Articles From the July 1995 Unification News


The Spirit of Martial Arts at UTS

by Stephen Grundy-Barrytown, NY

Do you want to win the fight against evil forces, and gain a healthy spirit and body? Some of the students at the Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) are trying to do this. They are not only focusing on intellectual activities, but they are also trying to learn self- defense, develop mind/body unity and a fighting spirit through practicing martial arts.

Several times a week UTS students have the opportunity to practice Tongil Moo Do (TMD), a style of martial arts that was developed by Dr. Joon Ho Seuk.

TMD combines harmony of movement and self-defense techniques based upon fundamental aspects of the Divine Principle. This style is also practiced at several other schools both in America and in other nations.

Many of the members of the TMD club at UTS are international students, so it is challenging for them to keep up with the academic work. However, they try to make time in their busy schedule to practice martial arts two or three times a week. At the end of each term there is a promotion test where students get an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.

On June 7, students from the UTS and Belvedere TMD schools came together for a promotion test at Belvedere. There were 50 participants ranging in age from five to about thirty five years.

Young and not so young all performed enthusiastically, hoping to be awarded a higher belt or an additional stripe on their belt. Many of the Belvedere TMD students are second-generation. It is stimulating and challenging for UTS students to see children and teenagers practicing the same fighting techniques. Many of the second generation skillfully performed complicated combinations of kicks, strikes, blocks and punches. Even the little children, the black-belts of the future, fought hard to gain a precious yellow stripe, which is the first grade for a beginner.

It was also inspiring to see one of Rev. Moon's grandchildren participating in the promotion test. This is a great blessing for the TMD movement.

After the promotion test the participants enjoyed food and fellowship together at a barbecue dinner in the grounds of Belvedere.

Martial arts is an asset to spiritual life. Rev. Moon has commented that for a healthy spirit and body, few things are better than martial arts. Also, Rev. Moon encourages seminary students to practice martial arts as part of their education. He said, "Most seminaries don't teach any martial arts...but our seminary teaches martial arts so that our students are not only prepared intellectually, but also spiritually and physically" (God's Will and the Ocean, p. 98).

Practicing TMD teaches individuals how to defend themselves against an attacker. Also, it helps to create mind/body unity, promotes self- confidence, and develops aspects of character such as a fighting spirit.

Last February at UTS the Tongil Moo Do classes were extended to include not only students but also the children of staff and students. This means that students can help to teach the children many valuable things which will help them in the future. Also, the children provide a challenge for the UTS students because the children are very flexible and quick to learn new things.

Martial arts has been practiced at UTS since 1979. The students have often displayed their abilities through entertaining demonstrations at the annual UTS Spring Family Festival.


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