What is Tae Kwon Do?
speaking, Tae means "to strike with the foot", Kwon means "destroying
with the hand or fist" and Do means "the way or method". So, Tae Kwon
Do etymologically means "the art of kicking and punching".
Kwon Do is based on two principles. The first is the principle of Um
and Yang. The second is the principle of Ki, or vital energy. In looking
at the Um and Yang symbol, we see that the circle represents the Unity
of the forces in the Universe. This Unity is made up of two opposite but
complementary forces which we find in every object and process. These
are the forces of Um and Yang, light and darkness, left and right, ebb
and flow, etc.
curved boundary between Um and Yang is the Ki. Ki means "vital life
force". Ki is the cosmic ocean in which everything exists. It is kept in
balance by the Um and Yang, working in rhythm. It is at its best when
it flows freely being neither too active, not too passive, but in
perfect harmonic balance. It is important to understand that Ki, being
energy, cannot be created or destroyed. It exists. It can be changed,
transmuted or transformed only when you understand how to tap into it.
Kwon Do recognizes that there is no separation of body and mind.
Instead there is a balance between the physical, the emotional, and the
intellectual. Once you are truly aware, you can see a situation for what
it is and see how it can be transformed to achieve your goal.
concept of Um and Yang leads in Tae Kwon Do to hard and soft
techniques. Examples in nature we can learn from include: a soft summer
breeze which is pleasant and friendly compared to the winds of a
hurricane which can drive a sliver of straw six inches into solid oak.
In Tae Kwon Do, we learn the dual attributes of the wind - its force and
speed as well as its elusiveness and invisibility.