Correct Taekwondo training means mastering techniques for
your body and completing your spirit by achieving those
techniques to perfection, and ultimately to arrive at the
Do beyond distinctions in the process. All of them can be
obtained sufficiently through basic motions. This is possible
because the basic motions, though simple, contain boundless
principles. In this basic motion, nothing will be obtained
if you ignore any factor, however trivial it may seem. TAEKWONDO
is very simple. It is in one, and in nothing more than one.
A correct principle reveals itself only in exact motions.
Nothing must be ignored however trivial it may seem because
the meaning of a basic motion is multi-dimensional. If you
interpret some things as trivial in training based upon
your inadequate knowledge you will gain little. For example,
the correct pose of Juchum Seogi consists not simply in
taking a low pose, nor is its purpose confined to strengthening
particular leg muscles. Turning your waist in Dollyeo Chagi
is neither simply to develop a more powerful kick nor to
make the kick deeper and more beautiful. The basic motions
are in truth related to every skill and ideal of Taekwondo.
Therefore, when you practice the basic motions you should
do so precisely, following each and every specification
as if counting. Most important is to repeat them constantly
until you are transformed into the basic motions themselves
rather than a conscious performer of them. How is it possible
to make yourself into a motion? It would be tedious to practice
a basic motion a hundred times. But it would be rather interesting
to repeat it a thousand times; continue up to ten thousand
and you will obtain naturality; practice still further and
you will obtain Taekwondo entire. Then you can transform
into the motion itself.
There are three points you have to keep in your mind in
practicing the basic motions: distinctness, accordance and
What should be distinct? You must distinguish go from stop;
emptiness from fullness; before from after; and up from
down. Distinctness comes from distinction. Since Taekwondo
understands the ultimate non-distinctive nature of reality
and transcends it, it accepts the illusion of distinctions
over discernment of the true and false, so it has the correctness
of basic motions relying on its distinctness. This distinctness
generates the foundation for everything to be kept in its
proper place, which is the principle of basic motions related
to the way of Haneul.
What should be accorded? You have to maintain your intention
accorded with your sight; sight with hand and foot; and
hand and foot with waist. For this accordance you should
keep tide, center movement, and hand and foot accorded in
a motion. When you kick, you must accord your foot and waist;
when you use your hands, your hand and shoulder. In this
complete accordance of all you can harmonize with the world
and have the opponent opposed in relation, which refers
to the way of Tang.
What should be stable? You should keep center, breath and
mind stable, so that your balance is settled with integrity
of vitality. This is the not-losing yourself within continuous
change, which refers to the way of Saram.
In order to attain all that you must maintain in basic
motions you should perform them with three teachings in
mind: large movement, low center, and breathing accordance.
You should make large movements, not because such motions
are always actually useful but because through them you
can obtain another important thing. This is that it will
enable you to concentrate your entirety even during a slight
motion, or to always move with your entirety. When you become
accustomed to moving with your entirety you can make distinction,
accordance and stability with greater ease. If you always
make large movements with every motion you cannot but move
as many parts of your body as possible, and also establish
that way of motion in yourself. And then, when these ways
become settled completely as your own ways, you can make
even the slightest motion with your entire body.
You should keep your center low, because, just as a plant
must spread its roots deep in the earth before it can hope
to grow upward, so is it natural that your training advance
and your entirety become strengthened from a firm center.
The center of your body can be firm through strengthening
the waist and legs that support it. Only then can even a
slight motion be powerful enough to subdue the opponent.
Every physical movement flows by way of the waist to the
hands and feet, legs and arms. This is why your waist and
legs should be as firmly planted as if you and the earth
were one, if you are to subdue the opponent with the force
of the earth’s collision.
You should also make every correct movement of Taekwondo
with your breath alone. Taekwondo motions are but condensed
expressions of all man’s biological processes; and
breath is the core of life. You should move with a simple
oneness, the harmonized oneness of Taekwondo. Your breath
and your motion are but different aspects of the same thing.
Therefore, if you breathe correctly you will discern no
hardness in any basic pose. Correct breath means not just
breathing with your mouth, nose, or lungs but with your
entire body. When you breathe correctly all your vital processes
will be managed properly with no superfluous effort. Perfect
pose and motion always demand perfect breathing. With correct
breathing pose and motion become animate.