In Taekwondo there is a correct direction
your attack should follow in which you are in harmony with
your opponent. As your opponent’s center refers to
the center of both his motion and his life, by disrupting
it you can cut the flow of his changes, by oppressing it
you can suppress his motions, and by penetrating it you
can kill him at will.
So mysterious is the human body that you
can subdue it merely by controlling one of its fingers and
you can fell it merely by striking one of its small parts.
Though it may not always be simple to attack his center
it is always possible to link your attack on one of his
lesser and more vulnerable parts to his center. When facing
your opponent in TAEKWONDO, his center is always the closest
to you. If you can spot it you will also realize that it
is closer than any of his other parts.
There are some spots that link a person’s
core to almost every other part of his body, so that by
controlling them one can effectively control him. We call
such spots “vital points” (Geupso) . These vital
points are spread throughout a man’s body and follow
the way of Yin and Yang. As such, they can paradoxically
render a man's body extremely weak and vulnerable on the
one hand, though it may be extremely strong on the other.
This mysterious harmony finds its origins in the fact that
the entirety can be found in every element, however seemingly
insignificant, of the life of man.
As has been often repeated, life is above
all else a self-intending process. In the apparent end that
we ultimately reach after various trials and processes we
discover not completion but a new beginning, the entirety
of which comprises life’s ultimate nature. There can
be no completion in life. In this sort of life there is
neither mystery on one hand, nor even any distinction between
mystery and non-mystery on the other; thus there is no discerning
between life and no life. The essence of such life is continuous
change, which is why the sixty-fourth, and final, kwae1),
rather than reading Su Hwa Ki Jae (????),
reads Hwa Su Mi Jae (????).2)
In the same manner, life is a process of
continuous change and this change may also be called “Growth”.
A seed grows to a large tree, bears flowers and fruit, and
creates the seeds of new life only because that life is
continuous growth. The entirety of this process reveals
the full nature of life. Therefore, a seed is not the nature
of life, nor again is the big tree, nor the flower. The
true nature of life is the change that occurs from form
to form, and also what is maintained within that change.
In other words, continuous change towards itself, this is
Everything that changes, thus all life -
whether a small seed or giant tree - contains all potential
change within it. Therefore we can say that every life contains
each part in its entirety and its entirety in every part.
This is the figure of life itself. Since the nature of TAEKWONDO
is essentially the same as life, each part of Taekwondo
also contains its entirety and its entirety contains each
of its parts. The nature of living itself cannot but be
the same with the nature of life. In Taekwondo the entirety
and its parts are the same and different at once. These
facts remain the same for a moment as for all time.
Since TAEKWONDO has the same nature as life
its motion of attacking the opponent’s center should
also be continuously transformed. Repeated motion with no
change makes Taekwondo unable to harmonize with life, which
changes and grows moment to moment, and with the world,
which is also in continuous flux through time. The result
of such repetition would be revealing your blind spots to
your opponent. This will result in your ultimate defeat.
Therefore, living Taekwondo attacks the
opponent’s center with its boundless change. Water
flows downward because it never sticks to a fixed shape,
never ceases its endless change, as it passes various obstacles.
A life can survive because it too has evolved over a very
long history. Taekwondo in eternal time also grows with
life, and thus no man can define the true nature of TAEKWONDO
in his shape no matter what figure he may attain. TAEKWONDO
is hidden within the continuous change of man’s appearance.
It breathes with life.