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Does being in ‘mushin’ conflict with productive thinking?

Being ‘in the zone’ or experiencing ‘flow’ are terms now used commonly in sport. They both refer to a mental state of being totally immersed, energised and focused in an activity. In Hapkido we refer to this state as ‘mushin’ (no-mind). I was discussing this concept with someone recently and recommended that he start to […]

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Power and vulnerability.

Many are afraid of being vulnerable. But is vulnerability really a bad thing and something to be fearful of? When we punch, for example, we actually put ourselves into a deeply vulnerable and off balanced position; but this same body weight shift that causes vulnerability also enables us to get the most power into the technique. […]

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Changing ourselves first.

Students often tell me that as they progress in Hapkido other parts of their lives also seems to move forward, to improve… like somehow things are linked… The following is an epitaph from an anonymous Anglican bishop who was buried in the crypt of Westminster Abbey in A.D. 1100. I think it speaks for itself… […]

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Philosophical definitions.

This month I thought I’d try and define a couple of philosophical concepts we often discuss within our Hapkido and Ki training. I would love to hear your own thoughts/definitions. Karma Karma comes from a concept of Indian philosophy meaning action. It is a part of living and cannot be avoided. It is something which […]

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Calming the mental clatter.

In Ki Class we often start with moving meditation. Sure, it helps strengthen and stretch us, but probably the main benefit we get is that it helps us to start to concentrate – to calm that mental clatter. Some people tell me “Oh I can’t do meditation, my mind is too busy.” What they don’t […]

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Thoughts on perfectionism.

I shared the following story in class this week, dedicated to all the perfectionists we have amongst us. A monk was tendering the garden making it perfect. Japanese gardens are always just so. They have perfectly raked sand and pots in just the right spot. When the master arrived the monk said that he had […]

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Don’t be weird.

At the end of his last Ki Seminar here in London, Master Chang said with a wry smile… “Don’t be weird”. He says they try to meditate at home when the children are playing. “Be quiet, stop playing, can’t you see I’m trying to meditate!” This response is silly, he claims. He says that now […]

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Noise, noise, noise

When I started teaching in Lincoln years ago, we would do ki class on a badminton court. Obviously the other courts would be being used, so at times there was a bit of noise, or a shuttle cock would fly onto the mat. Noise outside is never as bad as the noise in our heads, […]

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The story of Won Hyo.

There was a monk called Won Hyo, who lived around 600AD. The story of his enlightenment is still famous today and marked a watershed in Korean Buddhism. As was the way at that time, Won Hyo decided to travel to China for enlightenment. The journey was long and arduous. Along the way he took a […]

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Attending ki class a few times is not enough.

You have a cloth which you dip in coloured water – but for some reason you only dip partially – then you take out. A little bit has changed colour but not the whole. We can do this a few times, but the original colour is still more – or we can say, still being […]

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