Significance of Tong-Il Moo-Do

Today’s youth are living in an age of profound change in which astonishing developments in science and technology are overtaking many cultural traditions and values. Although we welcome computers, the Internet, cell phones, fax machines as well as advancements in transportation and industry, all of which have made life more comfortable and convenient, we deplore the depletion of moral values among youth resulting in increasing levels of crime and violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and sexual immorality.

At the root of many of these problems are selfish individualism and a desire for instant gratification. According to this viewpoint, all values are subjective, relative and arbitrary; nothing can be known or communicated; and life itself is said to be meaningless. This unspoken and often unconscious view of life is the cause of much of the destructive behavior we see in our world today. Without a sense of common values, which are absolute and unchangeable, human society quickly fragments as individuals and groups pursue their own self-centered interests and desires.

It is evident that our young people, and the world in general, are in the midst of a spiritual crisis. Even as the young generation pursues individualism and materialism, many young people have demonstrated a longing for spiritual discipline and a clear sense of right and wrong. The popularity of the martial arts in recent years is a reflection of this longing and one that we would do well to heed. At the same time we need to reflect whether the martial arts have been effective in meeting the spiritual needs of young people. To understand more clearly the potential of the martial arts in this area, let us consider its origins and history.

A. Spiritual Origins

As awareness of the martial arts has grown, the connection between the martial arts and Oriental philosophy is becoming common knowledge. The relationship is an important one, for it allows the martial arts teacher to open up a deeper level of understanding about what are the martial arts’ ultimate concerns. Thus, books on martial arts often include some mention of their spiritual origins associated with China, Korea and Japan.

The spiritual origin most often mentioned is that related to Buddhism. More specifically, it is a certain form of Buddhism that the Indians called dhyani, the Chinese called ch’an, the Koreans called sun and the Japanese called zen. The origins of the martial arts in these nations are both indigenous as well as a product of mutual exchange and influence over hundreds of years. These religious or spiritual influences do have a common root, which is traditionally attributed to the Buddhist monk Boddhidarma. It is said that sometime in the sixth century A.D., Boddhidarma traveled from India over the Himalayan Mountains into China. He was not a mere monk, but a Buddhist elder in the faith, and his purpose in visiting China was to act as a missionary. He was concerned that Buddhism as it was practiced in China was incorrect and he felt called to correct this situation. His point of contention was that the goal of dhyani was self-realization upon the earth during one’s lifetime whereas the new interpretation in China was that ultimate happiness would be realized in the afterlife. When Boddhidarma began to present his teachings in China, he was met with rejection, which caused him to seek refuge in a temple called Shaolin, meaning “Young Forest”. The state of the monks he found in the Shaolin Temple disturbed him. They were weak both spiritually and physically, making them easy victims for armed rogues in ancient feudal China. Boddhidarma took a two-fold approach to remedy the situation. To strengthen the spirit, he taught meditation (ch’an) through which the monks could come into a deeper awareness of life. Secondly, he taught them self-defense techniques (chu’an) that would allow them to defend the gift of life against those who would threaten it. These two devices were complementary aspects of a unified approach to develop the entire person, spiritually and physically.

In this way Boddhidarma initiated a one thousand year period–lasting from about 600 until 1600 A.D.–in which Shaolin boxing (kempo) and Ch’an Buddhism became a part of Oriental culture, history and martial arts tradition.

Of course, there are other major philosophical and religious roots in the Oriental martial arts. One thousand years before Boddhidarma set foot in China, the views and values of Confucius and Lao Tzu had entered the culture and subsequently shaped its entire ethical and philosophical orientation. As a result, deeply ingrained in the character of martial arts is Confucian and Taoist philosophy. One important difference, however, from the Buddhist influence is that these two religious/philosophical traditions were integrated into the normal daily lives of the people. In other words, one could practice Confucianism and Taoism in the midst of the daily affairs of the world. Buddhism, on the other hand, called people out of the world into isolated monasteries where they would practice meditation in solitude and seek self-realization. This is why the monks of Shaolin stood out from their society. They were not only superior fighters, but also their monastic lifestyle distinctly contrasted with the strong social sense of the Confucians and the naturalistic and non-religious approach of the Taoists. In this way the Buddhist Shaolin monks of China contributed to forming an image of the martial artist as an ascetic person seriously committed to human spirituality and a self-denying way of life.

These reflections point us to the fact that the different martial traditions had strong bases in the philosophical and religious views of their cultures. Because of this heritage, true practitioners of the martial arts must develop an appreciation and understanding of their inherent spirituality–their religious and philosophical dimensions–and be able to commit themselves to the pursuit and realization of the ideals of these dimensions. This stress on spirituality is part of the ancient tradition of the martial arts, and it is this that needs to be revived and elevated in today’s practice.

