8. The Basics
World in a Falling Leaf
“Am I now sufficient?”
“You are still deficient
in the arrangement of your life.”
How should one live? Every doubt a man has concerning
truth begins from and returns to this question. This question
is the faithful companion to life. A consistent system of attitudes
or concepts regarding the answer to this question may be called
a “value conception”.
So closely is Taekwondo related to life that one can find in
a Taekwondo-Een the positive value conception they come to possess
through training, one gained through endless strain and the
transcendence over the self. Although you can manage your life
well in different ways, in Taekwondo you may intensely drive
yourself up to the border of life, for you desire to live a
more positive life. On the one hand, you have to admit your
opponent is superior to you in many aspects, on the other hand
you never cease seeking out his every blind point. Though it
may seem but a trivial flaw within the finely woven pattern
of his poses and movements, finding such a point, you are ultimately
able to subdue him and preserve yourself. This is possible only
with the positive mind that can find pleasure even amidst pain
and trial and can discern twinkling stars in the night’s
darkness, as well as with the creative mind that can discover
in the smallest details a world open to infinite possibilities.
This is the value conception of a Taekwondo-Een.
This value conception gained from Taekwondo can cover all kinds
of virtuous worth. There can be no falsity in plunging into
life itself, prior to thinking, with full acceptance and understanding
of all, including the truth. How good it is to discern infinite
possibility even through life’s barest detail hint, and
to turn this positive outlook towards mankind. This is the foundation
of ethics. This value conception of the Taekwondo-Een becomes
harmonized when actions and cognitions, which constitute the
process of life, are mediated without thinking, and then it
is beauty which you feel, which advances to an art form. And
knowing that all of these are one, you can open the door to
Someone may say all of these are mere sophisms, but by gaining
words one loses reality. So is it especially with Taekwondo
and life. The ultimate significance of a word belongs not to
the word itself. The finger that points to the moon is no moon.
The ultimate significance of word lies in its ability to lead
those who understand it in right way. When a finger points to
the moon, look at the moon. Though here there are many words
about fighting, they are not to help you fight others but to
lead you along the correct path.
A good soldier regards himself fortunate if he never has to
fire his weapon. Just because TAEKWONDO leads you to the right
path, you as a Taekwondo-Een always should practice TAEKWONDO
throughout your daily life. The lethal weapon is mere small
aspect of Taekwondo. On the other hand, lethal weapons are everywhere
in life, hidden even in words. Unless you can discard them when
you ought, they will harm you. Why is it said you must abandon
everything to attain Taekwondo? Because life is a lethal tool.
Do you want to achieve perfect Taekwondo? Then seek everything
of Taekwondo and life. And when you’ve got it, abandon
it all. Only then will perfect TAEKWONDO be attained.