Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hyo Do - Obedience, a Gesture of Honor and Respect

Hwarang Knight
Hyo Do : Obedience, Honor and Loyalty To King, Parents, Country
filial piety (Chinesexiào) is a virtue of respect for one's parents and ancestors. 

Is The Wisdom and Value of Obedience Lost Today?
The word 'obey' can conjure up images of authoritarian governments, dictators and excessive control.  Many of us today are reluctant to use the word obey and instead use 'listen'.  The premise of the lesson is still the same; to honor our parents and elders with our actions.
Of course there are always abuses and distortions of these ideals but that shouldn't negate the value of a culture and community steeped in respect.  In Korean Martial Arts culture we learn that obedience to our parents is a gift of love, respect and contributes to a more peaceful family.  It is also extended to teachers (including SaBumNim) and those elders who deserve honor.
Korean culture is heavily influenced by Confucianism and values that comprise a polite and ordered society.  The emphasis is on development of character and values that build a peaceful and strong community.  
Many of these ideals are shared in Biblical wisdom from the Judeo-Christian world view.  The lessons are lasting because they contain wisdom that works for daily living.  Most of these same values are reflected in The Scripture's Ten Commandments. "Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long upon the land..." Exodus 20:12 and again in Deuteronomy 5:16. Most raised in Western cultures are familiar with this concept.  At it's foundation is honor.  
The 5 Rules for Life
Filial piety, or hyodo (효도) was traditionally thought as one of the highest forms of character in Korean society. According to Confucianism, filial piety suggests five rules for life:
    1. Show the utmost respect to your parents
    2. Always take good care of your body, which is their inheritance to you
    3. Advise and guide parents wisely in case they make a mistake
    4. Contribute well to the society so as to make your parents’ name proud 
    5. Keep up your devotion through ceremonies and rituals when your parents pass away.
      Such important values go a long way in creating a higher quality of life for elders as well as children and siblings.  These time-tested lessons provide for a foundation of respect that help prevent many social issues such as bullying, rude behavior and selfishness. 
      This is why we still emphasize these family values in our daily classes at USA Martial Arts.  We believe that honor, respect and character are at the foundation of a strong society.  Our goal is to reinforce the values parents teach at home so we can better prepare tomorrows leaders.
      USA Martial Arts Life Lessons from Martial Arts Masters
      o  The highest rank is the parent belt 
      o  Be a first time listener
                o  Have character - don't be a character
                o  Lead by example - actions speak louder than words
                o  Honoring parents with attitude of gratitude thanking them after each class
                o  Doing chores with a spirit of joy to be a contributing part of the family 
                o  Doing well in school and taking care of your body and mind

      Filial Piety or Hyodo in Korean society
      To love and obey your parents was stressed repeatedly from one dynasty to the other from the Silla Kingdom’s (57 B.C. – A.D. 935) “Five Secular Injunctions” (Sesokogye) all the way down to the Joseon Dynasty’s (A.D. 1392-1910) “Three Bonds and Five Relations” (Samgang Oryun), roughly equivalent to the Bible’s Ten Commandments. The great scholar-king Sejong (1397-1450) for example, ordered books on filial piety to be widely distributed throughout the country, making it the basis of social norms to maintain order. Examples of the best filial sons and daughters were praised in every town, becoming legends. During those times even the king dared not go against the elderly in fear of losing public respect and trust. [1]

      How does this apply to your life, parents and family?
      How are these practiced and internalized in the Dojang?
      What could you do to improve in this area in your life with your parents, elders and teachers?

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