Teaching is an Act of Love

by Sabumnim

It’s not how much you know, but how much you care that makes the difference, and that will leave a profound impression on the student. Teaching is an act of love and therefore it should always come with the attributes of love in all its many forms. Just like water, it will always retain its true essence. Be it soft love, hard love or eternal love, it will always come with the gifts of love which are generosity, compassion, patience, commitment, wisdom, joy, and faith.

Generosity
You must have the ability and willingness to give. It is difficult to be generous if you don’t have an open heart to do so. The willingness of teachers to teach will be greatly affected by the openness or lack of openness of their Sacred Self, their heart, their mind, their spirit, and their soul.

Those with an openness of their Sacred Self have an abundance of being and fulfillment in that particular domain in which they have the ability and willingness to give.
A person that has overly abundant grain has it to give; a person that has overly abundant time or money has it to give, and a person that has overly abundant wisdom, experience, compassion, and patience has it to give. So it is vitally important that we start from the heart—from your heart—and make sure that your heart has everything it needs and deserves to have. You must fill all the holes in your heart so you can begin to fill it with the love it needs to achieve fulfillment. Only then will you truly be able to give from the best of yourself. A person who is drowning cannot save another, and a person who is broke cannot pay another, and a person who cannot give oneself the love and support one needs cannot truly give it to another. But once you can do this you can also learn how to give to yourself by giving to others, and how to give to others by giving to yourself. This is the yin and yang balance of the Do that consistently regenerates itself.

Compassion and Patience
A warrior without compassion is worse than a hyena or a pack of wolves—those who prey on the weakest. And a teacher without compassion is like a clanging bell in the wind. The teacher must care for every living and non-living soul just as if it is part of one’s own. As you increase your level of consciousness, you will see into the eyes and soul of another and you will see yourself and all those you have known and loved. At that time, there will be no more need for these words, you will understand and know what all enlightened souls across time and space have known:  we are one. All of humanity are genetically and spiritually one family.

When we harm another, we harm everyone. When we help another, we help everyone. Every learning environment is like a garden. People are like flowers, wisdom is like water, and compassion is like the sunshine. Without water and sunshine, the flowers will not bloom. Compassion creates an ideal learning environment where all can grow to their greatest potential. Different flowers grow at different rates and therefore some require more patience. You wouldn’t pull at slower growing flowers to try to make them grow as fast as some others because that would only damage them. This must be understood and remembered when learning Martial Arts, training and teaching students.

Some flowers grow very slow but live ten times longer than flowers that grow faster. And some students develop slow but outlast and outshine students who seemed to be gifted in the beginning. So patience is always a nearby partner wherever you find compassion.

From the WMAC Instructors Handbook

THE GIFT

by Sabumnim (Beginners Handbook)

We live in a busy world and busy times. Life is probably more busy now than in the history of the world. We make plans years in advance and fill in all the days of our personal calendar with more stuff to do in one year than we could put into a novel such as War and Peace. Most of us are on a constant clock that controls every hour of our day. It’s commonly said and believed that “Time is money.” But I say time is life, and life is a chain of present moments moving from moment to moment. The money will be here long after your gone. It’s the time of your life which is far more limited. This is why it must be valued far more than promissory notes with dead mens pictures on them. If you draw a line in the sand, and at the star of this line you put your birthdate, e.g. July 27, 1947, then at the other end of this line you put a date 100 years later, e.g. July 27, 2047, and we call the last date your death date. And that’s if you are extremely blessed and lucky. If you live to be 75, they will say you are very lucky. If you live to be 85, they will say you are very blessed. If you make it to 100, they will put you in the papers and the evening news. But as we all know, this is extremely rare. So once again, look at this line in the sand, your birthdate to your blessed death date. Then you put a mark on this line of your life to represent today’s date and write it there.

Birthdate                                                 Todays date                                                  Death date
l___________________________________l_______________________________________l

Now as you look at this line you can clearly see three points in time: your birthdate, today’s date, and your death date. You can also do this on paper or any other medium you have to work with. Once you put today’s date down, you are faced with a reality that few are present to or conscious of. And that reality is this: from your birthdate to Today's date is the past. We call this your history. There are many things from our past of great value, but it is no longer real, and it is gone forever. The time from today to your death date is called the future. We call that a mystery. There are many things in our future of great value, but they are hopes, wishes, and dreams. In truth, they are not real. We can work towards them but even tomorrow is guaranteed to no one. In fact, the graveyards are full of those who had plans, hopes, wishes, and dreams. What are we left with is the thing of true value, the gift. And it is truly a gift, that is why it’s called “the present.” Every time you take a breath, you are experiencing the present. Every time you taste, see, hear, feel, smell, and experience something you are experiencing the present. When you pray, meditate, and share love you also embody this gift. Yes, life can get busy and of course we must plan for and be prepared for many possible futures. But allow yourself to have your gift and to have it and share it every moment possible. Remember life is time and when your time runs out, you are done. So live your life like a warrior, live your life like you have already died and have been given a second chance to live it for a limited time. Anyone of us could be dead tomorrow. There are hundreds of ways to be killed or even just go to bed and die in your sleep. Everyday you wake up, it is a blessing and a gift, so treat it as one and live it like it could be your last, and you will never die with regret and all your days will be well-lived and full of thanks and fulfillment. And take extra care and be present to the ones you love and those who are a true gift in your life now for this too shall pass.

WOMEN'S SELF DEFENSE

by Sabumnim

The common question is “How fast and well can I learn self defense?’

Self Defense is only partially determined by the physical attributes of both the attacker and the defender. Just as a man can bring down an elephant if he has the right mindset, emotional stability and spirit, so too can a woman take down a man much larger and stronger than herself.

