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Chung Jik, Honesty

“Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, That don’t have the brains to be honest”

Benjamin Franklin

Honesty (Chung Jik) (Right / straight)

Honesty according to Webster’s:

  1. fairness and straightforwardness of conduct

  2. adherence to the facts

With the society we live in today, our lives are constantly being bombarded with issues of honesty and trust. The media floods our world with information that we must decide for ourselves if it holds merit. Every day we face situations where hearing, witnessing, or we determining if what we are seeing is the truth. As we can see from the media, television, social networks, and the Internet there seems to be constant question as to what the truth is. We have all been through certain examples in our lives of having to determine with the truth is. Some situations might include purchasing a new car, voting, buying a home, or many business transactions. Even to the extent, that shopping becomes the time that we must question the truth of the situation.

The very time that we are born, we begin to learn from our parents the concept of honesty. We can all think back to certain times in our lives when we were young that something may have occurred where our honesty had to come into play. It could have been as simple as having accidentally broken something in the house, and our parents asking us if we were responsible what happened. The first thing that comes in the child’s mind when faced with this situation, is what is the outcome based on what they say. Their fear of punishment or retribution could determine how they reply. As parents it is vital, as we all know to nurture, guide and educate our children to understand must take responsibility for what we do. Depending on the situation, and the severity of it, dictates what occurs after the fact.

You can summarize the word honesty to its simple definition, that being that we are taken for our word. Our word is something that we totally own ourselves, determines our character, and demonstrates to others that our word holds truth.

As martial artist, we can see honesty in our physical actions, through our performance. When we execute a technique, it has to have an honest effort. This is connected to the preceding concepts. We must first to have the courage to do our best, concentration to make it accurate and correct, and endurance to maintain its quality. This is the beginning process of fully understanding the technique. When we practice, every time we execute a technique we must give it one hundred percent so that it can grow and become fully understood for later application. This is also vital when working with another student. As an instructor, I can always tell the students intent and honesty of their performance by seeing an honest technique. Their eyes become more focused, their breath sharp, their attitude that which shows that effort.

In a two-person exercise, for example, each has a role, and each must be honest in that effort for both to get better in their performance. Let us take one-step sparring as an example. The process allows each to develop certain traits. One student is seen as the attacker, the other the defender. The attacker must have the proper intent and attitude to allow the defender to respond in a way that could be used for defense. Therefore, the attacker, with a loud “Ki Hap” (yell) issues the attack warning. The defender responds with the same battle cry signaling the attacker to begin. The first sign of this honesty in the attacker is seen and how accurate the punch is. It should be focused to the defender’s face with the intent to strike. Many times members that have never done this exercise before hold back on their attack thus not allowing the defender to fully execute their technique in the proper manner. Of course, in the beginning this is not an easy exercise for students to start with. Because of their lack of control, they may hesitate in the attack. However, over time the attacking student gains confidence thus creating an honest attack. The defender must respond with an honest counter attack. Once both numbers come into harmony with the exercise it becomes an honest exchange of both of attack and defense.

Just by watching the students perform, the exercise can always tell the level of intent and honesty in their performance merely by watching their eyes. As the saying goes, the eyes at gateway to the mind. As parents we have asked questions to our children about a situation that might have occurred we can always tell by looking at their eyes if the responses honest or not. Scientists have noted that eye-movement can tell a lot about the honesty of an answer. Generally, when someone responds to you about a question in his or her eyes are looking directly at you, and there is no hesitation in the response is generally an honest answer. If the respondent looks down it is generally an indicator that the response is not truthful. This is most likely because the person answering is feeling that sense of dishonesty, or embarrassment. When a question is asked to someone and they gaze up to the right, science is shown that their brain knows the answer but has to seek it out in their mind. If the gaze is the upper left it generally means that, they are trying to create an answer.

