Starting to the left in
Some of my friends were recently have a debate over why
many forms start to the left and end to the right. They came up with
many explanations as to why this might be so but the simple fact is the
bad/good or yin/yang concept of the East.
In the tradition of yin
and yang the left stands for the "bad" or dark side and the "right" for
the good or enlightened side. (Yin originally meant "shady, secret,
dark, mysterious, and cold." Yin represents everything about the world
that is dark, hidden, passive, receptive, yielding, cool, soft,
absorbing and feminine.
Yang, the opposite of yin, in turn meant
"clear, bright, the sun, heat." Yang represents everything about the
world that is illuminated, evident, active, aggressive, controlling,
hot, hard, penetrating and masculine.
From these basic
opposites, a complete system of opposites was elaborated.
in the world was identified with either yin or yang. Earth was the
ultimate yin object. Heaven was the ultimate yang object.) Thus an
attack would come from the yin or left and the yang or victorious side
would be to the right (the way most patterns end). If they do not then
it usually stands for something that happened in the life of the
individual for whom the pattern is named.
Some examples of this
in Taekwon-do are:
JOONG-GUN is named after the patriot Ahn
Joong-Gun who assassinated Hiro-Bumi Ito, the first Japanese
governor-general of Korea, known as the man who played the leading part
in the Korea-Japan merger. There are 32 movements in this pattern to
represent Mr. Ahn's age when he was executed in a Lui-Shung prison
(1910). This pattern ends to the left or yin side (32. Bring the right
foot to the left foot and then move the left foot to B forming a left
fixed stance toward B, at the same time executing a U-shape block to B)
to stand for his death at an early age and at the hands of the
CHOONG-MOO was the name given to the great Admiral Yi
Soon-Sin of the Lee Dynasty. He was reputed to have invented the first
armoured battleship (Kobukson) in 1592, which is said to be the
precursor of the present day submarine. The reason why this pattern ends
with a left (yin) hand attack is to symbolize his regrettable death,
having no chance to show his unrestrained potentiality checked by the
forced reservation of his loyalty to the king.
YOO-SIN is named
after General Kim Yoo Sin, a commanding general during the Silla
Dynasty. The ready posture signifies a sword drawn on the right rather
than left side, thus ending up in the left or bad (yin) side,
symbolizing Yoo Sin's mistake of following his Kings' orders to fight
with foreign forces against his own nation.