What is the balance that results from the union of Tang
(Earth) and Saram (Man)? Balance is the stable and calm
state obtained when every part is controlled within change.
To take an example, the pair of arms on a scale do not decline
when both weigh the same. Likewise, a spinning toy top does
not fall but calmly rotates due to the balance of forces
pulling it both one way and another. Balance appears as
a state of non-motion due to its tranquility while it is
in fact quite different from that. It includes multiple
movements. It is a state not of rest but of balance. Thus,
good balance refers to a readiness that conceals all motion
in apparent non-motion. It is a perfected standstill.
Many movements that can be actualized are hidden in standstill.
Generally speaking, movement and the standstill are always
open and relative to one another within the context of continuous
flux. Man stands between them and defines as fixed what
he wishes to do, which generates the particular movement
in question, as well as standstill and balance. As
balance in Taekwondo is for the sake of his attack and defense
centered upon himself, it is to be united with mobility
when it can spout its hidden potential in the proper way.
All change relies on a particular non-change, for there
can be no absolute change. Thus, a motion, which is a mere
pattern of change in your body, relies on standstill, which
is a sort of no-change. The standstill supporting motion
generates tranquility, which is the balance in motion. Therefore,
an unbalanced motion cannot accomplish what it aims while
a good motion includes its own tranquil stability. This
concept is applied not only to motion but also to a static
pose which reveals no outer movement. For there is no fundamental
difference in standstill or motion when it is in the control
of your mind and body, although there is a difference between
motion and standstill in their figures.
This kind of balance exists among all changing things;
and each balance leads to a change. The motions of Taekwondo
also follow this way. So when you shift from a standstill
to movement you rely upon the balance of your body, and
when you shift from one motion to another you rely more
on the balance among you, the object and the world than
on the relationship between you and your object, i.e. between
Saram and the world.
A motion can be obtained only when balance collapses to
reveal its potentiality, but even in its collapse the balance
always leads to another balance. If you cannot control this
balance you cannot overwhelm your opponent and your attack
will lack power. By taking your balance into consideration,
you as a Taekwondo-Een will strengthen your arms whenever
you strengthen your legs, and you will hit the close part
though your intention was to subjugate the further part.
When balance is perfect, that is, when it has accumulated
the most potentiality within itself, it can be an important
source of power. To put it another way, a powerful movement
must be a balanced one. This principle is confirmed by the
phenomena of our world. A hurricane can muster such amazing
power because its center – “the eye of a hurricane”
– remains calm. The rapid spinning of a toy top is
possible because its center stands in tranquility. Just
as with the hurricane and the top, correct balance is both
calm and powerful.
Then what is perfect balance? Is there such a thing? To
be completely truthful, there can be no such complete balance
in itself. Every balance stands in relation to something
else. Thus, there is no perfect pose or motion. For balance
is an accumulated possibility in any given situation. Therefore,
not every balanced state is static. A toy top can remain
upright owing to its continuous spinning; balance with no
mobility is nothing but an illusion.
In Taekwondo, when you attack or defend you should always
control your balance in order to maintain your tide and
to discern your opponent’s blind spots. As a skilful
Taekwondo-Een, when you attack you should never be swept
off by the opponent’s sudden change but rather defeat
his calm with limited power thus upsetting his balance.
When you defend, you will perceive his attack as nothing,
causing his balance to collapse together with the world.
Though we may perceive the Taekwondo-Een swaying and his
opponent broken together there, the swaying is not the swaying
of confusion. The difference between a ship riding a wave
and another swept away by the sea is that the former has
its own direction controlled by the captain harnessing and
riding the waves whereas the latter loses its direction
owing to the changes of the waves. Even though both share
the aspect of movement upon the waves their difference could
hardly be greater.
The same goes for balance, so stability is not the only
aspect of balance. You
can achieve your ideal balance only in the accomplishment
of what you want in your motion relative to your opponent.
This is to create harmony in the way of Saram,
which implies not losing yourself,
and in the way of Tang, which
implies a harmony with a world in flux.