Our system focuses on the traditional practice of Kuk Sool-Hapkido, with special attention to the application of self defense. The training is centered around creating balance within self, while harmonizing with the things outside of self that disrupts the unification of mind, body, and spirit.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Congratulations to Major and Tim!!!!!

Grand Ma Traditional Martial Arts Chicago School Black Belt Testing was this past Saturday December 17th, 2016. Congratulations to Major who tested for his 4th Dan/Sa Bum Nim and Tim who tested for his 1st Dan/Jo Kyo Nim.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Hassan: I saw this on Facebook earlier today posted by Sensei Jadi Tention. After seeing it and reading it I instantaneously began to self reflect.  I know I have been one those students that have done quite a few of the things below. After reading the following post by him called "DO YOU KNOW HOW TO BE A STUDENT?" I immediately shared this with my Master Instructor. The following below is the original post by Sensei Jadi Tention followed by my instructor Master M Roberts, KJN.

"DO YOU KNOW HOW TO BE A STUDENT? Or are you the type  when learning the move the first thing you ask is "well what if he does this or that?. Do you talk when the instructors are teaching?  Are you the type  when learning a move you want to go fast immediately,instead of learning all the details ?are you the type  when you do a drill YOU HAVE TO WIN THE DRILL.?Are you the type that when the  instructor shows you the move and you say to your partner "THIS IS HOW I DO IT"?or are you the type  if the instructor is not there you won't come to class because your favorite teacher is not there? Are you the the type when injured  won't come to class even to learn visually?. Are you the type that has to spar hard all the time? Are you the type who trains and won't even attempt to clean the dojo at anytime?Are you the type who wants to wear everybody's logo or brand in the dojo besides your own school logo? Are you the type who question who the instructor promoted and why? Are you the type who beats up on the lower ranks and never offers advice? OR DO YOU KNOW HOW TO BE A STUDENT? Sensei Jadi Tention

Master M Roberts, KJN (response)

In response to the selected reading, it is only appropriate that as a Master instructor, I speak from the instructor side: I have personally been that student, at some point, if not every point during my transformation from student to teacher. I have questioned why other students were promoted when "I" felt they lacked the skill, work ethic, passion, and enthusiasm, that "I" had in training. I have gone harder on lower ranks at times, to "teach" them that I was the senior, and that my skill and knowledge of training should be respected and never challenged. I have been the student who has attempted to modify the "given technique" for the day, because due to "my" street fighting knowledge, the technique was invalid in "self defense". I had been the guy who wanted to go super fast with my peers, not because I was the "faster learner in the dojang" but because I wanted to seek favor with
the Master and HE would think that I was the fastest and best student in the class. I was that student to "always strike hard and fast" , not because I lacked the ability to train "slower", but because in my mind, the street fighters will never go "soft and slow", so why should I? I wanted to spar ALL the time to test my prowess at defeating my fellow man as opposed to learning how to defeat the EGO of the man that I had become with my elevated fighting abilities. I could go on with this, but my point is, I had to LEARN etiquette, humility, structure, balance, patience, control, quality vs quantity, and empathy to human pain and suffering, both inside and outside the dojang, to become a MASTER student, as opposed to the misnomer of the title Master Instructor. I had to LEARN that through my injuries and other obstacles, that every student in the dojang had their reason and purpose for
being there, that may only be known to the Master, and that it was the Master's role to help that student reach their goal regardless of my opinion of their training and ability. As students of an "art"(which is simply defined as a craft or trade that is used or expressed creatively by the artist), we enter the "Training Halls of Discipline" with our existing paint, brushes, pencils, booklet of past sketches and drawings, and tons of extract thoughts about how we want to express ourselves. The instructor is merely the vessel that helps you gather all the collective chaos, and through training and exposure to options, shows you ways of creating order by means of handling the conflicts both inside your mind and outside your body, from a tactical perspective. Train hard..Respect each other..respect yourself..and eliminate all excuses that might hinder you from becoming a better person
than you were the day before.

...NOW having expressed in brevity some of my views regarding that post, I feel must elaborate on the duality (Ma'at or Ying/Yang) of that response. This self reflection, in my most humble opinion, was equally as important to gauge the evolution from student to master in the training. Having already expressed a few of the things that I personally did in training that may have been considered selfish and questionable student behavior, let me also acknowledge some of the things that created the balance that perhaps inspired my Master Instructor to further my training. I have never avoided tough training. I have experienced extensive training in heated rooms during the summer, and training in the cold(intentionally) during the winter. I have endured physically challenging "body conditioning", which in turn strengthened my mind and humbled my spirit. I have never questioned my instructor when techniques were issued. I always maintained silence and was extremely attentive when techniques were issued(I didn't want to miss anything). I always assisted with the upkeep of the dojang. I have never worn anything other than the required dress code as instructed by the Master of the school. I always trained in spite of not always being able to work with my favorite peers or higher ranks( you can learn from everyone, even if that lesson is learning what NOT to do). I have bled, endured sprains, breaks, dislocation, fractures, bruises, and stitches YET I continued to attend class and the training was modified to accommodate my injury. I trained to be a warrior, until I learned how to become a better warrior..only then to learn and understand how to train how to be a "warrior for peace".

