PHILOSOPHY OF TAEKWONDO
TAEKWONDO, the Korean Martial Art, has evolved through time and has been a means of an individual's freedom and expression. It purifies the spirit as it trains the muscles and mind. Taekwondo has been described as a state of mind and also a way of life. It seeks control of the mind over the body through strict discipline and development of a positive moral character. Taekwondo demands sacrifices, self restraint, kindness, forgiveness and a love of one's fellow human beings. Reverence for all forms of life is one of the most important principles of Taekwondo. The power that is learned is tremendous and therefore, it is the power over life and death.
The task of learning Taekwondo may be a difficult one that will make great demands on the body and spirit. Union of mind and body in harmony is the essence of the art of Taekwondo and concentration and physical discipline are the two major components of success to a concerned martial artist. Dedication to Taekwondo takes a certain understanding of the basic principles and from this primary comprehension, one can expound ideas and determine the more intricate meaning of the art.
In training the mind's insecurities, doubts and apprehension must be abolished. Of course this comes over a period of time. As one becomes proficient physically, many mental blocks due to insecurity disappear. A clear, open mind is the only kind which can get the true meaning of Taekwondo.
With good intention and a clear mind, one will be able to link body and mind in order to make the best of both physical and psychological space and to deal with an opponent properly whether the opponent be another person or an insecurity. Because death or the fear of dying is a major obstacle, one must encounter this in the study of Taekwondo. Facing the fact that in defending one's self, one also risks his/her life. Once this fact is accepted the mind can think more clearly and the body reacts more quickly, thus protecting ones life more effectively.
Reaction, more so than thought process, is the essence of self-defense. Anticipation rather than reaction can be dangerous. One might anticipate a move incorrectly. However, one can train the body to react without wasting time to think or risk guessing the next move of the opponent incorrectly. Through the development of security, self assurance and knowledge, one can learn to focus one's energy. This is the development of the focal point, the centre of mind, and body, the focal point of energy. Because energy can be so concentrated, far greater power both mentally (endurance of emotional stress) and physically (the ability to endure pain and optimize the use of one's physical strength) is possible.
Comprehension of principles and acceptance of them is a must. Understanding that the young sapling tree can withstand a snow storm far better than a strong sturdy older tree, one realizes that giving way is as important as blocking or an offensive move. As the tree gives under the weight of the snow, so does every other living thing have the ability to protect itself. Although birds do not run well, we cannot ignore the fact that they can fly and we cannot, when judging their awkwardness on ground.
We too have a good deal of awkwardness, although in the instance of Taekwondo much of this can be changed. Years of practice and meditation enables the Taekwondo practitioner to be in harmony with his/her body and mind. Only with with harmony can one successfully practice the art of Taekwondo as it's very essence is the union of the two.