VIII. THE BASICS
and Nothingness Finish in One Another()
…(A calm smile).
Taekwondo is like conversation. Its basic motion
is to a word what poomsae is to a sentence, and what an actual
kyorugi is to dialogue. However, Taekwondo has this difference
from the dialogue of words: the story made of Taekwondo cannot
include a falsity and its dialogue makes no distinction of question
and answer but maintains them in oneness. How is this possible?
As it was said at the beginning, in its essence
Taekwondo is the skill of killing a man. This essence is found
on the border between life and death, i.e. the borders of daily
life. One main feature that constitutes Taekwondo’s essence
is that it stands on the opposition; particularly, on the very
extreme of the confrontation of existence. This extremity of
the confrontation of existence brings one to the place where
life meets death face to face. The meeting place of life and
death; here one can discern everything gathered at one spot
in a single moment; here one can see evident truth. Therefore,
Taekwondo reveals a truth of life. Just as you can more easily
discern who is truly benevolent when things are scarce than
when things are prosperous; and you can more clearly discern
who possesses true courage to protect others during grave danger
than during times of security. Every falsity cannot help disappearing
in the extreme figure of Taekwondo.
How can there be falsity? There can be falsity
because thought differs from the world; word differs from thing;
and what one intends differs from what one reveals. The distinctions
that produce all of these also generate falsity.
However, the dialogue of Taekwondo is itself
a reality. An intention shows itself as nothing but intention,
and the entire sequence presented as one. That is, there is
no “distinction”, which is the house where falsity
dwells. Taekwondo cannot be expressed in words because its truth
is beyond distinctions. Instead, the truth of Taekwondo is to
be delivered from mind to mind.
When you go over the distinction between this
and that you can destroy the distinction between your mind and
the opponent’s. Etiquette and human equality are to be
harmonized among these open minds. And the relation among open
minds is extended to the inside of Taekwondo, to every aspect
of our lives. Therefore, those who do not respect their parents
in truth cannot attain the ultimate step of Taekwondo; those
who do not respect their master in truth can never begin learning
Taekwondo; those who do not love their friends can never make
good use of Taekwondo; those who do not serve their forefathers
can never know the value of Taekwondo; and those who do not
love their country can never find themselves in Taekwondo.
What has been said in all of this? It is this:
overcome the illusion generated by intention and distinction,
and transcend to the inside of life. Ultimately there is no
difference between distinction and non-distinction, and between
intending something and following the changes of nature. You
as a Taekwondo-Een, who have realized this truth, will see that
knowing something is neither the same as nor different from
never having known it, and so you will renew yourself everyday.
There is no end in sight.