The word oneself indicates that you are one, on half or three quarters. To be one is to be whole. You, the player are first presented with making your circle, which immediately affects your well being, and is a place of harmony. If you do not move well with those you are closest to, you are not going to have the skills to blend well with those outside your circle. In order to function well within your circle, you need to assess what you think of yourself. Begin with how you feel about yourself. If you are are unhappy with your appearance, speech, or how you move, you are going to have limited ability to respond to the movements of others. You will be to focused on yourself. No matter who you are or what you look like, you decide, ultimately, how you feel. When you decide you like yourself, you will immediately impact your closest circle of people. They become more comfortable with you, because you are more comfortable with yourself. The most important think is that when you attain that level of self respect, you can focus on the movements of others and not be caught off guard because you were to focused on yourself and your inadequacies.
Dominate your emotions. Control what is happening inside of you. What’s happening inside of you can have a drastic effect on what will happen to you. If you are afraid, your ability to control it will affect what your opponent or adversary will do. They will be encouraged or discouraged by your emotions. When someone enters your space the first thing you must do is dominate your emotions. You will have the best opportunity to succeed when you are in control of your wits.Dominate your physical body. To react to a difficult situation may very well depend on whether or not your physical body is able to respond. Dominate what you put into your body, when you work out, when you rest, when you play. There are foods and substances that work well with your unique system. Not everyone is made alike. Your body will tell you what it needs by how it pr\performs with what you put into it. Listen to your body, then stick with what works well for you. When you face and resist something that your system craves, but doesn’t work well with, you can develop a discipline over your body. Facing and walking away from weaknesses that make your body suffer, such as smoking, drugs, sweets, or any food or substance that your body shouldn’t have, will give you spiritual as well as physical confidence and strength.Dominate your direction. You are a martial artist, therefore you are not mediocre. Those who choose to excel, select the high road where the effort is more demanding. To develop the attitude of excellence requires on to do the hard things. Working out when you would rather watch television or be lazy develops discipline and sets you on a path filled with achievement and satisfaction. Dominate what you do with your energies and your time. Serve when you would rather be served. Work when you should work. Play when it is expedient and uplifting.
Remove the Fear
Fear occurs when you intersect other people’s circles that are unfamiliar and possibly destructive to you. Fear helps you understand that you are in a circumstance that requires your undivided attention. To over come the fear you must make decisions before, during and after a confrontation or bad experience. Every decision made, gives you direction and confidence which removes and element of fear. If you are afraid of being trapped in a house fire, you over come that fear by establishing an escape plan that you practice often. Where there is a fear of confrontation, a similar approach is effective.One of the best approaches in removing fear is found in the development of Ki. A key element in the creation of Ki is your breathing. Ki is an actual force that exists in all of us. Those who know how to create it, use their breathing to obtain and use it. Your breathing is a way to release the Ki. When you Ki-Yup you are pushing out the air at the same time you are initiating the force of Ki. In order to build your Ki you do various exercises that are dependent on your focused breathing. Ki is manifested when you breath out while pushing out with your stomach.When startled most people breath in a quick breath. This has an adverse affect on your ability to assess and respond to a bad situation. A more effective response would be to initiate a shortened version of the development of Ki. When surprised by an individual or circumstance, breath out while tightening your stomach in the same manner as you would for developing your Ki for any other technique. This releases your Ki or your inward power and doesn’t give room for fear. While Ki is being exercised, fear has no place. The player of Hapki-Do routinely practices the development of Ki not only to strengthen their technique, but learn how to bring the power of Ki quickly to action to remove fear.
One effective exercise is to use your hands to give direction to your Ki development. Take a deep breath and push half of the air out, hold the remaining air as you tighten your stomach and push out with your hands. When your arms are extended release what air is left. As you practice this technique, you start pushing hard as soon as you push that initial breath of air out. When you reach your extension of your arms you will feel a release of energy escape down your arms and out your finger tips. That surge of energy is your Ki. Practice this in a horse riding stance. When done properly, the movement is slow and intense. Take the time to develop a strong release of your breath. In a difficult setting such as an attack, if you have practiced this technique, that quick strong breath being pushed out will give you all the other techniques you have in the waiting. Besides the ability of removing fear, the development of Ki in this manner, has some other great benefits;
- Your stomach is strengthened
- Your intensity increases
- The timing of your breathing with your techniques improves
- Your mind is focused
- You remove emotion from your face
- You focus more energy into the part of the body that is responding
- You learn that other emotions too can be controlled such as pain.
The player discovers that the most important response to force being placed on him is to move. Move out of the way or move into position to respond. Hapki-Do has many techniques that give the player the advantage, if the player is able to move with the energies coming at him. The movement of a player can be divided into three different categories.
- Move when your opponent moves. Your movement will be to a position that is 45 degrees to your opponent on either side. Your movement is initiated by slightly lifting your foot that is going to move first and then pushing off with your toes on the other foot. The idea is not to hop to the position, because you put yourself in and up and down position as you move. In order to obtain a level response to any technique it is better to move laterally. The player will want practice just moving in such a way so that the movement can happen quickly under pressure.
- Move with your opponent. If they push, you pull. If they pull, you push. Your intent is not to block the strike, but to redirect the punch or kick. A counter is made much more effective if you, the player learn to move with the energy of your opponent.
- Move amongst your opponents. With your understanding of how you can move in relation to those around you, you will discover that your body language changes. Because you can move out of harms way and use any force against the aggressors, you hold yourself different and give off information. That information is very helpful in putting down possible confrontations before they arise. The player who understands how to move in a confrontation or in a peaceful setting is able to successfully interact and positively affect those they meet. A successful player carries himself well, with his head up.
