Moo Do Philosophy - The Right Mindfulness

Thu, 08/20/2009 - 2:00am — Grandmaster

In this next chapter of Moo Do Philosophy – The Right Mindfulness, let’s explore three key concepts to peak performance training and self mastery. They are “Breaking Through Limitations”, “Mushin”, and “Doing What you Do Perfectly”.


Breaking through limitationsThis concept is extremely important to the peak performance warrior. It is what we do. It is who we are. As martial warriors, we should constantly be working towards stepping out of our own comfort zones. By stretching ourselves in all four (4) areas of existence (mind, body, spirit, and emotions), we become more than we currently are. Our value increases to our family, friends, and in the case of instructors…our students. We lead by example. We walk the talk first and foremost.

The warrior understands that to achieve their fullest potential they must face the “enemy” everyday. In this case, the enemy is the two (2) greatest fears of ALL human beings. That is, the fear of failure and the fear of rejection. These two fears are responsible for procrastination, lack of full effort, not trying, and finding fault with others rather than looking within. It is the EASY way out and yet it is never the path of the “Master”.

It was once said that, “No one who has led a life of ease has a name worth remembering.” The lives of those we remember are people with stories of great personal struggle. Their stories contain periods of good times and periods of bad times.

We only have control over one thing – our own behavior. Specifically, our reaction to what is happening to us or what we perceive is happening to us. Realizing this great truth, the warrior chooses to develop empowering habits. The warrior chooses habits that leads him or her in the direction they want to go. Once their path has been determined, the warrior stays diligent and stays the course.   

The warrior is able to seize the moment or more broadly…seize the day (Carpe Diem). They see every challenge in their life as a test they need to pass to move to the next level. The warrior also sees the opportunity to help others as part of that test. The Bushido code teaches us to serve. The opportunity to serve only increases during hard times. In this way, the warrior is always looking for opportunities to serve.  

On an ever deeper level, the warrior takes ownership of everything…including how they see the world and or how they see their place in the world. They are pro-active and progressive in their approach. They are also risk takers. T.S. Eliot summed it up best when he wrote…

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”  

On human potential and service, Mahatma Ghandi wrote…

“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.” 


Mushin Is the concept of going from thought to acting without conscious thought. It is actually acting with one mind. It is refined memory to the point of subconscious action. For example, we are all very fortunate that we do not have to consciously remember to breath, ask our heart to beat, and or do the many other automatic tasks that keep us alive daily. Each one of these processes is taking place because it has been conditioned over time to happen automatically.

The warrior understands to reach a higher level of performance, they must do it through practice. The goal is to change your state of consciousness to one mind. That is to become one with whatever you are doing at that moment in time. It is the essence of heightened awareness. It is what all warriors train for.  

Mushin leads to creativity or what is called “Ryu Pa” in Korean. For creativity to happen, the warrior must let go and let flow so to speak. Much like moving from initial memory to refined memory, the process is one that takes time. This is not to say that an artist may not be inspired and have a sudden burst of creativity. It is to say however that the process is most often rooted in years of focused practice. 

“Most teachers’ advise is think, think, and think. The Zen masters advice is stop thinking.” Author Unknown.


Do what you can do perfectlyTo do something perfectly requires discipline of the mind. To experience heightened awareness, the student must direct their thoughts on the details. The warrior understand this and practices it. They understand that the little things don’t mean a little – they mean a lot. As it is often said, the devil lies in the details. I would rather think of it as success lies in the details.

The art demands total awareness and concentration. This is why the warrior works constantly to develop self-control and discipline of the mind. As we train in lethal methods of self-defense, we have a special obligation to not use it unless it is absolutely necessary. Our “Moo Do” requires that we develop a humble heart. This is not easy. We have all been in situations where our emotions get the best of us. This just reminds us that we are human and not perfect. We are just striving for perfection and that is why we do what we can do perfectly or as close to it as possible.

“Michael Jordon does not love basketball, Muhammed Ali does not love boxing. Barishnikov does not love ballet, and Tiger Woods does not love golf. What they truly love, is their state of consciousness while performing these activities.”  Author Unknown