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New Year 2014
Taekwon, beloved members.
One year ago I have tried to give some insight and reminder in Taekwon-Do that we often overlook. To be precise; ignorant of the meaning and purpose of "Do".
Well, a year has passed ... not a long time to cultivate the mind but enough time to learn a few more techniques. Have we improved in the "Do" or "sul"?
As you know there are many things in our lives that we must adhere to even to ''pretend' to practice the ''Do''. One of the words often used in and out of Dojang is the word integrity.
I and my colleagues are often surprised to hear that there are still those who beg, cheat, dishonor, and betray to get another "dan" by anyone, often from unqualified or questionable individuals. This is an ongoing embarrassment to the martial arts community and it is sad. Even a child knows this as opposite of integrity.
I cannot lament the fact the quality of the ''Do'' is in a downward spiral. Perhaps it is inevitable when martial arts is relegated as another business to eke a living for many.
There is a saying by the ancients: "Those who give ranking while unqualified is dishonest fool. But those who receive from them is a bigger fool."
Not having even basic shame, some even proudly display and announce as if it were a trophy. This kind of shame is not only big but very deep ... one has lost the ability to judge.
Although these are not common phenomena with our members, I am compelled to remind you of the ''''Dan trap'''' that many fall prey to. Higher degrees trap themselves into false beliefs of ''''accomplishment'''' by mistaking the ill gotten degrees as the real. The drive and zeal to excel they had in the beginning of their journey is lost while their behaviour becomes increasingly raw and unrefined. This can also happen to those with higher formal education.
I am relieved that our ITF members now strive for a more moral and ethical goal than worthless accolades.
I want to wish our members not only a good year but a meaningful one!
Choi Jung Hwa