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The Need for Tong-Il Moo-Do (a Unified Martial Art)

In light of the present situation in the martial arts, Tong-Il Moo-Do offers a significant instrument for its revival. Through a fully articulated philosophy, it aims to provide a beacon to illuminate once again the inner path that has been darkened. Based upon the inspiration of Dr. Sun Myung Moon, Tong-Il Moo-Do promotes a universal value system as the basis for such a revival.

A. The Basic Premise of Tong Il Moo Do

1. Spiritual Aspect

In ancient times martial arts (Moo-Do) had been developed by monks at Buddhist temples for their own self-defense, for their health improvement and for the cultivation of their spirit. By emphasizing the "Do" part of Moo-Do, which means "The Way," the monks kept the cultivation of their spirit and unification of their mind and body as the main purpose for practicing martial arts. This is also connected with the spirit of patriotism. People who practice martial arts must be people of the highest character who realize a true family and dedicate themselves for the peace of the world. However, unfortunately it is undeniable that Moo Do often has been misused, contrary to the original spirit of Moo Do.

In order to realize its original purpose, Moo Do must be centered upon the absolute and universal value of the Unification Principle, which is based on true love and the conscience. Unification Principle is the absolute universal value system that can harmonize and unify the values of the East and the West, the values of the traditional and the modern world, and spiritual values and material values.

2. Technical Aspect

Another problem in the contemporary martial arts arena is its division into hundreds of different schools, each insisting that its technique is the best and only true technique. As in many other areas of human life, there has been a growing specialization into finer and finer techniques. The lack of internal content has contributed to this trend as the various schools have had difficulty in finding common ground with other styles on a deeper level.

When humans who are vibrant and creative are faced with real danger, they must apply a comprehensive and creative technique that transcends any one fixed form. If a person is bound by one particular style, then he cannot use any kind of creative technique. This is why a martial art needs to be developed that harmonizes and unifies all the different styles of the martial arts.

B. The Significance of Tong-Il Moo-Do

Tong-Il Moo-Do was developed as a comprehensive and unified martial art that is able to harmonize and unify the best essence of all the different techniques of the various schools of martial arts through scientific analysis and improvements. By theoretically systematizing all the different martial arts centered on universal values, Tong-Il Moo-Do seeks to bring martial arts into a perfect "Moo-Do."

Believing that man is a creative being with both internal (mind) and external (body) dimensions, students of Tong-Il Moo-Do are required to train in both martial art skills (external) and the practice of universal values in their daily lives (internal). In this way Tong-Il Moo-Do helps its practitioners to grow both physically and spiritually into people of true character. This is the main purpose of Tong-Il Moo Do.

1. External Aspect

In order to develop a superior martial art, top instructors of Tong-Il Moo-Do have been systematizing, integrating and improving the best techniques of other styles as well as inventing new techniques. In this way, Tong-Il Moo-Do seeks to unify and harmonize circular movements and linear movements, soft or gentle movements and rigid movements, and also throwing techniques and punching and kicking techniques.

Circular and soft movements are in the subject, or more important, position while linear and rigid movements are in the object position. Thus, Tong-Il Moo-Do has largely adopted and developed various circular movements.


2. Internal Aspect

By integrating and systematizing the harmonized and unified techniques centering on the Unification Principle, the student of Tong-Il Moo-Do comes to study and internalize the Unification Principle naturally through the martial art training programs.

To give a couple of examples: Trainees begin and end each training session with a meditation time during which Dr. Moon's words are read. Also, instead of shouting "Yah", as is usual in most martial arts, trainees shout "Choong Hyo", meaning loyalty and filial piety, thus encouraging them to cultivate such a spirit.

C. The Tong-Il Moo-Do Philosophy

Tong-Il Moo-Do promotes a philosophy of universal values based on heart that both integrates and transcends the ancient philosophical roots of the martial arts. This philosophy is able to address concrete problems facing today's world in such a way that stimulates the idealism latent in all young people. It harmonizes and unifies the values of both East and West, of traditional and contemporary culture, and of the spiritual and material dimensions of life.

1. Universal Principles and Values

The concept of a universal value system is based on the premise that human society is governed by universal principles just as the natural universe is. When we observe the organization and operation of the universe, we find a profound order and harmony due to the fact that all entities abide by the same principles. Throughout the universe, we find the principle of duality (internal and external, positivity and negativity), the principle of harmonious interaction, the principle of existing for a higher purpose and the principle of orderly development. Presumably human society would also reflect such order and harmony if it were to understand and observe these principles as well.

One of the fundamental bases for the harmonious operation of the universe arises out of a clear order in relationships, of which there are three aspects: vertical, horizontal, and individual.


Vertical Order

This is evident in the hierarchical nature of the relationship between bodies of different dimensions. For example, the moon revolves around the earth, which in turn revolves around the sun. The sun in turn revolves around the galactic center, which revolves around the center of the universe.

Horizontal Order

This is evident in the nature of the relationship between bodies of the same dimension. For instance, the planets in our solar system are as "peers" to one another, all orbiting around the sun. In comparing vertical with horizontal relationships, we can say that the former is primary and the latter is secondary. This is because relationships between bodies of the same dimension are governed by a common center that is vertical to them all. For example, the order and harmony of the solar system depends upon the centrality of the sun.

