Motion in Harmony with Rhythm
"I am too slow."
"You are just in too much of a hurry."
The most important factor in reading the rhythm of your opponent's changes
is his breath. After all, breath is the mainstream of life, and motions
and changes belong to the living process. You can move only because you
are alive, and your internal and external changes are inclined to harmonize
with each other, converging to a wide accord. Therefore, there can be
no movement of your opponent that is alive and absolutely separated from
the rhythm of breathing. Even hard motion, when in accord with breathing,
not only does not exhaust your energy but boosts it. On the other hand
even the simplest motion, done out of accord with breathing, tires first
your muscles and then your whole body. Man's best and most perfect motion
is simply breathing itself.
Thus, that breath results in motion and motion makes rhythm and rhythm
determines distance is a principle of nature fundamental to every person
that practices Taekwondo. Distance in terms of Taekwondo is the gap between
what you want and what your opponent wants. Hiding your breath and seeking
out that of your opponent, you can hide your intentions while catching
his. In the process, the proper distance between you and your opponent
will be properly established. Distance results from rhythm and determines
attack and defense, which is critical in cases of survival. Therefore,
it can be said that staying alive in Taekwondo means keeping your rhythm
perfect with the world.
Taken this way, correct motion in Taekwondo simply means adapting to
your opponent and maintaining a proper rhythm. Regardless of its speed,
a correct motion is always rhythmical. Because it is always rhythmical
its pace may be quickened or slackened and still be proper. Because your
motion is rhythmical, your opponent cannot free himself from it, for your
rhythmical motion cannot come into being unless your will is harmonized
with the world. Your opponent is representative of the world you face,
so his motions are parts of it, thus they comprise a part of your motion's
rhythm as well.
Rhythm is in continuous change. Continuous change is natural. You can
find it in every aspect of all things. Therefore, the perfect rhythm concerns
not only speed and modes of motion, but also strong or weak power, wild
or moderate tide, hasty or slow tempo, and so forth, so that rhythm consists
in the harmony that emerges only after everything properly accords with
one another. The motions of Taekwondo never deny rhythm. Rather, they
are applied to every rhythm in harmony. Therefore, the resulting perfect
motion of Taekwondo is so rhythmical that it may be regarded as a refined