Training Your Mind to Raise Your Awareness by
Chong KwanJangNim Jong Sung Kim
When I began training in Taekwondo, all the students would sit around and talk about special powers that we thought our instructor had. He really was our hero and we all looked up to him that way. One thing that we all noticed was that he seemed to have a special ability to know when someone was near him. We would try very hard sometimes to sneak to his office door to peak in but when we were still a few steps away he would call out to us even with his back turned to the doorway to ask what we needed.
I started practicing how to walk softly and quietly at home. But no matter how soft and quietly I walked he could sense me approaching. After some time, he even began calling my name when I was a few steps away from the door and invited me in. When I asked him how he knew it was me? He said, “Because you are the softest walker among your classmates”.
After I had been training there for about three years, I decided I was going to ask Grand Master Song how he does it. Three years of watching him do this had piqued my curiosity. When he told me that it was easy. All you must do is train your “Awareness”. I thought to myself, Awareness Training. What could that be?
Today, I am going to share with you a three-stage method to improve self-awareness that I personally learned from Grand Master Song.
Here it is:
Stage One: Set up a timer that rings every 15 minutes. Each time that the timer or alarm clock rings, look around you. Use all your five senses. Make a mental note of what you see, smell, feel touch and hear. Yes, be in the moment.
He said that some people would master this in just a few weeks and for others a few months. You will eventually reach a stage of awareness where you can sense the exact second that the timer is going to sound and open your eyes just a second before the ringing starts. When you have reached this stage, you can move on to the next step to raising your awareness.
Stage Two: Now get an alarm that can vibrate. Most cell phones have this function now. Each time the gadget vibrates, again you will look around. Use all your five senses. What you see, smell, feel, touch and hear. Just like before. Go through the same levels of improving your awareness with the vibrating timer until you can open your eyes just a second before the timer starts vibrating. When you have completed the second stage, you can move on to the next step to raising your awareness.
Stage Three: In this final stage you will no longer use a timer. You will close your eyes and listen to the faint ticking of the second hand on the wall clock. You will reach a point where you will automatically open your eyes just a second or two before the fifteen minutes has passed. Now with your eyes open you will once again look around. Use all your five senses. What you see, smell, feel, touch, and hear. Just like before. When you have completed the third stage you will have a “Master’s Level of Awareness”.
About the Author: KwanJangNim Jong Sung Kim is Chairman of the USNTA Board of Directors and a former Republic of Korea Marine Corps Taekwondo and Close Quarter Combat JuMokDo Instructor. He is an expert at the Military Art of Taekwondo. 9th Dan GunDae (Military) Taekwondo, 8th Dan ChungDoKwan, 8th Dan Kukkiwon. He is currently the Provost for the KMAIA International Academy in South Korea.
Yours in Taekwondo,
KwanJangNim Jong Sung Kim
Chairman of the USNTA Board of Directors
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