B. Technical Origins

Technically, the origin of the martial arts dates back more than 2000 years with both Korea and China laying claim to being its birthplace. In ancient China martial arts had its beginnings in kung fu (meaning “skill, ability, work”). This was the basic style adopted by the Shaolin monks. Kung fu divided into a soft style practiced in the north and a confrontational style emphasizing strength practiced in the south. Throughout China the most popular style of kung fu came to be known as t’ai chi ch’uan (meaning “great ultimate fist”), which emphasizes continuous circular movements in a slow rhythmic fashion.

In Korea the earliest forms of martial art were known as taek kyon. Evidence that martial arts were being practiced in ancient Korea can be found in tombs where wall paintings show two men in fighting stance. Later the Hwarangdo, an elite group of young noble men, practiced taek kyon along with another sporting style known as soo bakh do. These formed the foundation for tae kwon do (“the way of hands and feet”), which in recent years has gained worldwide popularity, attaining Olympic sport status in 2000. Tracing its origins to both the ancient Korean and modern Japanese combat methods in emphasizing jumping and spinning kicks, this style was developed formally in 1955 in Korea by several masters.

In the 14th century martial arts were introduced into Okinawa when that island came under the domination of China. Eventually, influenced by the hard style of kung fu and in response to an invasion from Japan, resistance fighters developed a style of combat without weapons, which were banned at that time in Okinawa. This came to be known as karate (meaning “empty hand”). However, it would not be until 1922 when it would be introduced into Japan proper. Reflecting its military origins, karate emphasizes punches, strikes, kicks and blocks.

A slightly softer, but still militaristic, style emerged in Japan in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Called jujutsu (“the art of gentleness”), it became part of the combat arsenal of samurai warriors. This style emphasized holds, chokes, throws, trips, joint-locks, as well as some kicks and strikes. A feature of this style is its emphasis on flexibility to give the defender the ability to flow from one technique to another in order to control the attacker.

A derivation of jujutsu, judo (“the gentle way”), was developed as a method of self-defense in 1882. Employing three basic techniques of standing and throwing, grappling and striking, the defender seeks to turn the force of his opponent to his own advantage, often by first yielding to put the opponent off-balance. In 1964 judo became an Olympic sport.

Another derivation of jujutsu is aikido (“the way of harmony”). Developed in 1925 as the result of a vision, this style integrates Zen elements (see below) into noncombative techniques that seek to bring one into harmony with the opponent. Here the defender leads the attacker in a circular path around him, thereby gaining control of the attacker’s momentum. Joint-locks or other techniques are then employed to immobilize the opponent.

Traditional martial arts philosophies contain certain basic concepts that influence the student’s training. These have to do with 1) the purpose of martial arts, 2) the concept of human character and 3) views concerning ethical and moral behavior.

A. Purpose of Martial Arts

hree basic purposes for training in the traditional martial arts are readily discernible. The first is self-defense; the second, health improvement; and the third, spiritual discipline.

1. Self-Defense

Traditionally, the primary purpose of the martial arts has been for physical self-defense. The founders of the martial arts regarded the body as the temple of the spirit, which needed to be defended against unscrupulous characters who might take advantage of the peaceful nature of the more innocent and pure. As explained above, this was the initial motivating factor behind the adoption of martial arts training into the lifestyle of the monks at Shaolin Temple. Ever since, as we have briefly discussed, various styles and techniques have been developed in response to situations of military aggression. This has been the external motivating factor behind the development of martial arts.

Generally speaking, there are two sorts of self-defense: the hard or linear way and the soft or circular way. In the linear form one uses arms and legs to block a strike of the opponent. The advantage is that there is a direct counter-threat, which results in pain for the opponent. The disadvantage is that this method requires a lot of power. In the circular form the power and speed of the opponent is neutralized by using circular movements. The advantage is that one can neutralize one’s opponent without hurting him and that little strength is required. The disadvantage is that it takes a lot of skill and practice to come to the necessary level. Most martial artists use a combination of both.

2. Health Improvement

Another reason for the development of martial arts is linked to the desire of human beings to be in good health. Here the martial artist is concerned not simply with physical protection but is willing to undergo discipline, austerity, hardship and even physical suffering, for the sake of improving his overall state of health. The use of breathing techniques and various forms and styles help the body to achieve a state of internal harmony. For example, abdominal breathing, when coordinated with different movements, can help one to reach a state of reduced stress, relaxation and increased energy.

Most martial arts seek to help a person achieve a proper balance between mind and body, using a centered mind to direct the flow of energy (chi) within the body through well-coordinated movements. Practitioners of t’ai chi chuan, for example, focus the mind upon a set sequence of precise slow fluid movements involving the muscles and joints. This has been shown to reduce high blood pressure, stimulate cardiovascular activity and motor sensory coordination and increase the overall flexibility of the body. Due to its preventative and curative benefits, t’ai chi chuan traditionally has been taught in the Chinese school system.

3. Spiritual Discipline

A true martial artist is concerned not only with his physical state, but ultimately with purifying, developing, and elevating his character. The discipline, austerity and hardship of martial arts training serve to subjugate the body and strengthen the spirit so that one can come to gain dominion over oneself. Corporeal desires must be subjugated if a person is to be able to achieve a state of inner peace and tranquility and become a person of moral character. Studies show that martial arts practitioners tend to have lower levels of anxiety, an increased sense of responsibility, and higher levels of self-esteem.

