The Essence of Accountability
by Anthony Segura - 3rd Degree Black Belt

Tasha Kim, 1st dan black belt, shows her side thrust kick after the demo at the Houston convention center in 1989.

    In martial arts terms, what is the essence of accountability? How does this apply to my training as an individual? To my participation in the Chayon-Ryu system? To the preservation of Chayon-Ryu for the next generation?

Accountability is, almost by definition, an emotionally charged word. It often arises when there is discontent and anxiety, and is frequently associated with blaming, divisiveness, and hostility. But being accountable may also imply many positive actions: things like taking responsibility, striving for quality and excellence, standing for integrity, trust, and confidence.

Individual Accountability:
As an individual, accountability relates to your actions, and can be a driving force behind your martial arts training as well as everyday activities. As a student of Chayon-Ryu, it is your responsibility to learn the basic principles of our system. Your personal drive to practice, be patient, and pay attention in class becomes the first step toward your individual accountability. Being prepared for rank exams, cleaning the dojang, and meditating before class are more examples of being individually accountable, as well. Accountability also relates to using your initiative - not having to be told what to do, but taking it upon yourself to find ways to help improve our system. Grandmaster Kim refers to this as building "Kong."

System Accountability:
The essence of accountability for Chayon-Ryu, as a system, is to continue the lineage of Grandmaster Kim Soo by preserving the art in its original context. How does this occur? It is done through consistent training and striving for excellence, learning about the history and creation of Chayon-Ryu, asking questions when you do not understand, and keeping a positive outlook when you become discouraged. Attending instructor clinics and advanced training classes also serve to improve your ability to maintain the original qualities of Chayon-Ryu as you teach and train.

The Chayon-Ryu philosophy is to follow the natural way. Chayon-Ryu teaches natural body motion as the basis of all techniques, in order to promote power, safety, health, and fitness. The Dojang Hun reminds us that we are each accountable for our thoughts and actions. Each of us as students is accountable for taking Chayon-Ryu to the next generation. Your goals to succeed in Chayon-Ryu are inextricably linked to your accountability and understanding of these concepts.