Individual Order

This is evident in the behavior of individual bodies, which maintain their existence by rotating on their axes. This is important because the entire solar system is influenced by the behavior of each one of its planets.

The lesson to be learned here is that the principle of order governing the universal relationships are the same ones that are meant to govern human relationships. We find the same three dimensions of order in human relationships.again we can say that the former is primary and the latter is secondary. This is because relationships between peers are governed by a common center that is vertical to them all. For example, order and harmony in the family depends upon the centrality of the parents.

2. The Family as the School of Love

Universal principles, when applied to human life, teach us that the family unit, centered on true love, is the cornerstone on which a harmonious society is built. Conversely, it is well documented that the greatest youth and social problems occur where the family structure has broken down. Where families are strong and stable, there are fewer social problems. For example, when a child receives adequate love and guidance from parents, that child is much less likely to become promiscuous. Thus, healthy families are the foundation of a healthy society.

The family is the first school of love, for it is here that people learn the essential values and virtues that form the foundation for achieving their goals in life. The cornerstone of children's personality lies in their ability to relate to others in true love. When this quality of love is applied in relationships between men and women it leads naturally to purity before marriage and undivided conjugal love within marriage. When motivated by love grounded in morals, people will always act in the best long-term interests of the ones they love, never gambling with their health, future goals or personal integrity.

Human beings come to know true love through experiencing what is known as the four realms of heart: first, the filial heart towards one's parents in response to their unconditional and sacrificial love; second, the heart of mutual love and friendship between brothers and sisters and among peers; third, the heart of conjugal love between husband and wife; and fourth, the unconditional parental heart of love toward one's children. By developing these four realms of heart, a person becomes a man or woman of good character embodying true love. The family, therefore, becomes the foundation for human happiness, life and ideals.

Good parents naturally want to teach and guide their children to become sons and daughters of duty and filial piety who will love and respect their parents; by extension, they will love and respect their teachers and elders. To reach true filial piety, an individual serves the family and sacrifices for it. By practicing this attitude in the community, and being ready to sacrifice the family for the good of the nation, a person becomes a true citizen and patriot. A person who is ready to sacrifice his or her life in order to embody universal values for the benefit of humankind is known as a humanitarian and peacemaker.

In the family, parents are meant to play three subject roles: true parents, true teachers and true leaders. Central to the fulfillment of each role is true love. The best example of such love is parents who live selflessly for the sake of their children. By living according to such a standard people become true parents. The parental role extends to that of a true teacher. This means teaching moral values and setting the example for the other family members. Furthermore, the parental role extends to that of a true leader. This is achieved by guiding one's children in the right direction while maintaining a strong sense of responsibility for the lives and future of the family.

These roles also apply in society. For example, martial arts instructors can be true parents. They do this by demonstrating a heart of parental love toward the students and loving them as their own children. Secondly, they can be true teachers. This means guiding students in the right way by instruction as well as by personal example. And finally, as true leaders, instructors would feel responsible for the moral and physical well-being of the students in their care, just as parents feel responsible for the whole well-being of their own children. The same principle applies to all people, whether they are responsible for a small group of people or a whole nation.

Thus, we can see that what is learned and taught in the family impacts the society at large. Family relationships are the prototypes for all social relationships. How we will relate to our elders, younger persons and peers in society will be determined by the way we learned to relate to those in our family. The ideal of the family espouses a way of life that is purposed for others and is aimed at the betterment of one's society, nation, and world.

By applying universal principles to human life, a global spiritual awakening is possible. Such awareness is the necessary foundation for creating a unified human family and for establishing the virtues necessary for a harmonized global society to prosper and flourish.

3. The Preservation of Harmony

In the natural world a breakdown in harmony sometimes occurs. In those cases, there are forces and mechanisms within the mineral, plant, and animal worlds that naturally work to restore harmony and well-being to the organism. In the same way, human beings must understand how to combat disharmony or illness in the social organism.

Universally, in the spiritual traditions of the world, there has been an awareness of the ongoing conflict between good and evil. The myths and scriptures of the world's cultures have historically pit the champions of goodness against the forces of evil. They have further recognized that the field of conflict is multi-dimensional: it occurs in human relationships on every level as well as within each human being.

Traditionally, the martial arts were practiced in order to strengthen one's resistance to evil impulses within oneself, as well as against its external assaults. Buddhist monks trained in the martial arts strove for purity of heart, thought, and will.

The reality of life teaches us that taking a vigorous stand against evil is necessary at times. While exalting the ideal of harmony, Tong-Il Moo-Do also promotes a realistic awareness of the personal and historical confrontation between good and evil.

We know from both religious and secular history that there have been many leaders who misled their followers for selfish and destructive reasons. To counter their misdirection, courageous leaders often arose to confront them and inspired popular movements in their support. In these cases, if the forces in error acknowledged their misdirection, peaceful reconciliation was possible, and history returned to a harmonious, creative direction. However, if the forces in error opposed attempts at redirection, the side of good had no choice but to fight, for history is turned by whichever force prevails. History often has been turned in the direction of goodness through the firm will and action of such fearless leaders.

