There are a number of points which require special attention while training in HWA RANG DO ®. These training points bear on the essentials in learning technique as well as the ingredients of character that is the foundation of HWA RANG DO ®.
“By making the mind void of thoughts one can gain a natural meditative state.”
Concentration has two distinct meanings. First, it pertains to “paying attention;” it is essential to be constantly aware of what are the limits within which you practice. Injuries in the dojang most often occur when students fail to pay attention to their instructions or neglect the principle of limits – everything has a limit. Joints, for instance, when placed in the proper angle can be broken with the pressure of a single finger. Thus, training in techniques that are potentially dangerous, demand that one “think hard” about what exactly he is doing.
The second meaning ofconcentration is a state of consciousness that may be characterized as a heightened receptivity to learning. Concentration is also related to a calm mind; as the ancient masters taught, “with a calm mind, one is free from hesitation.”
2 PATIENCE & ENDURANCE
“If one’s mind is made up to learn then there will be success.”
Nothing can be learned without patience while endurance is part of the dues one must pay to gain the knowledge. Nothing of value is worth learning if there is no sacrifice. Summers are hot, winters are cold; that is the natural condition of mankind.
Knowledge will come only to those who have the patience to sacrifice, to endure the pain and recognize the humility of their ignorance. Only a few will prove worthy to the challenge.
3 SINCERITY IN PRACTICE
“If one does not practice regularly, then do not face the enemy.”
Perfection of techniques requires deeply ingrained habits, and a mental attitude of thoroughness. Exercises, no matter how many times they are repeated, are a waste of time if they are done incorrectly. The time you spend in the dojang is precious in comparison to the time spent on the outside. The perfection of technique requires that they become second nature and reflexive. If you have to “think” of your response, it is already to late. Perfection in the martial arts is like a jewel. It is merely a rough stone until polished. If it is not polished, no one will know its inner beauty. Training is the same.
“Judge the chance and take the opportunity. Take the first opportunity and be quicker.”
Every technique requires speed. There are counter-defenses to all known offenses. Therefore technique must be done with the greatest speed and efficiency.
5 CONSERVATION OF ENERGY
“The Inner Force is concealed until it is released.”
Perhaps the most difficult aspect of the martial arts to master is to learn how to conserve energy and to relax while under stress. Ki cannot be released if the body is stricken with inner tension and fear. Tension is also the greatest consumer of energy; even when the body is not in motion, one can become exhausted simply by being tense. When you are calm, you are free from hesitation. These are essential elements of conserving energy.
Of course, we must not overexert ourselves while training either. When the body is fatigued, errors are committed and constant repetition only makes bad habits.
6 RESPECT & OBEDIENCE
“All things in nature work according to rules. Mankind is one with nature.”
In every martial art there are aspects which make it dangerous. To assume the responsibility of placing a dangerous weapon in the hands of a stranger, literally to make a dangerous weapon out of the body is a sobering experience. One of the most essential tests of character is whether the student is humble enough to subordinate their own personal ego to the rules of the dojang and respect the gravity of their new power. The martial arts are not a store-bought item that you are entitled to because you pay for the lessons. The burden is too great, the reflection larger than the individual. All Hwa Rang Do® schools operate according to code of ethics of respect and obedience.
“Large egos are carried by small minds.”
It is easy to be vain towards those who know less. But the Hwa Rang Do® student must realize how little one really knows. There are over 4,000 techniques in Hwa Rang Do®. Assuming a student learned a new technique every day, it would still take 10 years to master them. Such a study course is not likely, but it is to illustrate that when a fish is in a cup, the cup seems to be the whole world. We are only a microcosm in an infinite universe.