At the highest level, martial arts training takes one beyond a concern simply for personal achievement into the realm of concern for the happiness and well being of others. This concern involves the outward extension of the heart to the point where one’s sense of priority changes from concern for the self to concern for others. At this point the individual is capable of choosing to make spiritual and physical sacrifices for the sake of others because he experiences a deeper joy in the act of extending himself for them. The traditional philosophies underlying the martial arts (explained in more detail below) support this concept of self-sacrifice. Confucian philosophy spoke of five directions of self-sacrifice: for one’s ruler, parents, spouse, friends and siblings. Korean Hwarangdo philosophy promoted self-sacrifice for the well being of the nation. Japanese Bushido promoted self-sacrifice for the sake of one’s lord.

C. Ethics and Morality

A third basic concept in traditional martial arts is that there are clear moral and ethical norms that are meant to govern human behavior. These norms, which we may also call universal values, when practiced, provide the basis for human virtue.

The values promoted by the martial arts are shaped by the philosophical views of the major Oriental religions. The teachings that are most directly connected with the martial arts are Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Shintoism (Japan) and Hwarangdo (Korea). In order to fully appreciate the important influence of these philosophies on the martial arts even today, we will summarize the ethical perspectives of each.

1. Basic Martial Arts Philosophies

The basic philosophies influencing all the martial arts have been Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism.

Confucianism. Confucianism is one of the great roots of Oriental civilization. Its ethical and moral views are based upon the “Way of Heaven” which Confucius revered and which he endeavored to introduce into ancient China as a remedy to feudal chaos. This philosophy was said to be based on the teachings of five legendary kings who had discerned the laws that governed Heaven. Confucius argued that man’s deviation from these laws was the fundamental cause of chaos in the world. To reverse this, he taught a strong social philosophy which explained hierarchical order and the duties of each position with respect to others. It is highly critical of those who are selfish and irresponsible. Confucius also stressed a strongly virtuous social ethic: “A youth when at home should practice filial piety: when abroad, fraternal love. He should be earnest and sincere, loving to all and fond of jen.”

“Jen” means “human-heartedness” and in Confucian teaching is considered the greatest of all virtues. Confucius said: “‘The man of jen is one who, wishing to sustain himself, sustains others, and wishing to develop himself, develops others.” This virtue was to be demonstrated in social relationships since society was viewed as an extension of the family:

“Treat the aged in your family as they should be treated, and extend this treatment to the aged of other peoples’ families. Treat the young in your family as they should be treated, and extend this treatment to the young of other peoples’ families.”

– Mencius I.A.7

Confucian ethics exercise a strong, all-pervasive influence on martial arts training. It dictates the proper relationship between seniors and juniors, especially between master and trainee. Its main characteristics are clear order and a strong sense of duty and responsibility.

Taoism. Taoism is another major root of Oriental civilization, but one that is quite different from Confucianism. Its founder Lao Tzu differed with many of the teachings of his contemporary Confucius. Denying any formal ethics based on Heaven, Lao Tzu stressed a flexible, unstructured attitude based on the yielding ways of nature. His insights about this caused him to advocate an ethic of harmony through non-aggressiveness. These ideas contributed greatly to the martial arts, especially to those generally characterized as “soft” or “circular”.

Zen Buddhism. Zen Buddhism promotes a strict ethics and morality, which reflects its concern with the attainment of selflessness. Since it identifies desire as the cause of suffering, Buddhism stresses a tradition of purity, austerity, celibacy, service, mercy, obedience, self-control and self-denial in order to eliminate desire. Boddhidarma taught the Shaolin monks kempo along with these values and thereby created a tradition of discipline for martial arts that still applies today. It is said that Shaolin students had to pass oral and written exams in Buddhism as well as mastering kempo in order to become full-fledged monks.

2. Philosophies Influencing Japanese Martial Arts

Shintoism. Shintoism is an indigenous faith of the Japanese people. Like other Asian nations, Japan was exposed to Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. Shintoism allowed the Japanese to express their own native values in addition to those of these systems.

Shintoism shared many of the values of the other three. However, it went beyond Confucianism by placing even greater emphasis on hierarchical relationships. It taught that the nation’s ruler was lineally descended from Heaven, thus making loyalty to the emperor the equivalent of loyalty to the gods (kami). The reward of loyalty was honor, and the fruit of honor was a sense of value and fulfillment. Signifying this, the greatest mark of honor for the samurai warrior was to receive a sword from his lord. This necessitated the attainment of selflessness through Zen and extreme loyalty, obedience and courage. A central social virtue in Shintoism was “roundedness” (makoto). This referred to personal harmony that extended to interpersonal sincerity.

