THE 5 MOO DO VALUES
By H.C. Hwang Kwan Jang Nim
The Five Moo Do values of History, Tradition, Philosophy, Discipline/Respect, and Technique, are the backbones of our proud Moo Do identity. These values coexist interdependently with each element strengthening the meaning of the other four. When we apply the Five Moo Do values to our daily training, we strengthen our self not only as a Moo Do practitioner, but also as an individual who provides a positive influence within our society. I trust this discussion of our Five Moo Do Values will help Moo Duk Kwan® practitioners to include them in all aspects of your life as basic action elements in your behaviours rather than just being concepts to speak about.
History (Yeok Sa)
“History is a chronological record of significant events (as affecting.... an institution) often including an explanation of their cause” (Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary <1989>).
These events, causes and the individuals involved, become the second heavenly nature of the institution/organisation/concept.
History defines us. We understand who we are by knowing our history (past). This knowledge helps guide our actions with an awareness of our foundation, our history, our past, and helps us understand where we are in the present as we create our future.
Our history (Past) is the guiding source for our future life. We can create our future by honouring our History (past). The experiences of our elders, seniors and instructors are part of our past, so we honour (respect) them because they created the foundation upon which our present has been built and their experiences serve as a guiding source for creating our future.
We can benefit from listening, valuing, and respecting their teachings and the wisdom they share with us about their experiences.
Consider some of visible behaviours that we can initiate to put our history into our actions:
▪ We can concede our seat to elders or provide them with assistance such as carrying a heavy object for them, etc.
▪ We can listen to and honour our parents and grandparents (elders) advice and counsel.
▪ We can listen to our teachers and apply the knowledge they share with us.
▪We can demonstrate good academic behaviour.
Tradition (Jon Tong)
“Tradition is that which is inherited, established, or transmitted and passed on as a customary pattern of thought, action, or behaviour; the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs...” (lbid).
This is the process by which the essence of Soo Bahk Do® Moo Duk Kwan® is maintained.
There are traditional means of conduct and beliefs which were handed down since the inception of the Moo Duk Kwan®. Some originated even before theMoo Duk Kwan®. These traditions began at some point in history. The tradition of bowing is a show of respect and/or appreciation. Can you imagine if they did not share the bow after that? There would be no spirit of respect and appreciation. There is no life of learning if there is no spirit.
Our traditions strengthen our spirits and create a positive influence and connection with the other four Moo Do values.
Traditions in action are visible in:
▪ Those who are hardworking people.
▪ Those who carry high spirits.
▪ Those who lead the way (initiative)
▪ Those who Honour and perform rituals and techniques that embrace habits from past generations.
▪ Do my actions preserve my traditions?
▪ Do my behaviours embody my traditions?
Philosophy (Chul Hak)
“Philosophy is a set of ideas or beliefs relating to a particular field or activity; an underlying theory, a system of values by which one lives; the most general beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group...” (lbid).
Our philosophy guides our intent (Shim Gong) toward the good.
Our philosophy includes the 8 Key concepts, the 10 articles of faith on mental training, and many other ideas and values. Our active study of these tools and our application of them as a Moo Duk Kwan practitioner strengthens our life and demonstrates the philosophy we live by.
In training, our first Shi Sun is an action of intent. Our intent is much clearer when it is based upon our philosophy. We experience a good class for both your mind and body when our intent is clear.
When Peter greets his instructor upon arriving at the do jang and again when he leaves the do jang, then his courteous behaviour may also extend into his life beyond the do jang. It becomes a good foundation for him to build human relations through his behaviour. Peter’s intent was strengthened by the Jhoon Bee philosophy “start good, finish good.”
Philosophy strengthens Discipline and Respect.
▪ Our intent guides our actions.
▪ Our actions will be meaningful when they are initiated with good intent.
These are some visible behavioural measurements of philosophy in action:
▪ The person whose philosophy is demonstrated by their actions rather than talk.
▪ The person who is providing views based on the principle.
▪ The person who makes a decision based on the principle.
▪ Does my behaviour demonstrate our philosophy?
Discipline/respect (Neh Khang Weh Yu)
“Discipline is the study, or practice, of a subject using a specific set of methods, terms and approaches...” (Ibid)
“Respect is the objective, unbiased consideration and regard for the rights, values, beliefs and property of all people deference and courteous regard for people’s feelings...” (Ibid)
Discipline and respect are the foundation of the Human relations.
Discipline will strengthen your professional conduct. Respect will strengthen your kindness. Discipline alone may bring the hard side which makes others uncomfortable. Respect alone may bring the soft side which makes others overly comfortable. These factors alone will bring a negative influence on human relations. Discipline and respect should coexist with each other to gain their full benefit for human relations. Furthermore, they should be strengthened by the other four Moo Do values in order to fulfil their meaning. In other words, Professionalism (Discipline) and Kindness (Respect) alone are not what we strive for in the Moo Do world. In the end, they will be nothing more than sales tactics. Alone, they may merely be the tools for “people skills” that sales representatives use at stores.
Professionalism (Discipline) and Kindness (Respect) must be strengthened by History, Tradition, Philosophy, and Technique in order to fulfil their true values.
These are some of the visible behavioural measurements of discipline in action:
▪ Professional conduct rather than casual demeanour
▪ Proper postures (ways of standing and sitting posture)
These are some of the visible behavioural measurements of respect in action:
▪ Helping and caring for others
▪ Smile, kindness
▪ Carrying proper body mannerism with care and politeness
While we respect individualism, providing visual demonstrations of body images that reflect Discipline and respect in the class can be helpful to connect our thoughts of respect to our body mannerisms.
▪ Do I have discipline in my behaviour? Do I have respect in my behaviour?
Technique (Ki Sool)
“Technique is the manner in which technical details are treated or as basic physical movements are used...”(lbid) Techniques are very visible elements of Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan.
We gain the benefits of flexibility, self defence skills, and health as we train to improve our techniques.
Techniques from Ki Cho, Hyung, and Dae Ryun are excellent tools for connecting with the other four Moo Do Values, History,
Tradition, Philosophy, and Discipline/Respect. From this connection we benefit by strengthening our techniques.
Seeking to apply all our Moo Do values during our technical performance of techniques helps us to understand the relationships between our Techniques and the other four Moo Do values.
Techniques when performed based upon, and strengthened by, History, Tradition, Philosophy, and Discipline/Respect will develop beyond just physical techniques.
When we perform Soo Gi or Jok Gi techniques with good Huh Ri extension, connect our value of using Huh Ri to our unique identity as a Moo Duk Kwan practitioner. Our identity as well as our techniques is strengthened.
When we perform “Jang Kap Kwon Kong Kyuk” or “Yuk Ro/Chil Song Hyung”, we are connecting with the values of History (and/or Philosophy) of Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan and they will become more than techniques.
By training in our Techniques and applying the guidelines of the 5 Moo Do Values, our training becomes a freedom that provides new realisation, understanding and creativity. We become connected not only to the art’s history,
but we also become the foundation of the art’s future creativity. Through this process, both History and Philosophy will be strengthened.