Blogsite glitches.

The Spiritual Dimensions of the Martial Arts BY ROBERT BURATTI

He who wishes to live in an oriental martial art, rather than to just practice it on a physical level, must so train his consciousness to attain a self-discipline that at last his conscious mind will merge into an identity with the very principle of life itself.

Maurice Zalle

Amongst the usual loud and predictable offerings at the Australian cinema box office last summer, the Hollywood movie The Last Samurai emerged as an interesting alternative for many curious movie-goers. We were presented with a unique perspective on the cultural interaction between East and West. The film deals almost exclusively with the philosophical, spiritual and martial differences between Japan and America, and presents in grand form the figure of the Samurai, and the way his martial practice has a powerful spiritual dimension to which the West cannot relate.

The traditional practice of Martial Arts is now experiencing a renaissance of sorts, and this is largely due to the fact many people are realising the existence of the esoteric spiritual components behind widely known styles. The Arts are no longer considered remnants of old cultures, but valid and effective methods of achieving spiritual growth. The Martial Arts were actually formulated for this purpose all along.

A Spiritual Heritage

n 475, the Indian monk Bodhidharma arrived in Southern China. On his arrival he moved to the Huan province where he spent nine years in meditation, facing the rock wall of a cave. When the monk emerged from his retreat, he stumbled across a small mountain temple approximately one mile away called Shaolin. Bodhidharma was shocked to see the terrible physical condition of the monks of the Shaolin Temple who practiced long-term meditation exercises which, while making them spiritually strong, totally destroyed their physical health.

Bodhidharma created an exercise regime for the monks involving physical techniques that were efficient in strengthening the body, and eventually, could be used to defend oneself from the inevitable travelling thieves and gangs prominent in the area at the time. The latter benefit was a simple side benefit of the practice. The former was the main objective. The primary concern was always maintaining the physical strength of the monks for the purpose of meditation. These physical exercises developed into what we now know as Martial Arts.

Amongst the myriad of contemporary options for developing the spirit, the Martial Arts remains one of the oldest and most universally effective systems for teaching internal ideas which awaken the spiritual dimension in all parts of life.

The Physical Path To Enlightenment

The true value in studying the Martial Arts lies not in the learning of the technique or system itself, but in the acquisition of particular internal qualities that are developed through the learning process. The physical exercises are the concrete examples of abstract philosophical principles. Footwork systems teach the student about the qualities of energy, ebb and flow, and both creative and destructive potential. Handwork patterns teach the student about balance, dynamics and the intuition of natural spirit.

The actions of blocking, deflecting, striking, breaking and throwing all contain concepts that can be applied to the human spirit. Then in combat, we unite these concepts and in the process discover our own nature which is forced to emerge under extreme stress and pressure.

One is never rattled as much as when under attack. In this act, one’s metal is tested and they emerge with a new view of themselves and in many cases, a view of their true self. This is a first step to self realisation.

The legendary Japanese swordsman, Myamoto Musashi, found that the more he looked for proficiency and efficiency in his training, the more he looked for proficiency and efficiency in all things. He began to look for the deeper purpose in everything that he did.

When farming, he took land made useless by yearly floods and turned it into productive land by building his dikes and fields in the shape of the natural water flow. The farmers built a shrine in his honour for his concepts and prayed at that shrine daily. He found that every part of his life effected every other part of his life and he began to look for the spirituality in every part of his life.

Combat places great demands on the capacities of the warrior. Such demands act as powerful learning situations for self-discovery and self-confrontation.

Confronting Death

To defeat a thousand enemies is good, but the Samurai who defeats himself is the greatest of warriors.

Perhaps the first and most important of these is the confrontation with death. Throughout life we are sporadically confronted with death, be it through family, television or literature. In the modern world we are very familiar with death, but rarely if ever are we confronted with the prospect of our personal demise. But when it does arrive it most likely will be a sudden, irrevocable and inconvenient event from which we learn nothing. The martial artist does not ignore or wait for death, but walks right up to it.

In the Martial Arts, death is a constant presence. The whole activity revolves around it. Attack, defense and counter-attack are all performed as if a true life-or-death situation were involved. With proficiency, the vigour of the actions increases and, if one is using weapons, one may employ, for instance, a ‘live’ (naked) sword instead of a bamboo or wooden sword – all of which make the situation genuinely dangerous. The practitioner confronts death and makes peace with it in the knowledge it is inevitable. With this understanding, there exists no more fear, and the martial artist is now truly free.

All spiritual systems set up a confrontation with death, for confronting death is perhaps the most important element of spirituality. The basic preparatory practices of Buddhism involve the recognition one’s life is short and one may die tomorrow. In the Chod rite of Tibet, practitioners visit a graveyard at night (where the corpses are left exposed to the elements and scavengers) and invite the demons to come and take them. Christians and Muslims invite the Almighty to take their souls at any time.

The fear of death is the greatest obstacle for the martial artist. This fear has a quality of rigidity, or paralysis, or of loss of control; one may freeze with terror, or one may panic and react blindly and irrationally. Such reactions, intruding at the crucial moment in combat, will spell death, even for the technically accomplished fighter.

But freedom from this incapacitating fear releases great powers. There is a story of a Master of the Japanese Tea Ceremony from the province of Tasa – a man of no martial skill yet of great meditative and spiritual accomplishment. He accidentally gave offence to a high-ranking Samurai and was challenged to a duel.

He went to the local Zen Master to seek advice. The Zen Master told him frankly that he had little chance of surviving the encounter, but that he could ensure an honourable death by treating the combat as he would the formal ritual of the Tea Ceremony. He should compose his mind, paying no attention to the petty chatterings of thoughts of life and death. He should grasp the sword straightforwardly, as he would the ladle in the Tea Ceremony; and with the same precision and concentration of mind with which he would pour the boiling water onto the tea, he should step forward, with no thought of the consequence, and strike his opponent down in one blow.

The Tea Master prepared himself accordingly, abandoning all fear of death. When the morning of the duel arrived, the Samurai, encountering the total poise and fearlessness of his opponent, was so shaken that he promptly begged forgiveness and called off the fight.

The recognition and mental triumph over death is the martial artist’s greatest power, in that he will focus on the fact he has little time and hence lets his acts flow accordingly. Each act is your last battle on Earth, and only with this philosophy will your acts have their rightful power. Otherwise they will be, for as long as you live, the acts of a timid man.

In the words of a Samurai legend, “being timid is fine if you are to be immortal, but if you are going to die, there is no time for timidity, simply because timidity makes you cling to something that exists only in your thoughts.” It soothes you while everything is at a lull, but then the awesome, mysterious world will open its mouth for you, as it will open for every one of us, and then you will realise your sure ways were not sure at all. Being timid prevents us from examining and exploiting our lot as men.

Mastery of Energy

To the martial artist, Energy manifests within each individual as spirit, spirit manifests in each individual as mind. This Energy or “Chi” as it is known in China, or “Ki” in Japan, permeates everything, and hence is both the martial artist’s strongest connection to his enemy as well as his strongest weapon against his enemy.

The mastery of this energy is a central element of all traditional forms of Martial Arts practice. Two widely recognised expressions of this ideal are the Chinese art of Tai Chi Chuan, and the Japanese art of Aikido.

Tai Chi Chuan integrates many elements of Chinese culture such as philosophy and religion, medicine, and military practice. It draws its inspiration for movement heavily from the philosophy of yin and yang. It incorporates the theory of the Five Elements of cosmology and the principles of the Bagua (“Eight Trigrams”) together with motion, creating a continuous flow of movement that reflect the ideas behind these ideologies.

The Yin-Yang symbol, which is often linked with Tai Chi Chuan, represents the interaction of Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang are shown in equal amounts, yet the Yin portion of the Yin-Yang contains a small amount of Yang and the Yang portion an equally small amount of Yin.

The ancient Chinese saw the universe as a vast unity with every part of it being related to and dependent on every other part. Within this unity, there is continual change in an endless cycle between two partners, the Yin (feminine, dark, soft, yielding) and the Yang (masculine, hard, aggressive).

The universe is entirely made from these two forms of energy and in order for all things to progress harmoniously, the forces of Yin and yang must constantly interact with each other. While doing so, each must evolve, over a period of time, into its opposite, just as day gradually turns to night. For this reason, everything that seems to be Yin contains some Yang and all that is Yang also contains some Yin, without which change would not be possible. (Chen Lei)

From this view of existence and energy, the style of Tai Chi Chuan was constructed. It is a perfect physical expression of the Yin-Yang philosophy and operates within the same parameters and limitations.

While other martial styles are violently fast and rigid, Tai Chi is slow and controlled, with techniques that flow endlessly into one another. Just as Yin-Yang energy maintains a continual flow, so does the Tai Chi form. There is no rigid stop-start, only a controlled natural mimic of energy. This is why Tai Chi is often seen as one of the most graceful and peaceful Martial Arts. Just as energy is circular in flow, all Tai Chi footwork is circular in direction, and just as energy is a natural phenomenon, the Tai Chi defence postures are always in a natural form, not rigid, boxing-like military stances.

The effective practice of Tai Chi relies on a pure and deep understanding of the Yin-Yang/ Tai Chi view of Chi and the universe. Without this spiritual dimension to the art, the student is not practicing Tai Chi, they are simply performing empty movements of little significance to themselves or the world around them.

Another art dealing with the dynamics of energy was founded by Ueshiba Morihei in 1942. The Japanese art of Aikido was considered a continuation of the Samurai Arts, and borrows much of its spiritual dimension and expression from Bushido (The Way of the Samurai), particularly its use of traditional sword practices. It is a relatively contemporary system and much a continuation of Japanese values and culture as it is a cultivation of philosophy and spirit.

The meaning of Aikido is literally the “artful path of discovery of gathering Ki”. Ki is the Japanese translation of Chi, and shares an identical definition. It is suggested that Ki was “born” at the same instant as the rest of the universe, and that we are all born from the Ki of the universe. All living organisms have equal access to Ki, and it will course through our system if we allow it. Daily Aikido practice is primarily directed at maintaining a balanced state physically and emotionally, and practicing ways to cultivate this energy.

Like Tai Chi, Aikido is a physical expression of this way of seeing the world. As a result, it has no attack form, because attacking an opponent would be like attacking a family member or damaging the flow of Universal Ki energy sustaining the world. Once again, because Ki moves constantly, so does the martial artist, with all of Aikido’s footwork occurring in circular patterns. Aikido also places great attention on the balance aspect of energy, and hence has created an awareness of balance essential to its maneuvers. The main techniques of the style involve particular throwing and wrestling patterns that are precisely dependent on the perfect balance of its practitioner.

In Aikido like all Martial Arts, physical and emotional balance is codependent. Physical balance helps to engender emotional balance. An understanding of the nature of our spirit will help the practitioner create an effective alignment of thought and action. When every aspect of the individual is aligned the individual is better able to adapt and change.

Spirituality and the Samurai

The Way of Zen perpetuates the earliest Buddhist traditions. It signifies the perfect natural state of enlightenment. Zen cannot be rationalised, only experienced, lived and realised. Unattainable through concrete thought and analysis, the Way of Zen is found through meditational practice engaging both mind and body. Zen may be considered a unique expression of the Mahayana Buddhism. It originated in the northern regions of India and later moved to China and then Japan where it became a strong influence from around 1190 CE onwards. It exerted such an influence that up until a few years ago, it would have been difficult to find a person of noble Japanese origins who had not been exposed to Zen philosophy.

Zen offers an interesting perspective in the world of Martial Arts and spirituality, because it becomes hard to see where the spiritual philosophy ends and the martial practice begins. While most Martial Art philosophies are a building process supplying us with tools and understanding, the experience of Zen is a destructive process, in the strict sense that it removes things from our lives that keep us from enlightenment. Zen’s liberation comes in absolute autonomy. There are no gods, no denominations, and no higher authority. It is necessary to abandon all crutches and proceed forward with no assistance.

The role of Zen in the Samurai society is amazingly complex. It sustained the warrior spirit in two ways: Morally, because Zen is a system which teaches the individual not to look back once the course is decided; and philosophically, because Zen treats life and death indifferently.

The classic text, Hagakure or “Hidden by Leaves” attributed to the Samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo, states that, “The Way of the Samurai is found in death” and goes on to say that the Samurai is powerful because his mind is no longer attached to life and death. The Samurai will “conquer immortality by dying without hesitations.” Great deeds are accomplished when one attains the Zen state of “no-mind-ness.”

It is through this Zen state of “no-mind” that swordplay becomes not an act of killing but an instrument of spiritual self-discipline. The individual, the sword and the target become one. The blade moves by itself under the influence of the target without any individual decision, always finding a perfect blow. The acknowledgement of mastery in the sword is also the acknowledgement of a higher degree of Zen spirituality. The “no-mind” is one of the most influential Zen concepts to mix with the Samurai psyche.

A mind unconscious of itself is a mind that is not at all disturbed by affects of any kind. It is the original mind and not the delusive one that is chock-full of affects. It is always flowing; it never halts; nor does it turn solid. It fills the whole body, pervading every part of the body. It is never like a stone or a piece of wood. If it should find a resting place anywhere, it is not a mind-of-no-mind. A no-mind will keep nothing in it. It is thus called mushin. (G.R. Parulski)

This “empty-minded-ness” applies to all creative activities, such as dancing and swordplay. The mind flows freely from one object to another stopping at no single concern. In this process the mind is free and fulfills every function required of it. When the mind stops at a single thought, it loses its freedom. It cannot hear, it cannot see, even when sound enters the ears or light flashes before the eyes. Every mind has the nature of Buddha and every person is already liberated beyond birth and death. They must only realise this fact. Zen seeks to promote this realisation, the gradual process of which is referred to as Satori. The consequence of Satori is a completely new way of seeing the world and one’s place within it. According to Zen, liberation should not be looked for in the next world, for this is the next world and is already liberated. We are already at our goal, yet we cannot realise it.

Zen does not require involvement in speculation, sacred texts or writings, and every theory is valid only as an indication toward the Way. Originally a secret doctrine, passed on by the Buddha to his disciple Mahakassapa, Zen itself arose as a reaction against the fantastic and shallow rituals of traditional Hinduism, and while seeming quite loose in form, it actually operates on a base of severe self-discipline which appealed to the Samurai. Far removed from the harsh ascetic practices of its contemporary systems, the discipline of Zen involves a more subtle and inward form operating on four levels.

The first is the mastery of external objects, in particular the reactions which emanate from them. The student must understand that every time a yearning leads him toward something, he is not in control of the external object, but rather the object is in control of him. “He who loves a liquor, deceived himself in thinking that he is drinking the liquor; the truth is, the liquor is drinking him.” (Hagakure)

The second stage sees the student master the physical body. Often at this level, martial training accompanies spiritual growth as an initiatory counterpart. It is here that legends grew of superhuman Samurai and masters who could withstand the extremes of heat and cold, and break trees and stone with their bare hands. The Samurai exerts dominion over his body and mastery of his own mental functioning.

Imagine your own body as something other than yourselves. If it cries, quiet it right away, as a strict mother does with her own child. If it is capricious, control it as a rider does his own horse, through the bridle. If it is sick, administer medicines to it, just as a doctor does with a patient. If it disobeys you, punish it, as a teacher does with a pupil. (Hagakure)

The third stage involves controlling personal emotion, and establishing an inner equilibrium. Through meditational practices the student confronts every fear and excitement in an effort to “bring the heart under control.”

The fourth stage is the rejection of the Ego, and the most difficult. The heart of the philosophy promotes a higher form of spontaneity, freedom and calmness in action. Traditional arts have originated in the East as a response and execution of this mental state. Many of these arts were developed as a means of achieving Zen awareness. While the majority are martial in nature, the Zen element extends to the art of drama, the tea ceremony, flower arranging, and painting. Mastery in any of these arts cannot be achieved without the inner enlightenment and transformative power of Zen.

Generally Zen does not promote the hermit like existence found in legend, but rather asks that the practitioner lives in the world with a Zen state of consciousness which should be permanent and permeate every experience and activity. The student will labour with his mind and body until they have reached the extreme limit of all natural faculties, and eventually achieve Satori. The student is only supposed to spend the training period in Zen monasteries, and once they have achieved Satori, the student returns to the world, choosing a way of life that fits their needs.

Martial Arts systems are all united in the fact they demand the practitioner to readjust their lifestyle. Aside from being an intellectual and physical pursuit, true practice arises in the expression of the Art throughout one’s daily life and thought. Attending a Martial Arts class once a week will not release the enormous transformative potential of this avenue, but it will start you on an ancient path that has affected lives for centuries. Like all spiritual endeavours it requires commitment and patience.

Source: New Dawn Magazine

Woo-Nam Hyung (U-Nam) Tul – 雲南型- 失傳的跆拳道黑帶二段拳法 (The Lost Pattern) [updated Jan 06, 2018]

Woo Nam Hyung {U-NAM} (the lost pattern) was created prior to 1959 apparently to honor and gain favor with the former President Syngman Rhee (whose pen name was U-Nam), who was the first President of Korea until he was forced to resign due to nationwide massive student protests in 1960. Dr. Rhee fled and lived out the rest of his life in Hawaii in exile.

(Woo -Nam)U-Nam was a “lost” or “forgotten” Pattern created by General Choi Hong Hi, the Principle Founder of the Original or Military Self Defense Taekwon-Do. The form or hyung, as they called them in those days, was finalized by 1959. Pattern U-Nam was researched by Dr. George Vitale, VIII Degree from NYC, USA. During his many years of extensive research he was advised of its creation by Grandmaster “CK” Choi (Chang Keun), a Founding Member of the ITF.

An Interview with Grandmaster C.K. Choi ~ Philip Hawkins [updated Jan 06, 2018]

Grand Master Choi Chang Keun

This interview with GM C.K. Choi, one of the pioneers in Taekwon-Do,was conducted some years back and this website is re-publishing it for several reasons as listed below:

  • He was one of the TKD pioneers who first taught in Penang, Malaysia in the early 1960s;
  • Some of the current TKD Exponents practicing in Malaysia were not even born yet when he was teaching in Penang;
  • General Choi was the then Korean Ambassador to Malaysia;
  • As the following interview has mentioned, Gen. Choi had good relations with the Malaysian Government under the premiership of the late Tunku Abdul Rahman. There was one Minister,the late Encik Khir Johari who was conferred the Hon. 3rd Degree(?) Black Belt by Gen Choi.
  • Some of us the Malaysia National Team ( under MTF at that time ) renewed our friendship when we met up with him at the 2nd ITF World Championship in Oklahoma City, USA in Sept 1978.

