I like the occasional cappuccino; I frequent a few cafes, but there is definitely one that I prefer. If you asked me why this cappuccino in particular, I’m not sure that I could answer you. Strong, but not too strong, the milk is creamy but not sickly the froth is light, but doesn’t evaporate… The only way for you to really understand what I mean is to taste it. This is how Master Chang introduces the concept of ki, but he tends to use the example of a hamburger. His point? To really understand something you need to experience it.

Mushin is about experiencing. Mushin means no-mind. When our heads are clear, when we are not influenced by external conditions, or internal prejudices we can then experience how something really is. Unfortunately, we tend to get in our own way; we have prejudices and over think things… we stop experiencing them, and start to get distracted.

I had a student the other day who repeatedly needed his stances corrected. Finally, I asked him to close his eyes and walk, in stance, across the room. I was amazed…his stances were perfect… when he switched off cognitively, he stopped analysing and overthinking…when he shut his eyes, he stopped the other voices and could FEEL it… he could EXPERIENCE it.

This is how we should be experiencing Hapkido. True Hapkido can’t be read about, discussed, picked apart, debated or overly intellectualized. It must simply emerge out of you.

As Master Chang often says, ‘just do it’.

Experiencing Hapkido.
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