Effective self defense begins with self worth. In the animal kingdom, the predators look for the weak. Some men are animals and are not much different than the predators in the wild. The only difference is that predators in the animal kingdom operate mainly in the realm of instinct and the physical world, where as human beings operate in both the mental and emotional realms, as well as the physical.  Therefore, a human predator will look for targets that have a mental or emotional weakness as well as a disadvantage in physicality. A mental weakness can range from just not being alert and aware, to having a victim’s mind set. An emotional weakness can be anything from feelings of shame, regret and low self worth or poor self esteem, to depression and a broken heart.

True Martial Arts training is the deep training of the mind body spirit and soul. It is the life journey of self discovery, transformation and personal empowerment. In truth, this is no easy task and only those who are ready to face physical, mental and emotional challenges have any chance
of succeeding at this extraordinary endeavor. But the benefits, value and rewards by far outweigh the work and challenges.

It does however require a student that is ready willing and able. Ready to face any and all personal fears, able to humble themselves by emptying their cup of (I know) and willingness to commit to the three T’s Teacher, Training and Time.

Committing to a teacher is an absolute must if you want a teacher to be committed to you. Without this commitment between Teacher and student, the training would be void of spirit and soul which are the principle elements of the heart of the training.

Committing to the training means having a resolved mind to do whatever it takes to succeed. To be prepared for hardship, to be ready to pay the price of blood, sweat, sacrifice and tears. You must have the strongest reasons to train in order to withstand all the reasons that cause most people to quit.

Committing the time is the most difficult but without this commitment no other commitment can exist nor can any worthwhile results be attained. You must be focused determined and unstoppable by the seasons and the constant ebb and flow of the heart mind and life.

This is what it takes to journey on the extraordinary path of extraordinary results. True self defense starts here.

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Ask The Master

   by Sabumnim                                   

Master, I've been training a long time, and I don't seem to be improving. I don't look like you or others I see on your DVDs, how do I sharpen my martial arts?"

The way to get your martial arts sharp is simple, but you must take your time, be patient, be consistent, get the right technique for your level, and get the correct guidance from someone that truly knows the way. But this is only part of the equation, when most people think of getting good or sharp with a particular physical skill, they think of working out, and working out harder. To make great and fast improvements in yourself and your martial arts, you must start working on the inside, as well as working out, you must work smarter and not harder. Low level martial arts (yok, keh murul) are based mostly on the physical level with a small percentage based on the mental level. Middle level martial arts (saih keh mu sul) are based mostly on the physical and mental levels of martial arts. High-level martial arts (mook sa keh) are based on the unified powers of body mind and spirit. You must aim higher to hit the high target. You must aim for Mook Sa Keh or even Sun Keh (Supreme Martial Arts), which involves body, mind, spirit and soul in alignment with the DO (natural order of all of existence). 

In simpler terms, to get sharp with your martial arts, you must understand the following basics:
1) Having all the martial arts techniques and forms without the correct mind and spirit is like having hundreds of guns without any bullets. Yes, you can hit someone over the head with a rifle, but you would never really possess or have access to the real power of the weapons you are using.
2) Your attitude will dictate you altitude or skill level in martial arts. If you have a big ego, are difficult to work with, don’t take corrections well, or can’t separate your training from your personal life and issues, you may work very hard, but not get very far. You will miss, and also be denied hundreds of corrections and never know it because your attitude gives others the impression that you are not approachable, coachable or appreciative. You need humility and high respect to get high-level martial arts.
3) Your spirit is what gets sharp first, then your mind and then your body. Your spirit is like a double-edged sword. One side is will power and the other side is desire. All the will power in the world is empty and meaningless without desire. That’s like having a powerful rocket with no fuel. And all the desire in the world without will power is like having all the fuel in the world without a vehicle. So desire (yin) and will (yang) together will produce great results. This is the spiritual sword, but now you must have a strong sharpening stone to sharpen the sword. What is this sharpening stone? It is your reason for doing anything that is important to you in your life. To accomplish anything challenging, you must first have a strong reason for doing it.

Students preparing for a promotion test certainly train with a stronger spirit and look sharper than students who don’t have as strong of a reason to train. Student Ali Guzzetta (rope defense girl on beginners DVD) was dragged into a van and almost strangled to death, and her attacker was scheduled to be released from prison within a year. In addition, her sister had been raped in a separate attack, so Ali had a stronger reason to get her martial arts in shape than most students who start training because they got tired of their gym workouts. But you don’t need to have such a severe reason as Ali to make great improvements on your martial arts. There are also yin and yang, or fire and water reasons. One reason is moving away from pain (fire), and the other is moving towards pleasure (water). Humans and animals run faster and with a lot more effort when they have fire on their behinds or a set of hungry teeth right behind them.

To get sharp in your HapKiDo training you should have a yin and yang (fire and water) reason. You should be clear on what pain you want to avoid, naming at least three reasons. For example:
1)    Being victorious if you are ever attacked
2)    Not getting so out of shape that you look and feel 20 years older than you are.
3)    Having such low energy that it affects every other aspect of your life.

You should also be clear about the pleasure or fulfillment reasons you want to move towards:
1)    Greater health and well being
2)    Greater self confidence
3)    Fulfilling a life dream by overcoming all your obstacles.

You need to find your own reasons because we all run on different types of fuel. But keep in mind, the more a person has at stake, the more they are pressed to succeed. If you would like an extra boost of fuel, then you add soul power (emotional energy), the greatest of which is love. When love is your fuel, you will never quit or fall short with your training. When love is your reason, you will never work, train or fight halfheartedly if you are fighting for or defending that which you love the most.

Sabumnim