Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Essence & Spirit of Martial Arts Part 2

The qualities of Yellow Belt, the Germination of Life, will be Part 2 of our exploration of the Essence & Spirit in Martial Arts.  The qualities are  Honor and Family.  In our student handbook we define Honor as "a good name with integrity".  Honor is used a lot in karate and the martial arts.  Honor is often invoked, but not always understood.  When I ask students what honor means, the answer is usually "to respect someone or something".  There is a lot of truth in that answer.  It also makes honor an action, not a noun like in our handbook definition.  Honor is an interesting and powerful word.  It can be a noun or a verb.  You can have honor (noun) and you can honor someone or something.  If we stay with our martial arts definition of honor as a good name with integrity, how can we make that actionable?  From our living example.  If we want to keep that integrity we have to live it, live it consistently over time.  In karate and martial arts we train hard, follow the teachings of our Grandmaster, listen to our Instructors.  We preserve the knowledge, and share it with the best of intentions and sincerity. We keep the respect and discipline that is our art's foundation and exemplify these qualities while passing this knowledge to the next generation.  We behave and treat others as gentlewomen and gentlemen, never allowing one to doubt the sincerity of HapKiDo's philosophical and virtuous foundations.  The Honor of future generations will be the proof of and reward of our Honor today.

The second quality of Yellow Belt is Family.  When asked about family or what family means, the first thought is our immediate blood related family; our parents, our children, our Grandparents, our aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.  In karate and martial arts we define Family as "people united by a common goal".  We always refer to the members of our schools and their family members as Our HapKiDo Family.  The students learning ChungMu HapKiDo  with Grandmaster JiMong Choe as our Martial Arts Father are our HapKiDo brothers and sisters.  We are united by the common goal of Martial Arts.  What is the common goal of Martial Arts?  It is very difficult to narrow so broad a field with literally countless benefits.  Is it the ChungMu HapKiDo Purposes of Training?  Self Defense, Health, Completion of Self Culture.  The fellowship a student of The Way experiences in training is unique to martial arts.  Other team sports do not have the same necessity for Respect and Trust. Martial arts practiced without consideration can be dangerous!  You MUST have a profound level of of mutual respect, trust and friendship to practice safely and effectively.  As you progress in martial arts the philosophical foundations and tenets of virtue they were founded on becomes progressively more important and deepens the profundity of the relationships.  The common goal starts to take shape as making the world better by making ourselves better.  The HapKiDo/Karate/Martial Arts Family is so powerful  because it is Truly Good.  This is the kind of Family the world needs.

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