Wednesday, May 9, 2012


by Kyosanim Melissa L. Nichols

Today I practiced good Bo Shi. I was in the parking lot at Wal-mart and was approached by a tiny woman from another land. She didn't speak my language, and she was dressed in what looked like a sari, but she was from Asia, or possibly Indonesia. I had no idea what she was saying, but she was smiling and it made me smile too. And so I guessed and guessed until I realized she was asking me for a ride of a short distance, which I gladly gave. The whole way, we both smiled and laughed. She thanked me, but for the feeling I have inside me, I thank her.

What is Bo Shi?

Grandmaster first introduced the concept of Bo Shi in May of 2009 at a tuksu suryon class. Bo Shi applies to everyone, from white belt up. It can apply to anyone whether they practice martial arts or not, but most especially those of us who do.  It is about leaving our ego behind us, and finding lessons in everything, not simply those things which we find to be of personal interest. If we are true students of the way, even the wind can teach us.  We must always keep an open mind.

As the story by Grandmaster Kim Soo goes, one day a villager asked a wise man why he was always unlucky and never got a break.  The wise man told him to make an offering. The man replied he had nothing to offer. The wise man said that money or goods was not what he was talking about. Everyone has something to give that costs us nothing. This is the concept of Bo Shi.  We all have seven things that we can do to help others, and this helps us too. This follows the concept of what comes around goes around, cause and effect and the golden rule. Very universal teachings.

The seven things, or Bo Shi are:
  1. Hwa Ahn Shi- the friendly or peaceful face. Smile. Be at ease with our expression. Let the light in your eyes shine outward.
  2. Ohn Shi- friendly encouraging words, praise, or giving hope. These are important gifts we have to offer others in times of need, sorrow or celebration and joy.
  3. Ahn Shi- friendly look or eye contact. This is important for those who are uncertain, lost or unsure if someone is approachable.
  4. Shim Shi- open mind/ open heart-with no prejudice or preconcived notions. Do not judge others, take time to find out who/what they really are beneath the surface. Do not judge a book by its cover.
  5. Shin Shi- physically helping someone. Pick up a heavy load for them, open a door, assist and elder with sitting or standing, reach something on a high up shelf. These are gifts worth more than gold.
  6. Jua Shi- consideration or politeness. Offer a seat to someone who needs it more than you, respect your elders, remember your manners, behave appropriately for each occasion.
  7. Chal Shi- finding a need and offering it. This is an advanced awareness. This is not asking someone what they need, this is anticipating the need and serving it.
Think of these actions in a sincere way as you go about your day.
 Are you treating others as you would like to be treated? 

Are you giving off good karma? Are you building positive kong? 

What kind of environment are you presenting to those around you? 

When you teach class are you helping students, and making them feel better about themselves?
Or are you making them more nervous and unsure? Be self aware.  Be aware that our words and actions affect those around us, every moment of every day. Bo Shi.

for more about Bo Shi read "Bo Shi"

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