Forward: Mind and Body Energy of Ki
I am writing this book to share my passion for healthy living and to offer you the benefits I have experienced from studying martial arts. My father was a police officer in Korea and practiced martial arts as part of his job. He has always been very healthy. Because of this, I began my studies in Korean martial arts when I was only six years old, and have incorporated its philosophies into every aspect of my life. To this day, I remain vigilant to these principles and, as a result, enjoy a high level of physical fitness and good health.
It is important to recognize that the factors affecting our health and longevity are all connected in some way. The human body is a complex organism of interconnected systems and these systems must remain in balance for optimal performance. Such relationships are not coincidental. Our daily choices in what we eat, how we exercise, and how we manage our emotions make a meaningful difference to our quality of life.
I have dedicated this book to my Taekwondo teachers, Grandmaster Chakyo Han and his younger brother, Grandmaster Minkyo Han. With the benefit of their instruction and mentorship, I significantly advanced my martial arts studies, ultimately earning a ninth-degree black belt. As part of my curriculum, the masters taught me how to utilize Ki energy flow and Ki-gong breathing techniques to improve my performance and to maintain proper Ki energy. Ki is also known as “chi,” or, put another way, “mind and body energy.” Proper Ki means there is a balance between the oxygen we take into our body and the energy contained within our body.
People often came to Grandmaster Chakyo Han and Grandmaster Minkyo Han, seeking help for their physical health problems. For example, once somebody came to them with complaints about consistent migraine headaches. At his school in Skokie, Illinois, Grandmaster Chakyo Han taught this person proper breathing techniques that soon stopped these headaches. He also shared other breathing exercises with people that had more serious ailments, such as cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, and Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). In the end, these people got better, and they were forever grateful for his help.
When we are ill, it is because our bodies are internally unbalanced. Stimulating our internal Ki energy flow returns our bodies to harmony. Thus, Ki energy promotes healing. If it is balanced, we are healthy.
Here is a specific example of how Grandmaster Minkyo Han healed others. One day, an elderly woman visited him. Her father had been a pastor at a Methodist Church for many years. She grew up as a very modest person and did not exercise or engage in strenuous physical activity. Despite this, she had worked in the medical field and knew all about how the human body functioned. She was very interested in training at his dojang, which he called “Han’s Taekwondo Martial Arts Studio,” which was located in Champaign, Illinois. Grandmaster Minkyo Han was more than happy to teach her. At 86 years-of-age, she was his oldest student.
When she started taking lessons, she couldn’t walk without the aid of a cane. She was not in the best of health. She suffered from a number of ailments that caused her a lot of discomfort. These included asthma, inflamed joints, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. Because of this, she had trouble with a very important part of Taekwondo: kicking.
For two years, Grandmaster Minkyo Han had her practice breathing and Taekwondo techniques. After six months of work, she was walking without a cane! She even learned how to properly throw a kick. One year later, her osteoporosis improved to the point where she could kick hard objects, such as wooden boards. This only happened because her bone density became stronger from the breathing exercises Grandmaster Han taught her. The techniques he taught her helped to lower her blood pressure and relieve some of her arthritis symptoms. Although this woman had western medical experience, she kept an open mind to other methods and was glad for the results.
Due to her miraculous health improvements, she was interviewed over 350 times by many talk and radio show hosts.1 In fact, at the age of 88, she was named the oldest martial artist in the 1988 Summer Edition of the Guinness Book of World Records. She had earned this status by breaking two boards (each one an inch thick) with a Taekwondo front kick. Her dedication to proper breathing techniques and martial arts shows us just how much can be gained from these studies.
Grandmaster Chakyo Han and Grandmaster Minkyo Han referred to their approach to Ki energy and Ki-gong breathing techniques as the “Han Theory.” Unfortunately, Grandmaster Chakyo Han helped provide relief to so many people that he could not regenerate his own Ki energy fast enough. You see, when he healed somebody, some of his Ki energy had to leave his body and go into them. He literally transferred parts of himself to others so that they could regain their own health. Ki energy is life force. When it is gone, we die. He sacrificed his life force for others and sadly passed away earlier than what I would have liked. I miss him greatly.
The generosity of his spirit has been a tremendous inspiration to me and I am dedicated to continuing his vision. In honor of my Grandmasters, I have evolved the Han Theory (which is also called “Han Ki-Gong Theory”) in a way that enables us to generate and channel our own Ki energy. I named my method “Darimar Ki-Gong.” Darimar means “balance your life force,” and it is my sincere hope that this book will enable you to do so.
Grandmaster Darim Jang, March 2018
- See Lucille Thompson