BLOG - Grandmaster Gedo Chang
Some years ago, one evening after night class was over and everyone had gone home, I was talking to a student of mine who was a newspaper writer in my office. All of a sudden, two young men abruptly came into my dojang and stepped onto my mat with their dirty shoes on. They started shouting very demandingly, “Listen! Who is the Instructor of this school? Let’s have a fight!”
They were standing at the center of the mat. I said to my student, “Would you wait a moment?” and I left my office and entered the mat. I patted the back of the young men’s neck, and I said to them, “Hey, young men, you seem to be drunk -- how can you fight well when you’re drunk? If you come back tomorrow when you are sober, then I will fight you.”
I then pushed them towards the door. Then these two young men suddenly became very mild, like mice in front of a cat. They said, “OK! OK!” They quickly ran out of the dojang.
After that, I walked back into my office to resume my conversation with my student, the newspaper writer. After seeing what happened with the two young men, my student said to me, “Master Chang, I was amazed!” I then replied “Why?” He said, “Because, I thought today was the day I could witness my Master’s amazing fighting ability. Thinking this is a once in a life time opportunity, I was excited!! However, I saw there was no violence at all, and the two young men just ran away, without any resistance! So after I saw this, I started thinking that this is even more of an amazing fight!”
He added, “Master Chang, how did you control them, these rough young men who really wanted to fight!? You controlled them without violence, just with softness! It was an even more amazing fight that I got to witness!” Of course, those two young men never came back. In the moment when I was confronting the young men, I was not conscious of being a Hapkido Master, nor was I conscious of having to save face in front of my student. Everything just happened naturally.
A few years ago, as a member of a golf league, I always enjoyed gathering together socially after a golf game. However, there was a particular bully golfer who always caused trouble after he had a few drinks. All the league members were very uncomfortable around him. They complained a lot behind his back, but they never confronted him directly. One day, on behalf of my golf buddies, I confronted him by saying, “Don’t bother them, please.”
This bully all of a sudden stood from his chair, showed me his fist, and said to me, “How dare you advise me?” and he dashed toward me with a very angry face. I kept looking straight at his face without budging from my seat. Then, he suddenly started getting a cold sweat and dropped his fist, and quietly went back to his seat. He did not cause any problems from then on, and in fact, he quit the golf league a couple weeks later.
When I confronted this bully, all my golf league members were watching, and by the way, many of my golf buddies said to each other, “I wish Master Chang would have punched his nose, but he did not do anything! Is he a real Master of Hapkido?” However, a couple of them came up to me and said directly to me, “Master Chang, it was amazing, you are fantastic -- you knocked him down completely.”
Thank you very much.
Master Gedo Chang