Bushido and Budo. If honor was lost for any reason, it could be recovered through a ritual ceremony (hara kiri) in which the repentant samurai used his own sword to commit suicide. This severe atonement was necessary to save the samurai’s family from dishonor. The legacy of such a radical verticality is the martial arts philosophy of bushido (“warrior’s code”). In more recent peaceful times, in which field combat skills have fallen into disuse, bushido was transformed into budo by masters who were concerned that Japan would become spiritually lax if the martial spirit was not somehow preserved. Budo refers to the “way” of the warrior. It is more educational in nature, aimed at character development rather than at combat effectiveness exclusively. A prime example of this trend was the refinement of jujutsu into judo, the “gentle way”, spoken of above.

3. Philosophies Influencing Korean Martial Arts

Hwarangdo. A Korean philosophy that has been especially significant for the martial arts is that of Hwarangdo, which means “Flowering Youth” society. Hwarangdo originated around the eighth century A.D. This was a specially trained military society of youth from noble families, created to defend the vulnerable Korean peninsula in case of invasion. These youth were to be model citizens and were therefore highly educated by the best teachers. They prayed, lived and trained in the rugged mountains, were filial and obedient to their parents, passionately loyal to the king and nation and believed that they were specially anointed by Heaven. It is said that they prayed long and fervently before battle. Such training bred the Hwarangdo into fierce fighters.

Chondogyoism. Chondogyoism is an indigenous Korean teaching. Like Japan, Korea’s civilization was heavily influenced by the values of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. Chondogyoism developed as an indigenous system more recently and has been uniquely shaped by the Korean people’s experience with democracy and Christianity. Thus, the Chondogyo value system adds to traditional Oriental religion the notions of human equality under God and a powerful sense of anti-colonialism, national pride and patriotism.

These brief summaries illustrate the point that Oriental religions and philosophies have had a strong impact on the martial arts. Together, the three basic concepts of martial arts philosophy as discussed above (the purpose of martial arts, its concept of human character, and its moral and ethical views) are important matters of which the serious martial arts practitioner should be aware. Students should understand that, by submitting themselves to training in the martial arts, they are connecting to an ancient tradition of fervent dedication to skills and ideals. In order to both maintain and extend this tradition, a study of both technique and philosophy is necessary.

A. Sensationalism and Commercialism

In recent decades, there has been increasing interest in the non-Asian world about the culture, history and philosophy of the Orient. One of the most fascinating things about Asia is precisely its martial arts tradition. However, due to its exciting appearance, it could be easily transformed into material for the entertainment industry. Thus, a flood of adventure films featuring kung fu, karate, judo and other styles, have been and continue to be produced.

Furthermore, outside of the movie industry, not to mention the training hall, professional competitions have proliferated as live entertainment. Sometimes these contests are hosted in arenas that boast liquor concessions, ringside boxes, bizarre costumes, blaring music and bikini-clad ring girls.

B. Loss of the Inner Do

Under such circumstances, the original purpose and spirituality of the martial arts has been forgotten. The meaning of the martial arts as a path of internal development (Do) has been desecrated. On the other hand, due to the public interest created by such entertainment, a market has been created for martial arts instruction that provides an opportunity for either the restoration of the true tradition or else a further distortion of it. In the former case, many credible training schools have been set up around the world. But, due to the pattern of life in industrialized society, it is no longer possible for a student to live with a master for years on end, as was the case for the Shaolin aspirant. Instead, a few hours a week are devoted to technical training, often with little focus on internal education. Because of this, no matter how expert the instruction may be, it is hard to preserve the holistic approach to martial arts training which the ancient monasteries offered. In the latter case, where the unscrupulous are merely selling technical instruction completely devoid of inner content for profit, high belt holders are being sent into the world who are totally deficient in their internal understanding. Unfortunately, many of them will go on to instruct others, thus multiplying their ignorance.

In light of the present situation in the martial arts, Tong-Il Moo-Do offers a significant instrument for its revival. Through a fully articulated philosophy, it aims to provide a beacon to illuminate once again the inner path that has been darkened. Based upon the inspiration of Dr. Sun Myung Moon, Tong-Il Moo-Do promotes a universal value system as the basis for such a revival.

A. The Basic Premise of Tong Il Moo Do

1. Spiritual Aspect

In ancient times martial arts (Moo-Do) had been developed by monks at Buddhist temples for their own self-defense, for their health improvement and for the cultivation of their spirit. By emphasizing the “Do” part of Moo-Do, which means “The Way,” the monks kept the cultivation of their spirit and unification of their mind and body as the main purpose for practicing martial arts. This is also connected with the spirit of patriotism. People who practice martial arts must be people of the highest character who realize a true family and dedicate themselves for the peace of the world. However, unfortunately it is undeniable that Moo Do often has been misused, contrary to the original spirit of Moo Do.

In order to realize its original purpose, Moo Do must be centered upon the absolute and universal value of the Unification Principle, which is based on true love and the conscience. Unification Principle is the absolute universal value system that can harmonize and unify the values of the East and the West, the values of the traditional and the modern world, and spiritual values and material values.

