Why Sport is Actually a Spiritual Pursuit ~ Sadhguru

Being a sport means you are willing to play. Willing to play means you are involved or alive to the situation in which you exist, and that is the essence of life. If there is anything that is truly close to a spiritual process, in the normal course of life, that is sports. Swami Vivekananda went to the extent of saying, “In kicking a ball or playing a game, you are much closer to the Divine than you will ever be in prayer.” You can pray without involvement, but you cannot play sports without involvement, and involvement is the essence of life.

But when people involve themselves in what they do, they often get entangled. Anything that you associate with, you tend to get identified with. The moment you get identified with something that is not you, you have invested in a system of hallucination that will look and feel real. Once you have invested in a hallucinatory process, your mind will be one continuous mental disorder, as a hallucinatory process can be kept up only with unceasing activity of the mind, and hence, one ends up turning a miracle into madness. The mind is a fabulous miracle; you could hold the universe in it, but generally it ends up as a source of all human misery and the basis of madness and suffering.

When people get entangled, they feel ugly within themselves and they will make sure everybody else has a taste of this ugliness. So the fundamental of any sport or game takes care of this; that is, if you want to play a game, you must have the fire of wanting to win but also the balance to see that if you lose, it is okay with you. You never play a game to lose, you always play a game to win, but if you lose, it is all right with you. If you maintain this fundamental with every aspect of life, you are a sport. And that is all the world expects from you, that you are a sport. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, whatever kind of situation you are in, you are still a sport.

The sacredness of a sporting event is that individuals rise beyond their limitations, achieving a state of abandon that is usually known only at the peak of spirituality.Thus, we have always included sports in our yoga programs. All of our programs have an element of play — as to play is to live, and to live is to play.

1. The Warrior is Silent: Martial Arts and the Spiritual Path 2. The Ki Process: Korean Secrets for Cultivating Dynamic Energy by Scott Shaw

About The Warrior Is Silent

A master illuminates the spiritual foundations of martial arts practice in this fully illustrated guide.

• Presents an overview of the spiritual foundations of the martial arts.

• Takes the reader through a well-illustrated series of self-defense techniques  that utilize Ki energy.

• An essential guide for anyone interested in a spiritually-centered martial arts practice.

The Warrior Is Silent presents an overview of the spiritual foundations of martial arts practice in the East and its intimate connection with the perfection of the art itself. In addition, the author, an accomplished martial artist, takes the reader through a well-illustrated series of self-defense techniques that utilize Ki energy. Establishing a balance between the spiritual and physical aspects of the martial arts, The Warrior Is Silent is an essential guide for anyone interested in a spiritually-centered martial arts practice.

The Ki Process: Korean Secrets for Cultivating Dynamic Energy by Scott Shaw

Learn how to call up extra energy on demand! Shaw shows you how to strengthen the Ki you were born with, so you can harness the Ki around you to help you through the many periods of stress in daily life. He gives suggestions for changingyour diet to improve Ki flow, and discusses how to actively focus Ki into specific regions of the body or into your mental functioning. Includes breathing, concentration, and relaxation exercises.



Scott Shaw is a regular contributor to all of the major national martial arts magazines and has a Ph.D. in Asian studies. He is the only non-Korean ever to be promoted to the rank of 7th Degree Black Belt in the Korean martial art of Hapkido by the Korea Hapkido Federation. He is the editor of the Turtle Dictionary of the Martial Arts of Korea, China, and Japan and is the author of Hapkido: The Korean Art of Self Defense, and The Ki Process: Korean Secrets for Perfect Health.

Face to face with Master Chris Gantner, GTF Secretary-General – An Up,Close and Personal interview – Part 1

“Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation and freedom in all just pursuits.” – Thomas Jefferson

Master Gantner & Master Wee Sun Ngiaw at the USA Jook-Am TKD Dojang

1martialart: Can you tell us about your martial art background and the events that led to your acquaintance with the late Grand Master Park Jung Tae? . You have been one of the closest disciples of GM Park and had the opportunity of attending most of his seminars he conducted in the USA and Canada during those early years. What do you see in him that  stands out from the rest of other Korean Instructors?

