Changes from a Simple Principle of Taekwondo
"How long will it take me to
master these many techniques?"
"There is only one skill."
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.