Mastery of friendship / by Daniel Maissan

Two young Korean men were students of the same master in Sibpalki, a Korean martial art, when they became friends. Thirty years later, each having their own different life, they are still best friends. Bok Kyu Choi now lives in the Netherlands, with a wife and three children. Mumoon became a monk in a temple up in the mountains of North-Eastern South Korea. Both have created a life, where they can still spend their time and energy on their love for the martial art. Each in their own way. 

Bok Kyu Choi is a father of three and a husband. His life work consists of studying the history of eastern martial arts. He has a small library with everything that is remotely affiliated with eastern martial arts. Books on Western and Eastern health care, books on the art of war, military and defence and of course many books on the martial arts. Every day he practices Sibpalki and he even wrote a book about it. 

Mumoon decided to become a monk in a temple. By now he is the second monk next to the chief monk in the Sinheungsa Temple near Sokcho. Besides early morning prayer and meditation, he manages the many people working at the temple and  some nearby sanctuaries. 


The two maybe meet once a year. They walk, catch up on each others lives, drink tea, but most important... they practice the one thing that connected them in the first place: Sibpalki.

If I have learned one thing being with these two men it's this:

Mastery is not about being the best at something, reaching a certain goal or even about being a teacher. Mastery is about the road traveled to get where you are now and about knowing the road that still needs to be traveled. It's about being completely aware of the proces that got you where you are and continuously working to understand, upkeep, teach and improve that proces.