Jimmy Higgins
by TMAN Freelance Writer Cordelia Clancy

Martial Arts programs must evolve to meet the needs of present times if they are to be of maximum value to us.  We are happy to speak to one such forward thinking martial artist, Fifth degree Black Belt in Tukong Moosul, Jimmy Higgins.  Mr Higgins along with Tukong Moosul Master In Ki Kim, teaches innnovative programs combining a variety of valuable modern day skills at the American Martial Arts Academy.

C.C. - What is the American Martial Arts Academy in Virginia?

J.H. - We teach a unique martial arts / computer proficiency and leadership program.

We incorporate intensive vital and practical personal protection skills, advanced computer and internet training, health education, motivating philosophy and leadership skills to benefit and equip our students to thrive and succeed on many levels in modern society.

We have modernized the Tukong Martial Arts instruction by adding computer training. Computer and internet literacy is the modern "knowledge is power" weapon of our times.  People are at a definite disadvantage in today's society if they do not have these skills. We teach computer literacy programs to give our students an advantage over those who don't have them. They learn to use the computer as a tool to give them an advantage in training, their personal and business life. Two students have started online businesses after taking the Internet Web Development classes.  They signed up on the Unlimited plan.  That plan title not only means how often they can come and what classes they can attend, but also their mind set for their lives.  Their first customer made them $2,000 for 20 hours of work.  $100 per hour has opened their viewpoint to an Unlimited mind set.  They even helped build our school's web site at www.tukong.com

C.C. - You teach numerous programs at the Academy. Can you tell us about some of them?

J.H. - We have the following civilian classes:

OneForce - personal protection classes geared toward street conflicts {4-6 hours}
KidForce - Modified Tae Kwon Do and computer programs {12 and under - 2 - 3 years}
SpecialForce - Our Tukong Moosul training with computers {13 and older - 3 - 4 years}

We also have special intensive training programs for police and military.

These varied programs allow almost everyone to pick a strategic training program that fits their abilities and time requirements. Each program teaches similar techniques modified to fit the students of that program group. They are all based on our Tukong Moosul program. Everybody has to be satisfied since we give a 100% money back satisfaction guarantee.

Many have asked me what makes TKMS so effective as a complete martial arts education. Tukong Moosul's foundation in what we call the "Distance Theory". This theory states that every combat situation, either on the street or in actual warfare, will cover one or all of the 6 basic distances.

1. Far away distance - you are so far away you must use weapons to reach your opponent 2. Kick distance - you are close enough to use foot techniques 3. Punch distance - you are too close to kick but far enough for hand strikes 4. Joint distance - You are too close for punches so use elbows, knees, head, and grappling 5. Zero distance - your body is touching so you use throws and wrestling 6. Negative distance - you are on the ground fighting and use wrestling and grappling

Some styles cover some of these distances well. Like Tae Kwon Do and Karate do very well at 2 & 3 but have very little for anything else. Ninjitsu and Kendo are very good at 1.  They are ineffective really at 5 & 6. Kickboxing and Thai Boxing are very good at 2, 3, & 4 but do nothing with 1 & 6.  Hapkido, Judo, Akido are good for little else than 4 & 5. Jujitsu is great at 5 & 6 but have been defeated by using other distances and do not have anything for 1 & 2.  None covers all the distances as well except Tukong Moosul.

TKMS was designed by several Masters that had extensive knowledge of many martial arts rather than one Master who had a bias towards one style or region.  These Masters took the best from any and every style and improved on those techniques to create the latest and greatest combat fighting program they could.

TKMS was designed for the Tu Kong unit in the South Korean Special Forces.  It was called Tu Kong Moo Sul, which means Special Combat Fighting Technique. It was to pre-pare the Tukong unit soldiers to fight any soldier from any army who might use many styles of martial arts against them.

TKMS includes martial arts techniques from around the world including:

Japanese: Ninjitsu, Kendo, Aikido, Karate Chinese: Shaolin Kung Fu, Kempo, Boxing, JKD Korean: Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Hapkido, Kuk Sool Won Brazilian: Jujitsu and Capoiera, Thai: Muay Thai American: Kajukembo, Boxing and Greko-roman wrestling Street and Jungle Fighting tactics Basic to Advanced Survival & Strategy Skills

All our programs are pulled from this style to provide the realistic program for each student group.

We have special programs for children 12 and younger that help develop all the skills and character traits that martial arts can.

I think the duality of our school is pretty unique. We teach only slightly modified Tae Kwon Do and a few weapons to little children 12 and under because of the violent and aggressive nature of Tukong Moosul.

Teenagers in high school and everyone older needs the good stuff, so we train them in Tukong Moosul. People need realistic training for violent situations they may find themselves in. Many people who see me shooting arrows at my students to catch say that is unrealistic training.  I say, if you can focus and concentrate on catching a speeding arrow that is considered a deadly weapon, then you can easily block a punch.  There aren't too many schools that teach knife throwing and hand gun retention either, but it ours does.

C.C. - How do your programs different to other schools?

J.H. - Well to start the teaching and training methods in our school are sometimes very un-traditional. We feel it is very important to play rock or classic music during our classes and have our students train mostly wearing shoes. Sometimes they train wearing street clothes. Only once in a while do they train barefoot. There are a few reason we feel it is important to train this way.

For one, the main reasons people trained in bare feet do not exist any longer. 2000 years ago people took off their shoes inside buildings because outside they would step in animal waste and mud. To avoid making homes, without vacuums and rug shampooers, dirty, people took off their shoes to show respect for someone's house and to keep it clean. Today we have paved streets with few animals on them that are swept and side walks that are kept very clean.  We travel by car or bus instead of walking through muddy paths and horse trails.  We also have vacuums and shampooers that keep our synthetic fiber carpets clean. So the reason for taking off our shoes is no longer the same.