Be safe. Be humble. Be kind.  And walk in peace, but always be prepared for war.

Master M Roberts, KJN

Hassan: I must say Sensei Jadi Tention and Master M Roberts, KJN both left me to self reflect on martial arts journey but one thing for sure is that it will make me better.

Peace, love & light,
Hassan Tremble-El, JGN

Monday, December 29, 2014

End of the Year Reflections for 2014

I would like to take the time out to express the honor that I had sharing the joys and benefits of helping you maintain good physical health, self awareness and defense, and/or even just providing a "healthy escape from the world to a friendly environment" with you guys. I would also encourage, and even challenge each of you to reflect on where you were physically in January 2014, where you are mentally/ emotionally now, and where you want to be in the journey towards your near future. The results of these thoughts are your own to either cherish or learn and grow from, but collectively they should serve as a reminder that as long as mind, body, and spirit are in harmony, the pathway to happiness is easier to obtain in spite of the daily detours, road blocks, and dead end streets in life. Please be safe in your travels during this designated holiday season, because criminal activity is increased worldwide during this time. Until we meet again, I wish you tranquility, wisdom, understanding, physical and psychological balance, but most of all, I wish you love.

HOTEP( Kemetic/Egyptian, for I come/go in peace)

Kwan Jang Nim M. Roberts 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Are You an Open Minded Martial Artists or a Close Minded One?

As I reflect back on last night’s class regarding the workout, the techniques and the words of wisdom from Master Roberts many things came to mind. I shared with him a few days ago a conversation I had with a brother/friend of mine who has been involved in the martial arts for over thirty years. In that conversation I asked the question “do you all have or apply joint locks in the style that you practice”? His immediate response was no, then he followed with, they will not work in a real altercation or fight. His answer perplexed me, so I continued with the dialogue to gain some insight as to why he totally discounts “joint locks”. So from there he provided me with “his experiences & realm of knowledge” regarding the use of “joint locks”. Before I go any further I would like to share this quote with you that another brother of mine has penned “The space inside this circle represents my realm of knowledge. All that I think I know, about whatever I think I know is depicted right here within this circle. I must keep in mind that there is more to know than what is within the circumference of my awareness.” For me this statement is so profound and there is so much truth in it.

Back to my brother/friend who begin to provide me with his experiences & realm of knowledge. He begin to explain that he has trained in many different art forms and I believe he is 5th degree black belt in Shorei Goju Karate,  Integrated Tae Kwon Do Systems and has earned instructor-ships in other arts. His basis for stating that “joint locks” don’t work is his experience with them in training, seminars and MMA tournaments. He went on to state that in the heat of the moment, you don’t have time to remember a joint lock technique and his objective is to strike and short circuit (disrupt his opponent) so he can finish them off and walk away. I was thinking to myself, that’s the same objective that I have. I had to explain to him that I would not disregard any of the techniques that I have learned and I would apply them accordingly to the situation. I wanted him to understand that in our JTMS Hapkido training we are taught the foundational (traditional) way but we are also taught these techniques with modification and with progressive flow. So it’s not like your opponent is standing there waiting for you to apply a joint lock and complete it, that is totally ludicrous to think that if you’re engaged in a real life situation. As we continued our conversation and because he has been involved in the arts much longer than I, I remained humble although it was hard at sometimes. My brother/friend then stated that the only way that I would know if “joint locks” worked if I tried it myself. I’m thinking to myself this is something that we work on every week. Not only do we work on joint locks every week we practice them from the foundational (traditional way) to the modified way with progressive continuous flow. What was also interesting with what he shared is that he does not teach “joint lock” techniques until the blue belt level. I did not say this out loud but I said to myself, hell in JTMS Hapkido we are taught “joint lock” techniques from the very beginning.  As our conversation continued my brother/friend laughed and then stated that I see you are loyal to your art and master but you shouldn’t pigeon hole yourself into one art/style. I laughed to myself and thought, I am loyal to my art and my master, not only that I am still learning and evolving in this art but the best has yet to come. I really wanted to say and share more with him but at the time I didn't think I needed to because his mine was made up.

So as I shared this conversation I had with my brother/friend with Master Roberts as always he has a way of summing things up. As we ended our class last night Master Roberts stated “that any martial artists who practice the arts and they totally disregard another art then they are no martial artists at all”. I understood what he meant.