Before Entering The Entertainment Field
- Gold medalist of the first Korean National (Junior) Taekwondo Championship (Light Fin Weight) at the age of 14 (organized by Chang Hun Ryu, aka General Choi Hong Hi, founder of Taekwondo).
- Received a Master of Teaching from Institute of Martial Virtue (Moo Duk Kwan).
- Founder of *Wonshim Taekwondo Academy (in Colorado and Texas).
- Served as Assistant Secretary General of the Pan American Moo Duk Kwan Society (world’s largest Taekwondo Masters organization).
- Received the “Best Instructor of the Year” 1985, and “Master of the Year” 1994 by Pan American Taekwondo Moo Duk Kwan Society. And worked as a member of the Korean All Star Taekwondo Team (include: Olympic Gold medalists) in 1995
- The recipient of the “Top Ten Martial Arts School (in the U.S.A.) Award” by the World Martial Arts Research Foundation in 1995
- Served as an executive member of the Organizing Committee for the 14th U.S. National Taekwondo Championships (1988 Seoul Olympic Tryouts).
- Appointed by USTU (Group A Member of the U.S. Olympic Committee) as the Director of U.S. National Taekwondo (Olympic) Team for the 9th World Taekwondo Championships with the IOC president's Cup to be presented in celebration of the 1st Anniversary of the Seoul Olympiad. Of the 72 countries competing at the 9th World Championships, the U.S. team won, placed 2nd overall.
- Invited to White House (by Renaissance Foundation) while working as Director of U.S. National Team, meeting with Congressmen to discuss issues of concern to minority communities. Hosted by Holly Coors (chairman of Coors Brewing Company) and Congressman Duncan Hunter, Susan Molinari, Bill Paxon, Dana Rohrabacher, Helen Bentley, Tom Campbell, Duke Cunningham, Jim Saxton, Jim McCrery, Ben Blaz, and Robert Dornan. Senators’ attended were: Senator D’Amato (host), Senator Gramm/Wendy Gramm, Senator Cranston, Senator Warner, as well as Vice President Dan Quayle.
- Appointed as a special assistant to the Vice President of International Olympic Committee for IOC 95th session.
- Appointed as Honorary Captain by State of Colorado County of Weld.
- Instructor for Weld County Sheriff’s Department (State of Colorado), taught more than 160 (Sheriffs) of Weld County (the largest County in Colorado).
- Students include: Winston Hill, Eric Anderson, Dr. Robert Mines & National Business Psychology Firm, G. Wayne Moore, Dr. John Culverhouse (to name a few), and over 10,000 people from all walks of life (include World Champions, U.S. Junior National Champions) trained under the direction of *Wonshim Philosophy of Masters.
Wonshim is derived from two Korean words: “won,” meaning “circle,” and, “shim,” meaning “heart” or “subconscious mind.” “Won” relates to the circular movement inherent in Taekwondo training. However, the circle represents Infinity, or Infinite Life, which has no beginning and no end. God is Life, and no one knows all about the Absolute, but there is much that we can learn, for there is no end to the glory and the infinite possibilities within man.
Emerson was America's greatest philosopher and one of the greatest thinkers of all time. He was constantly in tune with the Infinite, and he urged all men to release the infinite possibilities within them, as he declared: “I am an organ of God and God hath need of me where I am, otherwise I would not be here.”
Morihei Ueshiba, Asia's foremost philosopher and martial artist, stated: “I am the (center of) Universe.” “In the Socratic view,” writes Kierkegaard, “each individual is his own center, and the entire world centers in him, because his self-knowledge is a knowledge of God.”
The inscription over the grotto of the Delphic Oracle read: “Know thyself.” It is still one of the most profound of moral teachings. It is what Wordsworth called “the prime and heaven-sprung adage of the olden time.” For to know oneself is the first step toward taking responsible charge of oneself. It bids one know and govern the kingdom which is rightfully one’s own. Only as master of self can the individual successfully perform his role in society. The Bible says that God has given him “dominion over all things.” The secret of life then is to control one’s mental states. To suppose otherwise is like thinking that the tail can wag the dog. …who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? (Galatians 5:7)
One day a young monk named Do-shin came to see Master Seung-chan and said,
“I beg you Master, to show your compassion and lead me to the Dharma-gate of liberation.”
Master Seung-chan asked, “Who is it who has bound you?” The monk answered,
“Nobody has bound me.”
The Master then said, “In that case, why should you continue to seek liberation?”
Then Do-shin was truly enlightened.
Life is like water.
Cow drinks water and makes milk.
Snake drinks water and makes poison.
Life can be changed by attitude and discipline.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind... (Romans 12:2) …and I will put a new spirit within you (Ezekiel 11:19).
Emerson says, “The currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part and parcel of God.” He also says: “There is guidance for each of us, and by lowly listening we shall hear the right word.” According to Dr. Joseph Murphy, Emerson calls this inner voice which speaks to him the voice of “Om” or “I AM,” which, in our Bible, means the Presence of God, the Higher Self, Living Spirit Almighty. All these names mean the same thing. The Divine Presence is lodged in the heart of everyone, which Emerson called the “Oversoul.”
When one repeats a certain thought or technique over and over again in a meaningful way, the moment comes when it becomes a realization - a subconscious conviction resulting in the automatic response of one's deeper mind, which guides, directs and propels one to freedom. This is what a martial artist trains to obtain; the essence of Zen. Bruce Lee, one of the great souls who changed the world, put it this way (conversation between Shaolin teacher and Bruce Lee in “Enter the Dragon”):
Teacher: “I see your talents have gone beyond the mere physical level. Your skills are now at the point of spiritual insight. What is the highest technique you hope to achieve?”
Bruce: “To have no technique.”
Teacher: “Very good, what are your thoughts when facing an opponent?”
Bruce: “There is no opponent. Because the word “I” does not exist. A good martial artist does not become tense, but ready. Not thinking, yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come. And when there is an opportunity... I do not hit. It hits all by itself.”
Mother Teresa once said in Time Magazine, “I’m just a pencil in the hand of God. He does the thinking, He does the writing.” William James, the father of American psychology, said that the power to move the world is in your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind is one with Infinite Intelligence / Unfathomable Wisdom. He stressed the fact that the subconscious mind will bring to pass any picture held in the mind and backed by faith. Gandhi said, “Faith is nothing but a living, wide-awake awareness of God within. He who has achieved that faith wants for nothing.” ...Thy faith hath made thee whole (Luke 8:48).
Let go, and let God arise in you.
The essence of Hindu faith teaches that to lose oneself is to find God. That is to say, one may also transcend self through, forgetting oneself, which the individual soul conquers its individuality by becoming one with God. The central truth of Hinduism, for example, is epitomized in its constantly repeated phrase, “Atman is Brahman.” Act as though I am, and I will be.
The word “individual” means undivided. Most people seem to think it suggests that separateness but actually individual means undivided, and God has the power of individualizing Himself without, so to speak, breaking Himself into parts. You are really an individualization of God. Only God can individualize Himself in an infinite number of units of consciousness, and yet not be in anyway separate because God is spirit. (Emmet Fox) God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
Who has ever been able to separate heat and light in a flame? Still, heat and light are distinct entities. So the being, man. His splendor is the unity and interaction of all his faculties.
What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason!
how infinite in faculties! in form and moving how express and
admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension
how like a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of
What has all this to do with the martial arts? Everything! Life is change. To have changed often is to have lived much. The martial arts use given social structures to fit the individual’s needs. The riddle of life is never solved definitively. To define God (is Life) would be to limit Him. Vital issues always remain open. This is the challenge of life. This is the challenge the martial artist enthusiastically takes up and vanquishes.
