Welcome to the Tosa Kumdo journal. We hope to start conversations by sharing ideas and thoughts in the hope that diversified opinions and ideas combine to create a rich and diverse discourse across a range of Martial topics and philosophies.
As this is my first journal entry, I would like to share my reasons for creating this platform thus providing some context about the Tosa idiom and my personal goal to bring martial minds together collaboratively.
Let me start by saying that I didn’t coin the terms ‘To’ and ‘sa’, however, I did love the idea that the combination of these concepts could be combined as, ‘To’ (in Korean) meaning ‘Way’ or ‘Path’ and ’Sa’ (from the Chinese) meaning to give expression to. So a Tosa student gives expression or meaning to their way or path. I used this word with the greatest respect for both cultures hoping to encapsulate my view on the beauty and wonders of the martial arts as I see it.
I believe my Way has always been intertwined with the principles of the martial arts. I often speak with students and parents about this notion as it seems almost esoteric in its application, constantly evolving, changing to meet the needs of what is required at the time whilst still embracing the traditional integrity martial philosophy. The easiest manner in which I can explain this is thus,
my To is not your To, nor is your To another person’s To. It may be affected by external influences, in essence, it should as this reflects the inherent purpose of To, but at the end of the day, you have to live your To; this is your obligation to yourself and to others. This is the path to enlightenment and the key to becoming a good and valuable member of any society.
The same can be said of Sa. In the martial arts, we all learn exercises (movements and techniques) that are personified and actualised through Sa. How you use those techniques is a direct reflection of your Sa, your expression, which defines your character.
Underpinning all these concepts is love. Grandmaster Jeong Seong Kim teaches that love is required to achieve greatness in the martial arts, ironically, the more love one demonstrates and shares, and the closer they come to achieving greatness, the less influence greatness has on the individual as it is supplanted by generosity and compassion.
I will conclude by saying that I believe all martial arts define the path that leads to greatness. Each style resonates at a basal level with practitioners but only certain individuals can hear it speak to them. This is the inherent value of martial studies. It is a treasure trove of wisdom and self-actualisation just waiting to be discovered. Martial arts does not discriminate, nor judge, it connects through sojourn and relationships.