B. Taoism and Taekwondo philosophy.
Concerning the expression style, it may be easiest to see the relationships between the technical aspects of Taekwondo and Taoism. Although the philosophical theory of Taoism is similar to that of Buddhism, Taoism does not give much attention to the future life after death whereas it emphasizes the principles of doing-nothingness(Mu-wi, ) overall. This is the Do(Tao, ), which goes beyond the boundary of social norms.
The thoughts of Lao-zi, that we should know and approach the Do of nature in order to harmonize the daily life of mankind with the nature, can be seen clearly in the 1st chapter of his book, Dodeokkyong(). He says "what can be said cannot be the constant and fundamental Do(principles) and the name that we can call cannot be that of the real and substantial things." We can understand that this phrase explains the abstract principles of Taekwondo which penetrate its basic positions and skills as mentioned above. The essence of Taosim, however, is called Muyijayeon() which recommends that we should do nothing intentionally with everything performed by itself naturally. So it is not difficult to confirm that philosophy of Taekwondo coincides with that of Taoism overall. According to Lao-zi, everything belongs to infinite deployment of the whole changing through fragmentations, unions, and confrontations. This fundamental conception of "infinite change" teaches us that there is nothing immutable without any exceptions of mankind, nature, and society. From the perspective of such infinite change, therefore, Lao-zi recommends that we return to 'doing-nothingness'.
We can approach more easily the philosophy of Lao-zi, through which we can understand better the relationship between the philosophy of Taekwondo and that of Lao-zi. That is to say, every meaning of Taekwondo is converged into the pure possibility, where eternity is harmonized with an instant and thus unlimited motions are converged into a minute stay. Thus the beginner comes to learn basic positions at first and then basic skills with their applications based on them later. The Taekwondoman can experience and realize that everything changes here. But there is also order in the infinite change, which is called Do(Tao, ). Therefore, one must not attach himself to a certain change but seek the natural flow of Mu-wi(doing-nothingness) erasing himself, which is equivalent to harmonizing himself with his opponent, through which one can know something far from him in something near, perform a big task only with a little tool and control my opponent with my intention. This is what Lao-zi means saying that "it is possible to know everything of the world even inside home" and that "the saint does not attach his mind to something, but includes everyone's mind in his."
On the other hand, we can also confirm the relationships between the philosophy of Taekwondo and that of Loa-zi understanding the detailed Taekwondo skills. What is most important and trivial at once in controling the opponent's motion is to read his rhythm. Reading his rhythm and having myself follow it, I can disarrange it at the same time, through which I can control him only with a little effort. When one cannot read his opponent's rhythm then he cannot follow his opponents action, despite his rapid movement, which result only in exhaustion. Thus Lao-zi says "one should begin with easy solution of difficulties, and make a trivial start for the important task. " Also he says "one is to be hindered with many words. It is the best to keep the empty principle," which coincide with the principle of the Taekwondo skill not to be attached to a trivial skill but to empty his own mind just following the opponent's action and not trying to make his opponent move as he wants. Therefore, those who are good at Taekwondo and who sometimes make a great mistake are often attached to his plan failing to read the opponent's action. So "if the military is too strong, it cannot win at last and the tree that is too stiff will be broken finally." In this way, by contaiment on the opponent's important action and softly striking a weak point I can subdue the adversary without being contrary to reason, thus a good attack never demands excessive power but accuracy instead. Therefore "the weak win the strong and the soft the hard."
So "the principle of heaven only fosters everything but harms nothing." So does the princple of Taekwondo. Thus If I attack with excessive force I may destroy myself as well and If I fail to convert my opponent's force into mine we both will tremble with shock.