Grandmaster Kim Soo demonstrates a Hapkido (Akido) technique at the '98 Reunion and Seminar.

 

Someone once asked Grandmaster, "Have you ever used your martial arts training to defend yourself?"

"Maybe!" he replied.

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A Mu In (Martial Man) is often asked to illuminate his exploits.

We've all had our battles, our victories.

But perhaps, in our victories, we actually lost.

Perhaps it was the battles that never were...

The dangerous situations instinctively avoided...

The caution, control, and confidence that kept trouble at bay...

The mastery of a daily life free of strife and disagreement...

Perhaps it's in the things that never happened we find our greatest victories.

Sword Story

by Frank Jaubert (From a parable told by Grandmaster Kim Soo)

The prince of the land needed a new sword, and at first the decision seemed easy...

The finest sword maker in the entire world lived in his kingdom.

A old man, widely known and liked, a grand master of arms, a consummate sword maker who was also deeply revered for his wisdom and broad spiritual roots.

All agreed that his exact workmanship and pure spirit shaped each sword to an almost mystical perfection. Many believed that he endowed each of his swords with some of his personal spiritual energy.

"The sword has the soul of its maker," they remind each other.

But the Prince had heard talk of the old masters' apprentice. It was said that he made a very fine sword, perhaps as good as his master.

Others would even say that the young sword maker had surpassed his master, that his swords were far better.

"He's as good as his master," they speculated, "maybe better."

But the apprentice also had a reputation for being reckless, disrespectful, quick to anger and fight.

"He is a troublemaker," they would whisper among themselves.

So, although his swords were coveted, few would call him friend.

The Prince, unable to decide which sword might be superior, ordered one of each.

After all, he was the Prince and could have anything he wanted, and he what he wanted was the finest sword in the land.

"Make your finest sword for me," he told them both, "A sword like no other."

He would discover for himself which was the best.

The summer passed...

On the appointed day both swords were delivered to palace.

"Sir, forgive the interruption, but you wanted to know immediately," the servant said, "The swords, they are here."

"Bring them to the garden," said the Prince, "I will be down shortly. See that I'm not disturbed."

Two bundles tied in oilcloth, to be slowly, carefully unwrapped. After such a long wait, one did not hurry.

The swords were beautifully made, weight and balance were perfect, the details of workmanship exact.

There could be no doubt; both the master and the apprentice were skilled craftsmen.

For a moment the Prince reflected on how fourtinate he was to have the two best sword makers in all the lands within his realm.

But, which sword was best?

A small breeze blew through the castle garden. Fall leaves drifted gently on the wind.

The Prince held the sword from the apprentice in the air - the falling leaves but touched the blade and were split in two.

This was a sword of incredible sharpness; could the old masters' sword be any better?

He held the blade in the air…

And the leaves avoided it.

Copyright (C)1998 by Frank Jaubert, Houston Texas. All rights reserved.