English | Korean
Present Situation
A. Sensationalism and Commercialism

In recent decades, there has been increasing interest in the non-Asian world about the culture, history and philosophy of the Orient. One of the most fascinating things about Asia is precisely its martial arts tradition. However, due to its exciting appearance, it could be easily transformed into material for the entertainment industry. Thus, a flood of adventure films featuring kung fu, karate, judo and other styles, have been and continue to be produced.

Furthermore, outside of the movie industry, not to mention the training hall, professional competitions have proliferated as live entertainment. Sometimes these contests are hosted in arenas that boast liquor concessions, ringside boxes, bizarre costumes, blaring music and bikini-clad ring girls.

B. Loss of the Inner Do

Under such circumstances, the original purpose and spirituality of the martial arts has been forgotten. The meaning of the martial arts as a path of internal development (Do) has been desecrated. On the other hand, due to the public interest created by such entertainment, a market has been created for martial arts instruction that provides an opportunity for either the restoration of the true tradition or else a further distortion of it. In the former case, many credible training schools have been set up around the world. But, due to the pattern of life in industrialized society, it is no longer possible for a student to live with a master for years on end, as was the case for the Shaolin aspirant. Instead, a few hours a week are devoted to technical training, often with little focus on internal education. Because of this, no matter how expert the instruction may be, it is hard to preserve the holistic approach to martial arts training which the ancient monasteries offered. In the latter case, where the unscrupulous are merely selling technical instruction completely devoid of inner content for profit, high belt holders are being sent into the world who are totally deficient in their internal understanding. Unfortunately, many of them will go on to instruct others, thus multiplying their ignorance.