Changes from a Simple Principle of Taekwondo
The figure of Taekwondo is simple yet it is inclusive of various principles and changes. Although the simple figure of Taekwondo does not change, it can contain within it many principles and changes because man thinks of Taekwondo distinctively. Therefore, all things and their changes are generated based on Do, but because man came to distinguish and name all things change was divided into yin and yang, and its quality into kang (hardness) and yu (softness).21)
The distinctive factors of Taekwondo can be analyzed in terms of distance, tide and balance, each of which comprises a composite among the ways of Haneul (heaven), Tang (earth) and Saram (man). That is, Haneul and Tang when united make distance; Haneul and Saram when united make tide; and Tang and Saram when united make balance.
Haneul and Tang when united make distance because the way of Haneul is to situate all of yourself in the proper place while the way of Tang is to have your opponent opposed to the world to which you are harmonized. You can always find the best distance in Taekwondo whenever the unity of Haneul and Tang maintains you in your proper position while keeping your opponent opposed to the world to which you are harmonized.
Haneul and Saram when united make tide because the way of Saram is to preserve your core and balance and to not lose yourself. When you maintain these ways you can be sure of keeping your spirit firm in the midst of every change and maintaining everything in its own place.
Tang and Saram when united make balance because the very balance in the motions of Taekwondo allows change to settle within your own harmony around the core that you have in the opposition of your opponent and the world.
In this manner, when following the ways of Haneul, Tang and Saram, the
motions of Taekwondo are determined by the factors of distance, tide and
balance. In turn, the most practical attack and defense is determined
21) For further commentary on the concepts of kang and yu, refer to Chapter 41 of this volume.
22) Tang (Earth) and Saram (Man) when united make balance. Why is this so? The reason is that balance is a result of your changes settling around your core in harmony, and this harmony should be attained in the opposition between your opponent and the world. This is the implication of the way of Tang. Here I conceive the balance not in a stable but in an active perspective.