As you know what form
your motions should take, and you recognize what points you should
attack and what points you should not, then, riding the flow of
Heo and Sil1), the attack on your opponent
What are Heo and Sil?
That whose appearance in no way reflects intended reality is termed
“Heo”. That which is filled with an intention to act
regardless of its appearance is termed “Sil”. As
you know, the “I” is empty, so there can be no constant
substantial subject of pursuit so that the counter change of Heo
and Sil in every case continues without cease relying on its emergent
conditions and on what you and your opponent’s wills intend.
This change is limitless and without perfect completion, so that
it can be compared to the yin and yang of Yeok. Distinguishing something
and intending to act are qualities only of Saram (man) who possesses
his own will. Therefore, Heo and Sil are to be discerned with division
to a rise or fall of each. Nature, on the other hand, is so unintentional
as to distinguish nothing for itself, so that Heo and Sil are mixed
in infinite change and there is neither that which is not Heo nor
that which is not Sil. Therefore, the existence of each is also
boundless. It is because the Taekwondo-Een seeks to imitate this
virtue of Nature that he erases himself so as to delete all distinctions
in what he desires.
Why is it difficult to attack and subdue one’s
opponent without riding change and the flow of Heo and Sil? This
is so because the opponent whom you face in Taekwondo is no mere
object like a stone or block of wood but a living and moving being,
having in mind both what he intends and what he wishes to avoid.
To live is to adapt. The infinite capacity of adaptation is the
very substance of life. Since one’s opponent adapts himself
to change in pursuing what he desires, you can subdue him with ease
only after you have restricted his adaptation along the flow of
Heo and Sil. This is the difference between catching a fish and
taking hold of a mere stone in the water.
How does one ride the flow of HeoSil? Only after
you understand it can you know how to ride it. Emptiness of what
you intend to do is Heo while its fullness Sil. On the other hand,
what is to be filled is Heo while what is to be emptied is Sil.
Therefore, Sil is followed by Heo as Heo is by Sil. Likewise, Heo
contains Sil as Sil contains Heo. Neither of them can be ultimately
distinguished; you can have Heo as
Sil and Sil as Heo, and it is so changeful that each of both follows
including the other, which makes the flow of HeoSil.
As you grasp both the nature of Heo and Sil you
can ride the flow of HeoSil in three ways: First, have your tide
and balance empty saving your distance with a faint motion of no
fullness on the one hand, while on the other hand preparing yourself
for the following motion in your rhythm, i.e. having form-filled
motions concealed by faint motions. Second, you should tempt the
opponent into your full blind spot by both erasing and picturing
yourself to have him opposed to the world, which is to putting full
bait into an empty trap. Third, you should have your empty self
opposed to him while controlling yourself with your full self at
the same time, and thus to have Heo as Sil and Sil as Heo so that
you catch the difference between his Heo and Sil with the aid of
the sameness of your Heo and Sil.
These three ways of subduing your opponent by riding
the flow of HeoSil are both the same and different. As you come
to understand TAEKWONDO you will come to realize such sameness.
If you master the control HeoSil
in this manner you will be familiar with distance in Taekwondo.
For Sil is owing to what you want to do, which, when emptied, makes
Heo, so that you can be at once both close to your opponent with
Sil and distanced from him with Heo. Therefore, the distance between
two Taekwondo-Een is in continuous flux even when they maintain
their respective positions like posts.
Ideal motion in Taekwondo, which rides the flow
of HeoSil, always avoids the opponent’s Sil while striking
at his Heo, and turns your Heo to Sil along the continuous change.
Seeking the Heo of what he thinks, you should find it through a
balance of simplicity and complexity. Seeking the Heo of his motion
you should create out of the harmony of the slow and fast. All of
these, when coupled with one another, make the ‘preceding
attack’ with the ‘counter attack’, and generate
‘faint motion’ with ‘filled motion’.
What is termed “preceding attack” precedes
the opponent’s filled preparation so as to strike at his Heo
in a fast tide. The preceding attack
should precede three things: his motion, his waiting, and his expectation.
What is termed “counter attack” harmonizes you with
his attack of big change in HeoSil so as to strike his empty point
with that of which you are full. The
counter attack also should catch three things: the crevice of his
motion, that which he failed to consider in his preparation, and
that which is not firm in his tide.
There is a motion, of which the figure is full,
yet of which the substance is empty; and thus which is not an attack
even though it appears as such and which is not a defense even though
it appears as such. We call this “a faint motion”. On
the other hand, there is also a motion, which is a sharp attack
on his core and which can also be a worthy defense despite its appearance.
We call this a “a filled motion”. Every motion, even
if it be a faint motion, can be transformed into a filled motion
without confusion whenever needed. Similarly, every filled motion
can also be emptied whenever needed, when there is no distinguishing
a faint motion from a filled motion. This is performing both Heo
and Sil in a movement.
As when you strike a Heo in his motion you can precede
the motion, and when you precede his expectation you can strike
the Heo of his thinking so there is no difference between preceding
his preparation and striking his empty part with your fullness.
There is also no difference between a preceding attack and a counter
The principle that rules every change of HeoSil
can be summed up in by a single clause: to strike your own Heo in
order to subdue the opponent. The best way to deceive your opponent
is to deceive yourself, and if you want to change the world you
should begin by transforming yourself. In this way, you can subdue
him without mistake because you are rather empty truly scattered
as you know your own Heo allowing it, which is again a perfect Sil.
Even if each of Heo and Sil appears different to those who make
blind distinctions, ultimately each is not distinct from the other,
and its fundamental essence is the Heo in no willing of Nature.
But in the willing of man the fundamental essence is Sil. Therefore,
you can obtain useful Heo only after you have obtained Sil through
continuous training. This is no different than the principle which
states you can transcend distinction only after you have understood