There are many flashy movements that can draw our attention away from that which can potentially hurt us. The player learns that as he moves with this opponent, though the aggressors hand may be moving fast, the shoulder isn’t. Using the shoulder as a focus he can quickly discover which way to redirect the force by following the arm. By focusing on the focal point of where the technique originates and moving into position, the player can effectively redirect a punch or kick. The center or point of origin of the technique is the focal point. In order to focus on the the focal point he must remain calm, remove emotion, and not let anything change his mind’s direction. Practice developing focus by selecting a target and don’t take your eyes off of it until the exercise is completed. If a player focuses, despite the flurry of movement, not only can he find the point of origin, but he will see the opening for a counter technique. When he is successful in this, he will realize some nice benefits;
- Emotion that can be seen in the face, such as fear is replaced with a look of direction and determination.
- The mind is able to select a suitable counter technique.
- A focused energy-Ki- can be released into the selected technique(s).
- You are able to maintain control of yourself and the situation.
Focus, develop and practiced in the Do-Jang (your school), is very helpful in other areas of your life besides that which happens in the studio.
- In the case of physical injury, focus coupled with Ki, can transfer the pain from your mind bringing down the stress level of the body.
- In times of danger, when your clear thinking is paramount.
- In sports and in school when a lot is riding on your ability to concentrate on what’s in front of you.
A focused player is an aware person no matter where they are.
Listening is the form of gathering information which provides the player opportunity to respond or escape. The listening skills referred to here involve recognizing fear, strength, pain, or other emotions in the words of their opponents. This helps the player in knowing how to respond, especially when an opponent is becoming angry. His response could very well diffuse the anger or enhance it. You as a player can listen and learn of the emotional status of those around you which will help you in knowing how to proceed.Listening also involves gathering information from within. Everyone has, through training and life experiences, a store house of information stored inside of them. That information is readily available to those who know how to retrieve it. The ability to retrieve such information is based upon their ability to remain calm.A very effective technique to developing the skills of being calm and listing is found in meditation. Meditation is a process of stopping everything else that is happening inside of you and allow only thoughts that you prefer to sit with your legs crossed in front of them. Find the most relaxed position for you. When you are seated, place your hands on top of your knees with them open, palms up. Your hands trigger points which when they are open, help or allow you to relax. When they are moving, pushing, clinched, or grasping something, the upper portion of the body is also tightened and restricted. When your hands are in place, control your breathing. When you take slow deep breaths, this also delivers enough oxygen to allow your body to relax in all areas.
Next close your eyes, as the movement of things around you will alter or interfere with your ability to control your thoughts. With your body in a relaxed state it is now time to clear your mind of everything. Start by focusing on an object in your mind, such as a tree. Pick your favorite type of tree and focus on it in your mind. Try to visually see, in your mind, the many intricacies. Whatever you decide to focus on, don’t let anything else enter your mind. As you gain control of your thoughts, shift your attention to something you desire to understand.
You will be surprised at what you have to offer yourself. As you listen to those thoughts, you begin to recognize the information. If you practice your meditation often, you will become familiar with the process. In times of struggle or confusion, much of the information needed can be readily accessed by stopping and doing some form of meditation. Some situations may not allow you to sit and meditate, but just controlling your breathing and remaining calm will release the information you need from within.
Listen to those people who are in your life right now. Some may not be the best relationships, but everyone has an effect on you. Before they leave your life, listen to what they have to offer. Even your greatest nemesis have something to offer that will help you in the future. Even if it is just dealing with someone else like them in the future.
The Water Principle
There are forces of nature that will give us understanding as well as an example as to how we can be. One of those forces is that of water. Water is a force whether it is moving slow or fast. It has the ability to change whatever it encounters. It will make things wet, cold, or warm depending on how it is. Water has an attribute that is very useful in Hapki-Do. That is it’s ability to penetrate the forces around it. It can penetrate rock. It may not penetrate the rock at first. It may be only a drop at a time, but as the drops continue in the same place, it little by little breaks down the rock surface until it has passed through the entire rock. We may not succeed at first in breaking through an opponent’s defense, learn a difficult technique, help the people in our lives, or change the injustices around us, but we will if we keep trying.
You are not alone
There are many times we feel we must accomplish the goal of becoming who we are, by ourselves. The opportunity to become the b est we can is dependent on how we utilize the forces and people around us. The two main forces in our lives are mother earth and the people closest to us.Mother Earth provides us with strength, energy, and protection. Those who recognize the role of the earth in their lives allow the natural forces to work through them. The peace and clam found in nature can remove much anxiety and stress. The majestic force and power manifested in the ocean is inspiring and provoking. The earth acts as a strong base which gives us strength to not be moved from our place or be free to move. The energy found in lightning or thunder gives us understanding that if we can focus all of our energy, we too can make a big bang in this world. Energy for each of our techniques is drawn from the mother earth who gives whenever we decide to take of her energy.People who are in our lives such as family, friends, instructors, and the masters are there to help us. Sometimes we feel we are alone in our efforts. If you look down around you will discover there are many people going the same direction as you, that you can look to. Those ahead of you are there because they took advantage of the relationships of those they encountered in their past. Families are very helpful because they have been with you and know you better then anyone else. Before you leave those closest to you, learn about yourself through their eyes. Some of their input may be negative or positive. What ever It is, it is information you can build on or prove to be wrong.
The Do-Jang is a great place to learn from people. It is here that you are able to achieve goals with the help of people going the same direction. There are those who have been where you are and there are those who are behind you. Your art is a way you can become who you are as you encounter those going the same way.