There are many scenes in history about honesty, everything from the Native Americans saying of which I’m probably think that’s not accurate, but maybe based on some same is “he speaks with a forked tongue”. Now whether that saying is accurate not is to be determined. However, its meaning does hold truth. Just as the definition, Chung Jik or honesty is defined by the words right/straight. The term “forked tongue,” indicates that what they are saying comes from two different points of view thus we are unsure if it is correct or honest. We have also heard the term when talking about other people that they are a “straight shooter”. Just with these two sayings, we see that definition in our everyday lives.

As martial artist we have to be honest and everything we do. This plays a very important factor in how people see us and perceive us. The higher the rank, the more it is vital to make sure that we speak honestly.

If we are to guide other people along their own personal journey, we have to give honest positive feedback for them to be able to follow us.

We have to also remember that it is their goal, not ours that we are trying to help fulfill. If an instructor or coach tells their player or student, the answer they want to hear, rather than the answer they need to hear, we create dishonesty. This can a factor can be seen in many martial art studios today. Because it is run as a business, some instructors make sure they give students everything they need to make themselves feel better, thus keeping students and making their business thrive. However, a good instructor will give honest feedback to a student of what the really need, rather than what they want.

In our lives daily we face a multitude of questions were honesty is at play. It could be as simple as a job interview, explaining to someone about an occurrence that happened, or even when our own character is threatened. In relationships both in a studio, our homes, at work, friendships, and family, honesty is vital to the foundation of that relationship. The court system is based on one simple factor, what is the truth. Huge amounts of time and money are spent seeking that truth. It always comes down to he said, or she said. Two different lawyers are all seeking to prove that theirs is the honest answer then present the facts of the situation. This is been supported by evidence given in court.

I happened to be selected to be a juror for potential case. As we all filed into the courtroom and took our seats, the case was presented. Each lawyer for both the defendant and the prosecution had a chance to question each potential juror. There are many factors at play in this decision process. Most of the times when the lawyers are choosing the jurors for the case they are trying to select people that might be of the same mindset and not be influenced in any way towards the outcome of the case based on their own beliefs, rather than the facts. Therefore, the time came when I was questioned as a potential juror. I was asked if I knew the defendant, and certain people involved in the case, and what my background and personal life were. These were all determining factors in my selection to be a juror. If my answers were not true and honest than I was not only affecting the process of the case, but the outcome for someone’s life.

Therefore, I found it very interesting that there were certain questions that pertained not just to the case but also to my personal beliefs in different social topics. I was not selected as a juror for this case because there were certain people involved in the case that I knew. However being a martial artist I saw it as an opportunity to be able to demonstrate my honesty based on my own personal social beliefs toward the situation but rather to be able to be honest and make my judgment on the facts of the case.

About a week later, I saw in the local newspaper story about the case that I could have been on as a juror. It was interesting to note that the trial itself for this case only lasted three days. When the case was presented to us during the juror selection very raw evidence, it was presented seemed cut and dry.

However, after all the facts of the case were brought out and presented the story dramatically changed. This resulted in the defendant being found not guilty based on those facts.

If the facts in the case had not been presented in an honest manner than the outcome could be dramatically different. Sometimes in honesty, it has to be proven, in action rather than words. So if we look at that idea of action based honesty it helps me to proceed in the correct direction. One of my personal pet peeves for example, is if someone says they are going to be able to do something or take care of something and they do not follow through. I fully understand in certain situations things change, however I generally take that person at their word. Honesty can then be directly linked to endurance. We have to finish what we start, follow through on our word. If we are unable to do something through honesty, we should just say so. Nevertheless, if we give our word, which is the truth that we own to do something we should always, follow through.

Honesty exercises:

1. As martial artist do we practice at home?

2. In school we prepare for upcoming exams with full intent

3. Do we say that we will do something and follow through?

4. Do always finish what we start

5. How do I respond when someone tells me something I know that is not true?

6. How do I respond to someone that was not honest with me?

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” Bruce Lee

“Honesty is the best policy. If I lose mine honor, I lose myself.” William Shakespeare

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