Within human society, there exists the right path. In life there are many paths one can take to live their lives, but there exists one path, which is in harmony with all things and reveals what is true. It is this path that we must always strive to discover. This is why humans must find an honest career for their livelihood. If you follow the right path of your career, you will always find success, but if you follow the wrong path, your house will be that of a sandcastle on the edge of the ocean. Sooner or later it will be all washed up. However, one should not measure success on the basis of wealth or fame, but by their ability to maintain the right path.
The martial art practitioner must know and follow the right path. One philosophy of Hwa Rang Do® is, “JUNGDO SUHEANG,” which means, “Following the true path is one’s duty.” Each specific martial art has its own right path, which is defined in its syllabus. You must stay true and follow the way, the “Do or Tao,” of your specific martial art. One should not mix the paths of multiple martial art styles, but stay true to your own. They are different and contain within themselves their own specific philosophy. When the paths of different martial arts are crossed, the way is destroyed and becomes confused for the future generation of practitioners. One may have their own specific approaches, a variation of specific techniques, which one has discovered after years of training. These discoveries can be taught separately, but the main curriculum should not be changed. That is the foundation of the art and should remain consistent throughout all of eternity.
The right path for a martial art must also be defined in relationship to its governing organization. The governing organization exists as the means of enforcing and maintaining the laws, rules and regulations of the specific martial art as well as maintaining quality control. Now there are some individuals that believe they can exist within their art, but outside of the jurisdiction of their governing organization. These selfish instructors embezzle a small amount of money for their own personal profit in total disregard of their art’s longevity or integrity. Now these individuals also give and sell dan degree ranks and titles for their own profit, again destroying their art’s identity. The martial art governing organization is the one body that has the authority to define the right way for that particular martial art. This is not to say that the organization is only for one man or a group of individuals. The governing organization exists to help ensure that the right way exists and is followed for all of its practitioners. Then the integrity of the art’s identity can grow and be honorable. This is true for all types of organized groups.
Do not break away from your martial art’s governing organization. This organization will direct the spirit and philosophy of your art throughout the entire world, and this will provide great benefits to you as an instructor or practitioner. These organizations are not for the profit of one man, and their efforts are dedicated completely to those who are involved in their art. Rather than finding faults, making complaints, creating negativity, one should focus on how he/she can better assist the growth and maintenance of the organization. In this way, everyone can benefit. However, in order to have a voice, one must demonstrate and earn the respect and trust of all the members of such organization. This requires that one follow “JUNG DO”. If you spend your lifetime serving the benefit of your particular martial art, the rewards are obvious. However, as it states in the “Tao Te Ching,” “One should work hard and after the work is done, everyone says, I’ve done it.” As martial artists, leaders, teachers, and keepers of old values, we should not work for reward sake, but for the betterment of others and in so doing, we have enhanced the positive energy of the universe. What greater reward can one receive than this? This is your responsibility to your art’s governing organization. That way the “right way” of your art can flourish.