THE 5 TENETS OF TAEKWONDO
THE 8 MANNERS OF SOLEMNITY
The 8 manners of solemnity are part of an age-old Buddhist philosophy which greatly influenced the development of martial arts in Korea. This is about cultivating the correct qualities within oneself to be at harmony with others, the world and the universe. Ultimately, through Taekwondo training, individuals should reach a level of consciousness of existing in the "present". This occurs when one is completely in tune with oneself and nature to the degree that one's actions and reactions are coordinated with the forces around them, whether that be in the sparring ring, in a social setting or even when alone; when one is calm, aware and present in the here and now. As such, taekwondo is more than just training in kicking, punching and self defense or mental/physical coordination. It is about cultivating a 'spirit' that exists in harmony and peace. "Do" in Korean means "art," "path," "way," or "way of life." Central to this philosophy is the concept of natural 'duality', meaning the interaction of opposing forces. Harmony is achieved when opposite forces are distributed equally, resulting in balance. This is typically represented by the Eum Yang/ Yin Yang symbols of the East - like in our Yun Hap logo [see left]. For example, when an opponent uses positive (aggressive) energy, or in other words attacks, the defender should use negative (yielding) energy to respond, by stepping aside and allowing the energy of that attack to flow past harmlessly. In this manner, what was once hard (the assailant's attack) becomes soft (non injurious), and what was soft (the defender's passivity), becomes hard (an effective way to counter a potential dangerous assault), allowing balance to return.
The number “8” is a number of balance, harmony, and organisation, as represented in the 8 manners of solemnity. These 8 elements balance each other and are connected, flowing into one another - typically depicted in a circle, like the Taekwondo Jidokwan symbol [see left]. The circle represents a centre, a flow and a connection with all other things. The eightfold path (8 manners of solemnity) is meant as an ethical guideline to be considered, contemplated, and practiced, encouraging us to turn away from extremes and seek a simple approach, and to live a more harmonious life.