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Mu Shim Mu Kwon: No Mind, No Punch

Advanced Han Mu Do practitioners need to be able to react with, “No Mind,” so they can attack swiftly and disable the situation. The use of repetitive physical practice, working to always be mindful and present, and bolstering the spirit through strenuous challenges help to create the, “No Mind,” application. At the same time that students are learning techniques and reinforcing through practice, they are also building themselves up to be the best person that they can be. Han Mu Do’s value system and philosophy helps propel students to the best life that they can have. Instilling The “No Mind,” philosophy to their values. Han Mu Do Black Belts believe in themselves, help others without consequence, and want to make positive changes in the world.

Dr. Kimm tells the story in, Philosophy of Masters, of the young Master Moo Kwang. He was wearily riding on his horse one night after practicing with his bow. In his tired state he is surprised by a tiger. Without hesitation he draws and nocks an arrow and then releases a focused shot. Master Kwang gallops away on his horse without looking back. This moment of ‘No Minded,” reaction saved his life. Waiting for a tiger to pounce or having any delay in his reaction would have cost him his life.

Han Mu Do Students practicing jok sul or kicking techniques

At the start of a student’s Han Mu Do study they are learning to focus their mind, body, and spirit into the practice of sul, techniques and hyung, forms. Students’ progress and get better at being present in the moment and moving their body in very controlled ways. The training and technical learning from white belt to black belt preps students for being a black belt. Students start to learn groups of basic techniques that guide them through the theories of Han Mu Do. These techniques are large movements that require power to come from the body. This practice then allows them to understand more advanced techniques and then start applying their mental focus to the techniques.

When students are training for their first Dan in Han Mu Do, they are taught to say, “Yu Shim Kong Kwon.” This mantra is a tool that focuses the mind, develops rhythm with the body, and drives the spirit. Training the mind to be present and focused is one of the most useful and sought after martial arts techniques. Keeping the mind focused on basic techniques helps distract from random thoughts and students stay in control of the mind. The rhythm of techniques and application of power timed with proper breathing technique is practiced with each repetition. The movement of the class and the loud kiops or yells of their classmates help to raise the spirit and drive power. 

Justin Martin, He-Young Kimm Cup Champion, presenting an advanced staff form

Students learn to clear the mind and be 100% focused on the present. They test for their black belt and keep progressing. They have moved from calming the mind to clearing the mind. Buddhists talk of dusting off the mirror to attain a state without delusion. “No Mind,” is not a state of no thoughts. It is a state of the purest thought, without anything to distract us from the task at hand. Without distraction from any external or internal “dust,” the mind can focus on the moment and display the, “Bright light of Wisdom.” This level of being present allows black belts to perform advanced techniques and demonstrate at the highest level when required to do so.

The next morning Master Kwang returned to the place where he had shot the tiger. To his surprise, there was no tiger. A large rock sat in the place the of the tiger. Imbedded in the rock was Master Kwang’s arrow. He thought proudly of his shot and how no one else could have the power that he possessed. He drew another arrow and shot the rock again. The arrow bounced off the rock to the surprise of Master Kwang.

Black belts bowing before their testing

Black Belts are able display techniques with a, “No Mind,“ level of focus. They lead their peers by displaying power and advanced techniques, respond to their teachers loudly and with respect, and they understand their place amongst their peers taking away the need for ego. It takes time to learn to focus the mind and mistakes will be made along the way. When students lose focus of the mind they should start over at try again. Each time students repeat a technique, they are getting more repetition and practice in. Every time they are corrected, it adds to their understanding of the technique. Black Belts wipe their mirror clean and beat the ego by listing to their masters and instructors, taking constructive criticism, and making corrections. The Ego battle is hard though and sometimes they are distracted by their reflection and what they think we are presenting to others. The deeper students are able to focus and clear the mind the more room they have to learn and execute technics and forms. As they progress to advanced levels this focus goes beyond what beginner students can see with their mind. This allows advanced students to build technical combinations and complete advanced forms and movements.

Han Mu Do black belts strive daily to live their lives in a way that supports their training and leads the students that follow them. Mistakes and slip ups happen when focus is lost. Just as in training, black belt perseverance should take over and students should repeat until they get it right. Every day is a practice at living with black belt excellence. The mantras that are repeated in class will be repeated with automation during everyday tasks. Sweeping the floor, completing tasks at work, and being polite and respectful should be practiced, so students actions can become automatic or, “No Minded,” and to be done with, “Black belt excellence!”

Justin Martin breaking 6 boards for his 4th Dan testing

Master Kwang was shooting from a place of a place of complete focus when he was fearing for his life. In this moment there were only two ways out of the situation and his training of mind, body, and spirit got him through to the other side. The clearer the mind the deeper the concentration allowing for concentrated thought and the ability to, “Set and achieve high goals.”

When life is lived as Han Mu Do Black Belt, the continued to pursuit of the attitude of their masters is a daily challenge. Han Mu Do is not just about physical self- defense. We are also cultivating the mind, body, and the spirit. Black Belts are in pursuit of, “No Mind.” This pursuit should be reflected in daily practice of Han Mu DO techniques and forms, displaying optimism, positive moral values, chivalry, open mindedness, pulling through to the first gas pump, and living a healthy purpose filled life. All acts that should be automatic and without hesitation. Making sure that they are the best that they can be, every day and in every way.

Works Cited

Kimm, He-Young. Philosophy of Masters. Baton Rouge: Andrew Jackson College Press, 1991.Print.

Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. “No Mind” is Buddha., 2006.Online

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