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Taekwondo Bible, Vol.2  
5. Saram(Man)

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5-8. The Great Mean

It is for the sake of not losing what you want to do that you should keep its middle not erring to one or the other side. When you as a Taekwondo man, with the preservation of what you intend to do(the way of Saram), have your opponent opposed to the world and you are harmonized in it, your will move him and your body move the world.(Ch.39) These characteristics of all the perfect and skilled motions of Taekwondo and of its attacks and defenses are not in its infinite powerfulness and sharpness but in its capacity for controlling over the opponent properly and for rearranging everything to its appropriate position. Also can this be understood in relations to the way of Sky inside and outside Taekwondo, and its another name is "the Great Mean.(Ch.39)

As keeping the middle not erring to one or the other side comes from your intention to keep what you intend to do you can get the oneness of Haneul and Tang along the way of Saram. Therefore the Great Mean is verily same as <Oneness of Haneul and Tang in Saram> in some sense. And you should preserve what you are as you are. This is the way how the way of Saram is formulated along that of Haneul. This is to keep your being alive primitively, thus it means protecting yourself should be the prior consideration to attacking your opponent. Thus Sun Tzu also said: The skillful warriors in ancient times first made themselves invincible and then awaited the enemy's moment of vulnerability. Invincibility depends on oneself, but the enemy' vulnerability on himself. It follows that those skilled in war can make themselves invincible but cannot cause an enemy to be certainly vulnerable. Therefore, it can be said that, one may know how to win, but cannot necessarily do so.1)

Although there are many people who know they should abandon the excessive yet achieve the Great Mean, however, there is only a little who have accomplished it, hence, there is also only a little who obtained TAEKWONDO. It's because it is difficult to get the Great Mean and the <Oneness of Haneul and Tang in Saram> in it. Why so difficult? It's because you have to abandon what you intend to do in order to preserve what you intend to do. If you fail to abandon what you intend to do though required, it will be said as excessive, while if you fail to get what you intend to do though necessary, it will be said as deficient. Hence Confucius said: I know how it is that the path of the Mean is not walked in: - The knowing go beyond it, and the stupid do not come up to it. I know how it is that the path of the Mean is not understood: - The men of talents and virtue go beyond it, and the worthless do not come up to it.2)

What is the immediate reason why you have to follow the way of Saram so as to keep the Great Means in Taekwondo? It's because if you attack with excessive force you may destroy yourself as well, and if you fail to convert your opponent's force into yours you both will tremble with shock.(Ch.39) Thus, if you lose the Great Mean you cannot achieve what you desire to get with sufficient effect even of a trivial technique. Just let the states of equilibrium and harmony exist in perfection, and a happy order will prevail throughout heaven and earth, and all things will be nourished and flourish.3)


<footnotes>

1) Sun Tsu, The Art of War, , : , ʦ, ʦ. ʦ, ʦ.
2) The Doctrine of the Mean, 04-01 Գ Φ Գ٥ Φ .
3) The Doctrine of the Mean, 01-05 ؿڪ.

 

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