2. Technical Aspect

Another problem in the contemporary martial arts arena is its division into hundreds of different schools, each insisting that its technique is the best and only true technique. As in many other areas of human life, there has been a growing specialization into finer and finer techniques. The lack of internal content has contributed to this trend as the various schools have had difficulty in finding common ground with other styles on a deeper level.

When humans who are vibrant and creative are faced with real danger, they must apply a comprehensive and creative technique that transcends any one fixed form. If a person is bound by one particular style, then he cannot use any kind of creative technique. This is why a martial art needs to be developed that harmonizes and unifies all the different styles of the martial arts.

In light of the present situation in the martial arts, Tong-Il Moo-Do offers a significant instrument for its revival. Through a fully articulated philosophy, it aims to provide a beacon to illuminate once again the inner path that has been darkened. Based upon the inspiration of Dr. Sun Myung Moon, Tong-Il Moo-Do promotes a universal value system as the basis for such a revival.

A. The Basic Premise of Tong Il Moo Do

1. Spiritual Aspect

In ancient times martial arts (Moo-Do) had been developed by monks at Buddhist temples for their own self-defense, for their health improvement and for the cultivation of their spirit. By emphasizing the “Do” part of Moo-Do, which means “The Way,” the monks kept the cultivation of their spirit and unification of their mind and body as the main purpose for practicing martial arts. This is also connected with the spirit of patriotism. People who practice martial arts must be people of the highest character who realize a true family and dedicate themselves for the peace of the world. However, unfortunately it is undeniable that Moo Do often has been misused, contrary to the original spirit of Moo Do.

In order to realize its original purpose, Moo Do must be centered upon the absolute and universal value of the Unification Principle, which is based on true love and the conscience. Unification Principle is the absolute universal value system that can harmonize and unify the values of the East and the West, the values of the traditional and the modern world, and spiritual values and material values.

2. Technical Aspect

Another problem in the contemporary martial arts arena is its division into hundreds of different schools, each insisting that its technique is the best and only true technique. As in many other areas of human life, there has been a growing specialization into finer and finer techniques. The lack of internal content has contributed to this trend as the various schools have had difficulty in finding common ground with other styles on a deeper level.

When humans who are vibrant and creative are faced with real danger, they must apply a comprehensive and creative technique that transcends any one fixed form. If a person is bound by one particular style, then he cannot use any kind of creative technique. This is why a martial art needs to be developed that harmonizes and unifies all the different styles of the martial arts.

B. The Significance of Tong-Il Moo-Do

Tong-Il Moo-Do was developed as a comprehensive and unified martial art that is able to harmonize and unify the best essence of all the different techniques of the various schools of martial arts through scientific analysis and improvements. By theoretically systematizing all the different martial arts centered on universal values, Tong-Il Moo-Do seeks to bring martial arts into a perfect “Moo-Do.”

Believing that man is a creative being with both internal (mind) and external (body) dimensions, students of Tong-Il Moo-Do are required to train in both martial art skills (external) and the practice of universal values in their daily lives (internal). In this way Tong-Il Moo-Do helps its practitioners to grow both physically and spiritually into people of true character. This is the main purpose of Tong-Il Moo Do.

1. External Aspect

In order to develop a superior martial art, top instructors of Tong-Il Moo-Do have been systematizing, integrating and improving the best techniques of other styles as well as inventing new techniques. In this way, Tong-Il Moo-Do seeks to unify and harmonize circular movements and linear movements, soft or gentle movements and rigid movements, and also throwing techniques and punching and kicking techniques.

Circular and soft movements are in the subject, or more important, position while linear and rigid movements are in the object position. Thus, Tong-Il Moo-Do has largely adopted and developed various circular movements.

4po_significance_5

2. Internal Aspect

By integrating and systematizing the harmonized and unified techniques centering on the Unification Principle, the student of Tong-Il Moo-Do comes to study and internalize the Unification Principle naturally through the martial art training programs.

To give a couple of examples: Trainees begin and end each training session with a meditation time during which Dr. Moon’s words are read. Also, instead of shouting “Yah”, as is usual in most martial arts, trainees shout “Choong Hyo”, meaning loyalty and filial piety, thus encouraging them to cultivate such a spirit.

B. The Significance of Tong-Il Moo-Do

Tong-Il Moo-Do was developed as a comprehensive and unified martial art that is able to harmonize and unify the best essence of all the different techniques of the various schools of martial arts through scientific analysis and improvements. By theoretically systematizing all the different martial arts centered on universal values, Tong-Il Moo-Do seeks to bring martial arts into a perfect “Moo-Do.”

Believing that man is a creative being with both internal (mind) and external (body) dimensions, students of Tong-Il Moo-Do are required to train in both martial art skills (external) and the practice of universal values in their daily lives (internal). In this way Tong-Il Moo-Do helps its practitioners to grow both physically and spiritually into people of true character. This is the main purpose of Tong-Il Moo Do.

