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Taekwondo Bible, Vol.2  
6. Ilgiyae(One Skillart)

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6-6. Breathing

To describe Ilgiyae as TAEKWONDO specifically, it is nothing but rhythmical motion in its proper harmony, and this is nothing but motion in accordance with breathing. Here, the essential secret key of breathing is to preserve your vital energy.

First, think on why the ultimate Ilgiyae converges on rhythm. It's because whatever skill of Taekwondo is motion, which is a sort of change. Understanding this change as distinguishable "the harmonious composition of Samjae; Haneul, Tang, and Saram is change, however, since the Samjae is originally only one all changes are same as one. But man commonly divides and distinguishes it for cognition, which results in nodes of change, i.e. 'Rhythm'."(Ch. 13) And this is why the Ilgiyae converges on rhythm.

Then, why is rhythm related to breath? It's because "your motion is outer expression of all changes from inside of yourself"(Ch. 13) and breath is the central axis of the change from your inside. To say differently, breathing begins microscopically the mitochondria's production of ATP in the cell, and reaches macroscopically to man's inhaling oxygens and exhaling carbon dioxides. Therefore "the biological breathing flows consistently from each cell to the whole mass."(Ch.38) So, "breath is the main stem of change extended from the ceiling to the bottom of vital phenomena, and an axis that binds mind and body to one."(Ch.38) It is why Chuang Tsu says, "the True Man breathes with his heels; the mass of men breathe with their throats."1) If you breathe from your heels standing on the earth you can breath with your whole body, and furthermore, you can breathe together with the whole world. This is what Chuang Tsu means. In this way, "you can move only because you are alive, and your inside and outside changes are inclined to harmonize with each other converging to a wide accord."(Ch.14) This is why rhythm is related to breath.

In Yong Ho Bigyeol(The Secret Teaching of Dragon and Tiger) Master Jeong Buk Chang summed up the secret tip of breathing technique, which has been handed down to Korean people from the oldest time, in a word of "Pyae-Ki".2) This is the essential secret way of breathing to enrich full vital energy. "Pyae-Ki" means Closing Ki. He said it is the beginning of Dan study, which means the starting way for the training of sitting in meditation with no movement. When it is said to be beginning it also means the basics, so its essence. As the training with motions has the same foundation, you should accumulate your vital energy in your body with breathings. For its sake you should control the breath inhaling.

Therefore this cannot help being natural because the Ilgiyae, the completion of Taekwondo, is precisely fit for the ideology of life itself. For "breath is the main stream of life and motions and changes belong to the living process."(Ch.14) Therefore, "distance is found in rhythm/ Offense and defense are determined by distance./ Offense and defense are the whole question of existence."3)


<footnotes>

1) Chuang Tzu, The Great and Venerable Teacher 1, ,.
2) , ". Ѩ쫴϶." Translated its meaning is like folloiwngs: "If you can capably get the full understanding about it, only a word would be enough. Usually, its beginning is nothing more than Pyae Ki" at first.
3) "That I Clench My Fist", 4.

 

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