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

 

 

"The benefits of ChaYon Mu Do are obvious in their physical manifestation. But these physical benefits are feint in importance when compared with the mental and spiritual benefits of confidence, humility, and focus."

A Lesson from Won Hyo Dae Sa

by Robert McLain (From a parable told by Grandmaster Kim Soo)

During the Korean Silla Dynasty (57BC-918AD) a famous martial artist, Won Hyo Dae Sa, decided to take a pilgrimage to China to seek the origins of Buddhism. One night during his travels a storm rolled in and covered the light of the moon, making the countryside very dark and travel dangerous. Rain poured down and the wind blew furiously. Won Hyo frantically searched for shelter from the storm. He stumbled upon a small, dry shelter and crawled inside.

The shelter was so dark inside he had to use his hands to guide his way through the shelter. The floor felt as though it was padded with straw. He thought this was wonderful since he was tired from his travels. Not only did he have a dry place to sleep, but also it was very comfortable. Won Hyo lay down on the straw floor and pondered the good sleep he would have. The hypnotic rainfall and hours of walking began to take its toll and he fell fast asleep.

A few hours later he awoke to find he had developed a terrible thirst. After feeling around the dark shelter he found a cup with water in it. Won Hyo thought this was wonderful. Not only did he have a dry place to sleep, he had water to satisfy his thirst. He drank the water and laid down to finish a good night's sleep.

When morning came Won Hyo woke up, stretched, and thought about his good fortune from the night before. After opening and clearing his eyes he gazed around the shelter. The bright morning sunlight clearly lit the entire shelter. He was shocked by the sights he found.

The shelter was a tomb with bones strewn about its floor. He looked down to find the cup of water he drank from was actually a human skull with old, stagnant water inside. Upon learning this Won Hyo became physically ill and staggered to a corner to vomit.

Afterwards, he meditated on the events that occurred the night before and that morning. During his meditation he found a valuable lesson and left the shelter to travel back to Korea.

The lesson Won Hyo learned was: Nothing can harm us unless we let it.

When Won Hyo thought everything was wonderful, he was physically comfortable even when he drank the old, stagnant water. But when he was exposed to mental prejudice and saw the actual event that occurred, he became physically ill.

This lesson can be applied in our modern times. If someone gives a dirty look or shouts a foul word, it cannot affect the targeted person unless the person lets it affect them. The mind ultimately controls the body.

When confronted with a problem, some people become excited, nervous, sick, or worried. These sort of harmful things are everywhere and can lead to physical health problems. Problems can be combated by building a strong mind.

Building a strong mind is the goal of ChaYon Mu Do.

The benefits of ChaYon Mu Do are obvious in their physical manifestation. But these physical benefits are feint in importance when compared with the mental and spiritual benefits of confidence, humility, and focus. Confidence brings defense against the mental enemies of stress, fear, and worries. As Won Hyo Dae Sa found during his journey, mental enemies are just as real and dangerous as any foe.

ChaYon Mu Do prepares students not only for the physical dangers in life, but the more common mental dangers as well.