Moo Do Philosophy - The Right Mindfulness

Wed, 08/05/2009 - 8:57pm — Grandmaster

In the last article on Moo Do Philosophy – “The Right Mindfulness”, I gave several examples of practicing the Right Mindfulness as part of your Tang Soo Do training.  Since our training is both in and out of the dojang, I will continue with this subject with several more examples on a more philosophical slant.

The Right Mindfulness also encompasses the following key concepts:
1.      Take class personally and privately – All students should take every class as if they are the only student on the floor with their instructor. If the instructor makes a comment to the entire class, the student should assume it is being said directly to them. All students should take their performance personally. That is, they should always give their best and their effort should be all out. To do otherwise lacks the right understanding.
“The best advice to a new beginner, novice, or advanced student: cultivate and develop a great relationship with your instructor, and only take private classes.” Author Unknown
2.      Bring your practice into your daily life – It has been said that the true “dojang” starts at the door on the way out. That is, a good student of the martial arts brings their practice into their daily life. The advanced student sets the example always. They leave their personal issues at the door and never bring them into the dojang. Likewise, the students learn that the dojang is a safe haven and is free of the daily baggage that greets them at home, work, school, and often within their community. In fact, the reason we take off our shoes before walking on the mat is to remind ourselves that we remove ourselves from the outside world before beginning our training. We do this to get in touch with our inner selves and to be more alert to our surroundings. This is often referred to as the shoe rack theory as mentioned in a previous article.
“The difference between a Master and a novice is that the Master makes use of each opportunity in life as well as in practice.” Author Unknown
3.      The proper teacher/student relationship – The teacher/student relationship is based on trust, open communication, respect, and above all else loyalty. It has been said that loyalty is a two way street. That is, for true loyalty to happen, it must be practiced by both parties. The “Master” understands this and so he or she practices it. All students must understand the proper way to interact with their instructor and other seniors. By knowing the proper “way”, they learn appropriate protocol and how to effectively interact with their instructor and or seniors. They also learn that there is equal responsibility for the learning process. Unlike the West, where the most of the burden falls on the teacher, in the East…the student is primarily responsible for learning. This is why it is so important that every student understands the six (6) fundamental learning principles of Tang Soo Do and practices the 8 paths including the “right mindfulness”.
A student once asked his teacher, "Master, what is enlightenment?" The master replied, "When hungry, eat. When tired, sleep." 
We will continue more examples of the Right Mindfulness next week. Until then, enjoy the path!
Tang Soo!!!
KJN St. James