For many the name Grand Master Choi Chang Keun is unfamiliar to them, but in its abbreviated form of ‘Grand Master C.K.Choi’ it brings instant recognition to anyone who has truly studied TaeKwon-Do.

For those who either trained under him, or have witnessed any of his performances as part of the ITF Demonstration teams of the 1960’s and 1970’s, they describe him as a man of awesome ability. He is renowned for his array of powerful kicking and jumping techniques and has attained a fearsome reputation when sparring.

Grand Master Choi is open and approachable, he has an actively astute mind, is an articulate, genuinely friendly man, who talk’s openly with a wealth of knowledge on both the techniques and history of TaeKwon-Do. You are also aware whilst in conversation with him that he also has both an inner strength, and a steely self confidence.

Q: Can I start by asking when you first became interested in the martial arts?

A: I began to study TaeKwon-Do in 1956 whilst I was still in middle school in the city of Won-Ju, South Korea. The Dojang I originally trained at was affiliated with the Chung Do Kwan. However in 1958 I started to train under Master (Major) Woo Jong Lim (Director of Tae Kwon Do for the Korean 1st Army) who although serving in the R.O.K. Army was also teaching at the only civilian Oh Do Kwan gym in Korea at that time. All the other Oh Do Kwan gyms taught only military personnel. As you know General Choi Hong Hi had founded the Tae Kwon Do (Oh Do Kwan) in 1954 with the assistance of Master (Captain) Nam Tae Hi.

Q: Which patterns were you practicing at this time?

A: I practiced Tae Kwon-Do patterns created by General Choi Hon Hi along with Karate patterns (Katas) and sparring patterns designed by my Instructor; Master Woo Jong Lim, in the 1950’s and the early 1960’s.

Q: I believe you became a TaeKwon-Do Instructor in the R.O.K. Army how did this come about?

A: I had attained a 2nd degree in TaeKwon-Do whilst training under Major Woo Jong Lim. At this time in 1960 Master Woo was appointed to the R.O.K .Army training center in Non San from Won-Ju and became Chief of Staff to General Choi. It was here that he asked me to give a TaeKwon-Do demonstration along with Master Han Cha Kyo for a TaeKwon-Do educational film. General Choi; who at this time was commander of the R.O.K. Army recruiting center, was watching.

He wanted a Tae Kwon Do educational film made and sent to the United States so that Tae Kwon Do could be introduced to there. After the demo had finished he asked if I would be interested in joining the Army to teach Tae Kwon Do. After discussing this proposal with my parents I accepted and joined the R.O.K. Army in 1960, after which I taught Tae Kwon Do at the R.O.K. Army’s largest recruiting center in Non-San.

Q: You were young to be teaching in the R.O.K. Army. Did this cause you any problems?

A: I had gained experience teaching as an assistant whilst training under Major Woo Jong Lim. I was the first Korean Tae Kwon Do (Oh Do Kwan) Champion in Tae Kwon Do in 1962, in sparring and patterns. I also taught under General Choi’s order. Therefore this helped me gain respect from those I trained. I had to train very hard not to disappoint Master Woo and General Choi and I was promoted to 3rd Degree Black Belt in 1962 by Master Woo Jong Lim.

Q: You are renowned for your flexibility and kicking abilities. How hard did you have to work on this or did it come naturally to you?

A: Although I have always trained hard I did have a degree of natural flexibility, which in truth I was not aware of until I started to teach TaeKwon-Do. (Grandmaster C.K. Choi then, without any warm up, dropped straight into both front and side splits with ease. He is 64 years old!) As regards my kicking, Major Woo Jong Lim emphasized to me to practice both left and right equally. I also practiced extensively with a bag to improve both my power and technique. I also practiced my punching and striking techniques endlessly, as well as my standing and jumping kicks.

Q: How many hours daily did you teach in the R.O.K. Army?

A: I would teach for two and a half-hours in the morning and evening respectively -5 days a week – and for two and a half-hours on a Saturday morning. I must emphasis that the training in the military was extremely hard, as it should be. We would practice patterns, breaking and sparring. We also spent time on physical conditioning that included lots of running which helped create more power and improve our stamina. In addition we spent time conditioning our hands and feet. You can have beautiful techniques, but without the power it does not work for self-defense. This is what military TaeKwon-Do was all about. We would also practice defenses against bayonet and rifle attacks.

Q: I’ve heard it said that upon first meeting General Choi and joining the R.O.K. Army that he told you to go into a room and just practice TaeKwon-Do on your own. Is this correct?

A: Yes. He told me to go to the gym and practice Tae Kwon Do.

Q: Did you also train under Grandmaster Kim Bok Man at this time?

A: No, I did not. When I was teaching in the Korean Army Training Centre under General Choi and Master Woo Jong Lim, Master Kim Bok Man came to see me in 1961. I spoke with him for about 5 minutes. That was the first and last meeting with him in Korea. When I went to Singapore I met him and stayed with him for about a week before going to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. However my masters were General Choi and Master Woo Jong Lim (Master Lim became a Major General in the 1980’s)

Q: Could you tell us about your competition career in the early 1960’s?

A: In 1962 Master Woo Jong Lim created the Tae Kwon Do Championship in sparing, patterns, breaking and special breaking. Master Woo held the 1st championship in Won-Ju Korea with the assistance of Kim Jong Chan and others in February 1963. I won the first Tae Kwon Do (Oh Do Kwan) Championship in both the sparring and patterns.

This was the first Tae Kwon Do Championships ever held in Tae Kwon Do history. I won the second championship in June of 1963. I also won the first Korean Tae Soo Do (Tae Kwon Do, Tang Soo Do, and Kong Soo Do) heavyweight championship in the 3rd, 4th and 5th degree division in 1963. I was the smallest in the division, but quite fast so the bigger opponents found it hard to hit me. The rules used were similar to those used by the WTF today but we used more hand techniques. In that tournament 1st and 2nd degree were divided into light, middle and heavy, as were the 3rd 4th & 5th degrees. This was the first combined Martial Arts tournament in history.

Q: Why was it called Tae Soo Do?

A: There were Tae Kwon Do, Tang Soo Do and Kong Soo Do styles that wanted to affiliate with the Korean National Athletic Association under their respective names. Therefore the Korean National Athletic Association told them to come up with a unified name.

The two Tae Kwon Do representatives wanted to use the Tae Kwon Do name but the seven Tang Soo Do and Kong Soo Do representatives did not. The only name that could be agreed upon was Tae Soo Do. Tang Soo Do and Kong Soo Do Masters wanted to use the word Soo as it means hand. As a result the Korean Tae Soo Do Association was formed and affiliated with the Korean National Athletic Association.

Q: I think many readers will be surprised by the name Tae Soo Do.

A: The Tae Soo Do name was suggested by Tang Soo Do Master, Lee Jong Woo who became the Vice President of KTA, Kuk Ki Won and WTF. Tang Soo Do and Kong Soo Do Masters would eventually control the Korean Tae Soo Do Association which became the Korean Tae Kwon Do Association in 1965.

I should also make it clear that I have a problem with those who have helped to cause confusion in Tae Kwon Do. I had a personal experience with them after becoming the first Korean Tae Soo Do heavyweight champion. There were 6 champions and 6 runner-ups set to go to Japan to represent Korea, for the goodwill tournament in 1963. 11 were from Tang Soo Do and Kong Soo Do and only one was from Tae Kwon Do. I was supposed to go to Japan as part of this, but I was excluded from the team solely because I was the only Tae Kwon Do man

Now however they claim to represent and practice TaeKwon-Do. I would just like to know when they started to learn Tae Kwon Do. When I was practicing Tae Kwon Do in the late 1950’s early 60’s they certainly were not practicing Tae Kwon Do.

Q: Did you have any input into any of the patterns?

A: I was with General Choi from 1962 until 1981. At this time he was still creating the Tae Kwon Do patterns and I assisted him on the creation of the pattern Gae-Baek. When General Choi was appointed the Commander of the 6th Army Corps in 1961 I was invited many times to perform some new patterns that he created. After performing the patterns for him he would ask me “What do you think?” I then told him my opinions.

Q: How did the opportunity arise for you to go abroad to teach?

A: In 1962 General Choi asked me to go to Malaysia to teach (He was the Korean Ambassador to Malaysia) but at this time I was still in the R.O.K Army. After being discharged from the Army in 1963 General Choi invited me to come to Malaysia. I first met Master Rhee Ki Ha in Seoul. Korea in 1964 when we were both applying for our passports.

When we went to the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs to get passports our passports the clerk at the counter told us that there was no such occupation as “Tae Kwon Do Instructor” listed. I asked what we should put down as our occupation on our passports. The clerk went away to consult with his superior. He eventually returned to us and said that we had been approved to have “Tae Kwon Do Instructor” on our passports. He told us we were the first Tae Kwon Do instructors recognized by the Korean government.

Q: In which country did you first teach?

A: I went to Malaysia in 1964 to teach Tae Kwon Do in Penang.

Q: How popular was TaeKwon-Do prior to your arrival?

A: Tae Kwon Do was already popular, as General Choi had started to teach there whilst he was the Korean Ambassador to Malaysia. However many referred to him as the Tae Kwon Do Ambassador as his goal was to teach everyone. General Choi was very friendly with the Prime Minister, Tunku Rahman, as well as many other Government officials.

We were asked to perform many demos like the one on Malaysian Independence Day when both the King and Prime Minister were in attendance. Tunku Rahman helped General Choi immensely.

Q: Were you now teaching the Ch’ang-Hon patterns?

A: I was teaching Tae Kwon Do patterns from Chon Ji upward. We did not use the term Ch’ang-Hon Patterns because there is only one Tae Kwon Do system; that which was founded by General Choi with the assistance of many Masters.

Q: You had quite a reputation at this time and yet many have said that both your appearance and demeanour were quite deceptive.

A: Yes this is true. My friends used to call me schoolmaster, as they said I had the appearance of one. But I have always had total confidence in my Tae Kwon Do ability. Once they saw my training they knew I was a good Tae Kwon Do Master.

Q: Did your students compete whilst you were in Malaysia?

A: Yes, many of my students were successful at the 1st Asian Championships held in Hong Kong in 1969. However, my teaching’s were not tournament based, but for self-defense. I used to tell my students that winning tournaments was fine, but if they were ever in danger they should also be able to save their own lives with the powerful techniques that they possess.

Q: Did you grade under General Choi at this time?

A: Yes. I did and I received 8th Degree Black Belt in 1981.

Q: How was your own training developing at this time?

A: I was always looking for better ways to train, especially with regards to power, speed, strength, stamina, flexibility and the application of techniques in sparring. If your body is flexible it is much easier to perform. This benefited my students greatly. Our objectives are to train our mind and body to achieve the highest level of physical fitness and mental discipline so that we can uncover the supreme person within each one of us. It is also important to practice the original Tae Kwon Do patterns to maintain the traditional Tae Kwon DO training system.

Q: Did you believe back in 1966 that TaeKwon-Do would achieve the global recognition that it has today?

A: Its beyond my belief that TaeKwon-Do has become as big as it has. Under the leadership of General Choi, many Pioneering Masters, instructors and supporters worked hard to teach and spread Tae Kwon Do all over the world. believe we all did our best to promote Tae Kwon Do and Korea.

Q: Were your current grades accepted by the ITF?

A: Yes. I think so. In 1981 I received 8th Degree Black Belt from the founder of Tae Kwon Do, General Choi. Who is not going to recognize that? Unless they are not a Tae Kwon Do organization. I was also one of the founding members of the ITF and received the No. 5 Recognition Plaque from the ITF.

Q: Do you think that the original pioneers of TaeKwon-Do receive the recognition that they deserve?

A: No. I don’t think so because the Korean Tae Kwon Do Association, Kuk KI Won and WTF, with the support of the Korean Government did not allow the teaching of the original Tae Kwon Do (ITF style) in Korea since 1973. The Korean government dissolved the ITF in Korea with the support of KTA and WTF because of General Choi’s opposition to President Park Jung Hee and his dictatorial regime. This is one of the reasons the original Tae Kwon Do Pioneers’ devotion and hard work has not been recognized by the Korean government.

It was wrong to ban and dissolve the original Tae Kwon Do in Korea because of General Choi’s personal political views. The Korean government officially approved Tae Kwon Do as Korea’s National Martial Art in 1965.

Since 1973 there has been no original Tae Kwon Do in Korea. Many people outside of Korea have more awareness of Tae Kwon Do’s history than the Korean people themselves. Unfortunately, there are people in Korea who tried to eliminate the truth for their own benefit and protection.

The Korean government is now in a position to recognize the original Tae Kwon Do, correct its history, and support its teaching in Korea again. This is the only way to honor all the Pioneering Masters and Instructors who have traveled the world to teach and spread Tae Kwon Do under the Korean name. They have been the real Korean patriots.

Q: How long was your stay in Malaysia?

A: I lived in Penang from 1964 to 1969 teaching Tae Kwon Do in Penang, Ipoh and Aloh Star. I had to teach in almost half of the country from time to time. I miss my old students very much. I hope to see them in the near future.

Q: Did you modify your teaching in any way from the way you taught in Korea?

A: The training method was the same whether you were in Korea, Singapore, Maylasia or Canada but I continued to develop modern training methods all the time. In my experience; when teaching, it is important to understand a beginner’s point of view. You do not want to train them too hard in the beginning. You do not train them as you would a champion.

Q: In 1973 you were chosen to be part of the ITF Demonstration Team that travelled the World. Could you please share with us any memories you have from this tour.

A: General Choi selected Masters Kong Young Ill, Rhee Ki Ha, Park Jong Soo and myself we were chosen to travel the world demonstrating, promoting and giving TaeKwon-Do seminars. We traveled for a total of 43 days. I have many happy memories of this tour. We performed in front of huge crowds in some wonderful stadiums. When we were giving a demonstration in Cairo, Egypt the stadium was full of people but they could not see from one end to another. We had to give four demonstrations, one on each side. They were impressed by our demonstrations and it seemed like we were treated like rock and roll stars. Our demonstrations were very popular everywhere we went.

Each host country provided our breaking materials. I recall on one occasion our boards had been soaked in water by a karate group to make the boards tougher, but we still broke them. On another occasion we (and our hosts) were embarrassed by a group of martial artists who gave a demonstration using, what I perceived to be tricks. I asked the MC to make a public announcement that I wanted to challenge anyone of the martial artists. It was out of character for me but I wanted to show them Tae Kwon Do’s power and skill. They quickly disappeared.

I also traveled frequently with General Choi in the late 1970’s. On one particular tour we traveled to Poland, Hungary and Yugoslavia. This was the first Tae Kwon Do demonstration Team that ever visited communist countries. Some Korean Martial Art practitioners said that we were communist. However, the WTF invited these same countries to the 1977 WTF World Championships in Chicago and I was told they even paid for their expenses. So I was somewhat confused as to who was a communist and who was not. In 1979 I traveled throughout South America giving demonstrations and seminars, accompanying General Choi and Master J.C.Kim, and others.

Q: Who has impressed you most throughout your TaeKwon-Do career?

A: General Choi Hong Hi and General Woo Jong Lim. General Choi is the founder of Tae Kwon-Do. There was no Tae Kwon-Do prior to the 11th April 1955. I respected him immensely as he was both intelligent and creative. He devoted his life to create and develop Tae Kwon-Do with the assistance of Grand Master Nam Tae Hi and other Masters.

I would also like to mention General Woo. He had all the good qualities of a human being that any man would want to have. He taught me not only the best Tae Kwon Do techniques which allowed me to become the first Tae Kwon Do and Tae Soo Do champion but he also taught me values for life. I received Tae Kwon Do lessons and life lessons at the same time. Unfortunately General Choi and General Woo are not here with us now but I sincerely thank them for what they have done to make me who I am today. I would also like to thank all my Tae Kwon Do Pioneering friends who devoted their life to teach and spread Tae Kwon Do worldwide. You have been my good friends and my strength.

Q: I believe you were instrumental in the creation of the ITF emblem on the back of the Doboks. Can you tell us more about this?

A: General Choi asked me to develop a new Dobok for the ITF that was different from the karate style uniforms we were wearing. The emblem on the back of the ITF Dobok symbolizes a tree, which has continual growth. I designed this for everyone who practices Tae Kwon Do. It was not designed for profit. However, recently I have heard that people have tried to patent the design. I sincerely hope that this is not the case.

Q: When did you leave the ITF?

A: I had been with General Choi since 1960. He came to Vancouver in 1979 and General Choi and Grand Master J C Kim and I had discussions to go to South and North Korea to give tae Kwon Do demonstrations. We all agreed to do so but General Choi decided to go to North Korean only. I disagreed with General Choi’s decision to go to North Korea. I felt it was wrong at that time, as there was no dialogue or communication between the two Korea’s in the late 70’s early 80’s.

I parted from General Choi in 1981. Today however the climate is different and the two Governments are talking. Many of my fellow pioneering Masters felt the same as myself at that time and also left General Choi. General Choi lost most of his Senior Grand masters and Masters and was forced to re-organize with Junior Black Belt Instructors while saying that all Korean Instructors betrayed him, which was not true. In 1982/83 General Choi tried to contact me, but I was not ready to talk unless he could change his politics. Obviously, he did not. Prior to leaving General Choi, Master J.C. Kim and I were selected as ITF representatives to merge with the WTF. Both ITF and WTF representatives had three separate meetings in Vancouver, Canada and Seoul, Korea but we could not reach any agreement.

Q: How are you involved in TaeKwon-Do today?

A: I still train every day. I also regularly conduct seminars and promotional tests together with advice on how to run a successful Do Jang (school). Since General Choi’s death in 2002 I have been meeting with ITF’s Pioneering Grand Masters to find a way to unite the original Tae Kwon Do family under the leadership of the most senior Grand Master, Nam Tae Hi.

On August 16th 2005 in Vancouver, Canada we set up a committee to begin the formation of The Tae Kwon Do Pioneers Council with Grand Master J.C. Kim, Grand Master Cho Sang Min, Grand Master Lee Yoo Sun and myself Grand Master C.K. Choi. The objective of the Council is to help and support all Tae Kwon Do groups worldwide whenever they need assistance. The Council would like all the Grand Masters, Masters and Instructors to work together to support and unify the Tae Kwon Do family.

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to the various ITF groups what would it be?