The martial arts point, first, last and always, to the uniqueness of the individual. The martial arts begin with the acceptance of self, “I” as I am, unique, one of a kind. Since the origin of the martial arts is religious rather than secular, the practitioner seeks improvement, and perpetual rebirth comes with each new improvement of the old self. The prime object is never victory over opponents, but victory over self. The true practitioner seeks transcendence. Swedenborg said, “The essence of hell is the desire to rule over others.”
It is wisdom to know others;
It is enlightenment to know one’s self.
The conqueror of men is powerful;
The master of himself is strong. (Tao Te Ching)
All day long I traveled in search of a Spring.
I went over the hill towards the clouds,
I wandered here and there,
But I could not find a Spring.
When my body tired I returned home.
While I was sitting under the cherry tree
with my mind exhausted from searching,
I found that the Spring was already right here
at home under the cherry branches in my
own garden. (Zen Poem)
“The kingdom of God is within you.” said the greatest Master earth has ever known. To light a candle only to hide it is wasteful. “So let your light shine, that others may see it.” He also said, “...the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works.” (John 14:12)
Christ’s most prolific messenger (Paul) proclaimed: For God, who created the world and all that is in it, since He is the Lord of Heaven and Earth, does not live in temples built by human hands as though He were in need of anything. For He himself gives all men life and breath and everything. It is through union with Him that we live and move and have our being. As all the great poets have said: ‘For we are His offspring.’
The following ancient saying sums it all up: “What thou seest, man, that too become thou must: God if thou seest God and dust if thou seest dust.” The point of all spiritual practice is to wake up from the dream of a separate self, and the basis of all religious beliefs, be they what they may, is this: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he... (Proverbs 23:7). According to your faith be it unto you… (Matthew 9:29).
Is it not written in your law, God said, Ye are gods? (John 10:34).
Look within, you are the Buddha (Buddhism).
Heaven, men and earth are of one body (Confucianism).
Atman (individual consciousness) and Brahman (universal consciousness) are one (Vedanta, part of Hinduism).
God dwells within you as you (Yoga, part of Hinduism).
By understanding the self, all this universe is known (Upanishads, part of Hinduism).
Our Similarities bring us to a common ground; Our Differences allow us to be fascinated by each other. The enemy of the black is not the white. The enemy of capitalist is not communist, the enemy of homosexual is not heterosexual, the enemy of Jew is not Arab, the enemy of youth is not the old, the enemy of hip is not redneck, the enemy of Chicano is not gringo and the enemy of women is not men.
We all have the same enemy.
The enemy is the tyranny of the dull mind.
The enemy is every expert who practices technocratic manipulation, the enemy is every proponent of standardization and the enemy is every victim who is so dull and lazy and weak as to allow himself to be manipulated and standardized.
The world is a wonderfully weird place, consensual reality is significantly flawed, no institution can be trusted, certainty is a mirage, security a delusion, and the tyranny of the dull mind forever threatens -- but our lives are not as limited as we think they are, all things are possible, laughter is holier than piety, freedom is sweeter than fame, and in the end it's love and love alone that really matters. The highest function of love is that it makes the loved one a unique and irreplaceable being. (Tom Robbins)
A visiting monk asked Master Baik-jang, “Who is Buddha?” Rather than answering the monk’s question the Master asked, “Who are you?”
A visiting monk once asked Master We-san. “What is the meaning of Tao?”
“Mushim (no-mind) is Tao,” he replied.
“I don’t understand, Sir.”
“Your work is to find the person you do not understand.”
“Who is the person I don’t understand?”
“That person is yourself,” the Master concluded.
He-ga approached Master Dal-ma one day and said, “Master, my mind cannot find peace – I beg you to pacify it for me.” The Master responded, “Bring your mind to me and I will pacify it for you.” He-ga returned to his room for several days but was unable to find his mind, with or without peace. So He-ga approached the Master again and said “I cannot find my mind that is without peace.” After long silence, the Master replied, “Behold, I have already pacified your mind for you!” At that time He-ga gained sudden enlightenment from the incident.
A visiting monk asked Master Kwi-jong, “Who is Buddha?”
“If I tell you the truth, you would not believe me,” the Master replied.
“Sir, how could I dare not believe the word of a great Master?”
“You are Buddha.” In that moment the monk reached enlightenment.
The most scientific and inspired thinkers of all time inform us that oneness with the divine energy (spirit) of God is the source of all spiritual traditions including martial arts. The Presence of God is Infinite life; there is no life apart from it. This Presence is also Infinite-substance and everything is made from this one universal substance. Energy and matter are one. Einstein said that energy and matter are interconvertible and interchangeable; that matter is simply Spirit slowed down to the point of visibility. Energy is a term used by science for Spirit, and God is Living Spirit without face, form or figure lodged in the heart of every man. This is why Paul says: Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee... (II Timothy 1:6). Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (I Corinthians 3:16).
Paul pointed out to us that every man is his own savior (look within) because God indwells all men. ...Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). The Bible says: In him we live, and move, and have our being (Acts 17:28). This is the message of the whole Bible. It was summed up by Christ Jesus when he said, the Kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21). Paul also says: For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God (Romans 8:14). I said, “Ye are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High” (Psalm 82:6). God is Love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him (I John 4:16). …with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). And as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee (Matthew 8:13).
Sang Kyu Shim, Korea's leading authority on Taoism, wrote: “The Confucian ethic tends to be negative, as the Tao tends to be passive.” Father Francis Chisholm states: “The good Christian is a good man, but I found that the Confucianist usually has a better sense of humor.” The philosophy of the martial arts is, perhaps, more closely akin to the Western (Christian) tradition of moral virtue, which rests on a principle embodying both negative (yin) and positive (yang) elements. To observe the standards set forth in the Judeo-Christian writings of the Bible and tradition is socially and morally good; to transgress them is evil. The Golden Rule of Confucius, “Do not do to others as you would not have them do to you,” is most positively stated in the Christian command: “Love your enemy, do good to those who hate you,” and thus overcome evil by good. This intensity pervades the spirit of the martial arts. A slavish performance of outward acts does not constitute virtue either in Christianity, Taoism, or Confucianism. Personal conviction must inspirit every act. Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life (II Corinthians 3:6).
“We should not just simply read the Bible to get only knowledge. The Pharisees had great knowledge of Scriptures but lacked the Spirit and heart of God. As we read the powerful words of God we must desire to walk in the Spirit and LIVE the Word.” (Bishop Stephen Ray, Taekwondo master)
“I think vital religion has always suffered when orthodoxy is more regarded than virtue. The scriptures assure me that at the last day we shall not be examined on what we believed, but what we did.” (Benjamin Franklin)
When the moonlight shines over the village, it neither discriminates nor attaches itself to particular houses. The martial artist should be like the moon and not attach himself to clothing, food and shelter, etc. When the martial artist achieves this state of “no-mind” he will find himself invincible, for he will be in a state of at-one-ment with the all-powerful being that is beyond life and death. At this level the martial artist displays to those who see him a seeming contradiction, being simultaneously conscious and unconscious. It allows conscious acts to be performed unconsciously. This is the highest level of his art. He releases his spiritual and physical energies as an expert dancer like Vaslov Nijinsky does, as a natural form of self expression. “I am God in a body. Everyone has this feeling, but no one uses it,” he wrote in his diary.
