Sunday, January 15, 2012

Balance and Harmony

As a student of  "The Natural Way", I have been of late giving a great deal of thought to the concepts of balance and harmony and how they apply in the dojang, as well as in everyday life.  Balance and harmony are both vital elements to incorperate into one's training, and everyday living.

Balance is defined as a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight, amount, etc. In chayon-Ryu practice, this refers to balance of motion in body shifting, movement, executing strikes, kicks, and all fundamental movements of martial arts.  This is the physical balance. 
Accompanying the physical balance is mental balance: mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior, judgment, etc.

Harmony is defined as order or congruity of parts to their whole or to one another; accord. Agreement in action, opinon and feeling.  In Chayon-Ryu Practice, this refers to the marriage of body, mind and spirit when all three intersect.

In order to practice good Hoshin Sul (Art of Self-Defense), we must attain a place of balance and harmony. The Um-Yang on our school patch is a portrait of balance and harmony as two opposing forces of nature exist in delicate balance, thus existing in harmony.  Throwing arts utilize the marriage of balance and harmony in both defensive and offensive moves.  Basic movements and fundamental exercises utilize balance and harmony through principle joined with movement, combining the two for practical application of strikes and blocks. Every element that makes up the sum of martial arts training is related through balance and harmony.

But how do we apply this to our everyday lives?  In theory it is a simple matter of finding a balance in all things, and conjoining them together in a harmonious relationship. In reality it is much more complex. But however we approach it, the key to success is to apply the principles of Chayon-Ryu which are based in the natural order of the universe.

Balance work with play, rest with activity, calm with stimulous. Moderation is the key to finding balance, and letting go of the need to acquire more than can be managed, compete for meaningless trophies, and basically not participate in the rat race. Rise above it. Prioritize what is truly important, and let go of things that simply do not matter. Do not obsess over the things you have no control over or say in. Remain healthy in the mind and heart as well as the body. Chayon-Ryu promotes better living and a path to personal growth and enlightenment through the practice of its principles, fundamentals, and philosophy.

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