A: I would like to see all ITF groups unite and put all of their differences to one side and work together to make the ITF stronger for the benefit of everyone concerned. I am willing to help any true Tae Kwon Do practitioners in the world. I am also currently writing the true history of Tae Kwon Do. If you have any historical information please feel free to contact me. e-mail address:

Thank you for giving such an interesting and informative interview Grandmaster Choi.


At the beginning of the interview General Woo Jong Lim is referred to as a Major. This was his military title at that time.

Philip Hawkins can be contact at

Grand Master C.K. Choi

Began training in Tae Kwon Do and Karate under Instructor [Army Captain] Hong Sung In and Instructor Kim.
Trained under Master [Major] Woo Jong Lim, Director of Tae Kwon Do for the Korean 1st Army.
Taught Tae Kwon Do at the largest Korean Army Training Center under Master [Lt. Colonel] Woo Jong Lim and General Choi Hong Hi and assisted Gen. Choi to create Gae-Baek Pattern.
Won the First Korean Tae Kwon Do Championships in Sparring and Pattern in Won Ju City, Korea. This was the world’s first championship.
Selected Member of First Korean Army Representative Team.
Won the First Korean Tae Soo Do [Tae Kwon Do, Tang Soo Do, Kong Soo Do] Full Contact Heavyweight Championship in 3rd, 4th,5th Degree Black Belt Division.
Won the Korean Tae Soo Do Representative Full Contact Heavyweight Championship.
Was invited by Malaysia Tae Kwon Do Association to teach Tae Kwon Do and became the First Professional Tae Kwon Do Instructor recognized by Korean Government.
International Tae Kwon Do Federation [I.T.F.] was formed and received # 5 Recognition Plaque.
Opened First Tae Kwon Do School in Vancouver, Canada.
Was member of I.T.F. Demonstration Team to tour the world In 1973, 1978, 1979, 1981.
Was Chairman of I.T.F. Umpire Committee.
Designed the I.T.F. Uniform Tree Logo.

Promoted to 8th Degree Black Belt by I.T.F.
Was one of two I.T.F. Representatives attempting to merge I.T.F. with W.T.F.
With deep regret, Master Choi dropped support for Gen. Choi because of his ties with North Korea. At this junction, South Korea was technically at war and had no diplomatic relations with North Korea.

Created Sparring Patterns.
Became 9th Degree Black Belt.
Published his book The Korean Martial Art of Tae Kwon Do and Early History. Was inducted into the Tae Kwon Do Hall Of Fame in New York City.
2010 Revised the above noted book to include training guidelines, sparring patterns and a testing schedule.

A letter from General Choi dated 36 years ago. [updated Jan 6, 2018]

On March 31, 2014, Dr. George Vitale Vlll, the ITF Spokesman, flew into Kuala Lumpur from Phuket Island, Thailand where he attended the ITF EDB meeting chaired by the ITF President, Dr. Chang Ung. His purpose of the visit was to interview the first disciple of Gen Choi GM Low Koon Lin.

642 view here Photo taken at Grand Master Low Koon Lin’s residence in Petaling Jaya together with Dr. George Vitale and Mr. Chong Soon Kean, a former 3 times ITF World Champion ( Pattern promoted Sr.Master 8th Degree by GM Phap Lu (CHITF)

Gen Choi's letter View here A letter by Gen Choi 36 years ago when he visited my State hometown in Kuantan,in 1978 just months before we participated in the 2nd World ITF Championships in Oklahoma city in the USA.

snapshot with Masters George and Monir View Here

Snapshots with Dr. George Vitale and Grandmaster Mounir Ghrawi. Photo taken in Toronto during the GTF Park Jung Tae International Challenge Cup Championships.

GM Kim Group Photo View Here Photos taken in GM Kim Bok Man’s gymn in New Jersey together with Dr. George Vitale, Master Chris Gantner, Sec-Gen of GTF, and Master Delcid.

United States Taekwondo Grandmasters Society – Peace Award 2013

Published on May 20, 2013

Dr George Vitale receiving his Award in NJ April 2013 US Taekwondo Grandmasters Society, Dr He Young Kimm, Grandmaster Mounir Ghrawi, Grandmaster Richard Chun, Grandmaster Woo Jung Jin, Taekwondo ITF WTF


Master George Vitale, retired US police officer, is everywhere — Ireland one month and North Korea the next. He studies martial arts as a hobby, and advises many instructors about Tae Kwon Do’s history. I met him in Brighton, England, where he told me a bit about himself.

Black Belt Fitness for Life A 7-Week Plan to Achieve Lifelong Wellness By Grandmaster Tae Sun Kang and Michael Imperioli

Commentary from 1martialart: GM Tae Sung Kang’ dojang (Worth Street) is adjacent to my downtown Manhattan apartment (Broadway Road/White Street) where I was staying from 2005 to 2010 during my internship at the immigration law firm nearby. I did pay at visit to the dojang and we exchanged some pleasantries in our brief conversation.


Basically his teachings and Chang Hon patterns were very much traditional in the application of movements similar to those taught by Gen Choi and his ITF Instructors during the 1960s, and 1970s. Alot of hard movement, and ‘sine wave’ techniques were hardly introduced.

The dojang is well equipped with well to do student membership in all the other dojangs around NY.

“There’s something to martial arts and especially the way Grandmaster Kang teaches it that addresses not just the body and fitness, but addresses the mind and addresses your approach to life.” —from the foreword by Michael Imperioli, award-winning actor

In Black Belt Fitness for Life, Grandmaster Tae Sun Kang applies his four decades of experience to guide you through an innovative method of fitness using Taekwondo principles. Whether you’re a beginner or veteran to stretching and exercise, you can easily follow Grandmaster Kang’s 7-week routine based on the belt system of Taekwondo, an ancient Korean martial art. With each week of the regimen, you will learn new skills and techniques that culminate in mastery of the techniques necessary to continue exercising and eating right for life.

Through the use of Taekwondo stretches and movements, this black belt “Combined Dynamic Stretching” method will improve your flexibility and balance, stamina and strength, as well as your focus and mental health. You’ll stretch multiple parts of your body at the same time, improving circulation and building mental strength while warming up to minimize injuries. As part of his holistic approach to health and fitness, Grandmaster Kang also outlines an eating plan designed to help you lose weight naturally. Unlike extreme diets and workouts that emphasize drastic results quickly, the Grandmaster’s approach is a balanced, easy-to-follow, and—most importantly—realistic plan designed for your life.

Friend and longtime student of Grandmaster Kang, actor Michael Imperioli wrote the foreword for the book and shares his experience in training under Grandmaster, as well as the benefits he has received in following Grandmaster’s philosophy.

T Kang Taekwondo – Grandmaster Kang

Consciousness and the Martial Arts

JEFFREY MISHLOVE, Ph.D.: Hello and welcome. Our topic today is “Consciousness and the Martial Arts,” and my guest, George Leonard, is an Aikido teacher. In addition he is a former senior editor of Look magazine, a consulting editor to Esquire magazine, and the author of numerous books including The Transformation, The Silent Pulse, Education and Ecstasy, and The Ultimate Athlete. Welcome, George.

GEORGE LEONARD: Great to be here.

MISHLOVE: It’s a pleasure to have you here. In your work with Aikido, you pay a lot of attention to the notion of energy, and being sensitive to the energy field around the human body. Could you talk a little bit about that? It’s a notion I think a lot of people in the West particularly are not too familiar with.

LEONARD: Well, I don’t think there’s any question that there is an energy field around the body. First of all, there’s a heat field that can be seen on infrared film. You can measure the heartbeat electromagnetic field a great distance from the body. There’s an electrostatic field around the body.

We are surrounded by an olfactory bubble — we can smell each other; that’s another field. And then of course there are those putative fields of the Eastern religions, the various soul sheaths and auras and so forth. But I think that as Alan Watts once said, we are not skin-encapsulated egos.

In fact the skin is one of the lesser boundaries between the self and the universe. Close your eyes and then you can become one with the universe. Now, many of the martial arts, as you perhaps know, have had claims of the paranormal. You’ve heard the story of the ki-ai, the great shout by which a martial arts master can bring a sparrow down from a tree — “Ha!” like that. Or put your hands like that and then against the wall; you see the sizzling fingerprints and handprint against the wall.

MISHLOVE: Of course it seems that it’s always the oldest, frailest masters who are the most powerful.

LEONARD: That’s right. And actually —

MISHLOVE: At least in the movies.

LEONARD: It’s true, though. It’s really true. Aikido
— it’s probably the most recent and the most sophisticated and, according to Scientific American, the most difficult to master of the modern martial arts, of all the martial arts really. It was created, shall we say evolved, out of other martial arts, in the mid-1920s by a remarkable Japanese warrior named Morihei Ueshiba. We call him O Sensei, meaning great teacher, and others refer to him as Osensai, that’s much easier. But Aikido is a radical attempt — it really goes back to the samurai. The moves in aikido are the moves of samurai swordsmanship, basically, and jujitsu. But O Sensei, when he was a very powerful young man — and that’s when he would still use his muscle force —

MISHLOVE: It has a lot to do with balance, doesn’t it?

LEONARD: Oh yes, balance and centeredness. But he was engaged in a duel with an admiral with swords, and the admiral was injured. This was way back in the 1920s in Japan. O Sensei was filled with remorse, went on a one year’s retreat, and then in the typical enlightenment story, he was seeking some mode of martial art that would create not discord in the world but harmony.

MISHLOVE: This was before he developed Aikido.

LEONARD: Yes, he was in the process of developing it. The great moment is about to come now. You know, it’s just like the movies, really, just like the television series. He was in his back garden, and suddenly the whole world turned golden. The persimmon tree beneath which he was sitting, the well, everything turned golden, and he was enlightened. And what he found was a martial art that was really based on harmony. The word Ai in Japanese is a character, that goes like this, rather than like this. And Jeffrey, you know that most of our culture is built on this — push, push back.

MISHLOVE: You mean like a game of chess, or a football field — two teams lining up against each other pushing at each other like that.

LEONARD: I’ve given workshops to forty thousand people in the discipline I’ve developed out of Aikido, and I always ask this question: “What do you do when somebody pushes you?” The first answer invariably has been — this is forty thousand people — “Push back.” And it’s really a very stupid thing to do. Aikido is going with the flow — this is all going to make some sense about consciousness in just a minute, stay with me —

MISHLOVE: I’m with you.

LEONARD: It is really understanding — and deeper than understanding, intuiting — becoming one with the energy and intention, the intentionality of the attacker. You literally have to understand that fully as an attack comes in to you. Whatever kind of attack it is — it could be a psychological attack, a physical attack, a blow this way, a blow that way.

MISHLOVE: I heard that when I was a child about jujitsu. The idea is that you use the force of your opponent against them.

LEONARD: That’s right. But see, you still — watch your language — against them. So Aikido is more radical than that. Judo is you push, I pull; you pull, I push. Aikido is not that. You push, I blend; I become one with you. If we weren’t locked to these chairs, I’d jump up and show you. You’d come towards me, I’d make kind of a sweeping spiral-like move and come around and end up looking at the world from your viewpoint. In other words, to say it more clearly, looking at the world from the attacker’s viewpoint — “Oh, that’s how you see it.” And so from that vantage point you then have your options multiplied tremendously.

MISHLOVE: It’s almost like telepathy in a sense, then.

LEONARD: Yeah, we’re getting there. Push, push back, there are three possible outcomes. If I push you and you push back, I can win, I can lose, or there can be a stalemate. We’ve got the cerebral cortex, the most complex entity in the known universe, and we’ve come up with a basic way of dealing with problems, out of which there are three possible outcomes, all of which are no good. Once you have blended with somebody, you retain those outcomes, but you have about ten thousand more, physically. And the same thing is true psychologically, socially, sexually, whatever.

MISHLOVE: In other words, you’re dealing with a concept of unity.

LEONARD: Exactly. Literally, in Aikido if I attacked you, you would intuit, you would tune into, sense, understand, almost an extraordinary sensing, what my intentions are. You would make a move to blend with me, join with me like two rivers coming together and joining, look at the world from my viewpoint, and then you can deal with me any number of ways. You have a whole spectrum of responses, from controlling you with a wrist lock to embracing you, to going home and leaving the fight. Wonderful solution, real black belt solution, to get out of the fight.

MISHLOVE: But it almost sounds a little too perfect, George. I mean, we’re fallible human beings.

LEONARD: It’s very hard to do; that’s why Aikido is so difficult. You don’t always blend, you know. You try to blend. But it is quite remarkable. Now, since in Aikido it’s not just simply chess — it’s not you punching me, I counter that punch, I punch you back — I have to be more sensitive than usual in order to see what you really have in mind, so I have to blend with you. I think because of that Aikido masters — I do not include myself in that category

MISHLOVE: You call yourself a teacher of Aikido.

LEONARD: Yes, I hold a third-degree black belt, but that’s still — we always say, people think, “Oh, black belt, that’s something marvelous.” I consider a black belt in martial arts a license to learn. That’s when you really start learning. So a real Aikido master literally can sense things from a distance, can feel things.

And what has happened out of Aikido is that from the very practice itself, without any conscious intention to do this, it’s almost inevitable that you will start having kinds of sensing which would be called paranormal, extraordinary, whatever. Now, you see that in our world we call that quite normal. So with that in mind, I and some other teachers of Aikido have developed practices called energy awareness, and in my case we call it Leonard Energy Training, LET.


LEONARD: L-E-T, LET, that’s pretty nice. And with this training we teach alternative ways of dealing with daily life situations — stress, conflict. Some of these are quite practical, ordinary things. We use simple movement exercises with two people, sometimes more than two people. And these are things which come out of a very powerful martial art which can be performed by ordinary people who haven’t had the training, don’t know how to fall, don’t know the very complicated coordination and so forth.

MISHLOVE: You seem to be saying, in effect, that the same skill that one might use in a martial art is really the basic skill that one might use for lovemaking.

LEONARD: Exactly. Or anything. Or dealing with somebody who’s a hostile driver. You use all the same things. So I and some other people have been going around teaching this kind of thing. This is the forty thousand people I told you about. Those are not Aikidoists. We have a school in Mill Valley, Aikido of Tamalpais. But you have about a hundred students at the most at any one time. But forty thousand people —

MISHLOVE: That’s a lot.

LEONARD: That’s a lot, for an Aikido school. But now, as we started working on this, just normally, out of the very flow of things — in other words, Jeff, we couldn’t help ourselves — we start doing very extraordinary things. For example, we start finding that we can close our eyes, and by standing like this, by becoming centered and scanning like this, we can find people anywhere in the room, and we can pick out one person from another person.

MISHLOVE: In other words, from a distance of many, many feet you can —

LEONARD: It doesn’t matter the distance. The distance seems to be irrelevant.

MISHLOVE: Like a dowser searching for oil underground, or a remote viewer.

LEONARD: Exactly.

MISHLOVE: You use your body.

LEONARD: We use the body. I often say that the hands are just induction devices. Actually, you don’t even need to use your hands, but it’s nicer to have a hand up there. In other words, my basic theory that I put forth in The Silent Pulse, which probably goes along with your thinking too, is we are all connected. You’ve talked about that with Michael Scriven and others. We’re connected. We don’t need to have a carrier wave. I think so much of the objections to psychic phenomena have to do with the inability to locate or identify, isolate a carrier wave. This conception that I have is more like the quantum physics conception or holonomy — like a hologram.

MISHLOVE: We’re already part of whatever it is we’re seeking.

LEONARD: It’s structure. I mean, I can find that other person because that’s part of my basic structure.

MISHLOVE: So if I can digress for a second, some people use a dowsing rod, some people use Tarot cards, some people use a crystal ball, some people use astrology, some people use herbs or tea leaves or the I Ching. What you’re suggesting is that these are all devices to help us get back to the essential, underlying reality of it all.

LEONARD: Exactly.

MISHLOVE: And martial arts is one such device, which I suppose has the added advantage of allowing a person to really become familiar with their body, which is the basic instrument.

LEONARD: Right. I call all of these induction devices — induction, to lead into. They lead us into what we already know, as Plato said. The most that any teacher can help to do is to remind you of what you already know. So I do think the body is a good one, though. It’s a wonderful antenna, it’s fully instrumented, has thousands of feedback circuits. The feedback is instantaneous. You do not have to wait for a computer printout, it’s right there. You don’t have to carry instructions around, they’re right in your body. But we can locate people at a distance. Another thing — I also have a training in which we certify other trainers and teachers of LET, Leonard Energy Training. All of those have to be able to blindfolded on a cloudy day, outside, have to be able to find magnetic north. And they have to find it not approximately.

They’ll do like this, and I’ll take the compass, just to give them one of these so-called reality checks — we believe compasses. What I do, I say, “Now, which finger shall I put the compass on?” They’ll say, “The middle finger.” I put it on. It has to be right to the degree. Now, what I found out is that this does not take an Aikido master to do this. We can all do this.

MISHLOVE: Find magnetic north. Through the magnetic sensitivity.

LEONARD: We can find magnetic north. Or you could say it’s part of the basic structure of our culture and our environment, our world, our planet. It’s there.

MISHLOVE: Our bodies are like magnets, actually, so there’s no reason that we shouldn’t be conscious of that. But finding another person — that must be something a bit different.

LEONARD: Yeah, well — didn’t you come to our Aikido school?

MISHLOVE: I sure did.

LEONARD: And I think we did that experiment.

MISHLOVE: Absolutely.

LEONARD: In which we go through a lot of induction. We make an energy ball between us, we talk about this representing the inner pulse, the particular pulse, and then trying to create a new energy field that is the sum of and greater than the sum of the two energy fields. We read aloud together.

MISHLOVE: You led us into it step by step.

LEONARD: Read aloud together. Your breathing is synchronized. Your subtle movements, micromovements, become synchronized, and perhaps your brain waves become synchronized. Your heartbeat does become synchronized. And then we have everybody wander around at random with the eyes soft, just looking at nothing in particular, soft eyes. I clap my hands, everybody turns and finds their partner.

OK, then we walk around with our eyes closed so you can only see people’s feet, and I clap my hands — find the partner. Then we walk around with our eyes really almost closed, where you can just barely see, and when I clap my hands you close your eyes totally, swing around as much as you want to until you find your partner.

Now, the amazing thing about that is that everybody doesn’t always get it, but when I ask afterwards — this is not scientific, because obviously it’s subjective. We don’t call it a scientific experiment, we call it an experience in connectedness. So we ask, and generally ninety-five percent at least have made a direct contact one out of three times. I normally have them do it with their eyes totally closed three times.

