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Chapter 2.
Part I. HARMONY

<previous text>
  There is Do with Everything at First  

   

"What is the essence of Taekwondo training?"
"It is simply mind training."

 


The sun and the moon move in a defined orbit, which itself follows defined principles. Birds and beasts travel only along their routes because it is appropriate to their pursuits. Similarly, man should know and follow the way of TAEKWONDO because it integrates at once all the principles of nature, of reasonable teleonomy , and of the right way of life. Because ethics can be meaningful only in respect to man's activities, and truth only in activities in contact with reality, the right way of TAEKWONDO integrates both value and fact.

Then, why do we call this right way "Taekwondo"? Let us first consider the meanings of the word "Taekwondo". "Tae" (ÅÂ[÷Å]) means both "foot" and "trampling down" while "Kwon" (±Ç[Ïë]) denotes both "fist" and "fighting". Since both these words, along with the suffix "Do", comprise the term "Taekwondo" we may interpret "Taekwondo" to mean not only "the principles of human motions with all physical parts including hands and feet", but also more broadly "the way to punish or trample down unnecessary quarrels for a peaceful world". Thus, the essence of Taekwondo is not in the technique of bringing man to life, but in that of suppressing and killing man while the very objective of this killing is to make the world peaceful. If you neglect this you can obtain nothing right during your study and practice of Taekwondo.

Some argue with emotional prejudice that the essence of Taekwondo is to revive man. However, this is a faulty notion which arises out of a narrow minded perspective. If something has one side then by necessity it must have another. Life exists only because death exists also, and big beasts can live because they prey on smaller ones. Then how can you say that we have to measure these circular and boundless changes seen throughout nature by man's yardstick alone?

The medical arts stand in opposition to Taekwondo, how then can Taekwondo be a mere technique to revive man? The true essence of Taekwondo is as a technique to maim and kill another human. However, it must be added that this is not the entirety of Taekwondo. There is more to Taekwondo than merely the techniques of maiming and killing. The spirit of Taekwondo is not to shut your mind by distinguishing everything with the measure of biased prejudice, but to open your mind, accepting all aspects of things in their entirety. With this mindset you will discern the light of life at the end of lethal motion. Thus, Taekwondo is a process of moving on from under dark shade into the vivid light of life.

The dignity of life ought not to be ignored. To live is surely sublime. Thus, an enlightened Taekwondo-Een cannot help being most humble and temperate on his journey between life and death. Rather than teaching them to you, TAEKWONDO makes you aware of these inherent principles within yourself. When you accept everything of Taekwondo just as it is and capture its exact essence, you will be able to clearly comprehend the values of Taekwondo in life, the fact that Taekwondo is different from what is not Taekwondo in daily life, and even that highest truth that everything exists simultaneously and as a whole.


<footnotes>
7) You may be unfamiliar with the term teleology. Teleology is defined as, "the doctrine of study of ends or final causes, esp. as related to the evidence of design or purpose in nature; also transf. Such design as exhibited in natural objects or phenomena" (Oxford English Dictionary). When we speak of teleonomy it carries a similar implication, while remaining slightly different. While teleology describes an end-directed system from an objective point of view, teleology refers to a subjective end-directed system. Naturally we all have our own ends, and we make our daily plans according to such ends. The overall method of planning and pursuit towards one final goal is the meaning of "teleonomy". Generally speaking, and by dint of common sense, some middle end or plan is helpful and even necessary in achieving one's final objective, we term this rational. In addition, we may say that a system is teleonomically reasonably when there is a relationship between method, final end, and external conditions. Then we come face to face with the next problem: can the final end be the judge of whether or not the means are reasonable? That is, do ends always justify the means? We can say that this is a matter of "rightness" (i.e. ethics).
8) In Korean Een () means person, and thus Taekwondo-Een refers to a practitioner of Taekwondo. I maintain this term in Korean without translation as the Korean term is gender inclusive. I found the wholly English "Taekwondo practitioner" somewhat wordy and overly clinical.

 

 

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