April 11th Tai Chi-Qigong Workshop – Hong Ik Martial Arts
On Sunday April 11th HIMA Tarrytown held its first Tai Chi-Qigong Workshop. Members from multiple HIMA locations gathered in Tarrytown for a 90 minute session led by Grandmaster Yoo. It was wonderful to finally provide the opportunity for students from separate locations to meet and join as one group, while still maintaining safe social distancing.
Masters Shin Min (HIMA New Rochelle) and Chun Shim (HIMA Tarrytown) welcomed all members and, after a brief warmup, introduced Grandmaster Yoo, founder of HIMA and U.S. National Tai Chi-Qigong Trainer. With tremendous focus and enthusiasm, all students followed Grandmaster Yoo as he led them
through various routines ranging from body vibration, stimulation of 18 joints, bow man posture, Subup (hands method), Toibup (feet method), Unki BoHyung (circulation form) parts 1 & 2, and Ji Gaam meditation.
Students were thoroughly immersed with step-by-step guidance through detailed explanations of the purpose and benefits of each routine, along with carefully selected background music to enhance their experience. They left energized and motivated to further incorporate their Tai Chi-Qigong training into their daily lives, nurturing and sharing their precious energy to improve their own health and the wellbeing of others. We all look forward to a 2nd workshop in the near future!
A Student’s Perspective– by Cindy M.
Hong Ik Martial Arts hosted its inaugural Tai Chi-Qigong workshop on Sunday morning, April 11, 2021 at the Tarrytown Dojang.
Grandmaster Sung K. Yoo, United States National Tai Chi-Qigong Trainer and founder of Hong-Ik Martial Arts, led an inspiring 90-minute Tai Chi-Qigong training session for students representing the weekly Tai Chi-Qigong adult classes in Bronxville, New Rochelle and Tarrytown.
Master Chun Shim, Taekwondo and Tai Chi-Qigong instructor in Tarrytown and Tai Chi-Qigong instructor in New Rochelle, opened the workshop by leading the ten students through a warm-up to stimulate energy and focus and to increase body temperature. Each individual led a count of ten before passing the count to the next person, with the group echoing the count in unison as we together completed 300 counts of dahn-jun tapping. We focused on the heat generated in the dahn-jun to stimulate our physical energy and focus attention on our core, the center of our physical energy, and away from our mind, emotions, and above-all, distractions.
The students greeted Grandmaster Yoo with a synchronized welcome bow of appreciation as Master Chun Shim and Master Shinmin of New Rochelle joined the group of students as participants.
Grandmaster Yoo started with a vibration and concentration exercise that was one of my favorites of the entire workshop. In this exercise we tapped one hand on the chest (emotional energy center) and the other hand on the abdomen (physical energy center) at the same time. We switched positions of our palm-extended hands in synchronization with counting, 1, 1, 1-2 (consecutive taps in the same place with the same hands for a count of two, then switch positions for two), 1-2-3, (same as previous with a count of three), then 1-2, then 1, then 1-2, 1-2-3, and so-on. Grandmaster Yoo highlighted the benefits of doing this exercise daily at home because it requires complete focus and concentration on the counting and tapping rhythm and sequence of alternation, therefore no room remains for distracting thoughts. This is an excellent exercise to do during work in between Zoom meetings, phone calls, or other sedentary on-screen work. It empowers the person to check-in on his/her holistic condition, reduce stress, elevate energy, reclaim focus, and connect with Mother Nature during the work or academic day..
Grandmaster Yoo led the group through 90 minutes of Tai Chi-Qigong training, meditation and breathing exercises. He explained very clearly the desired sensation of energy in each activity and posture and encouraged us to focus on that sensation, giving corrective tips if we were not feeling it where we should. He educated us on the energy flow within the body and the importance of circulating that energy and oxygen via the bloodstream. The exercises we did promoted a complete cyclical journey of stimulating energy through pathways covering our entire body.
One of the many tips and insights Grandmaster Yoo offered during the class emphasized the benefits of directing energy to our brain cells through Tai Chi-Qigong exercises. The goal, he explained, is not to worry about preserving brain cells, because the death of brain cells is a natural occurrence. The aim is to focus on making our live brain cells stimulated and active with energy so they can aid us in positive and focused thoughts. He reiterated throughout multiple exercises that our brain must be in excellent condition and must be disciplined to choose not to permit distracting or negative thoughts into our day. I found this concept of striving to not permit distracting thoughts into our minds, and remembering that our brain must give permission if we are to be distracted as very motivating and applicable to my day-to-day busy adult life.
At the close of the workshop, Grandmaster Yoo emphasized that prioritizing one’s self is crucial to being of service to humanity because a person cannot give to others if they are not fully energized, focused and distraction-free, but that people are called to serve themselves so they can serve others. He tied this concept to the overall Hong Ik Martial Arts mission: Hong Ik In Gan, Maximum Service for the Benefit of Humanity.
I began my study of Tai Chi-Qigong in January at the New Rochelle Dojang on Sunday mornings under the direction of Master Chun Shim. I’ve appreciated the opportunity to learn this new discipline and opportunity to learn martial arts principles to apply everyday activity outside of class, especially as a working professional and a parent of two young children. I can feel a difference in focus and energy during and immediately after class that carries through the work week. The exercises Grandmaster Yoo shared at the workshop are helping me further connect with my training in between the Sunday classes because I am working to integrate them daily into my routine. I am especially grateful that Tai Chi Qigong class creates an hour to give to myself each week to pursue my own adult training and that I am studying many of the same principles my daughter is learning as a Tae Kwon Do student at Hong Ik Martial Arts. I feel even more personally connected to the Hong Ik Community as a student and as a parent of a student.
I am looking forward to continuing my training, reducing stress and elevating my energy and concentration through Tai Chi-Qigong and I am especially excited for a future motivating and inspiring workshop by Grandmaster Yoo. I highly recommend it!