Another reason for our training methods is, wearing shoes changes the way you move, spin, and kick.  You must train in your shoes and street clothes to know how they will effect your speed, power, flexibility, balance, and traction.  Our students are definitely used to the way shoes and clothes effect their techniques.  In the Tukong unit in Korea, soldiers wore boots most of the time and had to learn how a heavy boot would change things in a real fight.  Our students learn the same lessons. They also NEVER break their toes hitting targets, which is a very good thing not only for the students but for the school's insurance too.

The music in class is a way to keep high energy during long tough workouts.  Try doing a boring aerobics class without hard driving music.  You just can't.  Your motivation and energy just leave you.  A good beat helps in timing and synchronizing body movements too.  Besides, Americans function better doing almost every activity with music. Higher efficiency during training results in faster learning curves.

Tukong Grandmaster In Ki Kim
C.C. - You have a special TIGER TRACK program. What exactly is that?

J.H. - In Tukong Classes, there is a separation of levels to challenge people to perform to the best of their ability.  We have an special program for "Tiger Track" students. These students must pass extra rigorous physical requirements and partake in tougher training to our standard program.

We have the "Tiger Track" that designates those student who have the highly developed physical ability, as well as the intensive knowledge required to learn so many styles, 10 weapons, 40 forms, and 30 philosophy lessons. Not to mention the computer training.

For example, students in the "Tiger Track" program must have at least three, 1000-kick days to their credit in each belt level starting at green.  Their uniform reflects the achievement with gold studs in the left lapel for each 1000-kick day completed up to 5. then it is just their knowledge.  There are also slightly large gold studs on the right lapel of their uniform that represent ten, 1000-kick days in a row.

We went to a tournament recently and one of my student's group asked him what the studs were for.  He told him. The opponent looked shocked and decided he didn't want to fight the Tukong student who went on to win his division.

There are also many philosophies that our students must learn before they are allowed to progress to the higher techniques of Tukong Moosul. These are to temper their response in a tense situation. They have to learn 14 different philosophies before they can reach green belt.  That does not include the 20 reasons for Kiap that they have to memorize or the 7 biology lessons.  We teach such aggressive fighting strategies and mentality that it must be tempered with spiritual training as well.  The BODY is extended by using weapons.  The MIND is extended by using the computer and further with the Internet.  The SPIRIT is extended through philosophy and meditation.

C.C. - Your senior student is a woman.  Can you tell us about your thoughts on that?

J.H. - Often in martial arts schools, you have a male role model who is your typical athletic jock who uses teasing, intimidation, fear, embarrassment and or pain to motivate students to train hard.  Men are just brought up that way in many cases.

I have seen students hit with bamboo that leave marks and broken ribs that don't show.  I have heard derogatory language and insults.  I have seen foam mallets used that only leave mental injuries.  There is also the loud angry instruction technique used by some male teachers and senior students.  I have read enough child and abnormal psychology to know there are better ways to get things done.

I know I may take a lot of flak for saying this, but I think women often make better martial arts instructors. So I chose to have a woman as my Senior Student.

Women are the more sensitive side of our society.  However, they are no less fierce in spirit or motivation or intelligence.  Everybody knows not to mess with an angry mother defending her child.  Women are as capable in teaching or giving commands as men.  They seem to be more patient and understanding than many male instructors I have met.

Women seem to inherently have the most important instructor ingredients: true concern and caring for their students are and they are in general more interested in the well being and personal growth of their circle of influence than the average male is.

I have seen too many instructors push a child too fast or hard because they didn't want to look bad in front of other instructors.  I have noticed how women encourage each other, where men are more prone to compete against each other.

Women can be just as effective and determined and fierce in training and competition.  They're just as driven and dedicated as men. They can be as intense as any male competitor I have met. Yet, few aspire to teach martial arts.

I hoped that by having a woman as my Senior Student, not only would more women be encouraged to join martial arts, but that martial arts on the whole could benefit from the personality and attitudes of a woman in a leadership role. I believe that men who have received training at some point by women will have a better, balanced attitude when they reach Black Belt and they themselves begin to teach.

Women instructors are not new, but the level of encouragement we are giving probably is.

C.C. - What are your plans for the near future?

J.H. - We have been asked to retrain over 10 Masters so that they can begin to teach Tukong Moosul.  We have had Masters from Korea and Australia come over to meet with Grandmaster Kim and myself to learn more about this dynamic program.

Very soon, we will enhance our web site with martial arts supplies directly from Korean and Chinese factories.  This will cut out the middle men that raise the cost to everybody.  The straight-from-the-factory route will let us provide quality supplies at a very good price that others can't meet.

The Tukong web site has me busy answering email continually from martial artists all over the country asking when we are opening a school in their city or state.  I hope to coordinate efforts that will let us have 20 more schools in the next 2-3 years in all major cities across the country.  Of course all schools well  be tied together through the Internet and WebPhones.  It looks to be a very exciting time to be training in Tukong Moosul.

TMAN magazine is just one example of how martial arts is changing to fit our society and Tukong Moosul another.  Thanks for the interest and I hope to talk with you again in a year or two for an update.

About the author:  Cordelia Clancy, a Tukong Moosul Black Belt instructor at Concrete Jungle Self-Defense (TM) is a freelance writer for TMAN and Black Belt Magazine. She can be reached online at www.concretejunglesd.com.