 Chris Gantner:  I was practicing Taekwon-do for over 13 years before I met GM Park Jung Tae in 1986. At that time I was only a second degree in ITF. The reason I was only a 2nd degree after 13 years of training is because my  first Instructor Mr.Steve Cooper, who was with ITF, moved out of our  State and I practiced several other styles of martial arts for several years.

This diversion caused me to lose time in degree but was also great  experience that allowed me to better understand martial arts from a  broader perspective.

At the time I met GM Park I had already returned to the ITF. I was drawn to GM Park immediately because I saw in him the heart of a true Martial Artist. The level of intensity and effectiveness of the techniques was something I had missed since my training under Mr.Cooper.

In 1987 I completed the International Instructor Training course in St. Lewis USA. It was a nine days training seminar and the beginning of my relationship with GM Park. From that time until his passing I followed him at every opportunity. I attended five more International Instructor courses over the next few years and many more 2 and 3 day courses.

As time went on GM Park recognized that I was determined to be his student and he saw the improvements in my technical abilities and knowledge. I knew he accepted me as a student when he invited me to come to Canada for personal instruction. After more than 20 seminars and occasional private instruction eventually he would use me to demonstrate during seminars and I was never more honored than when he complimented my performance.

Demo by Master Gantner with his students Scot & Patrick

When GM Park informed me that he was leaving the ITF I told him that I would follow him whatever his plans for the future. Then later when he told me that he was starting his own Organization even before it had a name I joined the GTF.

It would take many pages to touch on all my experiences and memories of those times but I hope these highlights shed some light on my relationship with him and more importantly gives some indication of the impact that he had on me and so many others.

For me Grand Master Park Jung Tae was the best living example of technical excellence and moral integrity. Until this day even after his death I still follow him and have attempted to continue and preserve his vision of Taekwon-do.

1martialart:  There is so much talk and publicity over GM Park’s technical superiority in his TKD instruction and his explanation of execution of techniques. Even the GTF’s main theme rides on this strength. Unfortunately, there are not so many TKD exponents who have had the opportunity to be trained under him to familiarize themselves with such unique knowledge.  Can you share with us more in detail just what are this ingredients of technical excellence that he had expounded? Are they not the same as the ITF-style?

CG: GM Park always said that Taekwon-do must be the very best Martial Art. Whatever is the very best way to elevate fighting to the level of being a form of Art and personal expression and achievement while still maintaining the combat effectiveness of the style is ultimately what Taekwon-do should be.

 During the course of over 50 years practicing and teaching Taekwon-do he always searched for the best techniques. Through this study , research, examination and trials he eventually developed a fluid and quite natural approach to applying the theory of power. It is easy, natural and effortless when mastered but extremely intricate and difficult at the same time. It requires a high level of coordination and timing that can only be achieved through proper instruction and endless practice.

 It requires the precise coordination of all of the following : action-reaction, rotation of attacking tool, sine wave, knee spring, jerking and dropping the hip and timing of the eye-hand-foot and breath. A key ingredient to making this all happen is the circular motion incorporated into the delivery of the techniques.

 In Grand Master Park’s GTF Taekwon-do there is a practical execution and delivery of each technique. When mastered it is subtle and flowing and it all happens simultaneously in one fluid movement.

 The end of one movement becomes the beginning of the next to create a rhythmic flow of techniques that allows the energy to be delivered to the target quite effortlessly.

 This along with the very practical and effective approach to the application of techniques enabled him to achieve his intended goal – it must be the best!