“Martial art is, in one sense, a spiritual practice whose object is the ideal self, whose salvation is achieved by emptying the mind of all base desire.” (Sang Kyu Shim, the Making of a Martial Artist)
According to Schopenhauer, life is “a curse of endless craving and endless unhappiness.” Bertrand Russell, a contemporary philosopher, states: “We stand on the shore of the ocean, crying for the night and the emptiness.” Accordingly, there can be no happiness in life greater than communion with God, the creator of the universe. For Emmanuel Kant, this was the Christian God. “As I go outside and behold the sky,” he said, “I am stirred at the greatness of God.”
God is not only a subject for philosophers, but is a theological reality and the ultimate answer to the riddle of life. That He is a moving power in the affairs of men cannot be doubted when one reads history. Thus, Albert Einstein moved from his position as a staunch atheist to his conviction of faith in a Creator. “I cannot believe that God would choose to play dice with the world.”
Tennyson states: “Speak to Him thou for He hears, and Spirit with Spirit can meet - Closer is He than breathing, nearer than hands and feet.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, America's foremost philosopher and sage, said: “Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which animates all to whom it floats and you are without effort impelled to truth, to right and a perfect contentment.”
According to Joseph Murphy (D.R.S., Ph.D.), Emerson was a transcendentalist, and he healed himself of tuberculosis by meditating on the beauties and glories of nature. He wrote a magnificent chapter on nature, saying: “Crossing a bare common, in snow puddles, at twilight, under a clouded sky, without having in my thoughts any thoughts of special good fortune, I have enjoyed a perfect exhilaration. The currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part and parcel of God.”
In the end even Napoleon, who had for most of his life spurned faith, conceded to Christ. “I know men,” he said, “and I tell you, Jesus is more than a man. Comparison is impossible between him and any other human being who ever lived.” Dr. Emmet Fox wrote, “There is no such thing as undemonstrated understanding.” By their fruits ye shall know them (Matthew 7:20). “Christ Jesus is the one who taught the full truth about God, and actually demonstrated it.”
“I do believe in God.
A God of love, and I believe there are many ways to serve him.
One man does it from a pulpit,
another through a book or a painting.”
(Vincent Van Gogh)
The martial arts function, as does Tao, with nature. The more one understands Tao, the more one’s art is refined and sublimated. When Tao is practiced to an equal degree by, say, a Zen master and a swordsman, there is no way of determining the superiority of one over the other. That is to say, there are many ways of searching for perfection: some do it through painting and music, others through drama, philosophy or religion, still others through the martial arts. The heroes in each field share Tao in an equal degree if each experiences the state of void where the self and the universe are one. In the ‘void’ virtue is revealed.
When only the technique of Tao is practiced, it is impermanent and inferior. It is told that when the swordsman Musashi, who had been victorious in sixty duels, faced Takuan, a Zen master, Musashi lost because he lacked inner depth. After the fight, Musashi shut himself off in a corner of the temple where he devoted himself to deep meditation and a consideration of classical teachings. This so improved his style that he became known as “the saint of the sword.”
As in Tao, the spirit of the martial arts cannot be taught. Only technique can be taught. While it is relatively easy to learn several techniques of any martial arts, it is impossible to grasp the genuine spirit of the art unless one laboriously works it out for oneself.
Once a visiting monk asked Master Jo-joo, “I have come here to study Zen under you, please give me a lesson.”
“Did you eat breakfast?”
“Yes Sir, I finished my breakfast.”
“Then you’d better wash your dish.” At that moment the visitor reached enlightenment.
While the martial artist is never too proud to accept sound advice, he never puts the burden of personal decision on someone else’s shoulders. He is simultaneously dependent on and free from others. Two thousand years ago a great teacher, Hillel, said:
If I am not for myself,
Then who can be for me?
But if I am only for myself,
Then what am I?
The answers to both questions are obvious: no one, and nothing, respectively. In Judaism, the only God worthy of our ultimate allegiance is the God whose true name is Ehyeh, “I AM” (aka Ayin, “Emptiness”). The Buddha himself declared, “When I attained absolute perfect enlightenment, I attained absolutely nothing.” If it is worth attaining, it has already been attained. An eminent Zen master has advised: “Don't be a Buddhist, be a Buddha.” To the martial artist this means, “Be your own lamp.”
Hillel also said, “What you yourself hate, don't do to your neighbor. This is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary.” The art of life goes far beyond mere survival. Physical, psychological, spiritual and sociological elements must develop in close touch with each other, mutually challenging and nourishing the whole person.
An inner voice speaks like a song without words: “Go into the wilderness; you will surely learn something.” Venture into the unknown of your potential; you will surely come out the victor. (Sang Kyu Shim, the Making of a Martial Artist)
One day as the snow steadily fell, Zen Master Man-kong (1871-1946) was needed in town. His disciples were afraid for his safety for he would need to travel through the treacherous snow to reach the people below. So his disciples worked hard to clear a path through the snow, removing the powder as quickly as they could. Man-kong stepped out, and much to the disciples’ surprise, he avoided the path that the disciples worked hard to clear, instead Man-kong stepped into the snow where there is no path. On this action, the disciples reached enlightenment.
A similar anecdote comes to mind from Robert Altman’s “Quintet.” The following is the ending of the movie where Paul Newman’s character (Essex) is speaking to Grigor:
Grigor: “Where are you going?”
Grigor: “There is nothing there, you won’t last a day and a half, you’ll freeze to death.”
Essex: “You may know that, I don’t…”
One of the greatest film directors states that “in the wisdom of uncertainty lies freedom from our past, from the known.” In our willingness to step into the unknown of our potential, which is actually the field of all possibilities; we will surely come out the victor.
The martial arts strongly favor progressive thinking. A times change, so do the needs. “Do the best you can, wherever you are, with what you have, all the time” (T. Roosevelt). Dr. Albert Schweitzer directs his daily activities by the principle “reverence for life.” “Live and help live” to the martial artist means, “I will share with you what I have.”
Zen couldn’t be taught to others. It must be taught to your own self. ~ Miyamoto Musashi
Under heaven nothing is more soft and yielding than water. Yet for attacking the solid and strong, nothing is better. It has no equal. The weak can overcome the strong; The supple can overcome the stiff. (Tao Te Ching)
Truth cannot be perceived until we come to fully understand ourselves and our potentials. After all, knowledge in the martial arts ultimately means self-knowledge. ~ Bruce Lee
Styles don’t make the man, man makes the style.
Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly
~ St. Francis de Sales
Kenneth Clarke has said that “perfection closes the door.”
The practitioner of Taekwondo keeps the door of creativity, awareness, and spontaneity open at all times. He has earned a deep trust in himself despite his mistakes and limits, and he has learned to cope with life in the here and now.
For the Taekwondo expert the quest for newer and better ways of doing things never ceases. He will always experiment with a variety of life styles, and like the honey-bee, will extract from each what is best suited to his purposes without destroying what is useful to someone else.
The expression, “master of Taekwondo,” should be synonymous with “one who is a whole person.” That is to say, he is someone who can dare to be unique and still be a vital part of a complex, total universe.
His discipline will be self-discipline.
Excerpt from “Promise and fulfillment in the art of Taekwondo”
Note: According to World Taekwondo Federation (international governing body for Taekwondo as Olympic sport), Taekwondo has over seventy million practitioners (active members) in 187 countries.
Full force with contact. Julian Jung Lee executing jumping front kick. “The height of cultivation is really nothing special. It is merely simplicity, the ability to express the utmost with the minimum.” ~ Bruce Lee
Julian Jung Lee executing a flying side kick for Imperial Entertainment.
