How Did We Get Here?

Firstly, let me clarify and qualify a few points.

While I am an instructor, member and office-bearer of Moodukkwan Malaysia, I’m not the official spokesperson, and neither are the views I express here and on the blog it’s official position. They’re just my opinions and views (and in the case of the two interviews, the views of the two Grandmasters).

Secondly, the “chaos” that is currently besieging the local Taekwondo scene is the result of specific “political power-grabbing” actions of particular individuals in the past, and the current administration is as much a victim of its (dark-side) human nature, as it is the perpetrator of acts unbecoming of a national governing body. In other words, they “promoted” themselves up to the level of their incompetency (Peter Principle). And now things are not working.

Yet, they’ve made and are making moves that would, they think, help them consolidate their position. Would it work? I do not know. All I know is that dinasours once roamed the earth, and they were the kings of the realm. Now they’re extinct.

How did things get this way? Simple. Good men, and women, kept quiet while these people were conspiring to “take the land” for themselves. Members and Masters, all kept quiet while the wolves circled and snarled, eyeing the babes. And when the wolves moved in, the besieged defenders said nothing, did nothing. And the wolves feasted, and flourished.

Still they (the wolves) rage and conspire, seeking whom they can devour.

And yet the Members and the Masters, they kept quiet. Some remained quiet out of fear. Some, out of apathy. No matter. The results were the same. The wolves overran the kingdom.

As the saying goes:

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

Till a good many people, out of necessity, driven by the voice of their hearts, left. They left for nothing else save to preserve their Freedom. And not to submit to the arbitrary whims of a few who seek to impose their will on the many. The haughty, arrogant few who demanded – DEMANDED – fealty on pain of excommunication and worse: economic death (for those instructors who depended on teaching in schools for their livelihood)

So at Moodukkwan Malaysia, our objective is simple: Freedom.

Freedom to learn, to act, to congregate, to associate, to train, to teach, etc. etc., as our hearts and minds and traditions move us. Not to yield, and not to submit to “organizational slavery”, as those masters and pretenders would have us do.

And our destination? Unity, and glory.

Unity among ALL Taekwondo brethren, regardless of affiliation, and glory for the country. Unity among all the major national governing bodies, and all Kwans (which we can encourage to form here). Glory for the country in the international arena, not only in competitions, but also in leadership.

In the beginning, Malaysia used to be a hub, and transit point, for the dissemination of Taekwondo knowledge and expertise to the world. We were one of the original pioneer countries. Where are we now?

Where is our glory?

We need to find the best of the best Taekwondo athletes and give them THE OPPORTUNITY TO GET A SHOT AT A CHANCE!

Yes, just the opportunity to get a shot at a chance. We are not asking it to be GIVEN to us. We’re NOT demanding a place at the table. All we are asking is for a fair shot at a chance — for everyone! Be they from WTF, ITF, GTF, Moodukkwan, etc.

I understand that not everyone wants to go into the competitive arena. And that is as it should be. Martial art is not merely for learning how to spar or fight. It can be practised as a Way (Do), whose primary orientation and purpose is the development of character. As GM Pan quoted WTF Secretary General Yang Jin Suk in his interview: the new, better  definition of Taekwondo is ‘the development of the mind and body to become a good person’.

And Taekwondo, particularly traditional Taekwondo as practised by the Kwans, including Moodukkwan, is well suited to this purpose. So, if you’d like your son to continue on the path of Taekwondo, it does not necessarily have to be on the competitive path.

It can be a path of The Way.

My own path now lies in this direction, and my personal motto is “Virtue, Valour, Victory” in everything I am and everything I do, while my Academy’s purpose for every student is “Forging spirit and character in the crucible of honor”

That is all I can — and want to — do as a Teacher.