1. External Aspect

In order to develop a superior martial art, top instructors of Tong-Il Moo-Do have been systematizing, integrating and improving the best techniques of other styles as well as inventing new techniques. In this way, Tong-Il Moo-Do seeks to unify and harmonize circular movements and linear movements, soft or gentle movements and rigid movements, and also throwing techniques and punching and kicking techniques.

Circular and soft movements are in the subject, or more important, position while linear and rigid movements are in the object position. Thus, Tong-Il Moo-Do has largely adopted and developed various circular movements.

4po_significance_5

2. Internal Aspect

By integrating and systematizing the harmonized and unified techniques centering on the Unification Principle, the student of Tong-Il Moo-Do comes to study and internalize the Unification Principle naturally through the martial art training programs.

To give a couple of examples: Trainees begin and end each training session with a meditation time during which Dr. Moon’s words are read. Also, instead of shouting “Yah”, as is usual in most martial arts, trainees shout “Choong Hyo”, meaning loyalty and filial piety, thus encouraging them to cultivate such a spirit.

C. The Tong-Il Moo-Do Philosophy

Tong-Il Moo-Do promotes a philosophy of universal values based on heart that both integrates and transcends the ancient philosophical roots of the martial arts. This philosophy is able to address concrete problems facing today’s world in such a way that stimulates the idealism latent in all young people. It harmonizes and unifies the values of both East and West, of traditional and contemporary culture, and of the spiritual and material dimensions of life.

1. Universal Principles and Values

The concept of a universal value system is based on the premise that human society is governed by universal principles just as the natural universe is. When we observe the organization and operation of the universe, we find a profound order and harmony due to the fact that all entities abide by the same principles. Throughout the universe, we find the principle of duality (internal and external, positivity and negativity), the principle of harmonious interaction, the principle of existing for a higher purpose and the principle of orderly development. Presumably human society would also reflect such order and harmony if it were to understand and observe these principles as well.

One of the fundamental bases for the harmonious operation of the universe arises out of a clear order in relationships, of which there are three aspects: vertical, horizontal, and individual.

d01_significance_5

Vertical Order

This is evident in the hierarchical nature of the relationship between bodies of different dimensions. For example, the moon revolves around the earth, which in turn revolves around the sun. The sun in turn revolves around the galactic center, which revolves around the center of the universe.

Horizontal Order

This is evident in the nature of the relationship between bodies of the same dimension. For instance, the planets in our solar system are as “peers” to one another, all orbiting around the sun. In comparing vertical with horizontal relationships, we can say that the former is primary and the latter is secondary. This is because relationships between bodies of the same dimension are governed by a common center that is vertical to them all. For example, the order and harmony of the solar system depends upon the centrality of the sun.

Individual Order

This is evident in the behavior of individual bodies, which maintain their existence by rotating on their axes. This is important because the entire solar system is influenced by the behavior of each one of its planets.

The lesson to be learned here is that the principle of order governing the universal relationships are the same ones that are meant to govern human relationships. We find the same three dimensions of order in human relationships.again we can say that the former is primary and the latter is secondary. This is because relationships between peers are governed by a common center that is vertical to them all. For example, order and harmony in the family depends upon the centrality of the parents.

2. The Family as the School of Love

Universal principles, when applied to human life, teach us that the family unit, centered on true love, is the cornerstone on which a harmonious society is built. Conversely, it is well documented that the greatest youth and social problems occur where the family structure has broken down. Where families are strong and stable, there are fewer social problems. For example, when a child receives adequate love and guidance from parents, that child is much less likely to become promiscuous. Thus, healthy families are the foundation of a healthy society.

The family is the first school of love, for it is here that people learn the essential values and virtues that form the foundation for achieving their goals in life. The cornerstone of children’s personality lies in their ability to relate to others in true love. When this quality of love is applied in relationships between men and women it leads naturally to purity before marriage and undivided conjugal love within marriage. When motivated by love grounded in morals, people will always act in the best long-term interests of the ones they love, never gambling with their health, future goals or personal integrity.

Human beings come to know true love through experiencing what is known as the four realms of heart: first, the filial heart towards one’s parents in response to their unconditional and sacrificial love; second, the heart of mutual love and friendship between brothers and sisters and among peers; third, the heart of conjugal love between husband and wife; and fourth, the unconditional parental heart of love toward one’s children. By developing these four realms of heart, a person becomes a man or woman of good character embodying true love. The family, therefore, becomes the foundation for human happiness, life and ideals.

Good parents naturally want to teach and guide their children to become sons and daughters of duty and filial piety who will love and respect their parents; by extension, they will love and respect their teachers and elders. To reach true filial piety, an individual serves the family and sacrifices for it. By practicing this attitude in the community, and being ready to sacrifice the family for the good of the nation, a person becomes a true citizen and patriot. A person who is ready to sacrifice his or her life in order to embody universal values for the benefit of humankind is known as a humanitarian and peacemaker.