The young man kicks fast, but the old man thinks fast... Age is unimportant, there is no “age” in spirit. Spirit is timeless, ageless and eternal. “Even if my body shall turn to dust, I will keep on living.” ~ Miyamoto Musashi
Julian Jung Lee executes a flying side kick (over the back of a student standing on chair) and breaks five concrete cement blocks during U.S. tour of the Korean All Star Taekwondo team. “With concentration, you can kill a giant with a pebble.” ~ Zhou Yu
Julian Jung Lee breaking four concrete cement blocks with a 360 degree turn jumping back kick.
Julian Jung Lee shattering two concrete cement bricks with a jumping back kick.
It's not a new headache cure... it's Power = Speed x Weight
The place of the individual can be seen from two basic viewpoints. On the one hand, he is a unique being, freely making choices and willing his own destiny; on the other, he is a mere atom, completely dominated by the gigantic flow of universal forces. Which view a person adopts will profoundly influence all the rest of his life. The differences between success and failure lies in one’s self-concept.
In today’s world of multi-corporations and tight governmental structures-a world where might too often prevails over right-the individual seems to count for less and less. This condition breeds not only a sense of insecurity in the individual, but a loss of identity; one counts only insofar as one is related to an organized group: the Club, the Gang, the Association, the Cult, whatever the “in thing” happens to be. Even when one wishes to preserve a sense of self, the tendency to stereotype is all too prevalent.
Man’s sense of insecurity today has reached unparalleled depths. Victimized by “system,” he has little personal strength left to fall back on, and he finds himself bound to forms and forces over which he has little or no control. Persons no longer are seen as unique individuals, but are too often classified and evaluated by mechanical standards. As cogs in a machine, they are indispensable, disposable, and replaceable, the minute they dare not to adjust smoothly to the rest of the machine.
The martial arts recognize man as part of a dynamic nature. The martial artist believes that man obtains knowledge of eternal rhythm (infinite intelligence) by viewing the patterns of change in both the natural and social worlds. While this rhythm is too mysterious (infinite wonder) to be confined to any simple conceptual form or system.
The martial arts do not mean conformity. The object of training is not to turn out robots or assembly-line products. The martial arts point, first, last and always, to the uniqueness of the individual. The martial arts begin with the acceptance of self, “I” as I am, unique, one of a kind. (Sang Kyu Shim, the Making of a Martial Artist)
Great people of the past dared to be “individuals;” they were not afraid to be themselves, letting even their weaknesses be known. In spite of them, they made their indelible mark on the pages of time. Milton in his blindness still wrote Paradise Lost, though he asked himself: “Does God exact day-labor, light denied?” and had the answer: “They serve best who do the best they can with what they are.” Edison was kicked out of a school because the teacher said he was too backward, but he decided nevertheless to light up the world. Einstein was rejected by several schools, because he was considered not bright enough to be admitted, but he nevertheless went forth and touched the heights in mathematics and physics and revealed a world of divine law and order. Leonardo da Vinci came from an impoverished background. Newton was the son of a very poor farmer who died before he was born. Lincoln failed many times in his political career, but he kept on persisting, he did not look at his so-called handicaps. Beethoven, stricken with deafness, continued to compose musical masterpieces. Yet he had his doubts, as indicated in a letter to his brother: “I must live like an exile. When I do venture near some social gathering, I am seized with a burning terror, the fear that I may be placed in a dangerous position of having to reveal my condition… Patience-so I am told, it is patience that I must now choose to be my guide: I have patience enough. My determination to hold out until it pleases the inexorable Fates to cut the thread shall be a lasting one, I sincerely hope… I am prepared.”
Such examples epitomize the martial arts in action: being prepared for any eventuality, insignificant or critical; life, not necessarily filled with sound and fury, but certainly signifying something.
In the martial arts, the practitioner does not waste time worrying and fretting over what he cannot do: he works on what he can. He realizes that everyone is endowed with the seeds of greatness in some form and to some degree. He may be the only one to see what that is, but that does not lessen the greatness. “Heaven is not reached by a single bound,” says the poet; so success: it too, is reached step by step, moment by moment. Therefore, the martial artist arms himself with an unending supply of patience.
I may not be the fastest
I may not be the tallest
or the strongest
I may not be the best
or the brightest
But one thing I can do better
Than anyone else ...
To be me.
The lily flower must blossom like a lily flower. That is the duty of the lily flower. This duty does not only affect the flower, but the entire garden as well. If the lily flower blooms like a lily should, whether it has one or two petals make no difference. It would still be distinguished as a lily among other flowers. However, if it blooms like an azalea, it would present a tragic situation not only for the lily, but also for the entire garden. In other words, everyone has a distinctive character and should make an effort to maintain this independent self.
Formerly I was extremely poor and miserable
Every night I counted the treasures of others
But today I have thought the matter over
And decided to build a house of my own.
Digging in the ground, I found a hidden treasure
A pearl as pure and clear as crystal!
A number of traders from the west
Have joined together to buy the pearl from me
In reply I say to them,
“The pearl is without a price.” (Zen poem)
TRUTH is within ourselves; it takes no rise
From outward things, whatever you may believe.
There is an inmost centre in us all,
Where truth abides in fullness; and around,
Wall upon wall, the gross flesh hems it in,
This perfect, clear perception—which is truth.
A baffling and perverting carnal mesh
Binds it, and makes all error: and, to KNOW,
Rather consists in opening out a way
Whence the imprisoned splendor may escape,
Than in effecting entry for a light
Supposed to be without. (Robert Browning, “Paracelsus” Part 1)
Julian Jung Lee with the utmost precision... using a sword to slice an apple held on a man's neck. “Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.” ~ Napoleon Bonaparte
Mastery of the sword cannot be taught. You must find it yourself. ~ Miyamoto Musashi
An army without flexibility never wins a battle… (Tao Te Ching)
“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.” ~ Tom Robbins
Performance = Ability x Desire
“The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other
people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position.” ~ Leo Buscaglia
Julian Jung Lee was featured on the cover story of Taekwondo Times magazine. The literal translation of Sulsa means “Pen-Sword man’s strategy.”
The Bible puts it succinctly: What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul? For the martial artist, happiness is not something to be had only in the afterlife. It is not only desirable, but very possible, to begin it and maintain it now. The person who lives in the continuous present need not “go” anywhere; he simply resides actively in his part of nature. Having lived in a natural way, he dies in a natural way, for in nature nothing is lost or wasted.
When anything disintegrates, its vital force is at an end and a new entity appears. Behold, I make all things new (Revelation 21:5). …old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). In modern physics this is called the principle of novelty in creation or transformation; energy can be neither created nor destroyed, merely changed. Lao-tzu describes energy as the fundamental basis of the universe, regarding Tao as the basic principle of its transformation:
Tao produced One; One produces Two;
Two produces Three; Three produces all things.
All things carry the yin and embrace the yang,
And attain their harmony through the proper blending of ch’i (energy).
One hot summer day, the head monk returned to the temple from the village and saw an old Master in the garden, in front of the main hall, picking weeds. The head monk asked the old Master, “Dear Sir, why don’t you let a young monk do this work?”
“How can the work done by others can be a work done by me?” he replied.
“Then why don’t you wait until the sun goes down a little and a cool wind blows?”
“How can this wait until that time?”
The old Master was saying that the most important thing is “here and now.” In Zen, the past and the future are subordinate to the “here and now.”
