Living the Dojang Hun

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By Sabomnim Joshua Mitchell

As human beings we are always in search of fulfillment. Looking for a means of satisfying our insatiable desires. To want something better or to reach a new level is an inherent part of our time on this earthly plane. So as martial arts practitioners, it goes without saying that we want to improve our lives and ourselves. We strive to kick faster, punch quicker, and to learn a new form with hopes that when we attain the goal in mind that we will be complete, happy, and satisfied. I personally find it quite ironic how we are given a map to reach that point of peace, where we can attain what many view as the unattainable the first night we ever step foot into a Cha Yon Ryu dojang. This map I’ve come to find out is so obvious and simple, we often overlook it and want, need, desire something more complex as part of our training.

So we train hard and diligently during our class time and develop self-esteem and confidence in ourselves with our new found ability of self defense. But after years of training, our intensity can potentially wear off and we don’t feel the same enthusiasm that we once did about our practice. Something is missing. “I’m not getting the proper instruction” is the common thought. “I want to learn this and want it my way” is often the runner up to the previous thought. Thus, we are looking once again outside of ourselves for that fulfillment. Who is going to provide it? How can I get it faster? As we progress as martial artist we begin to understand what Grandmaster Kim is saying when he mentions that we are given the tools as white belts to become Masters. What does that mean we inquire? Meditate on that one a bit and maybe we can begin to see the map that was laid out for us the first day we became students of this beautiful art of Self-realization.

Grandmaster Kim chose to put such great emphasis on the school oath that we as students say it before and after our practice. The search for that elusive “next level” lies within the words of the Dojang Hun. If we chose to put more emphasis on the meditation aspect of our Natural Way art form then we would find that the answer lies within. Shutting out all external stimuli is a rare thing to do outside of the confines of sleep. However in doing so, we can offer ourselves time to look within to provide the opportunity for self- honesty. Thus allowing us the clarity to ponder if we as martial artists are living the Dojang Hun inside and outside of the class..

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