Category: Master Yoo’s Training Guide

19
Sep

CONCENTRATION

Concentration and its development provide many benefits in daily life as well as in Tae Kwon Do. Having a better capacity to concentrate allows for greater focus while performing tasks at work or school, or doing chores around the house. It enables learning and retention of new things.

There are two types of concentration cultivation; through tension and through relaxation. Tense concentration can occur when an individual is in a high pressure situation like attempting to score a winning penalty goal in a soccer game, taking a test, or trying to meet a deadline. Relaxed concentration is commonly experienced when in meditation or doing simple activities like walking in nature, or cleaning with mindfulness.

In both, the capacity for concentration and focus increases. The difference is in the effects and the duration. In a tense situation, one’s concentration rises quickly. However it is not sustained at that level for long and once the tense situation is over, the concentration drops to at, or even sometimes below, the starting point. The physical after effects typically leave one feeling drained, tired, and mentally foggy.

When building concentration through relaxation, the focus takes a longer time to develop. However this allows for a steady growth over time. While there are still peaks and valleys in the capacity of concentration, the overall trend is that one’s concentration grows for a prolonged period. Through relaxed concentration, the level of concentration cultivated rarely diminishes and the physical after effects are more positive; typically instilling a sense of calmness and clarity.

One of the effects meditation can have on a person is lengthening their breath. With deep breathing comes a slower heart rate and calm mind. All of these things relax the sympathetic nervous system and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. This relaxed state of concentration can be highly beneficial to balance out the normal stresses our body may experience from work, school, and family responsibilities.

Another point to consider is that there are changes in the brainwaves that occur for each method. Our concentration will impact the brain as well as other parts of the physical body. The universal vibration is set to 7.5 Hz, the natural frequency of infants. It is thought this attunes them to the universe and is why they are happy and inquisitive.

In the normal day to day living, our brainwaves are in the Beta range (13-30 Hz). In this range, attention is directed towards cognitive tasks and the outside world in the condition of tension and instability.

Below that is the Alpha range (8 to 12 Hz) which shows up when we are calm and awake, but the brain is resting.

Below that is the Theta range (4 to 8 Hz) which is where our brains go into sleep and deep meditation.

And the lowest for our purposes is the Delta range (0.2 to 3 Hz) which is where deep sleep and the deepest of meditative states occurs.

By changing the frequency our brains operate at, we can facilitate better learning and cultivate more capacity for concentration. How we manage our brain frequency (either through tension or relaxation) determines the long term benefits of heightened concentration.

— Spoken by JiDoJa YOO, JM
— Written by Hyun Sa Myung Duk (Drew Vanover) and Shin Min (Patrick Malonso); Edited by Hyun Sa Chun Shim (Carlos Stern)

25
Jul

TURKEY MOUNTAIN MEDITATION HIKING

​July 9, 2017

1. Place feet shoulder width apart and look gradually to the end of the horizon
2. Straighten your spine from your tail bone up to your neck, and close your eyes
3. Relax your facial muscles, shoulders, chest and abdominal muscles
4. Slowly rise both hands in front of your belly button, with fingertips touching each other
5. Bring your attention to your fingertips and feel the pulse on each one.

6. Slowly move your palms apart, and then closer (repeating continuously)
7. Stay focused on palm sensations

8. Slowly rotate your palms so that one palms is above the other (without touching)
9. Rise your top palm up to your forehead, and then down again toward the bottom palm, repeat
10. Rotate your palms (palm that was on top is now on the bottom), and repeat #9
11. Stay focused on the magnetic force between the palms.

12. Slowly rise both hands to the side of your head
13. Make circles surrounding your brain
14. Feel the sensations in your brain

15. Slowly bring your palms in front of the upper abdomen area with both palms facing up
16. Feel the weight on your palms

17. Slowly open your eyes, compare your condition before meditation and after

18
Jul

HST Turkey Mountain Hike

July HST was held on a beautiful Sunday morning at Turkey Mountain, near Yorktown Heights, NY.

Approximately 25 participants, including a few parents and Masters, met up at 8am. We climbed up the blue trail at a comfortable pace for approximately 1.5 miles, reaching the top in less than 40 minutes. The peak offered sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline as well as the Croton Reservoir.
After admiring the view and enjoying a refreshing drink, Master Yoo proceeded to guide us through some meditation. We eased into relaxation and deep focus on specific parts of our body, including fingertips for pulse sensation, moving palms together and apart to experience magnetic resistance, heat, warmth, etc. while levelling emotions. We finished with palms surrounding our head and visualizing cleansing all four corners of the brain.
After about 20 minutes of meditation we proceeded back to the bottom following the white trail and reaching the parking lot (0.7 miles). Everyone looked energized and refreshed, and the day was still young as the hike was completed by 10am. We thank all participants and hope you share this experience with your families and friends.
Please leave your comments on Yoo’s Martial Arts Facebook by going to www.yoosma.com and clicking on the Facebook link.