Many individuals are hounded by a sense of alienation. The individual tries to solve the problem… by conforming. He feels secure in being as similar as possible to his fellow man. His paramount aim is to be approved of by others; his central fear, that he may not be approved of. To be different, to find himself in a minority, are the dangers which threaten his sense of security; hence a craving for limitless conformity. (Erich Fromm, the Sane Society)
The martial arts urge: Be unique! Dare not to conform! They are the means to self-confidence, achieved through three essential powers: Inner power or uniqueness, outer power or technique, and spiritual power or moral perfection. These allow the individual mastery.
“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” (John F. Kennedy)
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind… (Romans 12:2).
Does this mean living in an idealistic world, having nothing to do with the realistic? No, not at all! Having ideals is not incompatible with realism. An interesting anecdote relating to Thales, the philosopher, illustrates the point. The warehouses of Thales’ home town, Miletus, were stocked with goods from all over the world. Money having become the universal means of exchange, it was a highly regarded possession. On one occasion Thales’ practicality was challenged: could a “thinker” also be a “money-maker”? As it happened, Thales’ grasp of meteorology enabled him to foresee that the olive harvest would be rich. He rented all available oil-presses long before they were needed; at harvest time, he sub-let them at his own price. The ensuing fortune silenced his scoffers, showing them that idealists need not be impractical.
On the other hand, practical persons need not be without their ideals. The point may again be illustrated by an example. One morning in 1888 Alfred Nobel, who had by then amassed a fortune from the manufacture and sale of firearms, awoke to read his own obituary. The notice was, of course, a journalistic error; it was Alfred’s brother who had died. Still, the shock was overwhelming to Alfred. He suddenly realized how the world would remember him: the “dynamite king,” the industrialist who became rich by selling explosives! “What of my other works?” he thought. “What of my humanitarian acts, my attempts to dissolve the barriers between men and ideas, between nation and nation? Are these to be forgotten? Am I to be best remembered as a merchant of death?” He resolved to change his memorial. His last will and testament would be the expression of his life’s ideals. Thus was established the Nobel Peace Prize, the one given those who have done most for the advancement of world peace and of making a better world.
The martial arts philosophy is fertile soil for the cultivation and refinement of these values in the achievement of goals, for success does not depend on “fate” or “accident.” (Sang Kyu Shim, the Making of a Martial Artist)
“There is no home for the soul in which there dwells the shadow of an untruth.” said George Meredith. Never is it more true than in the life of the soul that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. We must not allow any consideration whatever, any institution, any organization, any book, or any man or woman, to come between us and our direct seeking for God. Centers, churches, schools, all fill a useful purpose in providing the physical framework for the distribution of right knowledge, but the actual work must be done by the individual. (Emmet Fox)
All the illumined seers of the ages pointed out to us that we are part and parcel of Living Spirit (God). Mencius says, “The Tao is near and people seek it far away.” Who has bound you, why should you continue to seek...? Since all the powers of God (Infinite Intelligence) are already there in the heart of every man, only waiting to be released by the individual as Paul speaks of ...That thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee... (II Timothy 1:6). William Shakespeare said, “Our thoughts are ours; their ends none of our own.” He also said, “It is not in our stars but in ourselves that we are underlings.” The only power is in our consciousness (Infinite Wisdom, Living Spirit within). God made the stars as well as the planets. This is why all the great poets and inspired-writers reiterate the truth that outer things (created things like stars) are but consequences. In other words, “All power is from within and is therefore under our own control. As within, so without” ...Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). He that is perfect in knowledge is with thee (Job 36:4).
Who can separate us from Christ’s love?
Can trouble or misfortune or persecution or
hunger or destitution or danger or the sword?
But, in all these things, we are more than
victorious through Him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life
will be able to separate us from the love
God has shown us...
...and loving God with all your heart is equivalent to understanding who you are. Our great teacher Spinoza said, “The more you understand yourself, the more you love God.” Even the greatest teachers, though, even the most profound traditions, can do nothing more than point the way to the truth. It is a figure of speech to say you can learn it from anyone. You can learn it only from yourself. (Stephen Mitchell)
Mark this above all,
Be guided by the instincts of your own heart, no matter what the prophets tell you, for it is through the heart and the heart alone, that God speaks to man. (King David to Solomon)
A leader is best when people
Barely know he exists. Not so good
When people obey and acclaim him. Worse
When they despise him. But of a good leader,
Who talks little, when his work is done,
His aim fulfilled, they will say,
“We did it ourselves.” (Lao Tzu)
Julian Jung Lee's mission to America as Taekwondo teacher. It was an ongoing journey of learning rather than teaching… the martial artist learns to appreciate the doing itself; the process never ends.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Poster from the Korean All Star Taekwondo Show (U.S. tour) in 1995. Julian Jung Lee served as a member of the Korean All Star Taekwondo Team.
Julian Jung Lee executing scissor kick for Paladin Press (Ninja Calendar).
Julian Jung Lee performing scissor kick, cover story of Intl Martial Arts Journal.
Julian Jung Lee executes a high roundhouse kick for Taekwondo Times (original picture).
Deadly roundhouse kick: cover story of Taekwondo Times.
Julian Jung Lee on a poster from the Korean National Team exhibition in Portland, Oregon. (1994 U.S. tour of the Korean National Taekwondo Team.)
Julian Jung Lee breaking 5 boards with a jumping turning back kick (blindfolded).
Julian Jung Lee executes triple kicks in the air with one jump during the first U.S. National Taekwondo Championships hosted by Pan American Moo Duk Kwan Society. Multiple jump kicks to the face is a most difficult technique of Taekwondo that is not only powerful, but hard for the opponent to block.
The word “individual” means undivided. Most people seem to think it suggest s that separateness but actually individual means undivided, and God has the power of individualizing Himself without, so to speak, breaking Himself into parts. You are really an individualization of God. Only God can individualize Himself in an infinite number of units of consciousness, and yet not be in any way separate because God is Spirit. Matter cannot be individualized. It can only be divided. So your real self, the Christ within, the spiritual man, the I AM, or the divine spark, as it is variously called, is an individualization of God. You are the presence of God at the point where you are.
Man may very well be compared to an electric light bulb. The electric current is present in all parts of the circuit but it shines forth, or one might say, figuratively, becomes self-conscious, in the bulb. So divine Mind becomes self-conscious in you.
When you are called upon to perform some task or undertake some responsibility that seems too great for you, realize that you are one with God and the task will become “our business” instead of “my business.” (Emmet Fox, Find Inner Power)
He Himself has said,
I will not in any way fail you
nor give you up
nor leave you without support (Hebrews 13:5).
God is not human, that he should lie,
not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
Does he promise and not fulfill? (Numbers 23:19).
Dr. Joseph Murphy stated, “We are living in a subjective and an objective world. There are two ends of a stick. The formless takes form, the invisible becomes visible. The ancients said that God becomes man by believing Himself to be man. All of us are manifestations of the Infinite Spirit. We are here to discover our Divinity. Spirit needs form to express Itself.” Paul says, ...Therefore, glorify God in your body... (I Corinthians 6:20).
Taekwondo Times Editor, Rod Speidel (fourth from left), Julian Jung Lee (fifth from left) and Weld County Sheriff Harold Andrews pose for group photograph after Lee's appointment as an honorary captain for his support in Law Enforcement Training.
Julian Jung Lee (left), with Taekwondo masters, Sung Ki Chun (third from left), Bobby Kim (fourth from left), YD Choi (third from right) and Weld County Sheriff Harold Andrews (fourth from right) participate in Julian Jung Lee's class at Weld County Sheriff's Department.
