Black Belt 1st Degree Philosophies

When I was about five years old, I loved the television show Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. I knew that my dad taught Tae Kwon Do, and I imagined it was like the Power Rangers; lots of flashy and nearly impossible jumps, twirls, and flying kicks used to clobber “bad guys.” I wanted to study Tae Kwon Do since that time, and I was finally allowed to start at age nine. I quickly learned that it was nothing like how I had imagined it but that it was a lifetime study that required patience and diligence. I didn't mind, and though I was sometimes bored by the repetition of the basics, I enjoyed it. At that age I began to be interested in Star Wars (and I still am). I saw that the Jedi teachings of the Force were based on inner energy and the Oriental view of life. In a Star Wars book from a few years ago I read a description that I thought was very close to what Se-Jong students strive for:


Jacen realized that he was about to engage in a battle that would be decided not so much by knowledge of the Force, so much as fealty to it. This was not a duel, but a relinquishment it was Onimi who couldn't find Jacen. What he found instead was formless, supple, fathomless–an infinite emptiness, but as serene as a wind toppling trees to encourage new growth. A being of light ...

- Star Wars: The Unifying Force, by James Luceno


It reminded me of the concept of “yield and overcome” from the Tao Te Ching. It also made me think about how while Tae Kwon Do is a martial art and is physical, it is even more a mindset and a way of living and acting, relaxing and accepting situations instead of fighting to change them. My philosophy is that being a Se-Jong student should be like being a Jedi, not a Power Ranger. I hope that looking back on this in the future it will not seem silly, but if it does I will have to accept it.