Monday, January 27, 2014

Essence & Spirit of Martial Arts Part I

Respect and Loyalty are the 1st attributes I will cover in this 12 part exploration of the Essence & Spirit of Martial Arts found in the Choe's ChungMu HapKiDo Handbook.  All of the qualities that are listed are essential for the moral development of a HapKiDoist.
Respect and Loyalty are associated with White Belt, the beginning, the seed beneath the winter snow.  Respect is used a lot in the martial arts.  When you ask a student what respect is, they usually reply with "bowing", or "saying Yes Sir!".  These are great answers, however these are ways of Showing respect.  They don't define it.  What is respect?  Where does it come from?  In our Handbook we define Respect as "an act of giving particular attention."  Respect is an attention to and a consideration of someone (or something) outside yourself and in relation to yourself.  In Choe's HapKiDo and in karate, this particular attention is demonstrated and developed through the rank system etiquette.  A student is required to pay attention to others, especially his senior belts and primarily to his/her instructor.  To learn well this must happen, the Instructor is their primary source of knowledge.  The Instructor must pay particular attention to and carefully consider each student to be able to provide the best education possible  and help each student achieve and surpass their individual goals.  While it is demonstrated differently depending on their rank position, Respect is a 2 way street, you've got to give to receive.

The 2nd attribute is Loyalty.  In Choe's HapKiDo Loyalty is defined as "faith in a custom, ideal or institution.  The student must have faith-- in their Art, their Grandmaster, their instructors.  The Martial art journey is lifelong.  You have to stick around for the deeper benefits to actualize.  The student has to have faith that by staying on this particular path, they will become the martial artist
and person they dream of becoming. This faith is strengthened by the examples and leadership of those that have gone before them.  The Black Belts walking the walk, not just talking the talk.  They see the dedication and integrity of their Grandmaster and Instructors.  They know the strength and longevity of their Art.  They have success in their 1st steps and subsequent steps.  All of these positive lights shine the way and give students the faith to have loyalty.  The Instructors are students as well, and share these same beacons.  The Instructor must also have Loyalty to his/her students.  Teachers must be steadfast in their conduct, guidance and technique to be worthy of someone else's faith.  Instructor and Student do not exist without each other.  Their journey together is ultimately one of mutual Respect and Loyalty.

Choe's HapKiDo Karate of Duluth

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