PaSaRyu, meaning "Way of Honor", is an American style of martial arts with heavy influences and a blend of elements of Karate, Kung Fu, and Taekwondo. The style is more open and free than the traditional forms. It was developed by Master Kang Rhee.
Master Kang Rhee began training in Korea from 1953 through 1956 under Master Nam Sak Lee who established the Chang Moo Kwan Kong Soo Do Association in Seoul. While there, he learned the value of perfect and clear technique. Kang Rhee later went to train under Master Chul Hee Park who established the Kang Duk Won Moo Do Association in Seoul. From 1957 through 1964, Rhee defined and refined his technique for more grace and beauty.
After becoming the All-Korea Champion, Master Kang Rhee came to the United States in 1964. Combining the training he had received from both Masters, Master Rhee developed the PaSaRyu system and established the PaSaRyu Martial Artist Association in Memphis, Tennessee.
From there, Master Rhee has began teaching many students and the martial art of PaSaRyu. Over the years, he has had several famous students, most notably Bill “Superfoot” Wallce and Elvis Presley (who was referred to Rhee by Karate legend Ed Parker). Over his storied career, Kang Rhee has promoted over 950 black belts and has remained the Director of the World Black Belt Bureau.
Like many traditional martial arts systems, PaSaRyu additionally contains a unique personal philosophy that emphasizes self-improvement. PaSaRyu also teaches the philosophy of SUN, which are the positive principles that encourage individuals to acknowledge respect and appreciation. It teaches the importance of being a total and true martial artist.
Master Rhee was once labeled the "Disciple of Discipline" by Karate magazine. "If we are uncoordinated, with no confidence or discipline, then we are our own opponent."
PaSaRyu teaches logical techniques. Emphasis is placed on the movements being big, deep, and natural as found in traditional kung fu. The technique flows combining soft and hard, slow and fast actions, that are accentuated by hesitation. Dynamic kicks resemble taekwondo. Punches, blocks, and elbow strikes are infused from many karate systems. This artistic approach creates a unique contrast and a dynamic style of martial art. Additionally, stances are performed very low and wide. Many of the stances reflect dropping, creating the human body's natural ability to create power while creating torque.
The katas borrow from each of the styles as well that make up PaSaRyu. Unlike a majority of martial arts systems, the PaSaRyu sets of katas include difficult and combative two-man-sets, which further adds to sparring techniques. Weapons typically taught at PaSaRyu schools include the bo staff, chucks, kama, cane, sai, and tonfa. Intricate self defense techniques, including defensive measures against weapons, are also taught. PaSaRyu is a contemporary martial art style combining both traditional and modern applications thus making it beneficial and appropriate for all martial artists.