MISHLOVE: That would be statistically significant.

LEONARD: Well, impossible, in terms of — I mean, to be really clicked right in. One time out of three. About half of them do it two times out of three, and maybe ten percent do it three times out of three.

MISHLOVE: In your world view this is normal. This is not considered paranormal at all.

LEONARD: Right. And then we have our own way of replicating the remote viewing experiments of Puthoff and Targ at SRI, and what I add to this is I add a lot of induction, and people getting to know each other through what we call the energy dimension. You know, Jeffrey, it might simply be that nothing mysterious is going on except that we are simply reducing their disbelief.

MISHLOVE: So you don’t really have a concept of the paranormal.

LEONARD: No. It’s all normal. In other words, obviously other cultures have reinforced for that. We reinforce against this kind of sensing, because it is very frightening.

As I wrote in The Silent Pulse, I would not like to have metal bending be a very common capacity of human beings, because until we’ve all learned to be a little better people — shall I say that? — a little more centered, more balanced, less ego-driven people — you know, think of the crazies out there with guns, using metal to kill people.

MISHLOVE: And there are research reports from the Soviet Union, for example, using psychokinesis to stop the heartbeat of small animals.


MISHLOVE: Obviously this might lead to other things. But surely the martial arts traditions have cultivated these things and discovered them long ago.

LEONARD: Right, a long time ago. And the legends. And it is true that O Sensei, the founder of Aikido, lived to the age of eighty-six. He died in 1969, in April. And the last five years of his life, many films were taken of him, and videotapes and so forth that are on tape now, and you yourself can look at the film.

They’re not just legends. He does some absolutely incredible things, and of course the legends are even more incredible. This is back when he was a young man, he actually dodged bullets. He said that a very small blue light comes out of the barrel of the gun just as the person holding the gun has the intention of firing. So when he sees the blue ball come out, he dodges. And there are witnesses to it.

I just don’t like to get into those kind of arguments and discussions, but I do know that he performed feats that have been witnessed, there are reliable witnesses, in historic time, and film. And those are truly remarkable. So I’m no longer so gaga about the whole business of paranormal. If you’ll accept it, it can become part of your life.

MISHLOVE: Well, it seems to me that one of the issues is this issue of acceptance, because in our culture, where we have two forces going at each other, it almost seems to me that people don’t want to deal with the paranormal, because if one of your enemies has it, they can read your mind, they can predict where you’re going to be, they could stop your heartbeat.

So we’ve almost entered into a kind of conspiracy, given the larger premises of this push-push culture, that we’d better all forget that we have these abilities.

LEONARD: We’d better not have them; that’s exactly what I say. I once played a game with about six people. We all got together and I said, “Now, let’s just imagine that in this room we’re just doing something, and we chance upon that particular formula, that strategic positioning of elements, that incantation or chant or whatever, by which we gain zero gravity.

Now, how do we handle it?” And we did a scenario on what happens. Of course, if we, right in this room, the two of us, if we figured out on this show how to use zero gravity — better not do it on this show.

MISHLOVE: Just sit about three feet above the chairs.

LEONARD: What it basically means is that we would have almost infinite power, because we could get great, huge pistons and just have them go up and down, and we would have absolutely entropy-free energy. In other words, anybody who owned that could rule the world.

MISHLOVE: Well, they’d be well on their way.

LEONARD: They’d have the power. I mean, you could levitate the Pentagon, anything you want to do. But what would you do with it? And so then we spent our time saying, “This group right here; so how do we proceed?” Very interesting, because these were very nice people, but within the next two hours people were in rancorous discussion, they were very angry.

MISHLOVE: It brought out the vicious side of them somehow.

LEONARD: Well, the confused side. In other words, what would you do with infinite power? It’s a terrifying question. And what would you do just with a little bit of power, which so-called psychic phenomena have? Like being able to bend metal. You know, there’s a worm gear that puts out the flaps on planes. If you just bent that the slightest bit it would not work, and maybe one flap would extend, the other would not, the plane would go into an uncontrollable spin and go into the earth. Now, I don’t want that to be, so maybe the real —

MISHLOVE: So maybe you’re using your power to keep other people from developing theirs, or somehow collectively this is what we are doing with our power.

LEONARD: Yes, but the distinction I make is, all of those powers — and don’t forget the word power came from a French and Latin root meaning to be able. It doesn’t mean power over others. I like to think of it as our ableness to achieve our potential. The kinds of powers which I call benign are basically what you would call the passive rather than active — that is, being able to find magnetic north, to sense other people at a distance, to be more sensitive to other human beings’ feelings.

One of the exercises I have in The Silent Pulse is to try to get in touch with, if you have the courage for it, someone who’s starving in Africa, and then through that kind of empathy, then to give you the energy to go ahead and create some kind of social justice — that the real challenge today is not developing extraordinary powers, but using those powers we have to create social justice.

MISHLOVE: I think it was the Buddhists who felt that empathy was really the highest of the powers or the spiritual gifts.

LEONARD: And actually, as I say, these things, which come out of the martial arts, out of Aikido, these gifts, whatever, these special siddhi or powers, are not nearly so important as the learning which has to do with balance and centeredness.

MISHLOVE: Well, it’s interesting that the martial arts did develop in the Orient and came out of the very spiritual cultures — the Buddhist traditions, and the Taoist traditions, so that they’ve always had a different attitude, really, I suppose even before Aikido, a different attitude than we would have had in the West.

LEONARD: That’s right, and there’s a very basic idea which I think is terribly needed in our culture. That is the idea of practice, of a way, a do, a tao — do in Japanese, tao in Chinese. It means —

MISHLOVE: Like in dojo?

LEONARD: Yeah, place of the way, that’s what that means. It means literally a path or road. Now, this is the path which you trod in your life. Your practice is your path. People say, “Yes, George, but what are you practicing for?” Now, in that very question lies the confusion in the West. Yes, on my path I do find a lot of marvelous things. I get conditioning, I get more confidence, I make friends, I have a social group. But those are all incidental.

The important thing is simply the practice itself. O Sensei of Aikido said, “Where there is no Buddha, where there is no way, the nations perish.” And I think in this culture, where anybody who’s thirty-five years and younger has been brought up in a media world which shows us a view of reality in which there are nothing but a series of climactic moments —

MISHLOVE: It’s a cacophony of different competing pluralistic impulses, unrelated to each other.

LEONARD: But there’s one very related, one very coherent idea, and that is that reality consists of a series of climactic moments.

MISHLOVE: Climactic moments.

LEONARD: Look at your commercials next time you go. Every one of them is a little epiphany, little climax, almost all of them. Just check how many of them do. A half-hour show — at the end something happens, always something. Then we’re told that winning is what counts. It doesn’t matter how you get across the goal. Just get across the goal; I don’t want to know what happened in between. Don’t tell me how you sold that ad, just sell it.

MISHLOVE: Winning isn’t the only thing, it’s everything, right?

LEONARD: So the truth of the matter is that the winning and the little spurts upward in your practice, they’re incidental. Mainly you’re on a plateau. Now, this is a very difficult concept for our culture to grasp, to get its mind around.

MISHLOVE: I’m having a little trouble with it myself.

LEONARD: You know what the learning curve is like?


LEONARD: The learning curve goes like this, then you have a little apparent growth in learning, a spurt upward. And then it levels off and goes down slightly, and you have another plateau, just like that. What we seem to want in our culture is an endless series of upward spurts. That’s just not possible.

MISHLOVE: Onward and upward.

LEONARD: That’s not possible. Most of life is on a plateau. Because while you’re on the plateau, the essential, delightful, wonderful learning is taking place. It just doesn’t show. At the end there’s a little spurt of apparent learning, when what you have learned takes effect and that stage is over and then it’s released —

MISHLOVE: So staying on the path for you involves being with that process, rather than looking for the next thrill so that you can move onward and upward quickly.

LEONARD: Exactly. And what would be the only way that people could apparently for a while stay on that series of climactic moments? What would it be?

MISHLOVE: By jumping around from one thing to another.

LEONARD: That’s one. The dabbler goes from one thing to another.

MISHLOVE: I mean sexually, for example, it’s the thrill of a new romance always.

LEONARD: But there’s one way, especially for people in the ghetto, people who don’t have too many advantages — drugs. Things like cocaine or speed, anything like that. You can have the illusion of being on a quick high, another quick high, and of course pretty soon you crash.

But this all really applies to these extraordinary powers, because I think that before we start really trying to develop those, make that our primary national or international priority, the important thing is to learn how to live on a path, to live without those illusory climaxes and thrills, just to really stay on the path, to be balanced, to be centered, to strive for social justice, to develop empathy and greater sensitivity to other people. Those things are really so much more important than developing special powers.

MISHLOVE: It’s sort of a holistic sense of things, or the warnings that we’ve always had from the Oriental traditions, that you get lost in these powers. If they become an end unto themselves, you’re missing out on something.

LEONARD: The Hindu saying, “Moksha before siddhi,” meaning awakening before powers. We don’t want to totally renounce the power; they’re a lot of fun too. But the really important thing is balance, center, empathy and feeling for others, and the ongoing struggle for justice in the world. Now how the hell did we get on that?

MISHLOVE: I don’t know, but it sounds beautiful in all of that. It’s really a marvelous thing to be able to integrate all of that into one’s lifetime, and it’s not easy. Not everybody can be a martial artist.

LEONARD: No, but you don’t have to be a martial artist. You see, I think in a sense we’re all warriors. We can take the warrior ideal — I mean, not the kind of warrior who goes to war, but Castaneda’s warrior.

MISHLOVE: What is that, briefly? We’re running out of time.

LEONARD: Well, it’s briefly someone who lives for service. The idea of service is really right there. Someone who lives intensely in the moment, and often it’s someone who lives in full awareness of his own death.

MISHLOVE: Full awareness of his own death.

LEONARD: Because with that awareness you really don’t have time to be sullen, or to be depressed, or to go around preening your ego. To live clearly and cleanly in the moment, to develop your powers fully and your potential, and to achieve your bestowed mission on this planet.

MISHLOVE: Well, George, I think in some way you’re able to demonstrate that to me just in speaking. It’s such a pleasure to be here with you. We’ve really been able to cover a lot of ground, ranging from the paranormal to really the philosophical underpinnings of this work that you’re doing, George. Thank you for being with me.

LEONARD: Thank you.

6 Tips to Handle Angry People

by Judith Orloff MD:

The common dynamic with angry people is that they use anger to cope with feeling inadequate, hurt, or threatened…
whether the person acts out occasionally or not. Anger is one of the hardest emotions to control due to its evolutionary value of defending against danger. When you’re confronted with anger, your body instinctively tightens, the opposite of a surrendered state. It goes into fight or flight mode. Adrenaline floods your system. Your heart pumps faster. Your jaw and muscles clench. Your blood vessels constrict. Your gut tenses. In this hyper-charged condition, you want to flee or attack.

Anger addicts though cope with conflict by accusing, attacking, humiliating, or criticizing. Unchecked they can be dangerous and controlling.

Anger can tyrannize relationships. One woman I treated had stopped having any male friends because she was afraid of her partner’s unrelenting jealous anger. If she went to lunch, for instance, with a male colleague from work her partner would barrage her with cell phone messages during the meal. Initially, unable to set boundaries, she appeased him by giving in. My patient told me she didn’t want to “create a war at home” by doing anything to provoke his wrath. Clearly, we had our work cut out for us in therapy. She didn’t want to leave her partner but she needed to be strong enough to assert healthier limits in the relationship.

Instead of running or retaliating, try my approach. First, take a breath to calm down. Tell yourself, “Do not respond with anger. That will just make things worse.” If the person is being abusive excuse yourself from the situation. If you can’t escape, say with a boss, try to stay centered, non-reactive, and not feed the anger. Later, when you can address the anger more fully, admit your unedited reactions to yourself or a supportive person. This prevents anger from building up. You can’t start the process of surrendering anger until you’ve acknowledged the raw emotion.

When you’re exposed to anger, here are some steps from my book The Ecstasy of Surrender to calm your system and have a clear head. Without this you’re trapped in reactive behavior which gets you nowhere at all.

How to Communicate with Anger Addicts

Step 1. Surrender Your Reactivity. Pause when agitated

Take a few slow breaths to relax your body. Count to ten. Don’t react impulsively or engage the anger even though your buttons are pushed. Reacting just makes you weak. Though you may be tempted to lash out try not to give in to the impulse. Focus on your breath, not the angry person. You may still feel upset but you’ll be calm and in charge at the same time!

Step 2. Practice Restraint of Tongue, Phone, and E-mail

Do not retaliate or respond at all until you are in a centered place. Otherwise you might communicate something you regret or can never take back.

Step 3. Blend, Relax, and Let Go
Resistance to pain or strong emotions intensifies them. In martial arts, you first take a breath to find your balance. Then you can transform the opponent’s energy. Try staying as neutral and relaxed as possible with someone’s anger instead of resisting it. At this stage, don’t argue or defend yourself. Rather, try to let their anger flow right through you.

Step 4. Acknowledge their position

To disarm angry people, you must weaken their defensiveness. Otherwise, they’ll dig in their heels and won’t budge. Defensiveness stifles flow. Therefore, it’s useful to acknowledge an anger addict’s position, even if it offends you. From a centered place say, “I can see why you feel that way. We both have similar concerns. But I have a different way to approach the problem. Please hear me out.” This keeps the flow of communication open and creates a tone for compromise.

Step 5. Set Limits
Now, state your case. Request a small, do-able change that can meet your need. Then clarify how it will benefit the relationship. Tone is crucial. For instance, calmly but firmly say to an in-law who’s yelling at you, “I love you but I shut down when you raise your voice. Let’s work this out when we can hear each other better.” Then you can discuss a solution. If people persist in dumping toxic anger, you must limit contact, define clear consequences such as “I can’t see you if you keep criticizing me,” or let the relationship go. You can also use “selective listening” and not take in all the details of an outburst. Focus on something uplifting instead.

Step 6. Empathize.
Ask yourself, “What pain or inadequacy is making this person so angry? Then take some quiet moments to intuit where the person’s heart is hurting or closed. This doesn’t excuse bad behavior but it will allow you to find compassion for the suffering behind it, even if you choose not to be around the person. Then it’s easier to surrender resentments so they don’t eat at you.

Gathering your power before you respond to anger takes awareness and restraint. Admittedly, it’s hard to surrender the need to be right in favor of love and compromise. It’s hard not to attack back when you feel attacked. But, little by little, surrendering these reflexive instincts is a more compassionate, evolved way to get your needs met and keep relationships viable if and when it’s possible.
Source: The Huffington Post

What If Bruce Lee Didn’t Die

#WIBLDD: What If Bruce Lee Didn’t Die | Esther K. Chae | TEDxPhoenix

Published on Jul 8, 2015

Actor/writer and TED fellow Esther Chae shares her enlightening conversation with 75-year-old Master Bruce Lee in her talk+performance about Asian American representation (and lack of) in the media and arts. And how everyone can kickass by accessing their own “Master Bruce” and penetrate through, to the ultimate truth.

On Twitter:

The Tao of Enlightened Combat: Fulfilling Your Core Needs Through Martial Arts

by: Adam Brady

The martial arts are a paradox: How can an inherently violent activity lead to higher states of awareness and spirituality? On the surface it doesn’t seem possible. Yet martial arts history is filled with examples of fierce warriors who were also highly evolved beings.

In order to explain how the martial arts create a path to your higher self, you need to understand your core needs. As individuals, we all have basic needs. Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual desires form the foundation and structure of our lives. Your ability to realize those needs has a direct influence on your health, happiness, and sense of fulfillment in life. It’s how the martial arts help meet those needs that start the spiral to evolved beings.

What do these needs look like? Over the years, different schools of thought have explained these desires through the framework of their specific disciplines. However, as a student and teacher of yoga, I’m going to describe these needs as components of the subtle anatomy or energetic body.

In yoga, the body isn’t confined to just the material level. A more refined layer of life is described as the subtle body, or the energetic field that envelops the physical body. Contained within the subtle body are Chakras. Chakras are energy centers located along the central channel of the spinal column. These energy centers are like junction points through which energy moves to accomplish a specific purpose. Each Chakra is associated with a specific nerve and organ plexus in the physical body, even though the Chakras themselves don’t exist in the physical body.

One way to think of the Chakras is like the rooms in your house. When you go into each room, you typically perform a specific action in that room; in the kitchen you cook food, in the bedroom you sleep, in the living room you relax or socialize. The energy in your subtle body behaves in a similar manner. The Chakras are associated with specific physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs or functions. When the energy is active and realized in the Chakra, those needs reach fulfillment. When lacking, the needs are left unrealized.

Consider the Chakra system as a map leading us to higher awareness and self-fulfillment. Connecting the practice of martial arts to this map helps explain how training in the arts can help you accomplish so much.

First Chakra: Survival

The first Chakra is located at the base of the spine. In Sanskrit, it’s known as Muladhara, which means “foundation” or “root.” It’s related to the core needs of survival, security, and safety. As the energy center closest to the earth, it supports your sense of feeling grounded and connected.
The most basic criteria for any complete martial art should be self-protection. Whatever other reasons motivate your study, the ability to effectively protect yourself from attack must rank pretty high on the list or you probably wouldn’t have chosen the martial path. The feelings of security and safety that you get from self-defense training fulfill your needs for survival and protection.

Second Chakra: Creativity

The second Chakra is located in the pelvis, in the area of the reproductive organs, and is known as Svadhistana, or “the Self’s dwelling place.” It’s associated with creativity and relates to vitality, sensuality, and potency.

Martial arts training gives you the opportunity to tap into your creative potential. Through your practice you quite literally create something new—a new body, a new reaction to a threat, a creative response to a situation rather than a predictable and reactive pattern of behavior. As your skills grow, you start to feel more of the freedom and joy of creativity as it flows from you naturally and spontaneously.
Since this Chakra also relates to vitality and potency, the physical training itself energizes the body, helping you feel vitalized and invigorated.

Third Chakra: Power

The third Chakra is localized in your solar plexus. Manipura, or the “place of the shining gem,” governs your sense of personal power and your ability to manifest your intentions and desires into the world. It’s related to feelings of empowerment, confidence, and strength in your abilities.