1martialart: GTF also prides itself as a world TKD body that is well renowned for its technical proficiency as exemplified by the late Founder, GM Park Jung Tae. Can you elaborate more in detail as to what areas of competency GTF aspires to achieve? In what ways GTF differs in its approach in technical knowledge from the rest of other TKD international bodies?

CG: The GTF is similar in many ways to the ITF because he was the Chairman of the ITF technical committee for many years. After GM Park left the ITF he continued to teach the traditional hyungs as he always had with only a few changes in terminology.

However, he had some unique ideas about training methods and application of techniques that he wanted to advance and that was the motivating factor in the development of the GTF hyungs.  Through the new Hyungs and Sabang Makgo-Chago–Jirugi exercises and many pre-arranged step sparring examples he left his own mark on the future development of TKD.

I say future because many TKD practitioners have yet to be exposed to his unique approach to the delivery of motion, execution of techniques and innovative training methods.

  1martialart:   GTF has just completed its 8th World Championship event in Scotland. Since the beginning of hosting its 1st GTF World Championship until today, can you share with us your observations and comments as to the status of progress and development of GTF in terms of organizing capability, fulfilling  the aspirations of affiliates’ participation, and the overall improvement on the standard of performance in the respective events?

 In what areas do you think that GTF needs to focus on, in order to move forward to the next higher level of operations? 

CG:  As with any organization the GTF must always try to improve.  I think that  the GTF has a very high standard for our World Championship and International seminars. However due to the state of the world economy it has been very difficult to compel the Hosting organizations to strictly follow all the set guidelines and standards.

GTF Officials with the Provost of Dundee

  Many of the deficiencies we have faced in recent past events were due to financial considerations. So in this area we certainly have room for improvement. We are working to explore various avenues to better fund our World events in the future and to better serve the participants of these events.

1martialart:    What are your thoughts on the future of traditional TKD, given the prevailing popularity of sports TKD that is now being promoted aggressively by WTF in the Olympic Games? The current trend in the USA and the rest of the world is that most of the dojangs are now populated by kids and teens, and the working adults seem to be staying away. What could be the reason?

 CG:  As I mentioned earlier. The promotion  of    Taekwondo as a sport first and Martial Art second will result in the continued decline of Taekwondo.

If we teach Taekwondo as Martial Art first and a sport second then we can attract mature adults that will see the value of training for self-defense and  personal development. Serious training will attract serious people.

 1martial:   Tell us about the future plans of GTF. What are the strategies that need to be adopted to the ensure the continuing presence of GTF in the world arena and incremental progress in membership affiliation across the nations.

CG:  First, I will continue to take direction from our President Hon.GM Linda Park and to help her lead this Organization. It is very difficult in this day and age of instant communication and constant development of new technology to  navigate where the future will bring us.

 That is the reason our President Linda Park has determined to follow the  guidelines of the GTF constitution and to allow through our Executive Committee the input and advice from many wise and experienced Masters and Senior instructors to guide the way for the future development of the GTF.






Finger Pointing to the Moon – Bruce Lee

“A Finger Pointing at the Moon”

There is an old parable which talks about a sage describing the Tao to his students. He admonished them to pay less attention to his words, and more attention to the practice. He said “My words are like a finger pointing at the moon – if you look too closely at the finger, you will miss the moon.”

In your own practice, be careful not to get too caught up in the philosophy, or the dialogue which happens in the room. Remember that the philosophy is the finger – the truth, the point of our practice, is what we experience when we do our martial art. You can have all the philosophy in the world, but without the practice, you will be lost. You can have all the practice in the world, and without the philosophy… you’ll be just fine.

Do your practice. Be diligent. The rest will happen.

5th Kup Sabang Makgo Chago Jirugi (right & left).MOV

L-stance middle knife-hand guarding block – Reverse hooking kick / turning kick-L-stance, high reverse knife-hand guarding block


L-stance middle knife-hand guarding block – Reverse hooking kick / turning kick-L-stance, high reverse knife-hand guarding block