Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Balance and the Middle Way in Martial Arts


When looking at a scale, the traditional image one draws to mind when thinking of balance, when not thinking of standing on on leg, look at the center point.

The center point, upon which the balance pivots, is what most people would think of when thinking the middle way, according to Grand Master Hwang Kee in his Moo Do Chul Hahk, but it is not the point in martial arts.

The middle way is less of an average, and more of a caution to neither be too excessive or too extreme on any side of your life. Be moderate in all things.  The further out you get on a balance, the further down one arm or the other, the more leveraged your actions and weights, causing change faster and more catastrophically. Be Balanced.

Biblically this is expressed as Phil 4:5 (KJV)
 - "Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand."

In Korean philosophy, this is expressed as the center point of the Um and Yang, where you can reach out in all directions, but are balanced in your approach.

To the martial artist this suggests that we keep our lives, passions, skills and actions in balance, looking back to the center point, making sure we are not extreme.

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Further Reading - one of our resources is Moo Do Chul Hahk: A New Translation Hyun Chul Hwang - though we don't necessarily agree with all he says in this volume, it is outstanding philosophy.

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