high altitude shugyo

One of the best variants of shugyo, austere martial training that pushes the limits, is at high altitude. In 1984, Chang Moo Kwan Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman, the last student of CMK Patriarch Nam Suk Lee, summited Mt. Fuji (12,389 ft.) in Japan, donned his ghi, and then rehearsed all of the indigenous kata that could be traced back to his teacher.. Since coming to know Mr. Wiedenman in 2015, this event has inspired us to climb higher and train harder. All such exploits are therefore dedicated to him, a true caretaker of indigenous Chang Moo Kwan and an abiding friend of Catawba Valley Martial Arts

 Chang Moo Kwan Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman trains atop Mt. Fuji in Japan (1984)

Chang Moo Kwan Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman trains atop Mt. Fuji in Japan (1984)


current altitude record (all indigenous Cmk forms)

The current altitude record for rehearsing all of Nam Suk Lee's forms was set by Sensei Eric Trent on September 8, 2018 atop the Khardung La in the Ladakh Himalaya, the world's highest motorable pass (17,982 ft.). Mr. Trent  completed all twelve forms in bitter cold and falling snow. Congratulations Eric!

 Eric Trent sets the new high altitude shugyo record atop Khardung La, the world's highest motorable pass.

Eric Trent sets the new high altitude shugyo record atop Khardung La, the world's highest motorable pass.


old altitude records (all indigenous cmk forms)

  1. Jesse Boyd (July 16, 2018) - 16,661 ft. on the Santa Rosa Pass in the Peruvian Andes
  2. Jesse Boyd (June 27, 2018) - 16,330 ft. at Pastoruri Glacier in the Peruvian Andes
  3. Jesse Boyd (November 25, 2017) - 13,479 ft. at Fotu La Pass in the Ladakh Himalaya, India
  4. Jon Wiedenman (1984) - 12,389 ft. on the summit of Mt. Fuji, Japan

current altitude record (training)

The current altitude record for general martial arts training was set by Sensei Jesse Boyd on May 23, 2015 at 18,500 ft. on a snowy ridge above Khardung La Pass in the Ladakh Himalaya. There, he practiced some Cheonjikido, Chang Moo Kwan, and traditional karate forms.

 Jesse Boyd practices kata at 18,500 ft. in the Indian Himalaya

Jesse Boyd practices kata at 18,500 ft. in the Indian Himalaya


old altitude records (training)

  1. Jesse Boyd (May 24, 2012) - 17,553 ft. on the summit of Gyagso Bhir in Central Tibet
  2. Jesse Boyd (May 23, 2012) - 17,060 ft. at Mt Everest Base Camp, Tibet 
  3. Jesse Boyd (May 22, 2012) - 16,811 ft. on Lalung La Pass in Central Tibet

high altitude gallery


high altitude videos