Julian Jung Lee is appointed as Honorary Captain by State of Colorado County of Weld.
Julian Jung Lee's class with honored guests (Taekwondo masters): Bobby Kim, Sang Kyu Shim, Byung Ho Choi and Sheriff, Harold Andrews.
Julian Jung Lee’s class with Sonora Medical System CEO, G. Wayne Moore - American warrior (Pen-Sword man).
Julian Jung Lee receiving an award “Taekwondo Master of the Year 1994” by Pan American Taekwondo Masters Society.
A positive mental attitude is essential to successful discipline in the martial arts. With determination and confidence the martial artist continues even when he knows that his efforts may not bring immediate results. His depth of conviction buoy him up in time of trial, as it did Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. This small-town Southern lawyer chooses to defend a Black unjustly accused of raping a white woman. That Atticus will lose the case is a foregone conclusion because popular opinion is strongly against him and he must face an all white jury. His children question his wisdom in acting as he does.
Atticus explains: Sometimes we have to make the best of things, and the way we conduct ourselves when the chips are down-well, all I can say is, when you and Jem are grown, maybe you’ll look back on this with some compassion and some feeling that I didn’t let you down. This case is something that goes to the essence of man’s conscience-I couldn’t go to church and worship God if I didn’t try to help that man. Before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.
When the martial artist meets a set-back, he does not sit and brood about it. Chalking it up to experience, he tries to learn something from his mistakes. He knows that results may not come easily and he is willing to endure the rough times because of the faith he has in himself. This confidence, however, does not result from either argument or analysis. Rather, it arises from a healthy synthesis of intuition and reason. The martial artist strives for a return to the proven standard which recognizes that cleverness belongs to the intellect alone, while wisdom is a complex of intellect, love, spirit and body.
The ideal type of leader is a man of self-confidence, characterized by Confucius’ three virtues -- wisdom, humanity, and courage. As he says in Chung Yung:
Wisdom, humanity, and courage: these three are universal virtues for all. That whereby they are practiced is one. Some are born, and know it; some study and so know it; some through painful difficulties come to know it. But the result of their knowing is all one. Some naturally practice it; some easily practice it; some do so by dint of strong effort. But the results accomplished come to one and the same thing.
One of the key differences between a high achiever and a low achiever lies in the differences in their reactions to failure. For the low achiever failure is often a crushing and permanent blow. For the successful individual, however, failure is only temporary and, while annoying, may also be motivational. He picks himself up and decides to try twice as hard the next time. Do not let failure be anything more than a temporary setback for you. There is nothing you cannot overcome if you set your mind to it.
There is an old Korean saying “If you fall down 7 times you should get up 8 times.” Here, 7 or 8 means many, rather than an exact number. If we think by normal logic, if we fall down 7 times we can only get up 7 times, not 8. The universal truth in this is that if we fail many times, in the final outcome we'll surely be successful. Error is discipline through which we advance. So it's not how many times we get knocked down; it's how many times we get back up. “Edison failed 10,000 times before he made the electric light. Do not be discouraged if you fail a few times.” (Napoleon Hill)
A glimpse into the meaning of spiritual power in action can be gained from the following anecdote.
Two monks on pilgrimage came to a river which they must ford. There they saw a girl, dressed in all her finery. She was apparently at a loss as to how to cross the river, as it was high and she did not want her clothes ruined. One of the monks took her on his back, carried her across, and set her on dry ground. As the monks continued on their way, the second monk began to complain. “Surely,” he said, “it is not right to touch a woman; it is against the commandments to have close contact with women. How can you act contrary to the rule for monks?” The first monk simply walked on in silence for awhile. Then he remarked quietly, “I set her down by the river. But you are still carrying her.”
Spiritual power, like a sole light in deepest darkness, is the directive to positive action. Words with essentially religious connotations (“miraculous,” “superhuman,” “supernatural”), are not uncommon in descriptions of the martial arts in their refined state. For in its capacity as a physical exercise as well as a spiritual discipline, the martial arts provide a method of unifying matter and spirit in such a way as infinitely to expand and deepen life.
Those anxious to learn only the outward skills of the martial arts will never master them completely without the more important exercise of spiritual power. They may, in fact, fall into the opposite state of over-confidence. A master gardener, famous for his skill in climbing trees to prune them, tested a student by allowing him to climb a very high tree.
Many stood around to watch. The master stood quietly, carefully following every move of his disciple, but never interfering. The student, having pruned the tree, began to descend. When he was only about ten feet from the ground, the master suddenly shouted, “Take care, take care!”
After the young man was safely down, an old man asked the master why he had waited until the student was nearly down before he cautioned him. “But isn’t it obvious?” queried the master. “Right up at the top he was conscious of the danger, and of himself takes care. But near the end where he begins to feel safe, this is when accident occur.”
Over-confidence shows a lack of spiritual power.
“When you work spiritually you are applying Infinite Power to your problem, and there can be but one outcome - victory.” (Emmet Fox)
Julian Jung Lee (right) and Jae Kyu Chung (left) posing during an opening ceremony for the 9th World Taekwondo Championships.
“To be a champ you have to believe in yourself when nobody else will.” ~ Sugar Ray Robinson
In all mental working be relaxed, gentle, and unhurried for effort defeats itself.
It is true in every conceivable branch of human endeavor, practice is the price of proficiency.
U.S. National Team in the 9th World Taekwondo Championships held in Seoul. Director of Team: Julian Jung Lee (right in front row); Head Coach: Jae Kyu Chung; Men's Team: Juan Moreno, Kevin Padilla, Greg Baker, Hyon Lee, Tim Connolly, Todd Tademy, and Herbert Perez (Olympic gold medalist).
Training camp with U.S. National Team at the gym of U.S. 8th Army in Seoul. Jae Kyu Chung (back row, sixth from left), Sang Lee (in gray suit); President of United States Taekwondo Union (Group A Member of the U.S. Olympic Committee), BW Kang and Julian Jung Lee (back row, fifth from right).
Dr. Un Yong Kim (left), vice president of International Olympic Committee and president of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), and Julian Jung Lee (right) during IOC 95th session in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Chong Woo Lee (left), vice president of the World Taekwondo Federation and Julian Jung Lee (right) during IOC 95th Session
Robert Helmick (left), president of the United States Olympic Committee and Julian Jung Lee (right) during the International Olympic Committee (IOC) 95th Session.
Julian Jung Lee (U.S. National Team Director) poses with Renaissance Foundation (meeting at the White House).
Julian Jung Lee and Holly Coors (White House Fellows Commission by President George H. W. Bush), while speaking at the National Press Club.
Julian Jung Lee graduated from Moo Duk Kwan ‘Master of Teaching’ program with sixth degree black belt in Taekwondo and served as Assistant Secretary General of the Pan American Moo Duk Kwan Society.
The charter of Moo Duk Kwan (Institute of Martial Virtue) charges its members to have reverence for life, and to have as a goal the preservation of life, even that of an enemy. ~ Hwang Kee (founder of Moo Duk Kwan)
There is an old Korean proverb that says:
It takes a year to harvest a crop,
ten years to see the full beauty of a tree,
and fifty years to make a man.
The martial arts as arts of self-defense have been traditionally linked to such traits as self-discipline and self-improvement. The martial artist espouses Jeremy Bentham's teaching that,
Nature has placed mankind under the guidance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effect, are fastened to their throne.
Although self-discipline, self-abnegation, and self-improvement are necessary, they are so only as a means of attaining the goal of the martial artist - totality - a product of success and happiness. We are solely responsible for our thoughts and actions and ultimately for our own success or failure. Accepting this responsibility and acting on it is one of the hallmarks of the martial artist.
