Advancing in Tae Kwon Do, Revised and Updated Edition by Richard Chun

By Richard Chun

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The path on which you have embarked is an arduous one that will make great demands on your body and your spirit, but you can be encouraged by the realization that others have gone this way before you and that they can help you on the journey. If the task seems difficult, remember—once you have started it, it is not so hard. Most people are born with natural ability and strength, and life is not easy for any of us. However, if you keep applying yourself with diligence and determination, you will find yourself getting closer and closer to your goal.

Properly practiced, it purifies the spirit as it trains the muscles and the mind. It enables one to focus unrestricted and to concentrate on the natural movements of the body and on the regulation of one’s own breathing patterns. It builds character and leads to a love for mankind and a desire for peace. To the initiated, Taekwondo may appear to be an aggressive art. This is an easily understood misconception, since it is a martial art. Its techniques are designed to maim or even kill an opponent, if necessary.

It develops the warrior’s sense of mercy and benevolence, and teaches courtesy, politeness, modesty, and calmness, without vulgar pride or arrogance. It builds a nobility of character, self-restraint, 19 / Introduction: What Is Taekwondo? B072x text layout part1 8/29/06 10:33 AM Page 20 and courage, as well as a posture of alertness and vigilance. It is possible to achieve skill and technique without building character, but when you meet an opponent who possesses a direct, hard, and pure spirit with real moral fiber that gives him supreme confidence; your technique will be useless.

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