Through training in the martial arts you experience the growth of your personal power in the world. On a simply physical level you feel yourself growing stronger and more capable of coping with life-threatening situations. Your body becomes a channel for that power, resulting in an increased sense of confidence in your skills and abilities—both in combat and in your daily life.

Fourth Chakra: Harmony and Compassion

The fourth Chakra is located in the area of the heart. It’s known as Anahata, “the place of openness.” The heart chakra is the seat of emotional consciousness. It’s related to the core needs of peace, harmony, and love.

Through training, you’re exposed to the violent side of life in the form of aggression, hostility, and potential injuries. Facing these realities creates a newfound respect for the brutal nature of combat. You’re better able to recognize the fragile nature of your existence and how quickly another can be injured or even killed. You start to experience a deep and abiding compassion for yourself and others, along with a desire to avoid needless hostility and violence. Your compassion for others helps you to handle potentially violent situations in more humane ways. And that gets us closer to what we really desire, which is to live in harmony, rather than in conflict, with each other.

Fifth Chakra: Expression

The fifth Chakra is known as Vishuddha, meaning “pure,” and is located in the throat. This is the center of expression and fulfills the need to confidently express your truth to the world.
As you gain confidence in your training, your art begins to take on unique and subtle nuances that are an expression of your individuality. Internalizing your martial art experience allows it to become personalized and an inseparable part of you. Like a fingerprint, the expression of your art takes on the distinctive qualities of who you are. Your martial art literally becomes the canvas upon which you can create through form and movement. At this level the techniques of two martial artists of the same style may appear very different as they demonstrate or articulate the same fundamental quality of movement.

Sixth Chakra: Insight and Intuition

The sixth Chakra is located in the region between your eyebrows. This is the third eye or Ajna Chakra, meaning “infinite power.” It’s associated with a sense of inner knowingness and connection to the quiet voice of your soul. It also relates to a feeling of being guided in your choices to fulfill your purpose in life.

As you continue the training of your mind and body through combative drills and exercises, you begin to tap into more subtle senses of intuition and insight. Combative drills, such as stimulus-response exercises or sparring, help you develop a heightened state of awareness in which you become increasingly adept at anticipating the movements of your opponent. Over time this ability grows, allowing you to feel or read the intentions of another before they actually make a move.

These are tangible skills that can be cultivated, rather than otherworldly superpowers. With continued practice, this intuition can expand into the environment allowing for a deeper communion with the world and your fellow human beings. Ultimately, when turned inward, this intuition and insight allows you to tap into your higher self, the guidance system that governs the course of your life and leads you to happiness and fulfillment.

Seventh Chakra: Spirit

The seventh Chakra is known as Sahaswara, meaning the “thousand petal lotus.” It’s located at the crown of the head and is the seat of divine consciousness. This Chakra fulfills the need for wholeness and the connection to unbounded awareness. When fully realized, this Chakra restores the memory that you are a spirit in disguise as a person.

Martial arts training can be demanding physically, mentally, and emotionally. It can push you out of your comfort zone and into unfamiliar territory. It can force you to confront your fears, demons, and weaknesses. It can push you to the point of complete and total exhaustion. But despite all this it can also catapult you to the heights of peak experience.

As you progress through your martial arts journey, you experience milestones, successes, and triumphs. Each new rank, each accomplishment opens the door to transformation and inspiration. You may have had moments of expansion following a successful sparring match, a belt ceremony, or a training session during which you were completely “in the zone.” Perhaps during a drill or exercise you had the experience of slipping into a timeless state of complete and total oneness with your movement. During such moments your sense of self expands and you feel a powerful connection to something larger than yourself.

In a word, these experiences are transcendent; they go beyond a limited view of the world and tap into a higher level of consciousness. This is Spirit, or pure awareness. Through such experiences, you glimpse a more refined level of reality and experience the integration of mind, body, and spirit as one. Ultimately, according to the science and philosophy of yoga, this is your true nature. You are not a human being having occasional spiritual experiences; you are spirit having a human experience.

Every essential human need can be met through martial arts. With regular training it can be a powerful path of growth, integration, and enlightenment, and ultimately help you to realize your full human potential.

Buddha – Quotes and Teachings from the Buddha

Inspiring quotes and sayings from the Buddha, the enlightened one. Quotes compiled from…

Buddha meaning “the enlightened one”, was a spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. He was born as Siddhartha Gautama, also referred to as Gautama Buddha or as Sakyamuni (“Sage of the Sakyas”). In most Buddhist traditions, he is regarded as the Supreme Buddha of our age.

Our Spiritual Athletic Journey: 7 Powerful Messages to Help You Take Your Game to The Highest Level by Rodney Scharboneau (Author)

Our Spiritual Athletic Journey introduces many powerful ideas for making the most of our athletic experience. Our mission as the coaches and parents of young athletes has always been aligned with and deeply rooted in spirituality. Applying the spiritual principles in this book will lead any coach, parent, or athlete to a peaceful and fulfilling place that has much less to do with win-loss records and championships and has everything to do with accessing divine direction.

Discover seven impactful messages that will give you practical tools for replacing cutthroat competitive ways with creative methods for building self-esteem which are one with true spirit. Find out what wonderful things happen-like success and victory-when we decide to create instead of compete, to tap in to the true source energy of our teams, to replace fear with love, and to faithfully look forward to the next play.

From the Inside Flap
As coaches and parents of athletes, we gain peace, joy, and confidence when we allow ourselves to align with spirit as we support our children in their athletic endeavors. And when we gain inner peace and confidence in this way, we quietly give ourselves permission to love our opponents.

Love them so much that you’ll outwork them in practice and show them something amazing in the game. Make it your mission to bring unmatched energy, skill, and drive to each and every contest. After all, it is the highest form of respect you can show your opponent, the universe, and the game.

When we coach, parent, or play from a place of true spirit, we put ourselves in a special light to serve the most important roles. Thus, when we win, we will find it so much more natural to offer encouragement to the team that just lost, and when we lose, our congratulations will be heartfelt and we will feel gratitude for the opportunity to learn and improve.

Spirituality in our youth is the ultimate incorporation of our brothers and sisters into a community. Our best nature elevates their nature, and together we experience an extraordinary divine energy which would be impossible to achieve alone.

The divine energy is in everyone. We tap into it and harness it when our actions come from a place of love as opposed to one of fear. What kind of energy are you bringing to your team as a coach? What kind of energy are you bringing, as a parent, to your child’s athletic experience?

When we embrace sport and competition in a spiritual way, we are operating from the highest possible place. We are in touch with our divine nature, and we are doing all we can to be like God.

Rodney Scharboneau is a highly respected high school basketball coach, basketball skill-set trainer, and mentor from Trenton, Michigan. He has been married to the beautiful Melanie Monaghan for twenty-three years. Together, they have a wonderful son, Matthew, and a terrific daughter, Hannah.

Take a look inside here


“Every religion emphasizes human improvement, love, respect for others, sharing other people’s suffering. On these lines every religion had more or less the same viewpoint and the same goal.”
~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Religious groups, as well as non-theistic ethical systems, differ greatly in their beliefs and practices. There is, however, a common thread that runs through them all. Each of these systems of belief has some example of the Ethic of Reciprocity in their teachings. The most common version of this is known as:

The Golden Rule
“Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.”

Copyright Humanity Healing 15 August 2008

Nam Tae-Hi & Alex Gillis talk about Gillis’ book, A Killing Art of Tae Kwon Do [Updated May 5, 2014 ]

In 2011, in Dallas, USA, I spoke to one of Tae Kwon Do’s creators from the 1950s, Nam Tae-Hi, and his son, Chris Nam, who interpreted. I was taking notes for a revision of my book, A Killing Art: The Untold History of Tae Kwon Do. Grandmaster Nam helped to create TKD and was later a leader in both the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) and World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), but his contribution pre-dated both of those and he worked on the ITF much more.

Nam Tae Hi with Alex Gillis,TaeKwon-Do Named In1955

Tae Kwon Do came from Korean Karate (also known as “Shotokan Karate,” “Tang Soo Do” and “Kong Soo Do”). In 2011, TKD Grandmaster Nam Tae-Hi and I spoke about my book and who created and announced the name “Tae Kwon Do.” Using dictionaries, he and General Choi Hong-Hi had made up the name in 1955 to hide the fact that they and their soldiers were training in Karate, Japan’s martial art, which, back then, was almost the same as saying you were training to be a terrorist. At a martial arts meeting in a geisha house (the “Kugilgwan”) in 1955, Choi presented a fictional argument connecting TKD to Taekkyon, an old martial art. The truth is that TKD was Korean Karate, not Taekkyon, at that time. In this video, Nam (in the white suit) talks about some of the issues. Chris Nam, his son, translates.

Grandmaster Nam Tae-Hi’s Spearhand Story In A Killing Art (with his son, Chris Nam, interpreting)

Grandmaster Nam Tae-Hi came as close to being superhuman as was possible. A lot has been written about his martial arts power, fighting abilities and leadership in Taekwon-Do and Taekwondo — in all styles. The last time that I interviewed him (July 2011 in Dallas, USA), I asked about a controversial technique, the “straight-fingertip strike” or “spearhand,” which was supposed to puncture a person’s skin and which he’d used during a battle in the Korean War (in 1951).

I’d written about the horrific scene and technique in chapter 4 of my book, A Killing Art, and a couple of readers laughed at the notion that fingers could puncture skin. In this video, from two years ago, I asked Nam if his hand actually pierced someone, and he cried as he told me about the scene and technique. I’ll never forget this interview or the one in 2001, when I asked him if such a technique were possible, and he replied in a calm voice: “You cannot stay in the opponent’s stomach. You have another opponent, maybe. And though you made a hole in the first man’s body, it does not mean your opponent will stay still; he will still punch and kick. Pull back and prepare the next action.” It was then that I realized the difference between training now and sixty years ago, between the part-time hobby of learning a martial art and his full-time job of teaching a killing art in the 1950s and 1960s. His 1951 battle was traumatic, and I mention it only to show his power. GM Nam, rest in peace.

Nam, Tae Hi : The Silent Founder Of Tae Kwon Do By Lyndsey Reynolds
Click here

The Dangers of Facebook

Listen to the comments and decide on the option over the usage of Facebook.

A video blog discussing the dangers of Facebook and social networking from the effect it has on friendships, relationships, socialization, security and society.

Top 10 Reasons Why YOU Should Quit Facebook

Learn everything you never wanted to know about your Facebook privacy! Facebook is evil, according to web journalist Dan Yoder. Reasons for dropping the social phenomenon include the one-sided terms of service (duh), the CEO’s documented unethical behavior (duh), and the declared war on privacy (duh). Some of these points make some sense, but at the same time, we all should know what we get with Facebook and not be surprised or expect anything different. If you are nervous about some of these points, Kevin breaks it down for you.

How to Delete Facebook Account Forever 2014 (Also How to Deactivate)

Martial Arts Teaching Tales of Power and Paradox: Freeing the Mind, Focusing Chi, and Mastering the Self By Pascal Fauliot ~ A Book Review (updated April 19, 2014)

A Book Review by Wee Sun Ngiaw

Last weekend saw me making a bee-line to the bookstores, scouting for a topical subject that I have been passionately involved in for the past 4 decades of my life – Martial Art. Literally speaking, it has left a deep cellular imprint in the genetic code.

The common martial art books found on the bookstore shelves are the typical guidebooks printed with glossy photos and step-by-step instructions interspersed  with some historical and basic philosophical background of the martial art and the author.

This paper back book entitled ” Martial Arts Teaching Tales of Power and Paradox: Freeing the Mind, Focusing Chi, and Mastering the SELF”.  caught my attention with its unique title and thought it would be refreshingly uplifting to write a preview and shared some thoughts on the different approaches towards pursuing martial art.

Most of us martial artists took up martial art for various reasons: –

–          for exercise and fitness;

–          for  self- defense;

–          for out of curiosity;

–          for improving self-esteem and confidence;

–          for instilling self-discipline;

–          as a hobby and pastime, etc;

Very rarely do we take up martial art for its aesthetic and spiritual values. On the contrary,  as we gain mastery and attain higher Dans , unknowingly and unconsciously, this self achievement has a delusional tendency to heighten our narcissism – the pleasure-seeking falsehood of the ego.

Yet the very nature of the cultural and traditional practices that we martial artists adopt in the dojang such as bowing, paying respect to the seniors etc, and the strict commands often employed with ‘militaristic’ intents, tend to portray a mistaken over-emphasis on the egoistic self, the unyielding demand to be respected, rather than ‘ RESPECT’  that has to be earned in effortless spontaneity.

As years passed and gone by, and gaining more proficient and skillful in the execution of the many movements, kicks and punches, getting promoted to higher and higher Degree (Dan), calling ourselves Masters, Grandmasters, and Supreme Grandmasters, after having exposed to all the grueling test of breaking boards, tiles and bricks, of free-sparring and getting our body bruised all over, our perspectives and outlook would have evolved, our motivations and aspirations would have elevated from the  physio-physical aspects to the quintessential and spiritual nature of the art itself.

Unavoidably, by the time this ‘shift’ dawns on us, some of us may have already reached our sun set years of age. But nothing is ever too late to unlearn and learn, for it is in the very word ‘learn‘, that it is the ‘earn’ aspect that our genuine respect will receive its glorious humility.

Inherent in the epistemology of martial art, therein lies the ultimate motivation -the  pursuit of Perfection and Self-Mastery – in the trinity of mind, body and spirit.  There has to come a time after so many years of  disciplinary practice, a shift in consciousness has to occur, whether this shift occurs in tumultuous fashion or in a spontaneous manner.

For it is at this deeper level, that the attainment and experience of the present-moment awareness,  and of mindfulness of everything surrounding us, both manifest and unmanifest, that our life will be far more enriching, peaceful, and blissful.  Then and then only one truly understands the significance of:

  • Hi (Humanity),
  • Sum (Goodness)
  • Oui (Justice)
  • Duk (Virtue)
  • Yeh (Courtesy),
  • Chung (Loyalty)
  • Ji (Wisdom)
  • Yong (Courage)
  • Sin (Trust)

and the tenets of  Courtesy, (Ye Ui)  Integrity,(Yom Chi) Perseverance,(In Nae) Self-Control, (Guk Gi) and  Indomitable Spirit (Baekjool Boolgool)

It is in-depth awareness of the breath, of mindfulness of the execution in the movements, of being in the here and now. It is the encapsulation of experiencing form and formlessness, of emptiness, the cognition of wu wei and sunyata.

Wu Wei

Wu wei (Traditional Chinese characters: 無為 Simplified Chinese characters: 无为) is an important tenet of Taoism / Daoism that involves knowing when to act and when not to act. Wu may be translated as not have; Wei (2nd tone) may be translated as do, act, serve as, govern. The literal meaning of Wu Wei is “without action” and is often included in the paradox wei wu wei : “action without action.”

The practice of wu wei and the efficacy of wei wu wei are fundamental tenets in Chinese thought and have been mostly emphasized by the Taoist / Daoist school. The aim of wu wei is to achieve a state of perfect equilibrium, or alignment with the Tao, and, as a result, obtain an irresistible form of “soft and invisible power” over things (the self, others, a country).


There are three aspects of being, which the martial arts aim to develop: Body, Mind and Spirit. These three aspects must be developed in balance for a person to become properly balanced as a martial artist and therefore as a person.

The first aspect, Body, is developed through the physical exercises involved in martial arts training. Rigorous physical conditioning exercises lead to increased strength, endurance, flexibility and equilibrium. In addition, repetition of martial arts basic and advanced techniques leads to improved physical ability and fluidity of movement.

The second aspect, Mind, is developed through mental training. Meditation teaches the student to focus his mind and to coordinate his thinking with his movement. It also aids him in his abilities to relax and to concentrate. Mental training also calls for active learning in the way of listening, reading and thinking. Students are not to restrict themselves to learning just about the martial arts, but must learn about history, philosophy, law, science, medicine and any other subject that might have a bearing on the martial arts.

Following the philosophy and ideals of the martial arts develops the third aspect, Spirit. Practice of the martial arts is a pursuit of personal improvement. It is not enough to have a strong mind and body the true martial artist should also strive to be strong in spirit. He should have a goal in life and a firm foundation of beliefs to guide him. The true martial artist is humble but confident, willing to give way to others but unwilling to accept injustice.

By developing all three aspects of the martial arts trinity a martial artist can become a total person and eventually a master. Without equal development of all three aspects, a martial artist will never achieve balance in his life and will never be a true artist.

The Code of the HwaRang Warrior and the Nine Virtues

The Code of the HwaRang Warrior and the Nine Virtues of the HwaRang are to be observed by all students of the martial arts. They were compiled by Won Kwang Bopsa and taught to the HwaRang knights to give them a proper code of conduct to live by. Together they form the foundation of all Korean Martial Arts philosophy.


1. Be loyal to your country.

2. Be obedient to your parents.

3. Have faith and honor among friends.

4. Perseverance in battle.

5. Justice — never cause unneeded harm.

About Martial Arts Teaching Tales of Power and Paradox

A collection of parables and teaching stories from the martial arts traditions of Japan and China that emphasizes their spiritual foundation.

• The teaching stories in this book are based on the lives of martial arts masters and are meant to inspire questions and insights for the student.

• Written for martial artists and anyone interested in Eastern religions such as Buddhism, Zen, and Taoism.

True martial arts should never be confused with simple combat techniques. Rather, martial arts are a way that an individual, after a long and difficult apprenticeship, can gain a profound understanding of the true nature of reality and one’s place in it.

Over time the apprentice discovers the laws governing the subtle forces of life and realizes that their mastery is only possible after one has mastered oneself. “He who has mastered the Art doesn’t use his sword: he compels his adversary to kill himself.”

Most of the stories in this book are based on actual events in the lives of martial arts teachers who have achieved legendary status. The almost superhuman abilities of some of the masters described here are evidence of the secret powers that can be wielded by those whose martial arts training is not simply the learning of physical techniques but involves the mastering of the subtle energies of the mind and body.

By reading–and comprehending–the tales in this book, we can acquire the same essential knowledge that these masters had–that extraordinary forces are within the grasp of those who have achieved inner peace and self-mastery. ~

Taekwondo History by Dr. He-Young Kimm.

Taekwondo History is the latest book compiled and written by Dr. He-Young Kimm. He is also is the author of nine books on Korean Martial Arts, History and Philosophy.

A result of over fifty years of research and hundreds of interviews. this book includes detailed histories of the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF), World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), and Independent Taekwondo organizations from 1945 through 2013.