While martial artist is constantly striving for perfection, although conscious of the fact that it will never really be attained, the exhilaration of on-going learning is not diminished. He learns to appreciate the doing itself and in doing actually attains goals while constantly setting new ones.
The great learning marks the differences between the essence and the outward features of things. The essence of the martial arts is its Spirit, the outward features are the many techniques it teaches. In martial arts training, the teacher will not sell his knowledge to the student, but will point out the wisdom that is already inside the disciple.
The Master was asked by a monk: ‘I have been with you for three years, and received no teaching from you. Why?’
The master replied, ‘Have I not been teaching you ever since you arrived?’
‘When did you give me any teaching?’ asked the monk.
The master said, ‘When you brought me tea, I received it from you. When you bowed to me, I inclined my head to you. When did I not teach you?’
While the monk was still pondering this, the master added: ‘When you look, just look. If you worry about it, you won’t get the point.’ On this, the monk awakened.
As Buddha was giving a lecture at Youngsan Mountain one day, he suddenly ceased speaking, sat down in his Dharma chair, picked up a lily flower (with smile) and held it before his students without uttering a word. They were confused by what Buddha wished to convey with this gesture. Only the student Kasup revealed his understanding, by smiling.
“When somebody gives you a sexy look, you know they're trying. It's terrible! But when you smile, it's so much sexier!” (Joseph Addison)
Commentary: “If you want to see, see right at once. When you begin to think, you miss the point. As soon as you tarry (that is, as soon as an intellectual interpretation or mediation takes place), the whole thing goes awry.” Dr. Suzuki, Japan's foremost authority on Zen Buddhism, writes: “The artist's world is one of free creation, and this can come only from intuitions directly and immediately rising from the isness of things, unhampered by senses and intellect (conceptualization). He creates forms and sounds out of formlessness and soundlessness. To this extent, the artist's world coincides with that of Zen.”
Clint Eastwood, the longest-running movie star/director, said: “Whatever success I've had is due to a lot of instinct... you can't second-guess yourself. You can find a million reasons why something didn't work. But if it feels right, and it looks right, it works. I don't think too much about it. I like what I like. I don't sit there and say now why do I like it.”
Zen master Tai-ko (Korea National Teacher in 1381) wrote, “Zen learning through Buddhist Sutra is like the finger pointing to the moon, but is not the moon itself. In other words, formal education obtained by reading and studying is secondary.”
“The most important outcome of education is to help students become independent of formal education.” (Paul Gray)
One day Zen Master Kyung-hur and Kyo Jong Master Joo-hur were traveling together on the road. [Both Zen and Kyo-Jong are branches of Buddhism. Zen places more emphasis on meditation and learning through experience. On the other hand, Kyo-Jong practitioners try to reach enlightenment through reading Buddhist Sutra (scriptures), so they usually stay in the temple and cultivate more intellectual activities such as reading and listening to lectures]. That day, a dog barked furiously and continuously followed them. Zen master Kyung-hur asked Joo-hur, “Sir, you are a great master, you can make a dog quiet without too much difficulty, so please stop it barking.” Master Joo-hur read the Sutra to achieve the desired effect, but the dog only barked more furiously and began to attack them.
The Zen master told master Joo-hur, “Your power coming from enlightenment through reading Buddhist Sutra cannot stop the dog from barking and chasing us. With such a power, how can you dare claim to save the human soul?”
Joo-hur was very angry and asked Zen master Kyung-hur, “Is that so? Why don’t you make that dog keep quiet? By yourself!”
Kyung-hur answered, “As you know, I am not a great master like you. I am just a beggar-monk who has to live day by day from the charity of others. If I insulted you, please forgive me.”
“If you really mean what you just said to me, why did you laugh at me before? It was certainly not a polite attitude.”
Then Zen master Kyung-hur answered, “If my prayer can make a dog quiet, what can you do for me?”
“I will kneel in front of you and apologize to you,” Joo-hur answered. Then the Zen master Kyung-hur approached the barking dog and threw the bundle of cooked rice from his lunch box. Suddenly the dog stopped barking and began to eat the rice while wagging her tail.
The true value of Zen can be well-seen in this action of master Kyung-hur.
“The commandments God gave to Moses so long ago must not remain dead stone for the reverence of unthinking minds…, stone itself it what the law is written on, but the law is alive, and living things go on constantly changing...” (Jesus of Nazareth)
The slave-morality of the unthinking herd is to be replaced by the master-morality of the higher man. Its supreme command is: “Be and do!” …there must be more than accident or impulse in the contest between any hero and his adversary, his task, or his fate. William James writes:
When a dreadful object is presented, or when life as a whole
turns up its dark abysses to our view, then the worthless ones
among us lose their hold on the situation altogether… But the
heroic mind does differently… it can face them if necessary,
without for that losing its hold upon the rest of life. The world
thus finds in the heroic man its worthy match and mate… He
can stand this Universe.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul. (William Ernest Henley, Invictus)
Julian Jung Lee (left) poses with two legendary Taekwondo masters, Byung Ho Choi (middle), and Sang Kyu Shim (right) during the First U.S. National Taekwondo Championships held by Pan American Moo Duk Kwan Society.
Grandmaster Choi was not only a great Taekwondo ninth degree black belt, but also achieved eighth degree black belt in Judo. His combination of Taekwondo and Judo fighting method was invincible. He was the Korean national Judo champion (1956-1960).
Sang Kyu Shim was an intelligent master. The real ability of the intelligent master is to win over the enemy without fighting. Julian Jung Lee was awarded with sixth degree black belt in Taekwondo, and how not to fight taught by Grandmaster Shim. Sang Kyu Shim was gifted teacher, ninth degree black belt Taekwondo master, philosopher, historian and author.
Byung Ho Choi, president of the Pan American Moo Duk Kwan Society, was featured on the cover of the May 1979 issue of Black Belt magazine. Grandmaster Choi was instrumental in helping the president of the Republic of El Salvador (Arturo Armando Molina) develop Salvadorian military's Taekwondo combat skills.
There is no road to success without the two Spirations: Inspiration and Perspiration.
~ Sang Kyu Shim
Success consists in the overcoming of difficulties. All men and women who have made a success of any kind have done so by overcoming difficulties.
God is Infinite Wisdom, An inexhaustible source of Power, Perfect Mind.
There is nothing to challenge the power of that mind, of that being.
“In God we live, move, and have our being.” God lives, moves and has His being in us.
Therefore, God in us is greater than any difficulties.
We have nothing to protect ourselves from but our own fear and doubt and selfishness.
Fighting is not taught here, but how not to fight. (Sang Kyu Shim on Taekwondo and self-confidence)
Richard Lerner (filmmaker), Bobby Kim (second from left), and Julian Jung Lee (right) on the set of the movie “Serpent Rising.” Master Bobby Kim taught never to quit… The big secret in life is there is no secret: There is an old Korean saying “If you fall down 7 times, you should get up 8 times.” Here, 7 or 8 means many, rather than an exact number.
“When you do something, you should burn yourself up completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
Master Bobby Kim is best known as one of the early pioneers of Moo Duk Kwan in U.S.
Master Bobby Kim demonstrating a side kick at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Chong Soo Hong was known as a strict master. Through strict training methods, he produced many Taekwondo champions including Bobby Kim (second from right). Grandmaster Hong was very successful in bringing out the best and power of the students. He served as vice president of Kuk Ki Won (WTF headquarters), and president of the Korea Taekwondo Association Moo Duk Kwan where Julian Jung Lee also received sixth degree black belt in Taekwondo.
