05 September 2010

Thoughts on Won-Hyo

My submission for the latest issue of Totally Tae Kwon Do was on Won-Hyo. In the essay I give some background information on this interesting Buddhist philosopher and his influence on Korean thought, specifically with regards to his philosophy of "consciousness-only". I've always been curious as to why General Choi including a religious figure like Won-Hyo in the pattern set, when he so clearly said that Taekwon-Do should be non-religious and that meditation in Taekwon-Do is not the same as meditation in Buddhism.

The conclusion I come to in the essay is that the pattern Won-Hyo gives tribute to the Chinese martial arts and links Taekwon-Do to a long line of Oriental martial art history. I support my thesis with historical data that places Won-Hyo in a time where Buddhism and martial arts (Shaolin kung-fu) existed together and refer to at least two movements in the pattern that have strong links to Chinese martial arts. Also, Won-Hyo's "consciousness-only" concept parallels Gen. Choi's own life philosophy. You can read "Thoughts on Won-Hyo" in Issue #19.

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