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

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6-7. Temperance

The inner figure of a motion properly harmonized with rhythm can be summed up as a word; "temperance." Therefore, "TAEKWONDO, the essence of fighting techniques,/ can be summarized as 'Temperance.'"1) The temperance is a proper balance between what you intend to do and what you can do. The Doctrine of the Mean said; "while there are no stirrings of pleasure, anger, sorrow, or joy, the mind may be said to be in the state of Equilibrium. When those feelings have been stirred, and they act in their due degree, there ensues what may be called the state of Harmony. This Equilibrium is the great root from which grow all the human actings in the world, and this Harmony is the universal path which they all should pursue. 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,"2) and this is merely another explain of the temperance.

It is required to emphasize this; temperance, for various reasons. For what you see with your eyes is just the power, which seems to be different from the temperance. Moreover, you come to get far away from it with tension in your mind if you face the opponent of threatening attacks. At the same time, but for the temperance in your motion you cannot stop exhausting your power without technical efficiency in your technique. Therefore, we can say, the ultimate objective of Taekwondo learning is to get this temperance in motion and mind, and furthermore, in life.

Therefore the temperance is the essential key of Taekwondo techniques. So "if I attack with excessive force/ I may destroy myself as well./ If I fail to convert my opponent's force into mine/ We both will tremble with shock."3)(Ch.39) It's because I don't know the temperance. This temperance can be said to be a balance between what you intend to do and what you can do. Thus if you know temperance you can know when to move and where to rest. Hence "the point where to rest being known, the object of pursuit is then determined; and, that being determined, a calm unperturbedness may be attained to. To that calmness there will succeed a tranquil repose. In that repose there may be careful deliberation, and that deliberation will be followed by the attainment of the desired end."4)

This subtle principle begins from the essence of Martialism up to a Taekwondo technique, and again proceeds to be the principles of ruling both man's mind and society. How do we know this? "Martialism is a two edged sword/ Used to feel both opponent and self/ How is it we fail to temper our deeds,/ Taekwondo, in truth says its right to avoid/ Action excessive,"5) so it is said that the temperance begins from the essence of Martialism up to a Taekwondo technique consistently. Moreover, the poem says "when I face my opponent/ I change myself,/ Following the way of Haneul,/ To keep everything in its own proper place in boundless change,/ Following the way of Tang,/ To be harmonized in opposition of opponent and the world,/ Following the way of Saram,/ To be not lost what I am in constant change./ And make empty the center of them all,/ Of which the name is 'temperance',"6) which tells us why temperance is the essence of technique. On the other hand, Mencius said "Confucius didn't try an excessive task,"7) and this also means the temperance with a teaching that it can be applied to principles on how to rule both man's mind and society.8)


<footnotes>

1) "Tightening a Black Bet On a White Uniform", <Chokwon>
2) The Doctrine of Mean, 01-04 եڱۡ ۡ ӹ Գ
3) "That I Clench My Fist" 7.
4) The Great Learning, 00-02 .
5) "That I Clench My Fist", 10.
6) "Tightening a Black Bet On a White Uniform", Chokwon
7) MZ081000 , "."
8) I explained somewhat too briefly that temperance is also essential to the matters of both man and society, in order not to evade the point of the whole volume. If you insist for some more explanation about this matter, you can refer to the following phrase of Confucius: To rule a country of a thousand chariots, thee must be reverent attention to business, and sincerity; economy in expenditure, and love for men; and the employment of the people at the proper seasons.(LY0105 , Գ, , , .) It means, to rule a country, big or small, you have to be reverent attention to business and economy in expenditure, which is a proper balance between what you intend to do and what you can do, namely, the temperance. Also it can be said, the Mencius's saying that Confucius never went beyond reasonable limits is another expression of the essence of temperance.

 

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