Bobby Kim (left) poses with Bruce Lee (right). Bobby Kim was one of the few key pillars of early Taekwondo development in the U.S.A. Great soul, Bruce Lee, recognized and trained with master Bobby Kim.
“Martial art has a very, very deep meaning as far as my life is concerned because, as an actor, as a martial artist, as a human being, all these I have learned from martial art.” ~ Bruce Lee
Winner of six consecutive World Karate Championships (Chuck Norris) poses with one of his Taekwondo masters (Jae Joon Kim, president of the American Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do Association where Julian Jung Lee also received his fifth degree black belt). Taekwondo master Chuck Norris is best known as an early pioneer of Moo Duk Kwan in U.S., and one of the key pillars of early Taekwondo (aka Tang Soo Do) development in U.S.
“I was the shy kid who never excelled at anything, and I was never a natural athlete.” But when he became a student of Karate (Tang Soo Do) during his Air Force service in South Korea, Chuck reached a major turning point. The martial arts, he learned, built mental as well as physical fitness. Although he failed his first black-belt test, he continued to work at it and he learned a valuable lesson: “The fact that for the first time in my life I had stuck with something and not given up led to confidence. And confidence is a stage of inner strength.” Excerpt from “The Secret of Inner Strength” by Chuck Norris with Joe Hyams
Mako used to say, “don’t try too hard” and shared his thoughts on martial arts and acting: The carefree approach in any endeavor is a shortcut to success. In acting, in music, in sport, in study, in business life, many people fail, or advance very slowly, because they make hard work of it. The key to success is to feel that your work is play.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Do not dissect things too much. By the time you have dissected a living thing you have killed it, and you no longer have the thing that you began with. Take a rose out of the bowl, pull its petals apart, count them, weigh them, measure them, and then, while you will have certain interesting information, you no longer have a rose. There is a place for analysis, but it is apt to be quite fatal in prayer and meditation. Do not dissect the love of God, but feel it. Do not dissect divine intelligence, but realize it. Do not wonder how God can possibly solve this problem, but just watch Him do it in His own way - and He will if you will give Him a chance. You know that God is Love. So go ahead on that, and do not get theoretical about it.
Do you remember the old verse which says:
A centipede was happy quite,
Until a frog in fun
Said, “Pray, which leg comes after which?”
This raised her mind to such a pitch,
She lay distracted in the ditch,
Considering how to run. (Emmet Fox, Power Thinking)
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).
According to the theory of aerodynamics, and as
can readily be proven by wind tunnel experiments,
the bumblebee is unable to fly. This is because the
size of its wings in relation to the size of its body
makes flying impossible.
But the bumblebee, being unacquainted with
these scientific truths, goes ahead and flies anyway
and gathers a little honey every day.
The impossible can be done!
We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations. Nelson Mandela has said that “It always seems impossible until its done.”
God is Love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him (I John 4:16). ...with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).
Ours is an open world. We are open not just to the whole
world, but to the whole universe. We are on the brink of
heaven knows what discoveries out beyond our planet.
If man is around a few more hundred thousand years,
there’s no telling what he may do. The idea of man mastering
his universe in a very fundamental way is not something
which we hold as impossible. (Bernard Cooke)
In mythology Prometheus stole fire from Mount Olympus and gave it to mankind. For this he was cruelly punished by Zeus because fire was to be a property of the gods alone. Anyone having it was a threat to the gods themselves.
Today this myth is interpreted to mean that the faculty of rationality (the fire of inspiration) is that god-like element which raises man above all other animals. If, however, the fire is untended, it flickers and dies. Therefore, in the martial arts, theory must be translated to action if it is to live.
“My dreams are worthless,
my plans are dust,
my goals are impossible:
All are of no value
unless they are followed by action.”
(O.G Mandino, the Greatest Salesman in the World)
In the “brave new world” presented by Aldous Huxley, everyone was engineered from conception into the “character” he was to be and the occupation he was to fill. Garbage collectors wanted nothing but to be garbage collectors; rulers could only rule by decree of the test-tube conditioning they had come from; male and female were in exact count and “role.” Everyone was a robot.
A discussion of character in such a “society” would be ludicrous. Yet, to see the prevalence of conformism among groups and nations - some by choice, some by “brainwashing” - makes one wonder how many “individuals” are left in the world.
To make that number grow is the main purpose of the martial arts program. Character formation is the most important duty of any individual, group, or nation. It is never finished as long as one lives.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’
Gleams that untravell’d world, whose margin fades
Forever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!
(Alfred Lord Tennyson, “Ulysses,” Anthology of Verse)
Man is the one animal that can dream. What is more, he can fulfill his dreams. Aeons before it happened, Neil Armstrong’s landing on the moon had been dreamed about, written about, and studied about in science and fiction. Dreamers of the “New World” discovered it, and their progeny go on dreaming and discovering.
When “discovering” does not follow “dreaming,” there is no point in the dream. Action must follow thought if the thoughts are to have effect.
A mediocre effort will not bring results. Whether one is chief or warrior, only an all-out application will win the prize.
My work is a reflection of myself.
My execution of martial arts techniques
is also a reflection of myself.
In whatever productive work I do,
I will create a masterpiece.
It will reflect my genius and virtuosity.
In all things I will work most sincerely,
To it I commit my soul, my body and spirit
and even my whole life fortune.
I am a doer, a venturer, a winner.
(Sang Kyu Shim, Success and the Creative Imagination)
As we well know, the prizes of life, or success, are at the end of the each journey, not near the beginning; and it is not given to us to know how many steps are necessary in order to reach our goal. The martial artist considers each day's efforts as but one blow of his blade against a mighty oak. The first blow may cause not a tremor in the wood, nor the second, nor the third. Each blow, of itself, may be trifling and seem of no consequence. Yet from childish swipes the oak will eventually tumble. This is a familiar phrase to any student of the martial arts. Today's efforts will be likened to the raindrop which washes away the mountain; the ant who devours the tiger; the star which brightens the earth; the slave who builds a pyramid. This spirit of achievement may be best expressed by the terms of self-confidence and persistence, the most important two principles of success in life and the martial arts.
The martial artist’s march to success never walks over other people; determination he has, but not fanaticism; personal achievement is a goal, but not “by hook or by crook”; wealth, maybe, but not by “cutting it out of people.”
An example comes to mind from Arthur Miller’s play, The Price. Two brothers are reminiscing over career choices they made. Walter, the “successful,” now wealthy doctor, is speaking to his policeman brother:
“I never had friends - you probably know that… You start out wanting the best, and there’s no question you need a certain fanaticism; there’s so much to know and so little time. Until you’ve eliminated everything extraneous - including people. And of course the time comes when you realize that you haven’t merely been specializing in something – something has been specializing in you. You find you’ve become an instrument that cuts money out of people. And finally it makes you stupid; power can do that.”
The martial artist has a clear picture of the kind of person he wants to be, the identity he wishes to associate with his personality. His plan of action must then flow as the authentic expression of this identity. The pursuit of his plan is self-directed; his short-term goals are ordered within his life-long ideals. He views life as a kind of constant combat, as did Paul when he said, summing up his life’s work, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.” (II Tim. 4:7)
There is nothing love cannot face;
there is no limit to its faith,
its hope and endurance.
Are there prophets?
Their work will be over.
Is there knowledge?
It will vanish away.
But love will never come to an end…
- Saint Paul