BY Ki-June Park

     Sun-Do is one of the exclusive disciplines of ki. In Korea, it has been practiced by certain sects for thousands of years. According to some documents, Sun-Do is as old as five to eight thousand years; however, this claim has never been substantiated. This article presents a general introduction to Sun-Do in a broad perspective, drawing an overall picture of the forest that is Sun-Do, rather than the individual trees, rocks and paths which constitute its components. A brief description of the substantive contents, structural framework, and systematical procedures are elaborated for the nine different steps of Sun-Do, with short explanations of their different characteristics and effects. The two martial art forces of internal (negong) and external (weygong) strength comprise Sun-Do. This article focuses on the internal aspect of ki discipline.
     By explaining Sun-Do, it is hoped that readers will become aware of the complexities and difficulty of the discipline as well as become sufficiently inspired to pursue the attainment of ki power. Ki discipline requires long years of training, very likely longer than the average person's life-span. For the serious disciple, training demands total dedication and an abandonment of worldly human life.
     The ki discipline begins with the establishment of the microcosmic (individual) cauldron in the original cavity of the abdomen, then by means of special breathing and meditation techniques, the student learns to gather and circulate ki (the alchemical agent) through psycho-physical channels. The student progressively learns to cultivate ki through first two channels, then 12, 14, 365 and, finally, all cells in the body. During this process, the student, having attained the microcosmic level, begins to gather dae-ki (the macrocosmic alchemical agent). Lastly, the immortal fetus and appearance are brought forth -- the realization of the union of macro- and microcosmic ki forces. At this stage, the student becomes conscious of the unity of heaven and earth through immortality.
     In Sun-Do, there are nine different stages of ki discipline: joong-ki dan bub, keon-gon dan bub, won-ki dan bub, jin-ki dan bub, sam-hap dan bub, jo-rie dan bub, sam-chung dan bub, moo-jin dan bub, and jin-gong dan bub. Starting from joong-ki dan bub up to jin-gong dan bub, there are six different levels, which are similar to the degree systems of tae kwon do and karate. They are sang, soo, yon, ji, jee and jin. Even more finitely, sang consists of nine degrees: soo six, yon six, jin 10, jee 15, and jin three.
     Joong-ki dan bub has 50 different techniques which require a special breathing method. This discipline teaches the student to take ki into his body, thereby cleansing the organs and systems. At this level, the student begins to build a healthy constitution and seldom suffers from illness. The cells and tissues become vitalized and retain the quality of youthfulness. By mastering joong-ki dan bub the discipline attains the nine degrees of sang.      In keon-gon dan bub a total of 23 different techniques with a more advanced breathing method are divided into two classes: basic and advanced. By finishing this discipline, the practitioner can reach the degree of soo. Keon-gon dan bub teaches the student the circulation of ki through the two basic psycho-physical channels of the human body. Cleansing activities are carried on more vigorously throughout the organs and tissues, resulting in the harmony of physical processes. This harmony enables the student to practice concentrated meditation, which settles the student into the spiritual nest with equilibrium of body and mind.
     The next level of discipline is won-ki dan bub, which consists of 365 techniques with an even further advanced breathing method. Completing the lesson of won-ki dan bub, the dedicated sutdent will gain the degree of yon, the sixth. At the next higher level, won-ki dan bub increases the general states of mind and body to a still higher plateau. During the discipline of the 365 techniques, the student will circulate his accumulated ki through all of the psycho-physical channels, which are progressively increased from two to 12, then 14, then 365 channels.
     The unique characteristic of this discipline is that it frees the student from physical and spiritual complications. Thus, he becomes free from all manner of physical and spiritual illness. This is the particular level at which the martial artist begins to learn to exert his physical strength through a particular way of concentration and ki flow in his body. Through genuine dedication, he may increase his power to the multiple levels of his own strength.
     The next discipline, jin-ki dan bub, represents the first spiritual level of sun-Do. The previous three disciplines constitute the preliminary steps of the Sun-Do discipline. Jin-ki dan bub consists of 10 degrees of ji by utilizing five techniques with the basic, medium and advanced class levels. Therefore, the student who completes all the procedures of jin-ki dan bub will reach 10th ji. This discipline should be done with the next advanced breathing method. The student begins skin breathing in the discipline of jin-ki dan bub.
     Jin-ki, in Sun-Do, means the state in which ki in heaven and ki on earth are harmoniously united. In other words, man, standing between heaven and earth, takes ki from both heaven and earth, thus establishing truly perfect ki and harmony in the body. This is the jo (Tao) of heaven, through which the harmony of the universe internalizes itself in harmony with the body. At this level, the student will arrive at the gate of do (Tao). Jin-ki dan bub is the next breakthrough of Sun-Do.
     The fulfillment of this discipline will enable the student to separate or, conversely, unite his body and mind by his own will. He will feel and comprehend things without seeing and learning. He will respond without physical extension. He will begin to appear without physical presence. He will look into the past, present, and future. As a martial artist, he will exercise certain powers.
     The next higher discipline is sam-hap dan bub. As in jin-ki dan bub, sam-hap dan bub is also divided into basic, medium and advanced classes. There are nine degrees which are called jee. So the student will be at the ninth jee when he finishes the discipline. There are only two techniques in sam-hap dan bub. In this discipline, the student attempts to establish the alchemical transmission of ki in heaven into ki of earth, and vice versa.
     At this level, the student reaches the height of Sun-Do discipline, at which state the student can utilize ki power at his own will. Therefore, since ki energy may be used for wrong intentions or purposes, the student who has the power must be extremely conscientious in his thinking, attitudes and behavior. Abuse of power has been known to bring self-destruction to the student who misuses the power because abuse is the counter force against the essence of dualistic monism (harmony of universe by yin and yang according to the vitality agent if ki). The dualistic monism principle is the key concept of Sun-Do. To abuse this doctrine is to mistreat the essence of the ki force which has been developed only through careful training for the harmony of the universe in oneself. This mistreatment will totally shatter one's physical, mental and spiritual harmony, therefore, the abuse is dangerous and self-destructive.
     The next discipline, jo-rie dan bub, has another three classes and six degrees, which are from 10th to 15th jee. This discipline exercises the student's free will. Technique without techniques is the essence of this level, which enables the disciple to unite, separate and manipulate ki of his environmental nature at the command of his own will. This is the situation through which the student enters the state of natural being.
     There are three more disciplines, the highest known and final ones. They are sam-chung dan bub, moo-jin dan bub and jin-kong dan bub. These three disciplines have not been revealed to the world at large. However, there are some select disciples currently acquiring knowledge of these ultimate lessons under the instruction of a master in the mountains of Korea.
     The number of years required for all the disciplines will vary according to the degree of the student's individual dedication. The student may shorten the learning period if he remains in the mountains, devoting his total life to Sun-Do. However, the average person who lives in human society, leading an ordinary life with marriage, family and a job, along with the trials and tribulations such a modern lifestyle entails, may need 30 to 50 years of dedicated training, practicing a few hours each day.
     There may be skeptics among you who doubt the power of Sun-Do. I, myself, tried to unveil seemingly unreal and unearthly legends of this discipline with rational criticism, and failed. I found it a real phenomenon on earth and have accepted it. However, the particular "way" to obtain the fulfillment of the discipline is difficult to find. Even so, where there's a will, there's a way. Knock on the door, otherwise it will not open. I maintain that Sun-Do is the science of the future: the science into the fourth dimension. This is not mysticism nor, obviously, God, but is simply the gift of God, provided for human beings for their prosperous future millennia. A knowledge of ki must be internalized into the Wester culture if we are to make this discipline another heritage of this part of the world.