One of the most well-known Chinese characters, which almost everyone in Europe now knows, is the calligraphy from DAO. No noteworthy martial art that attaches importance to mental aspects in addition to the physical execution of its techniques, can do without the Dao today. In the Korean version of the Chinese DAO we find it written as DO, for example in Taekwondo or Hapkido. This little word DAO or Do, has such a wide range of meanings that no one will ever be able to explain it comprehensively. Nevertheless, I would like to bring this little word that is so important for martial artists closer to you. If we take a closer look at the calligraphy of DAO, we find in the upper right part of the character the character "Shou" which can mean head, leader or just head. In the old spelling, the head was represented by depicting a nose with the hair braids above it, the once modern Chinese hairstyle.
With a little imagination, the three imaginary bright lines by Kien (trigram: "The creative, the sky", marked in blue) can be discovered in the area of the nose, which is represented by the black brush color with two further, horizontal lines on the inside. Through the nose, the inside is connected to the outside through the constant change of breathing. Under Shou is the Chinese radical "Chuo", which can be translated as "to go". Like a large saber or an oversized foot, Chuo forms the basis over which Shou's head takes the lead.
The DAO in martial arts could also be compared to the hub of a bike. Only through the emptiness, the lack of something, is it possible to bring an axle into the center of the wheel in order to make it usable. Just like good tea can only be poured into an empty cup or buildings can only be used by us because they are hollow inside. The material, the technique of a martial art is worthless without a spirit in the sense of the DAO!
Circle action flow
Hapkidoin use their techniques like a wheel on their own axis, which is located in the resting center and with an open mind allows effortless flow of life energy (Ki) without effort and effort. Energies that want to act on the center outside are absorbed in the active rotation of the wheel and redirected in the further flow of movement.
DAO and the I GING
If the DAO resembles the hub of a wheel and its benefits, one could recognize the eight I GING original signs in the spokes of the wheel as a tool that allows us to reliably recognize the 64 phenomena of life with all its movements and changes like a navigation device !
Yours Uwe Wischhöfer