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The Philosophy and Techniques behind Taekwondo  
Taekwondo is far beyond being just a physical sport. There is a whole idea of physical exercises, spiritual development and philosophic principles behind it. A taekwondo practitioner wouldn’t be able to perfect the skill if he does not fully understand the basic foundation of this martial art and that foundation is none other than the individual himself.

The art of taekwondo is about the union of mind and spirit that aims to self perfection. Taekwondo is based on a lot of repetition and technique perfection. This goes beyond mastering hits and blocks as well as working out sparring and different forms. The whole act reflects the practitioner’s drive and will not only for skill perfection and body fitness but also for total self development including the spiritual and moral aspect. Once attained, the satisfaction that follows is the very first component of taekwondo termed as the technical idea. To be able to reach that point, one must know how to unite himself with nature. The principle behind this is that man does not live within himself but within a bigger environment. Learning these things by heart is very important for these make up the three ideals of taekwondo: union of mind and spirit, strive for technical perfection and harmonizing one’s self with nature.

Spirit refers to the realization of the values learned in practicing. With that being said, it is just right to state that technical skill development is related with spiritual enhancement. This comprehension is up to the person himself. In most cases, a person creates an ideal image of a taekwondo practitioner and then envisions himself as that man.

The harmony in human life mentioned earlier is of high importance. The construction of tobok or the training uniform is based on that principle. Tobok has three geometrical shapes in it namely the square which is found on the sleeves and trousers, the circle on the belt and the triangle located on the V-neck and tights. Based on the Yin and Yang theory, the form of tobok and the shapes have meaning. The trousers represent the Earth, the belt symbolizes man and the top garment stands for heaven. The endless form of the belt as well as the circle on it represents the circuit of human life amid heaven and earth. Its white color is on account for peace and the purity of consciousness.

Of course, there are etiquettes to follow in taekwondo and these are basically about discipline and having respect to others. The bow which is done when entering and leaving the dojang, when turning or speaking to someone of higher rank and at the beginning of each exercise performance is a sign of respect. Its main moral principles are non-violence, humanity and the use of taekwondo as a mode of self-defense only.

Bottom line, taekwondo is not only for enhancing the physical state and skills. It is also about cultivating the whole maturity of an individual by developing his mental, spiritual and moral aspects. Once these are inculcated, hopefully, that person would start a chain reaction which could have an effect on other people therefore generating a more harmonized and peaceful world.

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