KANG DUK WON
"PHILOSOPHIES FOR TRADITIONAL
MARTIAL ARTS TRAINING"
PRESENTED BY MASTER FRANK A. PALUMBO, JR.
AMERICAN KANG DUK WON SENIOR DIRECTOR
1997 KARATE CAMP
JULY 10 - 13
SPIRIT ~ LOYALTY ~ VIRTUE
The History Behind Our Motto: Spirit, Loyalty and Virtue.
In the early 1970's the students of American Kang Duk Won were asked to select three words that they felt were the most representative of what the style stood for. When all the surveys were returned the top three words were to be chosen. The three words that came up the most were Spirit, Loyalty, and Virtue. These three words were far ahead of any others and were adopted as the motto of American Kang Duk Won.
The purpose of this class is to discuss the ideals and ethics upon which traditional martial arts training - like yours in American Kang Duk Won Karate - has been founded. From Bodhidharma to Funakoshi to the present, one can recognize profound parallels in the offerings of these ways of wisdom and practicality in every day living. The challenge, of course, is to maintain the discipline in our daily lives which will enable us to better understand and apply the lessons these philosophies ultimately offer.
As a member of American Kang Duk Won Karate, you are in line with the same martial spirit and philosophies which were detailed in
the earliest documented systems of unarmed combat. It is essential that we understand the significance of our own place in the history of these disciplined art forms and their lifestyles.
Each of us has a moral and civic responsibility to reflect the teachings of American Kang Duk Won Karate in a positive and well tempered manner. At the end of a workout, our art should not be left in the training hall. It should be with us as we walk home, enter work, meet new people, accept our daily challenges, and even when we pause to appreciate the beauty of nature around us. When approached with an open mind, the way of karate can influence every aspect of a person's life.
We are not practicing a sport. The Art of American Kang Duk Won has been handed down through the years always expressing a careful consideration for spirit, loyalty, and virtue in all we do.
As martial artists today, we are similar to the legendary practitioner of the past. Each of us can make as much of our training as we allow ourselves to envision. The only limits one will experience in his traditional training in American Kang Duk Won Karate are those which are self-imposed. Therefore . . .
The possibilities of our successes and personal growth are without bounds!
PHILOSOPHERS, TEXTS, AND YOUR TRAINING
- "Spirit": Everyday Tao - Ming-Dao
- "Loyalty": Everyday Tao - Ming-Dao
- "Virtue": Everyday Tao - Ming-Dao
- Teachings of Bodhidharma
- Wisdom of Confucius
- Fulfillment in Taekwondo - S. K. Shim
- Five Rings - Musashi
- Karate-do - Funakoshi
- Hagakure: Samurai - Tsunetomo
- Zen in he Martial Arts - Hyams
- Zen in the Art of Archery - Herrigel
- The Martial Spirit - Kauz
- Karate Dojo: Traditions & Tales - Urban
- T'ai Chi Ch'uan & Meditation - Liu
- Zen Way To The Martial Arts - Taisen
- Kung Fu: History & Philosophy - Chow
- Tao Te Ching - Lao Tsu
- Ki In Daily Life - Tohei
- - Master Lawlor
The titles above are suggested references for an overview of various traditional martial arts philosophies. a wide range of cultures and styles are represented. However, with careful reading and thought, very common ideals become apparent.
The following selections were taken from a class presented to students at the 1997 four day AKDWK karate camp. The presentation was given by Master Palumbo.
- Ming-Dao: Shen "Spirit"
When the spirit is revealed, you will find out that it was inside of you. Spirituality is not just "out there." It is also around and in us. If we understand that, no matter where we look spiritual revelations abound.
- Ming-Dao: Zhong "Loyalty"
An honest and sincere heart is one that cleaves to the middle (heart/mind). It is simple to espouse loyalty. But how easy is to be loyal? Can we live by keeping our hearts centered, even in the midst of great challenge?
- Ming-Dao: De "Virtue"
When actions are upright and from the heart, we have moral excellence. One is simply a good person because that is the natural way of things. The word "virtue" is just a word which reminds us to go out and to be upright (in all we do).
The mind's capacity is limitless, and its manifestations are inexhaustible. Seeing forms with your eye, hearing noises
with your ears, smelling odors with your nose, tasting flavors with your tongue, every movement or state is all your mind.
At every moment, where language can't go, that's your mind.
The superior man blames himself; the inferior man blames others.
The superior man is always candid and at ease (with himself and others); the inferior man is always worried about something.
The superior man is always dignified, but not proud; the inferior man is proud, but not dignified.
