6. How to Weapon
and Defense are Simple
“Why do you emphasize
“Because, not knowing its oneness, you cannot really
use its techniques.”
You contract your body when blocking the opponent’s
attack, and extend it when attacking him. The contraction and
extension is a natural and simple motion no less than it comprises
all common actions. Yet in it you can obtain the most effective
method of attack and defense: you can advance, rise up and sink
down, or simply turn round and round. These bending, stretching
and turning motions are also no less natural and simple than
the basic and requisite elements of all actions. Because of
this simplicity the opponent’s attack cannot reach you,
and further, he ruins himself in the attempt. In this manner,
the proper motions of Taekwondo do not reveal themselves as
anything special, and the principles of attack and the defense
that are a part of them are equally simple. Then what is it
that differentiates Taekwondo from what is not Taekwondo?
The answer to this can be summed up in a single sentence: a
proper Taekwondo motion differs from any other action in daily
life only in that it contains nothing superfluous to your life.
In other words, the simple principle of Taekwondo required for
attack and defense is that you should make only the most necessary
movements. Accordingly, a correct motion in Taekwondo shifts
from one movement to another with nothing at all between them.
Only then does every part of you maintain its proper position,
and you are able to adapt yourself perfectly to everything.
Every technique of Taekwondo is simple in its essence because
it is composed of only necessary movements. Therefore it is
most desirable to attain simplicity of technique in attack and
defense in Taekwondo. Regardless of whether you use complex
or simple techniques to subdue your opponent, you will attain
the same results if you win. The complex, and difficult, technique
is required when you cannot subdue the opponent with the simple.
When you employ a complex technique, which has its uses to be
sure, rather than a simple one when a simple one would suffice,
it ceases to be a virtuous technique to become merely a poor
one that serves to exhaust your power unnecessarily. The full
potential of Taekwondo; its profound beauty, will be embodied
when you accomplish the simplicity of a compact motion completely
in contact with Do. It is to be realized when you harmonize
the simple principle with brilliant technique in a complex motion.
This motion of Taekwondo is nothing more nor less than an action
of daily life, which has been trained and made skillful over
a long process so that all superfluity is eliminated. Even the
roughest stone will be polished smooth if ground for a long
time. Taekwondo hones such proper and smooth motion through
continuous training and repetition, forming the calm mind through
long-term self-discipline and temperance.