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Taekwondo Bible, Vol.2  
6. Ilgiyae

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6-9-1. Distance

¡°What is the distance that appears when Haneul(Heaven) and Tang(Earth) united? Distance refers to all of what is between you and your opponent.¡±(Ch.20)

Approaching your opponent to punch you are kicked by him before your punch. It's because you only think of your distance yet not that of his. If he intends to grab you, you also approach him pretending to want to grab him, then punch or kick him. This is to deceive him seeking for your own distance. In another case, if the opponent make his pose for Kyorugi with his left fist forth far and his right fist back close to him, you approach him toward beneath his left elbow. This is to move seeking for the ¡®Taekwondo distance¡¯(Ch.20) that is far from him yet close to you.

Therefore distance si the first thing you have to observe when you compete your opponent in Kyorugi. Observing what distance he wants you can recognize how he will attack you, and hiding the distance you want you can deceive him. So ¡°when you as a Taekwondo man know the proper distance for you, you also know what motion you should and can make in whatever state, thus you know yourself. When you know your opponent's distance you know what kind of offense he will make in whatever state and know how you should defend it, thus you know your opponent.¡±(Ch.20) As a rule, with a long weapon you will want long distance while with short weapon you will demand short distance. Therefore, one who intends to kick his opponent wants to fight him from a distance while one who intends to grab and fell down his opponent wants to clutch him. This is an instance of knowing offense and defense by means of knowing distance.

Also when you suppress several opponents at once you can make it easy with the control of your distance. That is to say, when you meet several opponents in Kyorugi you should always keep close to only one opponent that is easy for you to control, while far away from all the others. Its basic knack is to drive them as if to form a line of them, moving yourself to its end, and control over each by each from the end.

Let me discuss breath, rhythm and temperance in distance.

You should control the rhythm in order to shorten the long distance for approach. If by one step you can reach the distance that your opponent move back by two steps you can control the long distance in short way. You can obtain it by learning the walking of Taekwondo. On the other hand, the essential key to control the rhythm is to remove unnecessary movements deceiving him. Approaching him in a skilled temperate motion, although you don't hurry up while he hastes, he cannot get out of your offense, which is verily to control the rhythm with temperance to surpass distance. The condition for temperance is the easy mind and its expression is the calm and tranquil breath. Fear and the extreme stress from it cause the severe heartbeat and disorder of breathing. Still more impossibility of a temperate motion. ¡°Thus, that breath results in motion and the motion makes rhythm and the rhythm determines distance is a principle of the Nature related to everybody that does Taekwondo.¡±(Ch.14) Through the whole breath, rhythm and temperance are same in oneness.

 

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