Todays world is filled with violence and adversity. Many people feel that through violence and suppression, our enemies will be broken and eliminated. Instead of showing love and compassion to our fellow man, we show our muscle (nuclear arms, weapons of war and weapons of the street) and refuse to truly sit and talk to each other. The question of humanity is, when will we learn to harmonize with one another and stop the eternal fighting. When will we learn to blend with nature and quit our constant destruction and pollution of our planet?
Many people from all over the world feel that the soft-style arts of AIKIDO, HAPKIDO, JUJITSU AND SUNGJA-DO are the most suited martial arts of our age.
Grandmaster Choi, Yong Sul, the founder of Hapkido, concluded that the purpose of martial arts was the perfection of the spirit, not merely perfection of physical technique. Although the modern forms of Karate, Taekwondo and Judo, stress the importance of mind-body training, they also emphasize competition and tournaments and therefore place an emphasis on winning.
It is at this juncture that Aikido and Hapkido show that they are unique. Aikido and most schools of Hapkido do not hold tournaments. They refuse competition as it is detrimental to progress on the spiritual path. The temptation always to be a winner would lead people to be egotistical and self-centered and develop a win-at-all-costs attitude. Defeating others was seen as a roadblock in the path to HARMONY in the universe. Students of Aikido are constantly reminded to let go of the “fighting mind”.
Care is taken during actual practice to avoid clashing against another person’s energy. When the student feels that he is forcing a technique, it is a sure sign he is clashing with his partner’s energy instead of blending or going around the force. Using brute strength in Aikido or Hapkido is a sign of failure to execute technique properly. Only after years of practice does one truly recognize that it is unimportant to see who is best, who is the strongest, who is the champion. The true path of these martial arts is the path toward spiritual enlightenment.
Training in Sungja-Do, because of the diversity of the curriculum, is much more of a relaxed atmosphere than the other soft traditional “arts." Each student interacts with other students and the instructors in such a way as to bring out total faith in each other and also actual realistic answers to life’s street encounters.
Practice at an Aikido Dojo or at an Hapkido Dojang is held in a helpful and harmonious atmosphere. There is no rivalry because no one wins or loses. Students are instructed to maintain the idea of harmony and non-aggression in their daily lives.
Training in Aikido, Hapkido and Sungja-Do has no end; perfection of character is never complete.

“WINNING MEANS WINNING OVER THE DISCORD IN YOURSELF.
THOSE WHO HAVE A WARPED MIND,
A MIND OF DISCORD, HAVE BEEN DEFEATED FROM THE BEGINNING."

Uyeshiba, Morihei O’Sensei
Founder of Aikido

www.isamartialarts.net

Author's Bio: 

International Sungjado Association International Director
8th Degree Black Belt Hapkido
8th Degree Black Belt Taekwondo
8th Degree Black Belt Sungja-Do