaster Lee was 73 when they met.  Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman, Master Tony Barnes and Master George Fullerton bought Supreme Grandmaster Lee a traditional white uniform, had it carefully tailored, and even had the appropriate patches sewn on it.  (They used the October 1992 portrait portrayed in "Inside Tae Kwon Do" to come close to how Supreme Grandmaster Lee may have wanted it)  Grandmaster Wiedenman even presented a new black belt with Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee's and Grandmaster Byong In Yoon's name in addition to Chang Moo Kwan embossed in a beautifully gold embroidery o the sides. Grandmaster master was there to become "one" with everything that made him who and what he was.

Third, Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman, Master George Fullerton, and Master Anthony Barnes are three of only living and accessible martial artists who have actually been trained directly by and directly under Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee in many, many decades; moreover, they  are the only martial artists who have actually trained with him in recent history. 

Supreme Grandmaster practiced form, techniques, one and three-steps along side the three masters.  He spent many hours alone with Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman doing Chang Moo Kwan forms side by side; blocking and kicking as partners; connecting and transferring knowledge physically, mentally, and spiritually.  Grandmaster Wiedenman had spent nearly 25 years training in traditional Chang Moo Kwan and the transference of knowledge was accelerated by both martial artist's passion and belief what was taking place made sense and restored balance serving a common goal. 
Grandmaster Wiedenman and Master Fullerton both noticed a profound change in Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee: they both were convinced he was getting younger by the day!  It was clear Grandmaster was, well...having fun too.  He was serious, but they would always catch him smiling, especially when mistakes were made.  It was clear, Supreme Grandmaster Lee had found himself again, he had come home.

Fourth, outside of a "Inside Tae Kwon Do Magazine" from the early 1990's and a few group shots from the early days of Chang Moo Kwan (1948 to 1952) there are no photos of Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee  in a uniform, and none of him teaching or training.   Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman has compiled hundreds of photos, tens of thousands of video caps, and hours of video tapes of Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee teaching, judging, and training.  We have included some in the pages which follow; much more will be added in the months and years to come. 

It is the goal of this web site to archive factually and historically as much as possible on the cultivation, history, and people who have been a part of this art.  All legitimate photos and input are welcomed.

 

 Carrying the Torch


During the later 1960's and the early 1970's Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee traveled the world; visited many counties; and viewed countless schools, promotion tests, tournaments, and demonstrations.  In every sense of the word Supreme Grandmaster Lee was an ambassador of Chang Moo Kwan, martial arts spirit, and good will.  When Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman, Master George Fullerton, and Master Tony Barnes were asked why they were doing this, their answer was simple:  "What Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee has willingly, lovingly, and selflessly shared with us in the form of trust, technique, philosophy, knowledge, and kindness...we want to share with the martial arts world.

Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee guides Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman and Master George Fullerton through traditional, original Chang Moo Kwan forms at the San Pedro YMCA where he taught until his passing in August of 2000.  In this photo Grandmaster Wiedenman and Master Fullerton's gaze says everything.  "When Supreme Grandmaster Lee taught, your eyes never wavered...not just out of respect and discipline, but the simple fact you did not want to miss anything" (Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman, 2014)
Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee's last students pose for a group shot in Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman's home studio in San Pedro, California, USA. From Left to right in order of rank, Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman, 9th Dan; Master Tony Barnes, 8th Dan; Master George Fullerton, 8th Dan; and, Master David Johns, 6th Dan. (Photo taken January 20th, 2014)
Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee's master instructors taken at the 1st Annual Chang Moo Kwan Forms Seminar 2001.  (Back row left to right: Master David Johns, Master George Fullerton, Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman, Grandmaster Marty Marcus, Master Anthony Barnes.  Kneeling left to right: Master Alex Paredes, Master Rome Saura, and Master Wilson Wong.  (Missing is Master Luis Rodriquez)
The Last Student of the Founder of Chang Moo Kwan, Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman, 9th Dan, MA Ed, Summer 2013 holding the portrait of his teacher which is displayed perpetually on his San Pedro Studio wall.  The event was a birthday celebration for the late Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee, and a chance for Grandmaster Wiedenman's instructor and their students to meet and reflect on the path followed and the road ahead.  "I look back and I see a group of instructors and students who kept a promise to the Chang Moo Kwan's Founder, Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee.  I see honor, integrity, compassion, and respect making up this path every step of the way.  We have always maintained we are the clearest representation of what "is" the art of Chang Moo Kwan.  We have accomplished this.  We have always stood on a platform of total honesty and a foundation of undeniable truth.   It is here we stand today."
Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee demonstrating knife hand strike 1999 San Pedro YMCA where he taught traditional Chang Moo Kwan.  Here he teaches a movement from one of his original forms (Pyong An O Dan
Students look on as Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee demonstrates form at the San Pedro YMCA adult class 1999.  Here he demonstrates part of what would be the 2nd Dan Form.
 
Supreme Grandmaster Nam Suk Lee directs Jon Wiedenman and George Fullerton in Chang Moo Kwan forms...San Pedro, California YMCA.  Where he taught private and adult classes.