22
Jun

PLEASURE, SELF-TRAINING (SU HAENG) AND DEVOTION (HONG IK IN GAN)

 

Contentment comes from a balanced life. A deep study of Martial Arts can help an individual in determining what priorities to set forth in achieving balance. Which aspects of life are valuable enough to continuously progress in? Our lives can be divided into three of main categories: pleasure, self-training (Su Haeng) and devotion (Hong Ik In Gan).

1. PLEASURE

In life, no matter what, we wish to experience some pleasures. Examples of these pleasures are food and sleep. Although these do constitute basic necessities required for survival, their quantity and quality can sometimes be excessive. Everyone must eat, but it is not necessary to eat too often or more than is necessary. Everyone must sleep but not everyone needs to sleep as much as they want. You may need to go online to research something, but you don’t need to procrastinate or search unnecessarily. You may need a watch to tell the time, but you certainly don’t need an expensive watch. Pursuing pleasure to excess can be detrimental and take away from the two other categories of life.

2. SELF-TRAINING (SU HAENG)

Self-training is the development of oneself. Some examples of self-training in martial arts are pushups, sit-ups, running, meditation, etc.. Self-training by achieving goals makes us feel good and confident. During self-training positive hormones get released into our bodies. These hormones allow us to feel good, and benefit us in all areas of life. Once a person discovers the benefits of physical training and meditation, it becomes difficult to miss because of the negative feelings that harvest within us resulting from negative thoughts and hormones when we miss self-training. The Korean word Su Haeng means Clean out and Go! This term is used to describe the effect of self-training. It cleans out your body (physical body, energy body and spiritual body) and allows us to go towards devotion. Through Su Haeng, a corner stone of our life, we can better understand that there should be a shift from seeking material/physical pleasure towards self-training and devotion to others.

3. DEVOTION (HONG IK IN GAN)

Devotion to what you may ask? Devotion is called Hong Ik In Gan in Korean, which roughly translates to achieving overflowing energy that helps the people around you. Devotion is doing our best with sincere efforts in the walk of life just given to us. By doing our best with sincerity, we already benefit humanity in our role as earth humans. But depending on our energy level built through self-training (Su Haeng), our energy could be overflowing or dried away, thus resulting in different degrees of benefitting humanity. Some may pick up the garbage on the public street forever, while others may become fine leaders of society and awaken people’s conscience rather than throw their conscience on the public street. We can easily distinguish which one is a higher degree of devotion. By achieving a higher level of devotion, our Hong Ik In Gan energy will move forward and amplify the sharing of good deeds.

Striking a balance between pleasure, self-training and devotion is the challenge. When excessive pleasure is sought it takes time away from self-training and devotion. Usually, it takes away more from devotion because most of us are reluctant to cut back on self-training since we have experienced benefits of self-training. Without self-training we are more likely to fall into a negative condition because our system is not releasing positive hormones. When this happens, the wiser choice to help ourselves is to cut back on self-training and keep the time committed to devotion unchanged. Receiving negative feeling from loss of self-training and lack of confidence in front of people while devoting ourselves to people will lead us to regret what we did and persuade us not to repeat it again. Through our Su Haeng and Hong Ik In Gan (self-training and devotion), we learn to relinquish pleasure that keeps us in bondage and instead lead a balanced life and pursue that which brings us spiritual illumination.

Spoken by Ji do ja nim Yoo
Written by Hyun Sa Myung Duk (Drew Vanover), Shin Min (Patrick Malonso) and JiSun (Joe Lipman)
Edited by Hyun Sa Chun Shim (Carlos Stern)

07
Mar

HAANG AND BYUN

taekwondo training

1.HAANG

HAANG represents a frame. It is stable, simulating the parts of our lives that are basically unchanging and predictable. To illustrate, picture the rising of the sun and moon. They follow a specific pattern and we know, for instance, that the every 29 days the shape of the moon will be identical (whether full, new, waning crescent or waxing crescent). However we recognize that there is change within Haang. The moon changes shape, and the seasons change. However, these changes follow consistent patterns. Humans are very familiar. HAANG can represent the inevitable parts of life (birth and death) as well as the foundational structure of Martial Arts (basic mental and physical aspects)

2.BYUN

BYUN represents change. The unexpected elements in our lives that occuror the variety that we pursue are examples of BYUN. We tend to seek outchange because without it life can be boring. An example is trying out all sorts of different hobbies or sports. The downside of excessive BYUN is that learning is more superficial. We become good at many things but masters of none. Even within Martial Arts, leaning too much on Byun can actually delay progress. It can be tempting to do sparring one day, Kigong the next, pad kicking the next, and so forth, instead of choosing one aspect and discovering subtle ways to improve on it.

The ideal combination is harmony (Taeguk) of both HAANG and BYUN. With true concentration and sincerity, one can find BYUN within HAANG. Even what seems routine often time is not if one observescarefully. No two sunsets are the same. No two snowflakes are identical. Every martial arts class is different if you increase your level of awareness.

Written by Master Yoo, JM
Edited by Hyun Sa Myung Duk (Drew Vanover) and Chun Shim (Carlos Stern)