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.