The «language» of Taekwon-do is foreign to me, in any connotation of the word. I don’t know the first thing about Korean, even though I over the years through two of my offsprings have been exposed to a fair share of yop cha jirugis, ap cha oligis, ap cha busigis and not to forget a whole bunch of momchau makgis. Fortunately, all merely in a literary sense. When it comes to the inner language; the history and background, the hows and whens and dos and don’ts, I am but an infant; interested, but still only vaguely aware of the contours of an unknown world.
The little I have gleaned has revealed an organization with strong emphasis on respect for authorities, i.e. anyone superior in “rank”, and reverence for the sport and its origin. “Standing” is signified by an easily deciphered dress code, at a glance identifiable for The Initiated, rendering it simple to do the right thing, e.g. bow in the right direction, at the right time to the right person.
The sense of respect so thoroughly permeates the atmosphere that even I on occasion have instinctively inclined my head along with everybody else, instantly afterwards shaking my head, wondering what the heck I’m doing.
The high ranked coaches are in TKd contexts confident, solemn, serious and strictly business looking. That, together with their physically fit stature, intuitively convinces you that these are people you want to stay on good terms with. Even though I have been informed time and again by “insiders” as to the human qualities of the above mentioned, I have always played it safe, staying at an arm’s length plus a little more, away from the in-attitude-Samurai-lookalikes. All the greater was my surprise… Read The Inner Game of Taekwon-do