Sparring with Myself as Imaginary Opponent
"What is it that I conquer myself?"
"It is to do what you dislike to do that
you have to do though, and not to do what you want to do that you ought not
Taekwondo begins from you who are with your opponent. Thus, it is desirable that you, who practice Taekwondo, always train yourself with your opponent, which, however, is not always possible. And there are some cases where it is rather more helpful to practice alone, and it should also be stated that it is difficult to keep secure from Taekwondo with its extreme power. Observing all of these the old people invented a good method for learners to train themselves alone, and this is the Poomsae.
Poomsae is the established pattern of right motions, focused on techniques, that every Taekwondo man should follow in most general situations. Doing poomsae of Taekwondo you can learn how to control your body most properly in the continuous techniques. The opponent is always supposed in poomsae as an enemy. Taekwondo poomsae is a sparring with such imaginary opponent. Therefore, poomsae does not differ from kyorugi in its essence. The fact that the opponent is already in poomsae as an image determines its essence. You, doing Taekwondo poomsae, should know that making perfect motions does not differ at all from making motions harmonized with your opponent.
The fact that poomsae has a supposed opponent in it is the essential difference that distinguish Taekwondo from dance. This difference, however, is also nothing at the same time. For every actual entity does not distinguish itself from another by itself, and every motion of man is same as another in one kind. Therefore, a perfect dance can be a perfect Taekwondo and vice versa. Both of them are same in that they are man's motions and also in that they are the best motions which express you in best ways.
This poomsae is made of forms along which to practice motions and everyone is taught to follow those ways. This formality of poomsae is based on the limitedness of man's action. It means, when an opponent attacks you his attack has some random forms, which, however, cannot but be restriced in its formal limits at once. The reasonable, and so, good ways of his attacking you from a certain pose can be several kinds but they are still within limits. It is possible for you to defend those attacks with a particular formulated action. For it also includes some randomness. When you block your opponent's turning kick you can add some change in so many ways of varying its height and twisting some part as he can kick you in various ways within its limits.
The formality of poomsae is also resulted from the natural law in another aspect. It is the ordered regularity, which you can find at the end of the life and death out of all intended rules, for example, limits that the opponent with two fists cannot make an attack composed of three fists no matter how fast he moves, or that he can move to only one direction among forward, backward, upward, downward and sidewards. Considering them all, we can know the law of nature does not differ from that of man.