My dear Grand Master Koskella,
We have been with you for so long now, it seems as though it has been a lifetime and our paths have intertwined so perfectly over the years.
As you go forward please consider these passages and thoughts….
Your Master, Your Art
I am finishing reading “The Secret Power Within” by Chuck Norris and there is a section there called “Your Master, Your Art” – these are my notes that I have taken from the pages.
There is a saying that….
“Even the Masters have Masters”
This meaning runs deeper in the martial arts due to the particular way in which they are taught. Teaching a martial art is far different from teaching an academic subject. In the broadest sense the martial arts teacher doesn’t so much teach as “hand on” and what he hands on to the student is not information, not intellectual data but something deeper, something best described as spiritual.
The kind of intellectual data a school teacher teaches can easily be detached from the personality of the teacher himself, so that in time the student may well forget the teacher and remember only the information. In truth any other teacher could have taught the same material.
In the case of the martial arts teacher, what is taught – or handed on – is tied inseparably to the teacher, your master is your art.
Looking back through your facebook pages the other day I noted some of your comments and the images with quotes that you have liked. There was one in particular that is perhaps very relevant at this time.
“You are not free until you have no need to impress anybody”
And there is something else that I liked and it reminds me very much of you – it is a passage from the Muye Dobo Tongii…
“In the Joakyun Kyulga it is recorded:
The electrifying konoh (sword that cuts through jade like a piece of clay) shines like the sun ascending and descending once and disappearing in the air.
As the swordsman proceeds forward shaking his head, it makes the wind echo like thunder.
Then the warrior whirls his hands slowly and blocks low and high.
Turning to the left, he reaches out like the blue dragon trying to find his way with his claws.
Turning to the right, he moves as a Chinese phoenix welcomes the rising sun.
Spreading flowers in the air, he cuts them six times and begins to walk forward.
A pair of fluttering butterflies get stung by the light reflected from the sword.
The pieces of the pear flowers cut by the sword dance in the air and hide in the collar of the man.
As the earth and sky are showered with water when the phoenix washes her wing feathers in the shoal, the white snow fills the air as the swordsman, holding his knee parallel with his shoulders, cuts the air in half and walks forward.
Turning around, he hops on his wild horse and gallops away, missing his home.”
The last time that we met to train was in the early morning as the sun was rising; you asked that we imagine a scene of a warrior standing in a meadow under the branches of an oak tree gazing over a lake with geese, there were mountains in the background and a small deer in the forest clearing near by. You told us that we could train wherever we wanted, whether in a clearing in the forest or a meadow. All that we had to do was just close our eyes and imagine and we would be there.
Preparation to Drawing
In a letter dated November 12, 2012 you wrote a passage titled “Preparation to Drawing”
“Thought becomes Vibration
Good or bad
Vibration becomes tone
The Cadence of the dance
A metronome of sorts
One where there is no beat
Action builds upon Flow
This is the “in between” place
The twist of the sword before the draw, IS the draw itself. What follows is the completion of the thought. The tearing of time before the extension of thought. The vibration comes in the splitting of air. The separation of time itself. If you can master the process of “thought”. There will be no draw. Only the beauty of perfect movement. A dancing of blades that come from nowhere and return home.”
Sword of the First Order
You have in your possession an ancient sword that is of the “First Order” and upon it is the inscription: “The bearer of this sword is Strong, True and Brave”, so you may rightly state that your Seowon is a Martial Art of the First Order.
It seems to me that everything that you have been through has brought you to this moment – there is nobody in the whole world that has your vision. You have isolated yourself for the past months honing and developing your system. This is your time – you are true to yourself and are doing precisely what you are supposed to be doing, stepping between the raindrops and leading the martial arts world with your Seowon, a Martial Art of the First Order.