10 August 2010

An Introdution to the Philosophy of Chon-Ji

My essay "An Introduction to the Philosophy of Chon-Ji" can be read in Issue #18 of Totally Tae Kwon Do magazine. It is an edited and somewhat expanded version of the essay "A Philosophical Look at Chon-Ji Teul" that I posted on this blog a few weeks back, but sans the reference to the SA-ITF logo. In the essay in Totally Tae Kwon Do I expound somewhat on the trigrams and Palgwae motif and suggest that the last three movements in Chon-Ji refers to the "Mountain"-trigram. I link this to Baekdu Mountain with its beautiful Chon-Ji Lake. The conclusion is also more relevant as it establishes the connection between "Chon-Ji" (and the connections to the Taegeuk and Sam Taegeuk) and the specific world view or philosophy in which the Korean martial arts, including Taekwon-Do, functions:

As “the initial pattern played by the beginner,” Chon-Ji Teul sets the practitioner within a specific worldview. It is a worldview based on ancient Oriental and Korean philosophy. The Chinese Taijitu depicts a universe in balance and the Korean Taegeuk shows Heaven and Earth in balance. The Sam Taegeuk depicts man in balance with Heaven and Earth. There is therefore a possible ascetic interpretation to Chon-Ji Teul: Through the study of Taekwon-Do a human being is to attain harmony with him or herself, and harmony with the universe. This journey towards harmony starts with the initial pattern in Taekwon-Do. This would imply that innate to Taekwon-Do is a quest for achieving harmony: harmony with oneself, harmony with other people, harmony with the Earth, and harmony with Heaven.

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