This is the result of over fifty years of research and hundreds of interviews. This book includes detailed histories of the International Taekwondo Federation, World Taekwondo Federation, and Independent Taekwondo organizations from 1945 through 2013.

Click here for more about the history of taekwondo

Master He-young Kimm (10th dan) – 39th Hapkido & KMA clinics USKMAF 2013

Black Belt Pattern – 4th to 5th Dan – Moon-Moo – Traditional ITF/GTF Taekwon-do

Moon-Moo Hyung (61 Movements)
Moon Moo honors the 30th king of the Silla Dynasty. His body was buried near Dae Wang Am (Great King’s Rock). According to his will, the body was placed in the sea “Where my soul shall forever defend my land against the Japanese”. It is said that the Sok Gul Am (Stone Cave) was built to guard his tomb. The Sok Gul Am is a fine example of the culture of the Silla Dynasty. The 61 movements in this pattern symbolize the last two figures of 6612 AS when Moon Moo came to the throne


ITF & WTF Presidents Prof. Chang Ung & Dr. Choue Chung Won in Buenos Aires recently where TKD was approved for 2020 by the full IOC Membership. Pictured here with some of leaders of TKD in Argentina, which had TKD introduced there in 1967.

September 25, 2013 – Seoul Korea

Dr. Choue Chung-Won the newly re-elected President of the WTF spoke at a press conference in the Capital City of Seoul announcing that discussions with Dr. Chang Ung and the ITF are close to being finalized. It was hoped that the agreement, which may result in a working relationship allowing each other’s competitors to participate in both group’s events will be finalized next year (2014). It is uncertain at this point at what the complete details are. The two leaders are scheduled to meet again in Russia next month during the World Combat Games that will be held October 18th to the 26th, 2013.

According to Yonhap News Dr. Choue went on record saying “Though our versions of taekwondo may be different as a martial art, I think there is plenty of room for compromise when we look at taekwondo as an Olympic sport.” Their article stated “The WTF has viewed Chang’s ITF as its counterpart since Chang is an IOC member”.

These leaders have taken a posture that can positively affect all of Taekwondo going forward. Neither of these gentlemen was at the helm during the days when the WTF was formed and then rivaled the ITF in the race to the Olympics, which the WTF eventually succeeded at. However as the international sports community saw with the controversy over Wrestling being recommended for elimination by the IOC Executive Board only to be reinstated just weeks ago by the full IOC Membership, no sport, not even the oldest Olympic one is safe in today’s environment of competition for Olympic status! Having the ITF and WTF work together can help insure it beats back the efforts to supplant it by the waiting list candidate sports as well as the myriad of non-Olympic sports of the Sport Accord all vying for inclusion!

It is ironic that this press announcement was made in Seoul, as it was the seat of the ITF Headquarters when General Choi Hong Hi formed it there on March 22, 1966. It marked the first time in history that any international organization was ever headquartered in Korea. However Gen. Choi, like many Koreans ran afoul of the military dictatorships and fled to a life of exile in Canada. The ITF relocated there in 1972 and then finally to Vienna Austria in 1985, during the height of the “Cold War”. This was done to enhance the spread of Taekwondo to the communist and socialists nations, as part of Gen. Choi’s dream to bring Taekwondo to the world, regardless of political ideology, nationality, race, religion or creed! He would be proud of the work these Gentlemen are doing today. In 1973 the WTF was formed at the 1st Taekwondo World Championships that were held in the brand new Kukkiwon in Seoul Korea.

Prof. Chang maintains a good relationship with Dr. Choue. He backed his re-election as well as the successful candidacy of Mr. Bach of Germany. Voice of America recently reported him saying that he is now working to support the candidacy of Dr. Choue as a Member of the IOC. Once their agreement is signed, they will then work with the new IOC President Mr. Thomas Bach as the next step. “The IOC has taken a keen interest in exchanges between the WTF and the ITF,” Choue said. “Thomas Bach, the new IOC president, believes that having any conflict within taekwondo is inappropriate because the sport has a singular root.”

TaeKwonDo Times and Grandmaster Jung Woo Jin have long supported a merging of Taekwondo into one! We are excited by these new developments and eagerly await more news. We of course will report further news as it breaks! TaeKwonDo Times understands that certainly rivalries naturally occurred as groups jockeyed for control and leadership. However today’s leaders are not vested in that battle, as they were not part of it. Nor are many of the circumstances that fueled the tension still relevant today. Taekwondo should be as one and this exciting, breaking news is a great step forward!

Source: September 26 2013 TaeKwonDoTimes

Is the patronage system killing our sports?

By G Vinod
| July 23, 2013

PETALING JAYA: Is patronage system in sports associations a reason for the decline in our sports industry?

This is a question that needs to be pondered on as many of our sports organisations are helmed by political leaders or business magnates.

For example, the National Karate Federation president is Ali Rustam, who is also the former Malacca chief minister.

Apart from the karate association, Ali also helms the Malaysian National Silat Federation and the Petanque Federation of Malaysia.

Another political bigwig helming several sports associations is the de facto law minister Shahidan Kassim.

Apart from helming the Malaysia Amateur Athletics Union (MAAU), the former Perlis menteri besar is also the chief for the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia and surprisingly, the Kabadi Association of Malaysia.

Former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar Isa Samad helms the Malaysia Amateur Boxing Association while former Human Resources Minister Fong Chan Onn helms the Malaysian Body Building Federation.

Some of the sports associations with politicians and businessmen as patrons are:

National Karate Federation (former Malacca chief minister Ali Rustam);

Malaysian National Silat Federation (Ali);

Petanque Federation of Malaysia (Ali);

Malaysia Amateur Athletics Union (Law Minister Shahidan Kassim);

Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Shahidan);

Kabadi Association of Malaysia (Shahidan);

Malaysia Amateur Boxing Association (Former Negri Sembilan mentri besar Isa Samad);

Malaysian Body-Building Federation (former Human Resources Minister Fong Chan Onn);

Badminton Association of Malaysia (Mohd Nadzmi Mohamad Salleh – businessman);

Malaysia Basketball Association (Tiong King Sing – Bintulu MP);

Malaysia Volleyball Association (Ta Kin Yan – businessman);

Equesterian Association of Malaysia (Jamaluddin Jarjis – former Science, Technology and Innovation Minister);

Malaysian Gymnastics Federation (Zakaria Ahmad – businessman);

Malaysian Lawn Bowls Federation (Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid – former Chief Secretary to the Government); and

Sepak Takraw Association of Malaysia (Ahmad Ismail – Umno leader from Penang).

There is much soul-searching to do to improve the running of sports associations to bring out the best in our athletes.

Sports patronage – ‘It’s more than prestige, image’

By Alyaa Azhar | July 25, 2013

PETALING JAYA: The patronage system in sports depends on the patron and the sports association’s objectives for being a patron and for wanting a patron, said Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary-general Sieh Kok Chi.

Sieh said this when asked on the relevance of the patronage system in sports associations.

According to Sieh, most sports organisers look for a patron because of prestige and image, which hopefully will impress their members and sponsors.

“On the other hand, today, the public and most people are no longer impressed, because they realise that the patrons are there only in name, and are not that interested or aware of what is going on,” Sieh told FMT.

The same question could be asked of the patrons, he said.

“What are their (patrons’) objectives? In some organisations, sports associations get their patrons actively involved in their activities, such as organising an annual event named after the patron,” he said.

Former Asian Football Confederation secretary-general Peter Velappan on Wednesday said that sports associations must be helmed by professionals, not politicians or businessmen.

Velappan said the patronage system kills the sports body as the leaders will naturally bring in those aligned to them and are not necessarily professionals themselves.

However, former Football Association of Malaysia vice-president Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Omar said it all depends on the individual; as politicians or businessmen could help in bringing funds and expertise into the arena.

Sieh concluded that it depends on the situation.

“If both the association and patron have real interests, involvements and common objectives, then the patronage would be successful,” he said.

“Frankly, it would be better for a patron to leave once the interests or the needs are no longer there,” he said.

Many of the country’s sports organisations are helmed by political leaders or business magnates.

For example, former Malacca chief minister Ali Rustam helms the National Karate Federation, the Malaysian National Silat Federation and the Petanque Federation of Malaysia.

Velappan: End patronage in sports bodies
G Vinod
| July 24, 2013

PETALING JAYA: It is time to end political patronage in sports organisations, said former Asian Football Confederation secretary-general Peter Velappan.

“The sports associations must be helmed by professionals, not politicians or businessmen,” said Velappan.

Yesterday, FMT published an article showing the many sports bodies helmed by either political or business figures.

Velappan said the patronage system kills sports body as the leaders will naturally bring in those aligned to them and are not necessarily professionals themselves.

“And when retired national sportsmen want to enter the sports body to contribute, they find that the door is closed because the non-professionals have taken over the important posts,” he said.

Velappan added that many of those heading the sports organisations do not understand issues such as training, nutrition, competition and athletes’ psychology.

“The leaders also interfere in the selection process. Although the selection committee will make a stand on whom to pick, these patrons simply overrule the decisions made,” he said.

On concerns that not all former sportsmen could lead a sports body, Velappan concurred with the statement but added that these individuals could be moulded to administer a sports organisation.

“There are plenty of leadership courses around. Many can do it provided they are trained to become leaders,” he said.

Culture at fault

However, former Football Association of Malaysia vice-president Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Omar disagreed with Velappan’s assessment.

“It all depends on the individual. Even a non-politician can play politics in a sports organisation,” said Raja Ahmad.

He also said it is not wrong to have politicians or businessmen leading sports bodies provided they could help bring funds and other expertise into the arena.

“Besides that, the political and business personalities can bring in money and other necessary assistance to help our athletes to perform better,” said Raja Ahmad.

What is important to improve Malaysia’s sports standing, he added, is that our local talents needed more international level exposure.

Raja Azman also said some local talents lack the commitment to take Malaysia to greater heights in sports.

“The problems lies in our culture, too. The Africans work hard to gain prominence in sports to escape poverty.

“But some of our local talents feel contented enjoying their four figure salary,” he said.

Raja Azman added that the Malaysian government must also provide the younger generation with more means to project their talents, starting with more sporting facilities.

“These days, there are some schools that don’t even have fields. Look at the fields set up by our local authorities. It’s just not up to the mark,” he said.

In support of Shahidan

Former Malaysia Amateur Athletics Union (MAAU) official A Vaithilingam echoed Raja Ahmad’s assessment, saying there are political leaders who contributed a lot to the sports industry.

“Even Tunku Abdul Rahman used to be the chairman of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM). We thrived during his time.

“Similarly, former Selangor menteri besar Harun Idris helped raise funds for our football team in the 80s when he was FAM vice-president,” said Vaithilingam.

On de facto law minister Shahidan Kassim helming three sports associations, Vaithilingam said the Cabinet minister has contributed substantially to at least two of the sports organisations.

“Of course, there were problems in the athletics union but Shahidan did a lot for the swimming team. If kabaddi is popular in Malaysia, it is because of the minister,” he said.

Besides helming the Malaysia Amateur Athletics Union (MAAU), Shahidan is also the president for the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia and the Kabaddi Association of Malaysia.

Vaithilingam, however, conceded that some political leaders do not help much while helming a certain sports body but he refused to reveal names.

The Art of Communicating ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Released Date: August 13, 2013
Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, bestselling author of Peace is Every Step and one of the most respected and celebrated religious leaders in the world, delivers a powerful path to happiness through mastering life’s most important skill.

How do we say what we mean in a way that the other person can really hear?

How can we listen with compassion and understanding?

Communication fuels the ties that bind, whether in relationships, business, or everyday interactions. Most of us, however, have never been taught the fundamental skills of communication—or how to best represent our true selves. Effective communication is as important to our well-being and happiness as the food we put into our bodies. It can be either healthy (and nourishing) or toxic (and destructive).

In this precise and practical guide, Zen master and Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh reveals how to listen mindfully and express your fullest and most authentic self. With examples from his work with couples, families, and international conflicts, The Art of Communicating helps us move beyond the perils and frustrations of misrepresentation and misunderstanding to learn the listening and speaking skills that will forever change how we experience and impact the world.

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist Zen Master, poet, scholar, and peace activist who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He is the author of many books, including the classics Peace Is Every Step and The Art of Power. Hanh lives in Plum Village, his meditation center in France, and leads retreats worldwide on the art of mindful living.

Oprah Winfrey talks with Thich Nhat Hanh Excerpt – Powerful

Published on May 12, 2013

Truly insightful, deep and powerful. Oprah Winfrey via her incredible OWN network, talks to Thich Nhat Hanh about becoming a monk, meeting Martin Luther King Jr; The powers of mindfulness, insight, concentration and compassion, How to transform warring parties and how to deeply transform relationships.

Ram Dass interviews Thich Nhat Hanh

Ram Dass interviews Thich Nhat Hanh at the State of the World forum, September 1995

Why I Quit Facebook ~ SUMI LOUNDON KIM

What if our online life gets in the way of our flesh and blood connections? SUMI LOUNDON KIM on how she cut the wireless tether. (It wasn’t easy.)

My Facebook addiction began six years ago when my husband said to me, with no apparent irony, “Facebook is so cool! Why don’t you join so we can become friends?”

A year later, we relocated to a city where we had no friends or family. The lively and loving exchanges with old friends through Facebook mitigated my sudden isolation and got me through a pretty tough year. Eventually, I made friends in the new city, but my Facebook habit continued. In fact, it intensified.

After five years of clicking through the News Feed, however, disenchantment began to creep in. Who would have guessed that normally exciting stuff could become so repetitive? Same-ol’, same-ol’: snapshots of chic restaurant meals, babies, vacations, calls to rally around causes—Oh my God, how many causes can someone take on?!—snippets of wisdom from Buddhist teachers, cartoons, jokes. I became further disenchanted when I realized I was using Facebook for approval, a sense of belonging, and subtle self-promotion. And I often mentally rebuked some of my Buddhist friends for their own blatant egotism.

I then made a commitment not to post anything personal. Using the guidelines of right speech, I only commented on others’ status updates and posted what I found truly useful, uplifting, and funny. Doing this helped me recognize where Facebook was entangling my ego. It also changed the way I sought approval and friendship. Now these came from the people around me rather than through online connections.

Paring back on my postings showed me how I had been living my life through “Facebook status possibilities,” rather than just being in and enjoying the moment.

Anything interesting was now a potential status update, and I would spend a lot of time formulating the most clever, attention-grabbing wording—a fairly universal trait of Facebook users. It was like looking at life through a camera. That distanced quality was increasingly incongruent with what I was trying to do in meditation practice.

Last December’s shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, gave me a whole new angle on Facebook’s impact. One of the first things I did after hearing the news was to scroll through the News Feed. I wondered why I had this impulse. Observing my grief-stricken and terrified mind, I saw that I was looking for comfort from others. But what actually happened was that other people’s outrage and anguish intensified my own. I was searching for a sense of connection, but as soon as I walked away from the computer, I was alone in my empty apartment. What I needed was physical comfort, a hug, to hold and be held by others. That Facebook cannot provide, yet I would return to it again and again, searching for what was not there.

Daily meditation practice began revealing to me how living in continual distraction robbed me of so much. When I rested my attention on the breath and let go of distractions (thoughts about Facebook being one of them!), my mind felt restored, revitalized, made whole in a very pleasurable way. I began noticing how my online habits were splitting my attention and reducing my quality of life. one time, I was toodling away on Facebook, my back turned to the family, when my four-year-old son came up to me to talk and cuddle. I told him to go play. Noticing this and similar instances, I made a rule not to use my computer unless the kids were in bed or at school.

That was when I discovered the strength of my addiction. one day, while watching my kids at the park, I literally had to sit on my hands to keep myself from sneaking a peek at my phone. What I felt was, “The present moment is really boring in comparison to what’s happening online. What’s happening online is more like a big, chatty, nonstop party!”

In the middle of the night in early January, it hit me that, taken altogether—the repetitiveness, self-promotion, superficial sense of belonging, fractured attention, disconnection with those present around me, and my addictedness—Facebook was doing me more harm than good. I couldn’t wait until the morning to shut down that damn account.

The first few hours after closing my Facebook page were mind-bending. My husband went onto his account to see if any trace of Sumi Loundon Kim remained. Nothing. For a few minutes, I felt like I no longer existed. There was no “Sumi” in the online ecosystem. I’m not sure what an insight into nonself feels like, but it seemed close. It was freaky and liberating at the same time.

It felt so good, in fact, that a few days later I disabled Google chat in my Gmail account because my eyes would constantly flicker over to the box to see who was online. I noticed how often I checked email on my cell, so I removed that function. A month later, I changed the texting aspect of my mobile-phone plan and now only use it for immediate, necessary transactions.

It was quite interesting to observe the psychological effects of leaving Facebook, in addition to reducing online connectivity in general. I see that I was living with a divided mind: one in reality and one in a kind of mental dia- logue with my online/media world. My mind had been playing a continuous loop, asking and answering seven questions, at all times, even when I was away from a computer or tech gear:

What’s new on Facebook?

Did an email come in?

Did I get a text that I might have missed? Who’s on Google Chat now?

What’s new on Huffington Post/in the news cycle?

Is my phone ringer at the right setting so I can hear it?/Did I miss a call?

Are there any messages on the home answering machine?

As I’m letting go of the alternate reality of the online world, I find myself much more attuned to actual reality. I am more interested in the people right in front of me because I am not half-attending to the virtual people online. I kind of feel like I am waking up: Oh wow, there’s a blue sky! There’s the sound of birds chirping! My daughter is giving me a big hug right now! It has been fascinating to feel my attention restored to greater wholeness. I have a lot more buoyant mental energy, and I can feel a certain return of tranquility, as well as a willingness to think about one thing at a time more deeply, rather than many things in a cursory, shallow manner.

The online world is a reality; it’s not nonreality. And yet, as with our thought process, if we get too wrapped up in it, we risk losing touch with the beauty, richness, and wonder of the present moment and loving fully those in our own homes. Thoughts are a reality, too, but if we live only in our thoughts, we miss a great deal and misunderstand even more.

The Sumi of 2007 would have felt that the Sumi of Now is a real party pooper, a dour Buddhist who can’t handle the modern world. But for me right now, renouncing constant connectivity doesn’t feel like deprivation. It is renouncing an addiction—and, therefore, gaining a degree of freedom.