In the family, parents are meant to play three subject roles: true parents, true teachers and true leaders. Central to the fulfillment of each role is true love. The best example of such love is parents who live selflessly for the sake of their children. By living according to such a standard people become true parents. The parental role extends to that of a true teacher. This means teaching moral values and setting the example for the other family members. Furthermore, the parental role extends to that of a true leader. This is achieved by guiding one’s children in the right direction while maintaining a strong sense of responsibility for the lives and future of the family.

These roles also apply in society. For example, martial arts instructors can be true parents. They do this by demonstrating a heart of parental love toward the students and loving them as their own children. Secondly, they can be true teachers. This means guiding students in the right way by instruction as well as by personal example. And finally, as true leaders, instructors would feel responsible for the moral and physical well-being of the students in their care, just as parents feel responsible for the whole well-being of their own children. The same principle applies to all people, whether they are responsible for a small group of people or a whole nation.

Thus, we can see that what is learned and taught in the family impacts the society at large. Family relationships are the prototypes for all social relationships. How we will relate to our elders, younger persons and peers in society will be determined by the way we learned to relate to those in our family. The ideal of the family espouses a way of life that is purposed for others and is aimed at the betterment of one’s society, nation, and world.

By applying universal principles to human life, a global spiritual awakening is possible. Such awareness is the necessary foundation for creating a unified human family and for establishing the virtues necessary for a harmonized global society to prosper and flourish.

3. The Preservation of Harmony

In the natural world a breakdown in harmony sometimes occurs. In those cases, there are forces and mechanisms within the mineral, plant, and animal worlds that naturally work to restore harmony and well-being to the organism. In the same way, human beings must understand how to combat disharmony or illness in the social organism.

Universally, in the spiritual traditions of the world, there has been an awareness of the ongoing conflict between good and evil. The myths and scriptures of the world’s cultures have historically pit the champions of goodness against the forces of evil. They have further recognized that the field of conflict is multi-dimensional: it occurs in human relationships on every level as well as within each human being.

Traditionally, the martial arts were practiced in order to strengthen one’s resistance to evil impulses within oneself, as well as against its external assaults. Buddhist monks trained in the martial arts strove for purity of heart, thought, and will.

The reality of life teaches us that taking a vigorous stand against evil is necessary at times. While exalting the ideal of harmony, Tong-Il Moo-Do also promotes a realistic awareness of the personal and historical confrontation between good and evil.

We know from both religious and secular history that there have been many leaders who misled their followers for selfish and destructive reasons. To counter their misdirection, courageous leaders often arose to confront them and inspired popular movements in their support. In these cases, if the forces in error acknowledged their misdirection, peaceful reconciliation was possible, and history returned to a harmonious, creative direction. However, if the forces in error opposed attempts at redirection, the side of good had no choice but to fight, for history is turned by whichever force prevails. History often has been turned in the direction of goodness through the firm will and action of such fearless leaders.

In light of such realities, we can understand that the spiritual path is not incompatible with an interest in the martial arts. In fact, a genuine comprehension of the state of human spirituality recommends the practice of an art form born out of the impulse to resist evil.

Thus, Tong-Il Moo-Do is a spiritual discipline that serves to strengthen the internal resolve of human beings to be righteous. It is not art for its own sake, but an art purposed to promote a comprehensive view of man and the universe, of good and evil, and provides one with a practical defense against evil in both the spiritual and material realms of human existence.

4. Tong-Il Moo-Do and Daily Life

Forceful aggression is the most blatant manifestation of evil, and if ever faced with this kind of threat, the Tong-Il Moo-Do practitioner may find physical defense unavoidable. More often, however, life presents us with innumerable non-combative challenges. For such day-to-day situations, the social value of Tong-Il Moo-Do training becomes relevant.

Firstly, through the medium of rigorous spiritual and physical training, the student grows in awareness of himself. In the course of serious study, he becomes aware of the limitations of his own character and how to surmount or compensate for them.

He also learns through sportive engagements that effectiveness requires not only courage and tenacity, but also self-control, intuition, flexibility, and sensitivity.

Finally, by grasping and embodying the philosophy of Tong-Il Moo-Do, the practitioner’s heart, thought, and action become primarily oriented toward realizing harmony in the spiritual and social dimension. This fosters a personal attitude where one’s defensive skill is considered to be an auxiliary ability which takes its value precisely from the fact that spiritual and social harmony are the central concerns of life. In this way Tong-Il Moo-Do restores the original spirit and purpose of martial arts.

D. Realizing Three Life Goals

The main purpose of Tong-Il Moo-Do is to help trainees, centering on true love, to realize the three fundamental goals of life. The first is becoming a person of mature character who learns self-control through mind-body unity and develops the capacity to love. Essential to this is learning to develop pure relationships of love with respect to the opposite sex. The second goal is establishing a happy and healthy family and experiencing the ethical and loving relationships that result from family life. The third goal is using our creative abilities to make a positive contribution to society. Fulfilling these three life goals are accomplished by adopting a life of service to others, eventually building a truly peaceful world.