The superior man attends to the spiritual things and not to his livelihood;
The superior man does not insist on good food and lodging. He is attentive to his duties and careful in his speech, and he finds a
great man as his guide. Such a person may be called a lover of learning.
The power of the spiritual forces in the universe -- how active it is everywhere! Invisible to the eyes, and impalpable to the
senses, it is inherent in all things and nothing can escape its operation.
- Sang Kyu Shim
...Another artistic quality is open-mindedness. The artist is never fully satisfied with his creation because he feels there is
always room for improvement. Because he is competing with himself rather than outside himself, his ideal keeps receding as
he approaches it so that his potential is never exhausted.
This is the Way for those who want to learn my strategy:
- Do not think dishonestly.
- The Way is in training.
- Become acquainted with every art.
- Know the Ways of all professions.
- Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters.
- Develop intuitive judgment and understanding for everything.
- Perceive those things which cannot be seen.
- Pay attention even to the trifles.
- Do nothing which is of no use.
Polish your wisdom: learn public justice, distinguish between good and evil, study the Ways of different arts one by one.
When you cannot be deceived by men, you will have realized the wisdom of strategy.
Six rules in training in the martial arts:
- You must be deadly serious in your training.
- Train with both your heart and soul without worrying about theory.
- True practice is done without words but with the entire body.
- Avoid self-conceit and dogmatism.
- Try to see yourself as you truly are and try to adopt what is meritorious in the works of others.
- Abide by the rules of ethics in your daily life, whether in public or private
I have always stressed the point in my teaching that karate is a defensive art and must never serve offensive purposes. "Be
careful," I wrote in one of my early books, "about the words you speak, for if you are boastful you will make many enemies. Never forget the old saying that a strong wind may destroy a sturdy tree but the willow bows, and the wind passes through. The great virtues of karate are prudence and humility."
"King Hsuan of Chou heard of Po Kung-i, who was reputed to be the strongest man in his kingdom. The king was dismayed when
they met, since Po looked so weak. When the King asked Po how strong he was, Po said mildly, "I can break the leg of a spring grasshopper and withstand the winds of an autumn cicada." Aghast, the King thundered, "I can tear rhinoceros leather and drag nine buffaloes by the tail, yet I am shamed by my weakness. How can you be famous?" Po smiled and answered quietly, "My teacher was Tzu Shang-chi'ui, whose strength was without peer in the world, but even his relatives never knew it because he never used it."
I must warn you of one thing, you have become a different person in the course of these years. Perhaps you have hardly
noticed it yet, but you will feel it strongly when you meet your friends and acquaintances again. You will see with other
eyes and measure with other measures. It has happened to me too. It has happened to all who are touched by the spirit of the art.
I, therefore, must emphasize once again that the Japanese arts, including archery, have not come under the influences of Zen
only in recent times, but have been under its influence for centuries. Indeed a master, if put to the test of an archer from those far-off days, would not be able to make any statement about the nature of his art radically different from those masters of today for whom (the art) is a living reality.
Philosophical ideals in the martial arts:
- To strive for perfection of character
- To defend the paths of truth
- To foster the spirit of effort
- To honor the principles of etiquette
- To guard against impetuous courage
One's mind has no time to be troubled in a tough karate workout. The use of one's strength and energies, the revitalizing effect of the karate breathing, and the satisfaction of having to fight many people, followed by relaxation and meditation practices, make karate students feel a robust sense of good health at all times.
A good karateman develops first of all his katas to perfection; then broadens his character accordingly.
It is said that Huang Ti (Emperor of China around 2700 BC) went to the K'ung Tung Mountains, where he met the immortal sage Kuang Cheng-tze. This master advised him that in order to preserve life, he should be careful not to thoughtlessly stimulate his passions or stir up his emotions, and should often sit quietly and make his mind more peaceful. By following this advice and practicing his exercises, Huan Ti was able to lead an amazing life and his reign as emperor lasted one hundred years.
7 Essential Principles Of Bushido, The Way Of The Warrior:
- GI: the right decision, taken with equanimity, the right attitude, the truth. Rectitude.
- YU: bravery tinged with heroism
- JIN: universal love, benevolence toward mankind. Compassion.
- REI: right action - a most essential quality. Courtesy.
- MAKOTO: utter sincerity. Truthfulness.
- MELYO: honor and glory.
- CHUGO: devotion. Loyalty.
Life is like a book|
not to be judged by the cover
but to treat each page as a day in the life of one person
and to reach past the cover to the inside
where the knowledge and insight can be found,
and as every book has a last page
we all have a last day,
so should we then consider a book
by its contents
and not by the number of its pages.
