Preface to the English version of the PPT
Taekwondo is undoubtedly the foremost example of the globalization of Korea's cultural heritage. Estimates put the current number of Taekwondo practitioners the world over at more than fifty million. This figure tells us something about Taekwondo's popularity, all the more unfortunate then that despite such enthusiasm the profound philosophy of Taekwondo has never been adequately explained outside the country that gave it birth. Rather, it has been a case of various masters revealing its nature implicitly in their own actions and motions, from which others induced its nature. Now, however, a clear and distinct explanation of the philosophical aspects of Taekwondo is necessary to establish a firm foundation for its future development. This volume attempts just that.
Although almost no one doubts the depth and value of Taekwondo's philosophy, it is also generally agreed that it still demanded systematic theorization, something several Taekwondo masters attempted to do unofficially. As it was an unofficial undertaking the project had no particular title, though someone named it the "Taekwondo Bible Project". I was the author of this project's texts. But the Taekwondo Bible Project did not last long, for some masters wanted and tried to appropriate it for their own private use, something that is perhaps inevitable in almost every big and well-set organization.
Thinking the Taekwondo Bible ought not to be distorted or used for anyone's private political ends, I removed it from the many politically powerful masters of the Taekwondo world. At the same time I wrote the entire text, reorganizing all the teachings of master Lee Kwang Hee, who had been practicing and studying Taekwondo for over 30 years. He is also my master. Because he had studied all aspects of Taekwondo in the course of his own comprehensive research, he alone could teach me more than several masters of Taekwondo. Around 1990 I completed the first volume of the Taekwondo Bible titled, The Philosophical Principles of TAEKWONDO.
Although I had completed the entire text I could not immediately publish it. On the one hand, my master said I was too young and that it might harm me to become well-known so early; on the other hand, I felt the need to await a more opportune time to teach the key aspects of Taekwondo philosophy to everyone. The key aspects of Taekwondo philosophy are also that of Taekwondo technique, so I believed it demanded correct timing. It was in 2000 that I finally published The Philosophical Principles of TAEKWONDO in Korea, while also creating a website to share the contents of the Taekwondo Bible via the internet with all those interested in Taekwondo. In order to preserve the original implication, the website was named www.TaekwondoBible.com. The world's best infrastructure of information technology in Korea made this latter a relatively easy task.
As the Taekwondo philosophy of this book became known to people through the internet, everyone came to call it simply the "Taekwondo Bible". Many Taekwondo practitioners also began cooperating to translate it into their own native languages. Francoise, Juan Lewis, and Fernando are the friends that I met in this way. I believe it is because they had recognized the book's value as soon as I had begun uploading portions of the work online that they suggested its translation.
Five years passed and a long period of laborious translation. And now we await the English, Spanish and Portuguese versions of the Taekwondo Bible. In contrast to the Korean version, we decided to add illustrations to each chapter, a task undertaken by the Korean artist Hee Soo Kim. This was also arduous work but we believe the efforts have paid off.
This volume is not the whole of the Taekwondo Bible. The entire contents of the Taekwondo Bible are too great to be included in a single volume. But it is true that this volume is the first, and the most important. The second volume, On Samjae and Kang-Yu of TAEKWONDO, has already been published in Korea. But there is more to come. I estimate that as the Taekwondo Bible Project progresses a total of 3-5 volumes will be published. Throughout this large undertaking my friend Daniel(who is the translator), Soo(my wife who drew all the pictures) and Sang-A Productions have been inestimable sources of help and support. I thank them for everything they have done and so let me end this preface with my joyful and heartfelt appreciation.
Master Blue(Lee, Chang Hoo). in Korea