Thus, as parents, educators and leaders we should be concerned with more than simply educating the intellects of our young people. The development of their character is of greater concern, for this is the foundation of all three life goals.

At the core of human character is heart. Hence, the essence of developing good character lies in the cultivation of one’s heart to express true love and concern for others. Learning how to properly express such love requires training in moral and ethical norms of behavior.

To fulfill this, Tong-Il Moo-Do emphasizes the following eight points in the course of its student training:

1. Unity between mind and body
2. Cultivation of oneself
3. Nurturing of courage
4. Good manners
5. Indomitable spirit
6. Endurance
7. Self-defense
8. Physical health

Tong-Il Moo-Do recognizes that character development depends fundamentally on making the proper relationship between one’s mind and body. The nature of the relationship should be such that the mind exercises complete dominion over the body. This is the basis for true peace within the individual and empowers a person to relate to others from a position of both understanding and authority. It allows him to practice such universally recognized values as respect, responsibility, fairness, righteousness, courage, honesty, forthrightness, and others. It allows a person’s heart and conscience, which motivate one to express such values in relationships with others, the freedom to grow and develop properly. While the heart is the source of love, the conscience is that faculty which guides love in the proper direction. Thus, the achievement of unity within oneself leads to the outward expression of heart and conscience in an ethical and virtuous manner, as the manifestation of true love.

Only in this way can a person develop an indomitable spirit, with the courage and ability to endure difficult situations. Guided by a well-developed conscience, such a person has a strong sense of righteousness and feels compelled to fight against injustice wherever it is manifested.

D. Realizing Three Life Goals

The main purpose of Tong-Il Moo-Do is to help trainees, centering on true love, to realize the three fundamental goals of life. The first is becoming a person of mature character who learns self-control through mind-body unity and develops the capacity to love. Essential to this is learning to develop pure relationships of love with respect to the opposite sex. The second goal is establishing a happy and healthy family and experiencing the ethical and loving relationships that result from family life. The third goal is using our creative abilities to make a positive contribution to society. Fulfilling these three life goals are accomplished by adopting a life of service to others, eventually building a truly peaceful world.

Thus, as parents, educators and leaders we should be concerned with more than simply educating the intellects of our young people. The development of their character is of greater concern, for this is the foundation of all three life goals.

At the core of human character is heart. Hence, the essence of developing good character lies in the cultivation of one’s heart to express true love and concern for others. Learning how to properly express such love requires training in moral and ethical norms of behavior.

To fulfill this, Tong-Il Moo-Do emphasizes the following eight points in the course of its student training:

1. Unity between mind and body
2. Cultivation of oneself
3. Nurturing of courage
4. Good manners
5. Indomitable spirit
6. Endurance
7. Self-defense
8. Physical health

Tong-Il Moo-Do recognizes that character development depends fundamentally on making the proper relationship between one’s mind and body. The nature of the relationship should be such that the mind exercises complete dominion over the body. This is the basis for true peace within the individual and empowers a person to relate to others from a position of both understanding and authority. It allows him to practice such universally recognized values as respect, responsibility, fairness, righteousness, courage, honesty, forthrightness, and others. It allows a person’s heart and conscience, which motivate one to express such values in relationships with others, the freedom to grow and develop properly. While the heart is the source of love, the conscience is that faculty which guides love in the proper direction. Thus, the achievement of unity within oneself leads to the outward expression of heart and conscience in an ethical and virtuous manner, as the manifestation of true love.

Only in this way can a person develop an indomitable spirit, with the courage and ability to endure difficult situations. Guided by a well-developed conscience, such a person has a strong sense of righteousness and feels compelled to fight against injustice wherever it is manifested.

E. Conclusion

The factionalism and moral degradation afflicting much of the martial arts field today is a reflection of the overall situation in our world. Tong-Il Mo-Do seeks to rectify this situation through both its technical and spiritual aspects. Technically, by integrating progressively and creatively the best aspects of the numerous styles of martial arts. It does this by seeking to improve existing techniques while also inventing new techniques. In this way Tong-Il Moo-Do is a creative and comprehensive martial art that can bring unity to the entire field. Spiritually, through a comprehensive philosophy of universal values, Tong-Il Moo-Do transcends the cultural origins of the different martial arts, harmonizing and unifying the values of East and West, traditional and contemporary values, and spiritual and material values. Its teaching supports the fulfillment of three basic life goals: developing one’s personal character through pure love, establishing healthy families and contributing to the society through service.

Sadly, many martial arts clubs are failing to meet the spiritual needs of the young people coming to them in the search for something deeper in life. Tong-Il Moo-Do seeks not only to meet those needs but also to raise up morally strong young people to take leadership positions in the world community. Through its philosophy, Tong-Il Moo-Do instructors seek to touch the hearts and minds of their students and inspire them to live up to their highest ideals, that they in turn may become a source of inspiration and hope to others. When such men and women come to embody such ideals in their daily lives, they will become a source of true world peace, one world family and a culture of heart.

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