Yes, Indeed I am Reborn by TaeKwonDo!
First and foremost, I want to convey my sincere gratitude and appreciation for the profound opportunity to publish this article on my lifetime savior of Tae-Kwon-Do Spirit in “TaeKwonDo Life” publication.
I am 87 years young at heart and physically fit as my colleagues and friends would say.
I accept their compliments with deep gratitude while having thought that my life has been changed by the Spirit of TaeKwonDo!
Now looking back at all those years of trial and error, being rich and poor, having fame and defame whatever obstacles that I had to go through to obtain my personal satisfaction and true happiness in both my personal life and the life of my family were solely based on the true principles of five spiritual discipline tenets I attained in 1947 when I began to learn “DangSoo Do”(TKD) at 13 in my freshman year of Jr. High School in Korea.
At the time, there were five mandatory and distinctive principles of self-disciplinary thoughts of actions one must acquire before learning to master the techniques to become warriors in Dang-Soo-Do. These awesome doctrines still stand nowadays because they are the backbone of Tae-Kwon-Do.
First, “Choong” [충 忠] – “Loyalty”, meaning to give everything one has: “self-sacrifice” with integrity in respect to patriotism to your country with solemn duty and honor.
Second, “Hyo” [효 孝] – “Filial Piety”, meaning to respect with honor and dignity towards your parents, elders, teachers, and neighbours with loving care and true affection as the family value.
Third, “Eui” [의 義] – “Perseverance”[인 忍], meaning to share one’s firm conviction with patience as a truly dedicated camaraderie, friendship that one is willing to sacrifice him/ herself to assist and rescue others when in stress or danger.
Fourth, “Yong” [용 勇] – “Indomitable Spirit” in Valor/Bravery/Courage, and Confidence meaning for dedicated selfless action one takes upon him/herself when it is deemed necessary in life.
Fifth, “Cinn” [신 信] – “Trust/Belief”, meaning to have the trusts and beliefs in oneself while having the same candour and conviction in each other’s companionship.
I am not, certainly, forcing these five doctrines to anyone, although these principles truly guided me throughout most of my adult life, for you to adopt and live by them. It’s up to you. If you are willing and choose whichever fits comfortably into your thoughts and convictions, I would certainly recommend them to you. My two sons pursued them after me and became quite successful in life.
As a beginner or as an advanced student of TaeKwonDo looking to be an Olympian or not, it won’t matter which doctrine you would prefer to be your guiding force as long as you learn to keep on practicing the ones you have chosen throughout your life. The most important and integral part of the “self-discipline” deriving from the “inner spirit of TaeKwonDo” is “Continuity” which will provide you with the daily dose of vital “Driving Force”. In this respect, you will be known in society and amongst your peers as an outstanding leader in every aspect wherever you are.
As students of TaeKwonDo, one must learn to “respect and be proud”of his and her “DoBok” first, and the color of the “Belt” one is honored to wear, whether it is white or black or in-between, because it is the true “Symbol” of perseverance and discipline in the life of TaeKwonDo.
With respect to DoBok, at the very moment one wears it, he or she should and must feel “humble, eccentric and proud” because it is the spiritual symbol of one’s “dignity”. Therefore, one must wear it, always, in an orderly manner of “class A shape and form!”. In order to love and respect “DoBok” one must learn to trust oneself as a confident Martial Arts’ warrior.
When in DoBok, I must confess that even at 87, I feel eccentric and feel like 18 with dynamic force ready to burst into the air, like a volcano, throughout my entire body from head to toes and yet calm with the inner spirit. It is just awesome! No doubt that “I am living the life of a “Reborn TaeKwonDo!” at 87!
As part of my magnificent legacy, hoping that it is not too late for me to join in at this juncture, “I want to further pursue and be honored with my mastery of the ‘9th Degree Black Belt’ as Great Grand Master on my 90th birthday as a “Lifetime Achievement Award!”. Now at 87, I realize that it will take truly hard work with much discipline along with many tears and smiles to get there. If God’s willing, I swear on a Bible that I will certainly try like hell to ascertain my goal before reaching the end of the rainbow. What can I lose? Absolutely, nothing but to gain awesome pride and joy in life!
Until then, I will keep on participating actively in New York TaeKwonDo Tournament of Championship with almighty God’s powerful “Board Breaking Performance” to instill and give self-confidence to all young TaeKwonDo warriors, masters and the public with the profound spirit to promote our proud land of Tae-Kwon-Do origin, The Republic of Korea.
As a final note, as an old veteran warrior of Dang-Soo-Do[#][당수도 唐手導] (TaeKwonDo) who went through all hell and pain experiencing mind boggling destruction from the devastating Korean War of 1950-53, I proudly served as a KATUSA[*], Korean Student Garrison Soldier, attached to the U.S. 8th Army Signal Corps. as interpreter and survived the tragic war with none-other-than the “TaeKwonDo Spiritual Discipline!”.
I sincerely hope this article reaches our fifteen million TaeKwonDo family members as an inspiration to their daily life with true confidence as TaeKwonDo warriors.
God Bless America… God Bless Korea … God Bless TaeKwonDo!
John Sehejong Ha – Grandmaster –YH Park TaeKwonDo Academy
Sr. Advisor – Black Belt U.S. Tae-Kwon-Do Leadership Federation
1st Vice President – KWVA- Department of New York
[*] KATUSA: Korean Augmentation To United States Army
[#] Not the Chinese pronunciation Tang-Soo-Do., but Correct Pronunciation is “Dang-Soo-Do”