Man has had to fight to survive either in the protection of his family, group or self. Through this fighting a skill was brought forth that was passed down from person to person, family to family, clan to clan, culture to culture. As long as Man in his cosmic experience continues to defend, continues this will to survive, these skills will continue to evolve. These skills were based on what worked both mentally and physically. As life evolved this spontaneous and creative activity became more honed, as without these, survival was surely shortened.

Something happened though, during this evolution, where the fighter became a Martial Artist, a True Warrior in the fullest sense. When and how we don’t know. From these terrifying past struggles for survival some person came to understand and foster a compassion for their adversary. Thus these abilities to defend oneself, one’s family, one’s clan enlarged to also became a battle within the person to do this fighting without hate, without prejudice and without revenge.

To use only what force was truly necessary in that defense without allowing the “beast” from within to take over, became a focal important part of every battle.This flame of understanding, a mixture of the practical and compassion for one’s enemy, came to be and is reflected by the flame of the seal itself. Man’s spirit evolved one more step. Thus the beginning of the full breadth of truth, ethics and courage of a warrior came to be within the culture.

This is the true and real heritage of Mo Duk Pai. This is where our roots lie deepest, wherein the spirits of our ancestors have passed this flame on from one fighting system to another, keeping it alive and bright throughout history.

Symbology of the Mo Duk Pai System Seal
  • Black stands for the history of the Martial Arts, our civilization and each individual. It stands for what came before.
  • Red stands for the spontaneous, creative, and practical actions that we deal with.
  • Yellow/gold stands for the richness and passion of the system which is brought by its students through their training and own evolution in Martial Arts.
  • White, though a combination of all colors, stands for purity. It stands for our striving for self-mastery, for the true individuality, which lies within us and is our true self.
  • Blue stands for ethics, truth and courage that is the true base of Martial Arts.
  • Green stands for expansion – the expansion of the self, the expansion of the system outside of us, the expansion of the Art everywhere.
  • Circles represent the mental, physical and spiritual aspect of The Art and The Artist that is never ending. Though each circle is separate they should work in harmony with each other.
        Eight disciplines:
  • Correct intentions
  • Truthful speech
  • Right action
  • Proper livelihood
  • Correct effort
  • Right thoughts
  • Right concentration
  • Right understanding
Eight flames combine as one and represent the flame on the seal.

This Flame is the focus of the Seal and is a reflection of who we are in Mo Duk Pai. We, as a group, seek only a better world. This is one way we can contribute to that goal. We are a family within a larger family known as Martial Artists.

Welcome to that heritage and may the flame burn within you, as it is this brightness that is a reflection of the passion that you and your school carry for the Art. May you too pass this passion and intensity of Martial Art to someone else.(This text is taken from a speech given by Professor Frederic D. King during 1998’s annual Mo Duk Pai camp and has been edited for clarity and brevity.).