In light of such realities, we can understand that the spiritual path is not incompatible with an interest in the martial arts. In fact, a genuine comprehension of the state of human spirituality recommends the practice of an art form born out of the impulse to resist evil.

Thus, Tong-Il Moo-Do is a spiritual discipline that serves to strengthen the internal resolve of human beings to be righteous. It is not art for its own sake, but an art purposed to promote a comprehensive view of man and the universe, of good and evil, and provides one with a practical defense against evil in both the spiritual and material realms of human existence.

4. Tong-Il Moo-Do and Daily Life

Forceful aggression is the most blatant manifestation of evil, and if ever faced with this kind of threat, the Tong-Il Moo-Do practitioner may find physical defense unavoidable. More often, however, life presents us with innumerable non-combative challenges. For such day-to-day situations, the social value of Tong-Il Moo-Do training becomes relevant.

Firstly, through the medium of rigorous spiritual and physical training, the student grows in awareness of himself. In the course of serious study, he becomes aware of the limitations of his own character and how to surmount or compensate for them.

He also learns through sportive engagements that effectiveness requires not only courage and tenacity, but also self-control, intuition, flexibility, and sensitivity.

Finally, by grasping and embodying the philosophy of Tong-Il Moo-Do, the practitioner's heart, thought, and action become primarily oriented toward realizing harmony in the spiritual and social dimension. This fosters a personal attitude where one's defensive skill is considered to be an auxiliary ability which takes its value precisely from the fact that spiritual and social harmony are the central concerns of life. In this way Tong-Il Moo-Do restores the original spirit and purpose of martial arts.

D. Realizing Three Life Goals

The main purpose of Tong-Il Moo-Do is to help trainees, centering on true love, to realize the three fundamental goals of life. The first is becoming a person of mature character who learns self-control through mind-body unity and develops the capacity to love. Essential to this is learning to develop pure relationships of love with respect to the opposite sex. The second goal is establishing a happy and healthy family and experiencing the ethical and loving relationships that result from family life. The third goal is using our creative abilities to make a positive contribution to society. Fulfilling these three life goals are accomplished by adopting a life of service to others, eventually building a truly peaceful world.

Thus, as parents, educators and leaders we should be concerned with more than simply educating the intellects of our young people. The development of their character is of greater concern, for this is the foundation of all three life goals.

At the core of human character is heart. Hence, the essence of developing good character lies in the cultivation of one's heart to express true love and concern for others. Learning how to properly express such love requires training in moral and ethical norms of behavior.

To fulfill this, Tong-Il Moo-Do emphasizes the following eight points in the course of its student training:

1. Unity between mind and body
2. Cultivation of oneself
3. Nurturing of courage
4. Good manners
5. Indomitable spirit
6. Endurance
7. Self-defense
8. Physical health

Tong-Il Moo-Do recognizes that character development depends fundamentally on making the proper relationship between one's mind and body. The nature of the relationship should be such that the mind exercises complete dominion over the body. This is the basis for true peace within the individual and empowers a person to relate to others from a position of both understanding and authority. It allows him to practice such universally recognized values as respect, responsibility, fairness, righteousness, courage, honesty, forthrightness, and others. It allows a person's heart and conscience, which motivate one to express such values in relationships with others, the freedom to grow and develop properly. While the heart is the source of love, the conscience is that faculty which guides love in the proper direction. Thus, the achievement of unity within oneself leads to the outward expression of heart and conscience in an ethical and virtuous manner, as the manifestation of true love.

Only in this way can a person develop an indomitable spirit, with the courage and ability to endure difficult situations. Guided by a well-developed conscience, such a person has a strong sense of righteousness and feels compelled to fight against injustice wherever it is manifested.

E. Conclusion

The factionalism and moral degradation afflicting much of the martial arts field today is a reflection of the overall situation in our world. Tong-Il Mo-Do seeks to rectify this situation through both its technical and spiritual aspects. Technically, by integrating progressively and creatively the best aspects of the numerous styles of martial arts. It does this by seeking to improve existing techniques while also inventing new techniques. In this way Tong-Il Moo-Do is a creative and comprehensive martial art that can bring unity to the entire field. Spiritually, through a comprehensive philosophy of universal values, Tong-Il Moo-Do transcends the cultural origins of the different martial arts, harmonizing and unifying the values of East and West, traditional and contemporary values, and spiritual and material values. Its teaching supports the fulfillment of three basic life goals: developing one's personal character through pure love, establishing healthy families and contributing to the society through service.

Sadly, many martial arts clubs are failing to meet the spiritual needs of the young people coming to them in the search for something deeper in life. Tong-Il Moo-Do seeks not only to meet those needs but also to raise up morally strong young people to take leadership positions in the world community. Through its philosophy, Tong-Il Moo-Do instructors seek to touch the hearts and minds of their students and inspire them to live up to their highest ideals, that they in turn may become a source of inspiration and hope to others. When such men and women come to embody such ideals in their daily lives, they will become a source of true world peace, one world family and a culture of heart.