By: Dr Merv Fogarty
FORTY-TWO senior instructors and practitioners attended the first Yun Jung Do “Certificate One Instructor Course” which was held in Malaysia. Attendees were from various martial arts and 24 submitted expressions of interest in becoming instructors to pioneer Yun Jung Do in this country. All have Tae Kwon Do backgrounds and include: two 7th Dans; five 6th Dans; four 5th Dans; four 4th Dans; seven 3rd Dans; one 2nd Dan; and one 1st Dan.
The founder of Yun Jung Do, Grandmaster Young Ku Yun, conducted the course. “This is a proud moment in the history of Yun Jung Do,” he said, “24 new instructors in one country is very encouraging.” Due to high demand and interest, not only in Malaysia but also in other countries, instructor courses will be conducted, this year, in Malaysia, for a second time, and also in The United Kingdom, Poland and Germany. The minimum requirement for course participants is to hold a black belt.
Certificate One prepares participants to be Yun Jung Do instructors and teaches them, step-by-step, the knowledge and skills needed to establish and manage their own clubs. “Many martial arts instructors see their work as a hobby”, said Grandmaster Yun. “But now the development and running of their own clubs as businesses provides them with a respected professional career where the financial benefits are only limited by their own efforts.”
Certificate One is based on the Yun Jung Do ‘Diploma’ and ‘Advanced Diploma’ courses which are accredited by the Australian Government’s Vocational Education, Training and Employment Commission. This was the first time in Australian martial arts’ history that courses were accredited to teach practitioners the business skills and necessary knowledge to run a successful business. Completion of the Certificate equips instructors to run classes up to green belt level, 8th Kup. Prior learning in other martial arts is recognised and may expedite the conversion to Yun Jung Do instructor.
Currently Grandmaster Yun is examining the feasibility of establishing a “Yun Jung Do International Instructor Benefits Scheme”. It involves providing gratuities for instructors after they reach retirement age. It will reward an instructor for every Instructor Course graduate they introduced to the course. Yun Jung Do Headquarters will raise gratuity funds by laying aside 10% of the life membership and progress review fees paid to them by an instructor’s club members. Gratuities will be paid annually and will cease on the death of recipients.
The translation of the Korean words, “Yun Jung Do” is “the first true way”. “Yun Jung Do is a controversial new human art”, said Grandmaster Yun. It is controversial because it challenges the current state of the martial arts. And it is a human art because it goes beyond the traditional boundaries of martial arts. Its focus is more than just the physical. It sees its practitioners as intellectual human beings who want to improve their quality of life.
Modern scientific principles are combined with traditional martial arts teaching to bring the new and the old together. This combines theory with martial arts practice. “Yun Jung Do exercises the physical, mental, spiritual and emotional dimensions,” said grandmaster Yun. “The purpose is to enrich and enhance practitioners’ lives.”
Males and females of any age can learn Yun Jung Do. While it teaches ways of self-defence that are most effective, its philosophy highlights the virtues of humility, justice, courtesy, wisdom and trust. It also teaches non-aggression. In real-life, practitioners would only use the physical skills of Yun Jung Do if there is no other alternative but to defend themselves or to defend others who may be threatened.
Before developing Yun Jung Do, Grandmaster Yun had held high office in the martial arts. He is a former Director of the International Tae Kwon Do Federation and a former Chairman of the Techniques Committee. “At first I held these positions with great honour”, said Grandmaster Yun. “But ultimately, growing doubts that I was teaching techniques I no longer believed in dominated my thoughts. I also didn’t agree with the increasing sports orientation of the martial arts.”
He believed that many martial arts skills and techniques were outdated and even injurious to the human body. For example imitating the movements of animals seemed to lack relevance. The movements in many martial arts are often stiff and unnatural. Injuries that he experienced as a practitioner convinced Grandmaster Yun of this.
Movement in Yun Jung Do is natural based on the movement of the human body. “All movements,” said Grandmaster Yun, “have been designed to harness the power of the human body through explosive and powerful techniques that, at the same time, reflect the healthy and spiritual state of the practitioner.”
Yun Jung Do concentrates on the basics and students practice them until they can execute them correctly and effectively. “A basic movement, correctly executed, could save your life. An elaborate movement, incorrectly executed, is more likely to get you into trouble”, said Grandmaster Yun.
Training is non-contact and non-competitive. This provides students with the freedom to exert maximum power when practising. They don’t have to “pull their punches” because they may hurt a partner. There is little or no risk of injury and students learn self-defence in an environment that is non-threatening. Pad-work gives them the opportunity to test their power and technique while aiming at a real target.
“Most people are intimidated by the fear of contact and put off by the aggression usually involved,” said Grandmaster Yun. “Not only are they concerned about the risk of injury, but they even perceive martial arts as dangerous.” This is particularly appropriate to martial art sports and tournaments.
It is the strong opposition to tournaments especially that has resulted in Yun Jung Do and Grandmaster Yun being tagged, “controversial”. He believes the sports-orientated martial arts pay little regard to the philosophies of the original martial arts. “Martial arts tournaments are the major reason why people see martial arts practitioners as thugs,” he said. “Instead of promoting the spirit of love and care, they encourage a spirit of aggression and hate.”
“Training for a tournament is entirely different from training for a real, life-threatening situation,” said Grandmaster Yun. “There are no rules for an attack in real-life, it’s a free-for-all.” In tournaments, punching and hitting the head are not permitted. But if attacked in real-life, training becomes the reality and the practitioner’s response is almost instinctive. But if there are gaps in the training, the response may not produce the desired outcome.
Yun Jung Do students compete against themselves in making their movements as near perfect as possible. “The greatest rival you will ever encounter is yourself,” said Grandmaster Yun. Individual development and differences are the focus. Students in their ‘fifties and ‘sixties, and students with an injury, for example, do not practice the full range of kicks that the younger, able-bodied students do. But they still learn to defend themselves effectively.
Yun Jung Do welcomes practitioners from other martial arts who find their art is not meeting their expectations and not giving them the fulfilment they seek. Speaking of such practitioners, Grandmaster Yun said, “ As martial artists, their goal should be to be the best they can, to aim for self-perfection. They should do what is best for them and not feel inhibited by forces around them whether it be their instructors, organisation or other obstacles.”
Only a small percentage of the populations of most countries are now involved in the martial arts. The emphasis on tournaments is blamed for this because they attract those who are only interested in fighting, usually young people. This leads to the growing public perception that martial artists are thugs. The danger is that martial arts will wither and die.
The human art, ”Yun Jung Do”, aims to arrest the demise of the martial arts by developing a martial art that meets the global needs of practitioners living in today’s modern age. Attracting people from all walks of life is important and this includes professionals and business leaders. Yun Jung Do teachers respect for all.
In a relatively short time, Yun Jung Do has spread quickly. It is now being practised in England, Ireland, Germany, Poland, the United Arab Emirates, Philippines, India, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, the Solomon Islands, New Zealand, Fiji, Pakistan, India, China and Australia.
Grandmaster Yun summed up the journey he embarked on when developing Yun Jung Do, “It’s taken me years of dedication and research to be able to develop this art form and I believe I have successfully used my knowledge to develop a human art that will satisfy those who seek to experience the real essence of a martial art. The philosophy of Yun Jung Do is the “love, care and protection of all living things.