Sumi Loundon Kim is the Buddhist chaplain at Duke University, minister to the Buddhist families of Durham, and editor of the anthologies Blue Jean Buddha and The Buddha’s Apprentices. The mother of two young children, she is working on a book that provides a Buddhist-meditative curriculum for families and communities. Spurred by her liberation from Facebook, Kim also quit texting, mobile email, chat, and neurotically clicking over to the Gmail inbox. (The fetter of LinkedIn was abandoned long ago.) She can be reached by carrier pigeon.

Source: July 2013 Shambhala Sun magazine

Vital Point Strikes: The Art and Science of Striking Vital Targets for Self-defense and Combat Sports [Paperback] Sang H. Kim (Author)

Vital Point Strikes is a guide to pressure point striking for the average martial artist. Sang H. Kim demystifies the lore of vital point striking and shows you realistic applications of vital point strikes for self-defense and combat sports. For those new to the concept of vital points, he begins by examining the Eastern theory of acupoints, meridians and ki (qi) and the Western scientific concepts of the nervous and circulatory systems, pain threshold and pain tolerance, and the relationship between pain and fear. This synthesis of accepted Eastern and Western theories helps the reader understand what makes vital point striking work and why it can be not only useful in fighting, but deadly. Based on this introduction, you’ll learn about 202 vital points for use in fighting including the name, point number, location, involved nerves and blood vessels, applicable techniques, sample applications, and potential results for each point. The points are illustrated in detail on an anatomically correct human model, with English, Chinese, and Korean names as well as point numbers for easy reference.

In addition to identifying the vital points, Sang H. Kim gives you detailed information about the type of techniques that work for vital point striking including a discussion of fighting zones and ranges, plexus strikes, stance and footwork, bodily weapons, striking directions and angles and dozens of applications for common empty hand, grappling, groundfighting, knife and gun attacks.

Based on over thirty years experience in the martial arts and in-depth research, Sang H. Kim has created one of the most complete books available on the art and science of vital point striking.

Sang H. Kim is the author of 12 martial arts books, including the best sellers Ultimate Fitness through Martial Arts, Martial Arts After 40, Combat Strategy and 1001 Ways to Motivate Yourself and Others, and star of over 100 martial arts instructional videos/DVDs. He won the 1976 Korean National Champion and was named Instructor of the Year in Korea in 1983. During his 25 years teaching martial arts in the US, he was featured in and his articles appeared in Black Belt Magazine, The Journal of Asian Martial Arts, Delta Sky Magazine, Combat, Taekwondo Times and over 100 other publications.

Click here to browse inside.

Sports Book Review: Vital Point Strikes: The Art and Science of Striking Vital Targets for Self-d…

This is the summary of Vital Point Strikes: The Art and Science of Striking Vital Targets for Self-defense and Combat Sports by Sang H. Kim.

Taekwondo Demonstration by Sang H. Kim

Outtakes from demonstrations given by Sang H. Kim and his students in the late 1980s. The first is at his original school in Hartford CT and others are at various other CT locations.

Jumping Kick Tips – Sang H. Kim

Advanced Stretching for kicks and splits by Master Sang H. Kim

Confucius | Motion Picture In Full HD [updated June 01, 2013]

The life story of the highly-influential Chinese philosopher, Confucius.

Confucius chinese name is Kung Tze and he should be known as Kung Tze from now on. The man himself is a truly gifted intellectual in the art of governing a state. He taught the Emperors in ancient China how to nurture and develope a country resources for the betterment of the citizens and the emperors. Anyone who’s interested to learn the teachings of Kung Tze is welcome to write to asap. You may be selected to fly into Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with full local sponsorship to embrace it. Many thanks.

The Art of War : Sun Tsu – Full Documentary. (Educational).

The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise that is attributed to Sun Tzu (also referred to as “Sunzi” and “Sun Wu”), a high ranking military general and strategist during the late Spring and Autumn period (some scholars believe that the Art of War was not completed until the subsequent Warring States period. Composed of 13 chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare, it is said to be the definitive work on military strategies and tactics of its time, and is still read for its military insights.

The Art of War is one of the oldest and most successful books on military strategy in the world. It has been the most famous and influential of China’s Seven Military Classics: “for the last two thousand years it remained the most important military treatise in Asia, where even the common people knew it by name.It has had an influence on Eastern military thinking, business
tactics, and beyond.

Buddha – A Documentary About Buddhism

This documentary is made by filmmaker David Grubin and narrated by Richard Gere. It tells the story of the Buddha’s life, a journey especially relevant to our own bewildering times of violent change and spiritual confusion. It features the work of some of the world’s greatest artists and sculptors, who across two millennia, have depicted the Buddha’s life in art rich in beauty and complexity. Hear insights into the ancient narrative by contemporary Buddhists, including Pulitzer Prize winning poet W.S. Merwin and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This documantary is brought to you by

1st Pan-Malaysia Global Taekwon-Do Federation (PGTF) Instructor Certification Course – Dec 15-16, 2012

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do. ~ Confucius


우리의 큰 영광으로 전도 적 없어하지 않을,하지만 우리는 그럴 때마다를 올리고있다. ~ 공자

Kemuliaan terbesar kami tidak pernah jatuh, tetapi dalam bangun setiap kali kita lakukan. ~ Confucius

Whenever we keep our eyes and ears open, to be always maintaining the present moment awareness and mindfulness, epiphany and synchronicity would manifest their deepest revelation for some profound and meaningful events to occur.

Recalling back on July 2011, PGTF Officials and the national team flew in to Dundee, Scotland, to participate in the 8th GTF World Championships. Best Western Queens hotel was where the previous British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill had stayed during his early years as Member of Parliament for Dundee.

A picture frame of him was seen hanging on the wall with his personal handwriting inscription commenting on the hallmarks of a quality residence, with a fantastic location to match, and ideally situated for golf at the famed Saint Andrews.

Instructors Course 2012-Group Foto

At the same time, it was during these critical hours back in Malaysia when PGTF had submitted its application papers to the Sports Commissioner’s office for the approval of the Certificate of Registration, as a legitimate national TKD body. The previous application had been left hanging in limbo for more than 6 years with no positive results.

As we stared deeply into the eyes of Sir Winston Churchill, it was as if he was lecturing us on the importance of courage and indomitable spirit….

” Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” and

“Never, never, never give up.”

When we have the inner vision and belief in our dreams and goals, each day will bring synchronistic events into play. The end result was when the then Honourable Senator Dato’ Master Andy Ng, who was also the pro-tem PGTF Deputy President, announced the good news that PGTF was finally issued with the Certificate of Registration.

Since then, PGTF events and activities had been graced by Malaysia Sports Minister and his Deputy as well as by the Deputy Finance Minister with financial grants extended to the National Body.

Whereas Sir Winston Churchill reminded us on the virtues of courage and perseverance, the great Chinese sage Confucius extolled on the essence of integrity, Justice ,(正義, ‘Zhèngyì’) trust ( 相信 ‘Xiāngxìn‘) and benevolence (仁慈 ‘Réncí’), among many other qualities that describe the ethical aspects of martial art.

So the choice of conducting the Instructor Certification course at the Confucian private secondary school reflected meaningful coincidences upon which the principles of PGTF are expounded – going back to the source of teaching the original purpose of a traditional martial art .

More than 80 over Black Belt exponents from Kelantan, Kedah, Penang, Perak, Trengganu, Pahang, Federal Territory, Selangor and Johore participated in the Instructor course jointly conducted by the PGTF Masters. Among the topics covered were sports science, basic Instructor teaching syllabus, Korean terminology on stances, blocks and punches, and the step sparring and patterns familiarization.

At the end of the course, there were 15 Black Belt exponents who sat for the upgrading test for 4th and 5th Degree.

PGTF Masters conducting the Upgrading Test for senior Black Belts

2012 in review

Happy New Year 2013 to all our viewers and bloggers of 1martialart. As we march into the new year, in our continuing research and development, you will soon realize the uniqueness of each style of martial art with specific reference to Taekwon-Do.

Inherent in this differences of approach in the delivery, movements and execution of blocks, punches and kicks, there will be an unfoldment of awareness among serious minded practitioners who begin to discover that the methodology of applications has somewhat evolved through the passage of time.

The efficacy and effectiveness of the theory on the circulatory movements will manifest into greater delivery of power, speed and conservation of energy. Our concentration of its traditional aspects with the embedded martial virtues and value systems, Taekwon-Do will come full circle. Each movement, each block, each punch will be meditation in motion to be performed by the “Witnessing Self” in the present moment awareness. Therein lies the revelation of the “Tao” of action in inaction.

What the late Grandmaster Park Jung Tae had taught during his span of short years in GTF, will be enlivened and recaptured by those technical Masters who will bring out the true essence of the philosophy of Taekwon-Do.

Master Ngiaw VIII

The stats helpers prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 10 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Steven Seagal – The Path Beyond Thought: Documentary

Uploaded by DeathWisher1001 on Dec 28, 2010

This documentary shows footage taken from Seagal Senseis days in Japan at the Tenshin Dojo in Osaka, early days in America and some from the recent seminar in Santa Barbara. We can see him demonstrating, teaching and administering tests. It includes also many interviews of Seagal Senseis former students.


(standing left to right) Thung Jin Ping, Johnson Kong, Lee Chee Hao, Chin Lee Kee,   Mdm Lim Yoke Lin, Ting Siew Chuan, Steven Soo, Lai Jian Wen, Lee Teng Hui, Mah Kin Aun, Kum Yew Wong,
  (Sitting left to right) Master Billy Soon, Master Alex Lee, Master Ng Hooi Lai,
  Master Dato Ng Fook Heng, Master Ngiaw Wee Sun, Master Lee Hok Heng,
  Master Dang Kok Wai
PAN-MALAYSIA GLOBAL TAEKWON-DO FEDERATION (PGTF) held its 1st Annual General Meeting (AGM) on September 16 2012, at the K.L. International Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. The results of the election of office-bearers in the main committee (EXCO) for the term 2013-2014 are as follows:-

President: Dato’ Othman Talib ( Not in the picture )
Deputy President: Master Dato’ Ng Fook Heng
Vice-President 1: Master Ng Hooi Lai
Vice-President 2: Master Lee Hok Heng
Vice-President 3: Master Dang Kok Wai

Pursuant to Article 15.2 of the Constitution, the following Officials were appointed by the President/Main Committee:

Secretary-General: Master Ngiaw Wee Sun
Treasurer-General: Mr. Lai Jian Wen
Assistant Secretary-General: Mr. Lee Chee Hao

Committee Members:

1. Master Billy Soon
2. Master Alex Lee
3. Mr. Chin Lee Kee
4. Mr. Johnson Kong
5. Mr. Ting Siew Chuan
6. Mr. Thung Jin Ping
7. Mr. Steven Soo
8. Mr. Mah Kin Aun
9. Mr. Lee Teng Hui

Auditors : 1. Mr. Kum Yew Wong
2. Mdm.Lim Yoke Lin


Note: PGTF Instructors’ Course & Upgrading Test – December 2012. Stay tune for more information.

BODY MIND MASTERY Creating Success in Sport and Life by Dan Millman

For fifteen years I trained with great energy in the sport of gymnastics. Even though I worked hard, progress often seemed slow or random, so I set out to study the process of learning. Beginning with standard psychological theory, I read studies of motivation, visualization, hypnosis, conditioning, and attitude training. My understanding grew, but only in bits and pieces. Reading Eastern philosophy, including the traditions of Taoist and Zen martial arts, expanded my knowledge, but I still lacked the understanding I sought.

Eventually, I turned to my own intuitive experience for the answers. I understood that infants learn at a remarkable pace compared to adults. I watched my little daughter Holly at play, to see if I could discover what qualities she possessed that most adults lacked.

One Sunday morning as I watched her play with our cat on the kitchen floor, my eyes darted from my daughter to the cat and back again, and a vision began to crystallize; an intuitive concept was forming in my mind about the development of talent — not just physical talent but emotional and mental talent as well.

I noticed that my young daughter’s approach to play was as relaxed and mindless as the cat’s, and I realized that the essence of talent is not so much a presence of certain qualities but rather an absence of the mental, physical, and emotional obstructions most adults experience.
After that discovery I found myself taking long walks alone, observing the forces of wind and water, trees and animals — their relationship to the earth. At first, I noticed only the obvious — that plants tend to grow toward the sun, that objects fall toward the earth, that trees bend in the wind, that rivers flow downhill.

After many such walks, nature removed her veil, and my vision cleared. I suddenly understood how trees bending in the wind embodied the principle of nonresistance. Visualizing how gentle running water can cut through solid rock, I grasped the law of accommodation. Seeing how all living things thrived in moderate cycles, I was able to understand the principle of balance. Observing the regular passing of the seasons, each coming in its own time, taught me the natural order of life.

I came to understand that socialization had alienated me (and most adults) from the natural order, characterized by free, spontaneous expression; my young daughter, however, knew no separation from things as they really are.

Still, such insights seemed more poetical than practical, until, in a single moment, the final piece fell into place. I was taking a hot shower, enjoying the soothing spray, when my busy mind suddenly became quiet and I entered a reverie. The realization stunned me: The laws of nature apply equally to the mind and the emotions.

This may not seem like a big deal to you, but I dropped the soap. Grasping how nature’s laws apply equally to the human psyche, itself inseparable from the body, made all the difference for me. The principles or processes of training were no longer merely physical. They became psychophysical. My perceptions even made a subtle shift: where once I viewed the world as a material realm, I now began to see a world of subtle forces and flowing energy, thus reaffirming our unbreakable connection to the laws of nature.

After fifteen years of gymnastics, my real training had finally begun. All that remained was to put this understanding to use. As I did, the fruits of training began to spill over into daily life. Training became a way of life, not just a means to an end. And the game of athletics became a vehicle of body mind mastery — training for the game of life.

In describing the river of life, or the delicate, ephemeral existence of the butterfly, or the sway of trees in the wind, the Chinese sages were painting pictures, drawing metaphors that pointed to the natural laws, the source of all human wisdom. Master teachers have each pointed to the same truth: that personal growth requires us to integrate the wisdom of life experience with the laws of nature.

Pursuing success in sport and life, I sought to align myself with the following lessons and laws:

Principle 1: Nonresistance

There are four ways to approach the forces of life:

• Surrender to them fatalistically. Rocks, because they are inanimate, have little choice but to surrender passively to the natural laws.

• Ignore them and, in ignorance, experience accidents, or create unnecessary struggle by swimming against the natural currents of life.

• Resist them and create turmoil. If we resist what is — the natural flow of life — we waste energy and fight ourselves.

• Use them and blend with nature. Like birds that ride the wind, fish that swim with the current, or bamboo that bends to absorb the weight of fallen snow, you can make use of natural forces. This is the real meaning of nonresistance. We can express the law of nonresistance in many ways:

• Don’t push the river.

• Let it be.

• Go with the flow.

• When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

• Turn problems into opportunities and stumbling blocks into stepping-stones.

On days of slow physical progress, you can cultivate patience and trust in the natural process of growth. Nonresistance transcends passive acceptance and actively rides the currents and cycles, making use of whatever circumstances arise.

True nonresistance requires and develops sensitivity and wisdom. For the master, outer accomplishments are significant only as indicators of one’s alignment with natural law. Master golfers, for example, make intuitive use of the wind, of the direction the grass grows, of the moisture in the air and the curves of the land. They use gravity by letting the weight of the club head guide the swing in a relaxed rhythm. Master gymnasts learn to blend with the forces and circumstances in their environment. Masters of tennis learn to use the texture of the court to their advantage.

In daily life, those of us who resist change inhibit growth. Bob Dylan reminded us that those who aren’t busy being born are busy dying.

What a caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly. — Richard Bach

A martial arts principle teaches, “If pushed, pull; if pulled, push.” You can use your opponents’ movements to your advantage through nonresistance. Apply softness in the face of hardness — absorbing, neutralizing, and redirecting force. Body mind masters reject the adversarial mindset; they cease perceiving and resisting “enemies.” Rather, they view opponents as teachers or sparring partners who challenge them to bring out their best.


The Martial Arts Principle of No-Collision

Test 1. Stand squarely in front of a partner. Tense your body. Have the partner push you with one hand as you resist. How does that feel? What happens? You are likely to lose your balance or control as your partner pushes you backward.

The next time he or she pushes, take a smooth step back; just let your body flow backward at the same speed as your partner’s push. Give no resistance at all. What does this feel like? Do you feel the cooperation and harmony you have created? Centered and in control, you allow your partner to go where he or she wants to go.

Test 2. Stand with your right leg and right arm extended toward your partner; root both your feet lightly to the floor. Breathe slowly in your lower abdomen; relax. Cultivate a feeling of peace and goodwill. As you maintain this spirit, have your partner come toward you rapidly from a distance of about ten feet, with the intent to grab your right arm, which is extended toward him or her at hip level.

Just as your partner is about to grab your hand, whirl around and behind your partner by taking a smooth, quick step slightly to the side and beyond your partner as he or she lunges past, grabbing for the arm that’s no longer there. If you do this smoothly, facing your partner as you whirl around, you’ll maintain equilibrium and control as your partner totters on the edge of balance.

Test 3. This Aikido approach can also be applied to potential verbal confrontations. On such occasions, instead of engaging in verbal tussling — trying to prove a point, win an argument, or overcome someone with reason — just sidestep the struggle. Simply listen, really listen, to your opponents’ points; acknowledge the value of what they are saying. Then ask gently if there isn’t some validity to your view also.

In this way, you can learn to blend and apply nonresistance not only to physical opponents but to all of life’s little problems. Remember that you create the struggle in your life; you create the collisions. And you can dissolve conflict through nonresistance.

Nonresistance: Psychophysical Application

In judo, he who thinks is immediately thrown. Victory is assured to those who are physically and mental nonresistant. — Robert Linssen

Stress happens when the mind resists what is. Most of us tend to either push or resist the river of our lives, to fight circumstance rather than make use of things as they are. Resistance creates turbulence, which you feel as physical, mental, and emotional tension. Tension is a subtle pain, which — like any pain — signals that something is amiss. When we are out of natural balance, we create tension; by listening to our body, we can take responsibility for releasing it.

Athletes commonly resist the natural processes by trying. The word “try” itself implies weakness in the face of challenge. The moment you try, you are already tense; trying, therefore, is a primary cause of error. In more natural actions, you don’t try. You simply walk to the refrigerator, write a letter, or water the flowers; you don’t have to try, yet you perform these tasks easily and naturally. But when faced with something you consider an imposing challenge — when self-doubt arises — you begin to try. And when competitors feel pressure and begin to try, they often fall apart.

