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
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
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)
1) Chuang Tzu, The Great and Venerable Teacher 1, 眞人之息以踵,衆人之息以喉.
2) 「龍虎秘訣」, "若能了悟則一言足矣리라. 蓋下手之初는 閉氣而已니라." 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.