May 23, 2024



Beyond the Mat: Embracing the 8 + 8 + 8 Rule for a Life in Harmony

Beyond the Mat: Embracing the 8 + 8 + 8 Rule for a Life in Harmony

Within the dynamic world of Hapkido, lies a simple yet profound philosophy encapsulated in the “8 + 8 + 8 rule.” Often taught to students as a cornerstone principle, this seemingly straightforward equation holds the key to unlocking not just martial prowess, but a balanced and fulfilling life. Let’s delve deeper into the meaning of this rule and explore how its application extends far beyond the confines of the training hall.

The Heart of the Rule:

The “8 + 8 + 8” rule doesn’t refer to mere numbers. Each “8” represents a vital aspect of the Hapkido spirit:

  • Eight Mental Attitudes: Integrity, Respect, Humility, Perseverance, Courage, Courtesy, Patience, and Indomitable Spirit.
  • Eight Physical Principles: Circularity, Balance, Harmony, Timing, Flow, Control, Efficiency, and Power.
  • Eight Techniques: Joint locks, Throws, Strikes, Kicks, Breathing, Meditation, Falling, and Weapons (optional).

By cultivating these elements in equal measure, we strive for a holistic approach to life, where mind, body, and spirit work in unison. Just as a Hapkido practitioner executes a throw by combining balance, timing, and technique, true success in life demands attention to all eight pillars.

The Ripple Effect Beyond the Dojang:

The beauty of the “8 + 8 + 8” rule lies in its universal applicability. Let’s see how each aspect translates into everyday life:

  • Mental Attitudes: Integrity guides our moral compass, respect fosters meaningful relationships, humility fosters learning, perseverance helps us overcome challenges, courage fuels our actions, courtesy builds bridges, patience cultivates inner peace, and indomitable spirit allows us to bounce back from setbacks.
  • Physical Principles: Circularity promotes adaptability, balance ensures stability, harmony brings peace to our surroundings, timing creates opportunities, flow denotes grace in movement, control allows us to navigate challenges, efficiency optimizes our actions, and power empowers us to achieve goals.
  • Techniques: Breathing techniques manage stress, meditation aids focus, falling teaches resilience, and self-defense skills foster confidence.

By integrating these principles into various aspects of our lives, we create a ripple effect of positive change. We become more patient parents, empathetic friends, reliable colleagues, and individuals capable of navigating life’s challenges with both grace and strength.

Putting the Rule into Practice:

Turning theory into practice requires conscious effort. Here are some ways to embrace the “8 + 8 + 8” rule in daily life:

  • Start small: Choose one principle each week and consciously incorporate it into your actions. Reflect on your successes and challenges.
  • Seek inspiration: Observe individuals you admire and identify how they embody these principles.
  • Share the knowledge: Discuss the rules with friends and family, encouraging them to explore its benefits.
  • Embrace challenges: View obstacles as opportunities to apply the principles, learning and growing through the process.
  • Remember the journey: Be patient with yourself, as true transformation takes time and dedication.

Living the Legacy:

The “8 + 8 + 8” rule is not just a philosophy; it’s a living legacy passed down through generations of Hapkido practitioners beginning with the founder, Choi Young Sool. By embracing its principles, we honor its past, enrich our present, and shape a brighter future for ourselves and those around us. Remember, the journey begins with a single step, a single principle applied. So, step onto the mat of life, armed with the wisdom of the “8 + 8 + 8” rule, and discover the harmony, strength, and fulfillment it unlocks.

About the author: Richard Hackworth is a multi-arts Grand Master who has dedicated his life to the research and development of the martial arts lifestyle. As the Chairman of the Hapkido School Growth Committee he is a Business Coach and Mentor to martial arts school owners and instructors around the world. He is the President of the USA Hapkido Union and Vice President of the International Independent Hapkido Alliance.

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