When archers shoot for enjoyment, they have all their skill; when they shoot for a brass buckle, they get nervous; when they shoot for a prize of gold, they begin to see two targets. — Chuang Tzu

To illustrate the effect of trying too hard, imagine walking across a four-inch-wide plank of wood suspended a few inches off the ground. No problem, right? Now raise the plank ten feet over a pond filled with alligators. Suddenly you begin trying harder. You feel tense. You have the same plank but a different mental state.

Life is a play of polarities. Whenever you try to accomplish something, you often experience — and create — internal forces in direct opposition to your goal, just like those who try to lose weight but end up gorging. You can measure this opposition in your own physiology: if you try to hold your arm straight, you’ll tend to tense your extensor muscles (triceps) but also your flexor muscles (biceps). You end up fighting yourself and wasting energy. If you try to stretch you may feel your muscles tensing in resistance, just as golfers who try to wallop the ball often end up topping it into the rough.

In all activities of life, the secret of efficiency lies in an ability to combine two seemingly incompatible states: a state of maximum activity and a state of maximum relaxation. — Aldous Huxley

Body mind masters use less effort to create greater results. Even while engaged in intense competition they “let it happen” without strain. This may seem like idealistic fantasy, but numerous descriptions of the lives of martial arts masters testify to the existence of this kind of grace under pressure. The higher the stakes, the calmer, clearer, and more relaxed these masters became — indeed they became unbeatable. Peaceful warriors like Morehei Uyeshiba, the founder of Aikido, at more than eighty years of age could evade an attacker wielding a razor-sharp sword, tapping him on the nose with a fan, while remaining relaxed and breathing deeply.

Body mind masters take an easy, relaxed, progressive approach while working within the higher reaches of their comfort zone, thereby avoiding the burnout that accompanies a stressful approach to training.

If you gently take a child by the hand and lead him or her smoothly, the child is more likely to follow than if you give a sudden tug. Our subconscious minds work the same way. In the long run, it works better to use a carrot than a stick. If you play golf, just let the club swing. If you’re a gymnast, form the intent, then let the body pirouette. If you play basketball, let the ball go through the hoop. In life, form clear goals, prepare, then let things happen naturally, in their own good time.

Every bamboo shoot knows how to bend with the wind, but masters have the insight to build windmills. Understanding the spirit of nonresistance, you create a partnership with nature. You take the first step on the path of body mind mastery.

Principle 2: Accommodation

Life was never meant to be a struggle, just a gentle progression from one point to another, much like walking through a valley on a sunny day. — Stuart Wilde

Let’s take a look at some key points in the process of learning:

• In athletics, as in life, development follows demand. With no demand, there is no development; with small demand, small development; with improper demand, improper development.

• Demand takes the form of progressive overload. By persistently asking yourself to do more than you’re comfortable with, slightly more than you are capable of, you improve.

• Progressive overload occurs in small increments within your comfort zone. You need to stretch your comfort zone but not ignore it. Most athletes constantly work outside their zone, and they experience extremes of fatigue, strain, and pain. By staying within (but near the top of) their comfort zone, masters take a little longer to improve, but their improvements last longer.

• Development inevitably entails a constant stream of “little failures” along the way to your ultimate goals.

• Tolerance for failure comes from an intuitive grasp of the natural process of learning. Realism breeds patience. By understanding natural laws, you develop a realistic, lighthearted approach to temporary failures and come to see them as stepping-stones to your inevitable progress.

When you make realistic and gradual demands on the body, the body will develop. If equally progressive demands are made on the mind and emotions, they will develop as well. This process of accommodation reflects a law that has allowed human beings to evolve and survive through time.

Even rocks are subject to the law of accommodation. If you grind a rock with a tool, it will gradually change its shape. But if you grind it too quickly, the rock may break. Gradual demand brings the surest results. Climbing a mountain is best done in small steps. If you try to do it in huge leaps, the result may be counterproductive.

The law of accommodation reminds us that mistakes are the stepping-stones to success — a natural part of the process.

Trust the process of your training and trust the process of your life.

Accommodation: Psychophysical Applications

Many of us are so goal-oriented that we forget to enjoy the journey. I’m reminded of an ancient Chinese curse: “May you achieve all your goals.” Paradoxically, if we enjoy the process of striving toward our goals, we are more likely to reach them. Getting there is more than half the fun.

Accommodation is a law as certain as the law of gravity. Yet most of us don’t trust the law because of self-doubt or confusion. You may wonder, “Can I really become good at this?” “Will I be able to accomplish my goal?” “Will I find success?” A more useful question is not “Can I?” but rather “How can I?” Progress is mechanical: If you practice something over time, with attention and commitment to improve, you will. The degree of improvement depends on many factors you’ll discover as you read on. Some people have the unique combination of psychological, emotional, and genetic qualities necessary to become world-class, but anyone who practices over time can become competent, even expert, in any chosen endeavor.


Here’s a simple way to understand how the law of accommodation works: Choose a physical action that is presently a little beyond your reach. It may be a push-up, a sit-up, a one-arm push-up, a handstand push-up, sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and touching your toes, or running in place for five minutes without tiring.

Once you’ve chosen your feat, attempt it several times in the morning and again in the evening. Do this every day. With each attempt, you’re asking your body to change. Ask politely — don’t overdo it — but be consistent.

Don’t set any goals, time limits, or specific number of repetitions you must do each day. (Some days you may do more, other days, less.) Don’t visualize any outcome.

Continue this for a month and see what happens. Without really trying, you’ll find that somehow, in this relaxed way, you will have improved; your body will comply with your “polite request.”

Apply the same approach to any change you’d like to make in your life. Achieving desired outcomes is a natural result of relaxed practice over time, of working within (but in the upper ranges) of your comfort zone, rather than pushing through pain. Trust the process; ask and it shall be given.

Of course, you may also benefit by setting, visualizing, even writing down specific goals. With no direction at all, you may wander in circles. So whether or not you affirm, visualize, or pursue other strategies, a goal in your mind and heart is a natural part of the process of accommodation.

Applying the law of accommodation generates new levels of trust, responsibility, and commitment; your success depends on the demands you are willing to make on yourself. But know that when you decide to do something, even if it is not presently within your capacity, you can succeed. There are no absolute guarantees, but in making this journey you are more likely to succeed than if you never begin.

Principle 3: Balance

For the body mind master, balance goes far beyond a sense of equilibrium; it is a great principle informing every aspect of our training and our lives. I call it the Goldilocks principle: “Neither too much nor too little” — move neither too quickly nor too slowly, neither too actively nor too passively, neither too high nor too low, neither too far to one side nor to the other.

Balance determines the correct pace, timing, and accuracy we all depend upon for success in sport and life. The human body itself depends upon a delicate balance of blood chemistry and body temperature. It must breathe neither too quickly nor too slowly; it must develop into a unit neither too fat nor too lean, neither too muscular nor too emaciated. Even your intake of water and essential nutrients must be balanced. Everywhere you look, you can see the law of balance at work.

This law also recognizes our natural limitations. It is possible, of course, to go beyond the boundaries dictated by this law, just as you can temporarily resist the other natural laws, but eventually you pay an inevitable price because every action has a reaction, and the more extreme the action, the more extreme the reaction. When you are in balance, you recognize that for every up cycle there will naturally be a down cycle — and vice versa.

Progress in life generally consists of two steps forward and one step back. Some days are high energy days and others are not. Understanding this, your mind and emotions remain calm when training has its ups and downs, buoyed by the higher wisdom of the law of balance.

Balance: Psychophysical Applications

As it becomes more clear that the world — and your training — necessarily involves body, mind, and emotions, balance takes on even more profound significance. You begin to see that physical problems are often symptoms of imbalanced mental and emotional patterns. When you feel physically off, you should ask, “What’s going on in my mind and emotions?”

The word centered describes a state of physical, mental, and emotional balance. The three centers — body, mind, and emotions — are so intimately connected that an imbalance in one naturally affects the others. The martial artist knows that if a person is mentally distracted or emotionally upset, he or she can be pushed over very easily.

The following tests demonstrate the uses — and abuses — of balance.


Test 1.
• Assuming that you’re relatively calm and happy right now, stand up and balance yourself on one leg. (If it’s too easy, do it with your eyes closed.) Note the relative ease of this act.

• The next time you feel upset — angry, sorrowful, fearful, or distracted, or are facing a difficulty in your life — give yourself the same balance test. You’ll notice that one of two things will happen: If you meditate (focus attention) on your upset, you’ll lose your balance easily. If you are meditate on your balance, you’ll forget to notice your upset. Physical balance and emotional upset are like fire and water; they don’t mix well.

Test 2.
• You can also gain control of an imbalance in body, mind, or emotions by deliberately doing something out of balance, in order to see the imbalance clearly and to control it.

• To illustrate: The next time you practice any game, spend a few minutes deliberately off-balance, then back on balance, then off balance, then on. You will see your game begin to improve afterward. If you’re too prone to imbalance in one direction, see if you can play too much in the opposite direction. If, for example, you’re too timid in your play, try being too aggressive. If your tennis serves veer too far to the right, make an effort to send them too far to the left.

• This practice will feel awkward, like wearing a suit two sizes too small; nevertheless, it will do you a world of good, because when you can play with both sides, you can then find the middle and regain your balance. I explain this invaluable method of attaining balance more in Chapter 7.

Principle 4: Natural Order

• Natural order accounts for progressive development through time. In nature, one season follows another, without haste, in the proper sequence. A tree grows from a seedling as an adult grows from an infant.

• Only the human being is in a hurry. Our minds race faster than life. Ignoring the law of natural order, we set deadlines for ourselves, rushing to reach these arbitrary goals. It’s true we must make some goals; they’re essential for movement in life. Without them, we wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning. But rigid time goals are inherently unrealistic, because we cannot predict the future. The more long-range our goals, the less realistic they will be. We can foresee the direction of our progress, but we cannot foresee the pace. Life holds too many surprising twists and turns to accurately predict how much time our goals will take.

• Progress is a function of both time and intensity. You can spend less time and more intensity, or more time and less intensity. If you overtrain, you may make more rapid progress and even enjoy a short period of glory, but you eventually suffer burnout.

• Whatever cycles you pass through, trust in natural order. Enjoy each day, come what may, with all your energy and humor. Humor is a good sign that you have a balanced perspective. After all, no matter how magnificent our athletic aspirations or achievements, we remain tiny specks in the great universe; missing a putt or double-faulting a serve is hardly going to shake up the cosmos.

Natural Order: Psychophysical Applications

Everyone at one time or another thinks, “I should be doing better — I should be achieving faster.” Like the word “try,” the word “should” has little place in the mind of the master. “Should” implies dissatisfaction with things as they are. It is the ultimate contradiction; it’s the trembling foundation of neurosis. Our time is too valuable to spend stewing over things that are not.

One good measure of your alignment with the law of natural order is your level of enjoyment during the process of training. If you push yourself too much, for too long, you may lose sight of the excitement that drew you to training in the first place.

So balance your life between pleasure and pain. Notice the natural order of things. Make use of whatever you meet on your path. Follow a step-by-step process, and trust what comes.

Working within natural law, you will not only find self-discovery and success, but you will enjoy life more with each passing year. Training mirrors life; life mirrors training. By examining one, you come to understand the other.

Alignment with natural laws provides the first key to success in sport and life. In the following chapters you can apply these principles to transcend limiting beliefs and behaviors, hurdle emotional blocks, and develop body mind talent — all steps in your journey up the mountain path.

Excerpted from Body Mind Mastery Copyright © 2001 by New World Library
DailyOM © 2004-06 DailyMedia, Inc. – All Rights Reserved

Body Mind Mastery

Body Mind Mastery by Dan Millman. Time for some Big Ideas from Dan Millman’s great book, “Body Mind Mastery.” Hope you enjoy!

Preview Here on BODY MIND MASTERY Creating Success in Sport and Life

Olympic Taekwondo – Its History and Development

London 2012 Olympics: Taekwondo

Over a span of some 39 years since its establishment as a World Body, WTF has grown by leaps and bounds in evolving to what is an Olympic-sanctioned body today. This is in great contrast to the numerous TKD splinter groups which had been in existence much earlier than WTF, but they are still mired in political and power struggle besides being obsessed in pursuit of their respective egoistic ostentation and materialistic gain.

Aside from this, when one reads the history of TKD as recorded in the following attached documents published by WTF, not a single mention or iota of recognition was attributed to the founder of Taekwon-Do.

Be that as it may, WTF has worked very hard and diligently in its relentless propagation to become the Olympic Taekwon-Do today, with enormous government support all over the world.

Read and be astounded by the detailed and its tremendous in depth research information as listed in the attached documentary literature.

For full details of WTF 2012 MEDIA KIT View Here

THRIVE: What On Earth Will It Take?

Film Synopsis:
THRIVE is an unconventional documentary that lifts the veil on what’s REALLY going on in our world by following the money upstream — uncovering the global consolidation of power in nearly every aspect of our lives. Weaving together breakthroughs in science, consciousness and activism, THRIVE offers real solutions, empowering us with unprecedented and bold strategies for reclaiming our lives and our future.

Qi Gong Demonstration by Master James Chee in Quanzhou 2010

At the opening ceremony of the 2010 International Shaolin Wuzuquan Federation Conference and Competition, Master James Chee, of International Shaolin Wu Chu Chuan Australia, provided a demonstration of qi application.

Master James Chee is recognised by the Federation as a 10th dan master in the art of wuzuquan (aka Five Ancestors Fist / Ngo Chor) and will also be assuming the role of chairperson of the Federation at the end of the current term of Master John Graham.

Master James Chee is the son and successor of Grandmaster Chee Kim Thong, whose own abilities also defied belief.

Grandmaster B.S. Huan – ‘He fought death all the way’

Father of Singapore taekwon-do dies, aged 72. -TNP
Benson Ang

Sat, Mar 31, 2012
The New Paper

The man known as the father of Singapore taekwon-do lost his final battle on Wednesday morning.

But the 72-year-old had fought his illness with all the dignity and tenacity that his beloved martial art had imbued him with.

Grandmaster B S Huan, whose full name is Huan Beng Seng, died from urosepsis, an infection of the urine tract.

His health had deteriorated after he suffered a stroke in 2010, said his daughter, Ms Anjanette Huan, 38.

After that, he had difficulty walking and was wheelchair-bound.

He developed the infection last year and also had diabetes and high blood pressure.

Every month, he spent a week in hospital undergoing treatment for this condition.

Ms Huan, also a taekwon-do instructor, said: “He was in and out of hospital for two years.

“There were times when the doctors said he wouldn’t make it. But he fought death all the way and won every time.”

After his stroke, Mr Huan had lived with his daughter’s family in a four-room flat in Pasir Ris.

On Monday morning, he had developed a fever and Ms Huan called an ambulance.

He was taken to Changi General Hospital (CGH), where doctors attended to him.

On Tuesday evening, Ms Huan received a call from the hospital saying that the infection had spread to the rest of his body.

She said: “His oxygen levels were low and he was not responding to treatment. The doctors told us to prepare for the worst.”

Mr Huan’s wife, four children and seven grandchildren went to CGH to say a final farewell.

Said his youngest son, Aaron, 33: “He clenched his fists and he kept breathing deeply, still fighting for his life.

Ms Huan added: “At first, I told him that I wanted to be able to take him home. But after seeing his condition, I decided that I had to let him go in peace.

“I told him that I didn’t want him to suffer. It was then that his muscles slackened and he left us.”

Mr Huan died at about 3.30am yesterday.

His wake is now at the bottom of Block 476, Pasir Ris Drive 6, and his funeral will be held on Saturday.

His family remembers him as a family man who loved animals. He was also a devout Catholic.

‘I’m proud of him’

Said his wife, retired teacher Elsie Ee, 69: “I’m proud of him. He lived a full life and had a huge heart.”

Added his son: “My father was sociable and well-liked. He befriended everyone he met.”

Not surprisingly, Grandmaster Huan was proudest of his taekwon-do.

He brought the martial art to Singapore from Korea in 1963, when he and a few other Singaporeans wrote to the taekwon-do movement in South Korea and requested that some experts introduce the art to Singapore.

Grandmaster Huan and eight others gained their black belts.

While the others eventually dropped out, he remained devoted to the martial art.

He was determined to initiate a taekwon-do movement in Singapore and set up his own training school in Jurong.

He also trained his first batch of students, a group of officers from the Police Security Branch.

In 1971, Grandmaster Huan set up the Singapore Taekwon-do Academy (STA) in Serangoon Road.

To date, he has trained more than 50,000 students, including National Kidney Foundation chairman Gerard Ee.

Mr Ee, who learnt taekwon-do from Grandmaster Huan in the 1970s, told The New Paper (TNP): “His passing is a big loss to the area of martial arts. He was very dedicated and passionate about the sport.”

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong also received an honorary black belt from him in 1986.

Grandmaster Huan, who had also written two books on the subject, even franchised his teaching methods in other countries.

STA’s chief instructor, Master Henry Low, said Grandmaster Huan never retired from taekwon-do.

Said the 64-year-old: “Even in a wheelchair, he would attend the central grading every three months.”

But Grandmaster Huan shunned violence.

In a 1994 interview with TNP, he said: “It takes two to fight.

“If you are not aggressive, I don’t think the other person will attack you.”

This article was first published in The New Paper.

Bruce Lee – Rare interview [updated Aug 15, 2011]

It’s amazing at his youthful age, he had an intelligent grasp of knowledge in the spiritual and philosophical aspect of martial arts – a rare attribute that is a far cry from the present day of martial art / TKD exponents who seem to seek excitement from tournament sparring, and engaging in ego-trip pursuits.

One of his favorite quotes:

”  Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless like water;   

   You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup

  You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle;

  You put water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot;

   Water can flow or it can crash;

   Be water, my friend.”

Excelling only in the physical ‘body’ aspects of martial art training is insufficient. Developing the ‘mind’, cultivating and nourishing the ‘SPIRIT’ aspect are requirements for one to be rightfully called a true ‘MASTER’.

There will be more video clips on this martial art legendary and commentary of his philosophy.

Bruce Lee’s Most Famous Interview – “Be water…”

Published on Sep 13, 2015

1971 – Bruce Lee, “The Mandarin Superstar,” discusses the relationship between martial arts and philosophy on the Pierre Berton Show.