My last post ended with me saying that Kuk Sool Won™ of Muncie might not be the right martial art school for you. This post will tell you why we probably are the right school for you.
When people come to me looking for a martial art school, I always ask them why they want to learn a martial art. These are the answers that I usually get:
- Social Interaction
- “It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Kuk Sool Won™ in general, and Kuk Sool Won™ of Muncie specifically, focuses on self-defense instead of fighting. What that means to me is that our focus isn’t on sport or hurting people, we focus on helping them. If someone comes to you with aggressive intent and you have no training, you have only your instinct and fight or flight response to call on. When you have martial art training, you have choices. You can decide how to respond to aggression and use the least possible force to keep yourself safe, potentially saving your aggressor from harm as well.
I’ve been practicing Kuk Sool Won since about 1999. I met the grandmaster that year and had the opportunity to take a seminar in which he taught us Zen meditation. (”Zen” is a Japanese word, also used in Korea, that comes from the Chinese word “Chan”, which means “meditation”.) Even though Zen is a Buddhist tradition, there is no religion involved in the meditation practice. It is a tool to focus the mind, maybe to refresh the connection between the mind and the body, and to develop some control over the body’s autonomic functions. When Zen is practiced, new thresholds of physical ability are achievable.
Since that year, I’ve had the privilege to attend many of Kuk Sa Nim’s lectures, both public and private. Unfortunately, I haven’t learned any “secret” techniques like walking through walls or over water. What I have learned is that the ultimate goal of the best martial artists that I know is to become the best people that they can be. Not just physically the best, but the smartest, the fastest, the calmest, the happiest, the most polite, the most fulfilled people on the planet. That is self-defense, and that is what we’re teaching at Kuk Sool Won™ of Muncie.
Are there people in Muncie that need help being the best possible people that they can? Yes, all of us. We all need help. I saw a statistic the other day that Indiana is one of the least fit states in the Union, and Delaware County is one of the least fit counties in the state. I think it’s obvious that when the body is unfit, the mind and spirit are also unhealthy. The lessons we have to teach at Kuk Sool Won™ of Muncie can turn things around. Muncie can become a lighthouse for the rest of the state. Indiana can be an example for the nation (rather than stumbling behind the rest of the country with a pathetic “me too” attitude.)
Maybe this sounds idealistic. Maybe I sound like a wannabe guru or something. When I talk about our little school helping, it has nothing to do with me personally. It’s the message, not the messenger. There is so much information available to each of us now that we don’t have to rely on teachers as dispensers of knowledge. What we need is the community of a school and the atmosphere of learning to keep us motivated and moving forward. You need that, and I need that.
So, should you and your family be members of Kuk Sool Won of Muncie? Only if you care about yourself and want the best for your family. Only if you want to be an example of what humans can be and accomplish if they apply themselves. Only if you have the desire to see how much you can grow and to explore the limits of what your body can do.
I’m not a guru, whatever that means to you. I’m a martial art teacher, but more importantly, I’m a martial art student. I’m better this year than I was last year. My students are better this year than last year. You can be too.