7. On Poomsae
which is neither Completion nor Incompletion
“How can I train
“Think only necessary things. That is enough.”
You are surrounded by many
enemies. There is no way out. To where can you escape? You should
find refuge in a place beyond the restrictions of existence, to
the inside of yourself. Through skilled motions you must forget
everything and immerse yourself in a state of Mu-A (non-I, ??[??]).
Just as you transcend to the inside of life over every denial
to its reality, so must you hide from many enemies on your inside.
This is the most reasonable escape from reality. This is not to
avoid but to face the opponent, controlling him. In this state
of immersion in the inner life you can discern the world of dance
in relation to Taekwondo. After all, the two are no different.
Therefore, in the performance of Taekwondo poomsae, as in dance,
although each movement may appear separate and completely distinct
in time, each actually interacts and collaborates with the others
in a poomsae. Therefore, one movement leads to another, and
one movement is accompanied not by this sort but by another
sort of movement in poomsae. Because of this, a poomsae that
can be divided into each movement cannot at once be distinguished
such in another. This is why poomsae differs from basic motion.
The principles that organize motions in Taekwondo poomsae can
be categorized into two comprehensive types. One is maintaining
incompletion in completion and the other is maintaining completion
in incompletion. When you maintain incompletion in completion
each sequence of fragmentary movements achieves its own complete
meaning with some independence from their entire system. This
individuality of each part in a poomsae makes the entirety incomplete,
so it is said to maintain incompletion in completion because
each motion achieves completeness by itself, its multitudity
never completely merging into the whole. When you maintain completion
in incompletion every movement is related to the others in a
unitary flow, so no movement and no pose achieves its own complete
meaning outside of this flow; i.e. out of sequence of the various
poses. Instead, this restriction of each movement to the others
generates a complete harmony and an incomplete motion achieves
its meaning only in this whole. Thus, it is said to maintain
completion in incompletion.
The incomplete motion in the completion of poomsae is felt
as separate in every movement and joint, where you can discern
such sharpness as slicing every portion of empty space with
a sword and with every moment erupting with a fierce energy.
It is for the completion of subduing the opponent in every movement.
Since, however, to fill is followed by to empty, you should
maintain incompletion in completion to open its entire meaning
and rid it of all self-restriction. The complete motion in incompletion
of poomsae takes the form of a continuous flow of movement without
break, which reveals itself in a natural weightiness, filling
all empty space and flowing in a stream of continuous rhythm.
It is for the meaning completion of each to subdue the opponent
in the whole combination of each independent motion; and so,
the entirety related to a motion lies in each since it has open
meaning in its formal incompletion. It is complete.
As you master movements to maintain completion in incompletion
in the practice of poomsae, you can learn how to harmonize a
part in an entirety, not merely as a part but as one of its
entirety. As you practice movements to maintain incompletion
in completion you can learn how to harmonize a part in an entirety,
not merely as a part of the entirety but also as one that contains
and reflects its entirety. In either the case of completion
in incompletion or incompletion in completion, final mastery
appears as perfection that is neither complete nor incomplete
but which is both of them at once. It has no figure.