Taekwondo Spirit

1. The Meaning of TaeKwonDo Spirit

Spirit and mind are two words often confused in usage because of their similarity. However, spirit refers to the immaterial intelligence which systematically establishes human thinking on the basis of value. Therefore taekwondo spirit means the taekwondo person's thought process in regarding values established through taekwondo training.

When one reaches an improved ability to perceive the relative merit of things and act effectively and decisely as a result of training, then it can be said that taekwondo spirit has been, to some extent, established and embodied. Not until a behavorial and moral philosophy have been established as a consequence of internal assimilation of the three dimensions of taekwondo ideology, i.e. technical, artistic, and philosophical, can it be said that a comprehensive taekwondo spirit has been established.

2. Technique and Spirit

Technique is the starting point as well as the ultimate goal of taekwondo. All the intrinsic values of taekwondo arise from technique and exist at any stage of development within and because of technique.

Taekwondo spirit therefore, starts with technique, develops itself within technique and arrives at perfection though techique. As one trains in a series of techniques which develops progressively from basic movents, Poomse and Kyorugi to higher levels, spirit is likewise developed progressively and in concrete stages.

The determinant factor in taekwondo training is called the reactive motion. Man, existing in a certain environment is influenced by that environment and in turn, acts against that environment. The medium through which each influence the other is the reactive motion. Practice of taekwondo goes from reactive training in a primary field or environment in which an opponent is initially encountered, through a broader field in which the opponent is engaged, to the final field in which an absolute and infinite awareness of the environment.

If that, awareness can be reached, no gap would exist between the state of an individual's internal consciousness and that of the external environment, and it would become possible for the individual to control and adjust the internal and external fields subjectively.

This type of development of the spirit is accomplished by pure immersion of spirit into a technique and through the experiences of awakening within that technique. During fierce Kyorugi or other confrontations, one's composure is not lost, the self and the opponent are both deeply and calmly viewed within the mind, action is neither feared nor avoided, all external concerns about result or outcome are discarded.

This is the specific description of the above mentioned ultimate stage of spirit.

Putting TaeKwonDo Spirit into Practice

Taekwondo spirit refers to the mental frame of the ideal human being which taekwondo training seeks to develop. It is a mental image of the ideal taekwondoist which the trainee carries.

When the three dimensions of taekwondo, i.e. technique, art and philosophy are integrated holistically to form another dimension of human personality, it is seen as the beginning of actualising taekwondo spirit.

Taekwondo has a system of value built around two axes: martialism and morality or "do".

Taekwondo cultivates the spirit's energy through the rituals of training and through "do", and attempts to integrate them into one. The product of that union is called "chong" or propriety. Contained in this concept is the "chong" referring to a clean heart and "chong", referring to intrepidity, and finally "chong" of restraint.

Ultimately then, taekwondo in the form of education, sport, or humane personification (or "do") seeks a practical philosophy based on a martial morality which gives man a way to think and act with propriety recognised as an intrepid, altruistic human being.

from the WTF Material.

Return to Home Page

Updated by Hoosain Narker