- Lao Tsu
He who is on tiptoe is not steady.
He who strides cannot maintain the pace.
He who makes a show is not enlightened.
He who is self-righteous is not respected.
He who boasts achieves nothing.
He who brags will not endure.
According to followers of Tao,
- "These are extra food and baggage."
They do not bring happiness.
Therefore, followers of the Tao avoid them.
It is not the mighty man who is right, but the man in the right that is mighty. Do whatever you do with conviction. We study thoroughly the principles of the universal and practice it. We have nothing to be doubtful or to fear. We must have the courage to say with Confucius: "If I have an easy conscience, I dare to face an enemy of ten thousand men."
- Master Lawlor
I have come to realize that there is only a beginning to karate training; there is no end. Because it is an individual art, each
student trains at his own pace, based on age, physical condition or limitations. There is no pressure to perform as there is in
team sports. It is for this reason that American Kang Duk Won is for all people.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Bu (-martial arts), shi (-warrior), do (-the way)
the way of (an active path or discipline for mental and physical life energies)
KANG DUK WON
the arena for the teaching of virtue; one of the oldest traditional schools of tae kwon do. A martial art, not a sport
school. American Kang Duk Won Karate emphasizes 50/50 hand and foot techniques, while remaining focused on the
essence of the art which teaches "one's training is 90% mental discipline"
kara (empty) te (hand) do (way); formerly "Chinese hand" originating in the Shaolin Temple. Also, Tode, Kempo
the vital energy of daily life (spirit, essence, breathe). Also, Qi, Ch'i, Khi, Soul
a pursuit of wisdom; beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual group; the calmness and temper befitting a philosopher
"human effort"; a life long knowledge or undertaking makes a person "kung fu"; one of great skill. Also, the Chinese martial arts of Wushu, Gung Fu, Gong Fu, Quan Fa
Japanese warriors of the imperial court who were skilled in a wide range of weapons and empty handed fighting methods
TAE KWON DO
tae (foot) kwon (fist) do (way); the art of kicking or smashing with the hands & feet; established in the mid-1950's from tae-kwon or subak
T'AI CHI CH'UAN
"supreme ultimate fist"; an ancient martial art of China which emphasizes breathing, balance, and Qi (ki) control. Also, Taiji
or Taiji Quan
natural law: virtue, strength ( Simply be ) founded in Confucianism
the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth, actions, or written instruction
all, totality; "essences" of being in which one seeks a purification of self
- Bodhidharma. The Teachings of Bodhidharma. Trans. Red Pine. New York: North Point Press, 1987.
- Chow, David, and Richard Spangler. Kung Fu: History, Philosophy, and Technique. California: Unique Publications, 1982.
- Confucius. The Wisdom of Confucius. Ed. Lin Yutang. New York: Modern Library, 1938.
- Funakoshi, Gichen. Karate-Do: My Way of Life. New York: Kodansha International, 1975.
- Herrigel, Eugen. Zen in the Art of Archery. New York: Vintage Books, 1953.
- Hyams, Joe. Zen in the Martial Arts. New York: Bantam Books, 1979.
- Kauz, Herman. The Martial Spirit: An Introduction to the Origin, Philosophy, and Psychology of the Martial Arts. Woodstock, New York: Overlook Press, 1988.
- Lawlor, Robert C. American Kang Duk Won: Basic Techniques and Principles. Watertown, New York: Panther Publications, 1995.
- Liu, Da. T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Meditation. New York: Schocken Books, 1986.
- Ming-Dao, Deng. Everyday Tao: Living With Balance and Harmony. San Francisco: Harper, 1996.
- Musashi, Miyamoto. A Book of Five Rings. Trans. Victor Harris. New York: Overlook Press, 1974.
- Shim, Sang Kyu. Promise and Fulfillment in the Art of Tae Kwon Do. Detroit: Sang Kyu Shim, 1974.
- Shim, Sang Kyu. Making of a Martial Artist. Detroit: Sang Kyu Shim, 1981.
- Taisen, Deshimaru. The Zen Way to the Martial Arts. New York: Dutton, Inc., 1982.
- Tohei, Koichi. Ki in Daily Life. Tokyo: Ki No Kenkyukai H.Q., 1980.
- Tsunetomo, Yamamoto. Hagakure: Book of The Samurai. Trans. William ScottWilson. New York: Avon Books, 1979.
- Urban, Peter. The Karate Dojo: The Traditions and Tales of a Martial Art. Vermont: Tuttle, Co., 1987.
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