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Emotional content in martial arts

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What an emotion contains is known as its emotional content. For example, the emotion of acceptance contains tolerance, and therefore, acceptance contains the emotional content of tolerance. Since just like acceptance, tolerance is also an emotion, so the content of an emotion is simply another emotion.

Characteristics of emotional content

The emotion and its emotional content may also be inter-changed. For example, the emotion of acceptance contains the emotional content of tolerance; and likewise, the emotion of tolerance contains the emotional content of acceptance.

It is also possible that a single emotion can have an emotional content containing more than one emotion. For example, the emotion of love may contain the emotions of care, trust, and happiness. Similarly, hope may contain anticipation and trust; envy may contain sadness and anger; bittersweet may contain the ending of sorrow and the beginning of happiness; etc.

Emotion and its theories

To understand emotional content, one has to understand “What is an emotion?” As of now, there is no scientific consensus on a definition of emotion. Nonetheless, several theorists have put forward their theories, and the following videos tell about emotions and some of its major theories.

Bluejack Kids video “What are Emotions?”:

Steven Barnes video “Theories of Emotion”:

Importance of emotional content

Since emotional content is what an emotion contains, which again may be one or more emotions, therefore, essentially emotional content is all about emotions. Emotions and their emotional contents together form an emotional state, which affects an individual’s thoughts, words, and deeds. Thoughts, words and deeds influence how decisions are made, which may be rational or irrational. Normally, rational decisions lead to desired outcomes, while irrational decisions lead to undesired outcomes. Because emotions influence emotional states, which influence decisions, and in turn outcomes are influenced, hence, emotions and their emotional contents are important. The following video briefly explains how emotional states can lead to decisions.

Wellcome Collection video “How emotion affects our behaviour | Ray Dolan”:

Importance of controlling emotions

Since emotions play such a vital role in the outcomes produced, it becomes important to control emotions, so that the outcomes can also be accordingly controlled.

Towards this aim, there are several theories, strategies, and models of behaviour that are proposed by theorists. For example, a common behaviour to control and overcome an emotional state of sorrow or depression is to indulge in gratification, which may include binge eating, or going on a shopping spree, or hitting the gym, or taking a vacation, or anything else that gratifies and thereby takes the mind away from sorrow. Besides this commonly seen behaviour, there are many other behaviours, strategies and models for controlling emotions. The following videos show some such models.

TED-Ed video “How to manage your emotions”:

The Outcome video “A Simple Trick To Control Your Emotions | Jordan Peterson”:

How emotions affect martial artists

Emotions affect every living organism. Homo sapiens or human beings are also living organisms, and because martial artists are human beings, they are also affected. The following video shows how different emotions affect martial artists after they win martial arts competitions.


Emotional content of fighting for the sake of winning

A martial artist should always try to avoid a fight. However, if a fight cannot be avoided, then the martial artist should fight not for the sake of fighting, but solely for the sake of winning. If a fight is entered upon solely for winning, then the emotion of winning contains the emotional content of seriousness, concentration, and zero-wastage of movements, which creates an emotional state of ending the fight as fast as possible. Therefore, during a fight, martial artists should not let other emotions like anger, fear, doubts, mercy, etc., interfere in their execution of different martial techniques. Without the interference of other emotions, the mind is empty and calm enough to make a strategy, if required. In the following videos, after not letting emotions interfere, a fighting strategy is made of combination moves, solely designed to end a fight in the shortest possible time.

Movieclips video “Sherlock Holmes (2009) – Boxing Match Scene (3/10) | Movieclips”:

Scene City video “The Equalizer: Fighting a Russian Gang (DENZEL WASHINGTON FIGHT SCENE) | With Captions”:

Emotional content of fighting for the sake of fighting

If the emotional content is not of winning, then the martial artist is focused on executing techniques that are technically perfect with speed, power, and accuracy; but they are more of an exhibition of techniques rather than techniques meant to end a fight. On the other hand, if the techniques are fused with the emotional content of winning, then the focus is only on winning, and only such moves are executed which would lead to a victory. This thought is shown in the following video, where the teacher tells the student to actually hit rather than trying to hit.

Flashback FM video “Kung Fu: Neo vs Morpheus | The Matrix [Open Matte]”:

Emotional content based on religious philosophies

There are many emotions, emotional contents, and emotional states. Over time, it is seen that the emotion of peace has the emotional content of non-hostility and cooperation, which in turn produces an emotional state of love and compassion. Traditional martial arts follow religious philosophical concepts to fulfill their ultimate aim of peace, love, and harmony, so that the martial artist can lead a peaceful life by becoming a peace-loving, law-abiding, and a respectable citizen.

Chinese and Japanese martial arts are largely based on religious concepts found in Buddhism, of which the major ones are the concept of suffering, the concept of dependent origination, and the concept of emptiness. Whereas, Thai martial arts are largely based on religious concepts found in Hinduism and Buddhism. There are many other philosophies from other religions like Christianity, Confucianism, Taoism, etc., that have also influenced different martial arts of the world in different ways.

The Buddhist concepts of suffering, impermanence, dependent origination and emptiness, help to develop the emotion of calmness, containing the emotional content of awareness, which together create the emotional state of one-pointed focus on the present moment. Awareness enables living in the present moment in its entirety as a single whole, without any conscious thinking or analyzing. Awareness does not rely on thinking, but rather relies on feeling every moment in the present, as it comes and goes, along with all its myriad circumstances.

A few such concepts are briefly touched below, so as to gain a better understanding of emotional content as related to martial arts.

Emotional content based on the concept of suffering

The Buddhist religion is based on the belief that in this world there is a wheel of life, which is cyclic in nature. This wheel or cycle consists of birth, life, death, and rebirth. This cycle is inherently filled with sorrow or suffering. This means that in this world, life forms are born, they live, they die, and they are again reborn; thereby, in this world, any life-form will go on experiencing sorrows continuously, in a seemingly unending loop of birth and rebirth. If a life-form is able to go beyond this cycle then that life-form attains liberation from this cycle of birth and rebirth, which in effect means that the life-form attains liberation from sorrows or suffering.

Accordingly, Buddha taught four noble truths, wherein the first noble truth teaches about sorrow. The following video briefly describes this concept of sorrow/suffering.

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche video “Getting to Know Suffering”:

From the perspective of martial arts, this concept of suffering signifies that a martial artist should recognise that suffering is very much real and it exists. If one is struck by a blow from an opponent, then one suffers; and similarly, if one strikes an opponent, then the opponent suffers. In any case, someone suffers, thus, defeating the very aim of martial arts, which is to maintain peace both within and without. It is also sorrowful to note that in order to maintain peace, one has to fight. This means that one has to begin a war to end a war, which was the case with World War 1 (WW1). The following video documents WW1 and shows how terribly sorrowful it is to end a war by a war.

WarsofTheWorld video “The First World War: The War to End War | WW1 Documentary”:

A war cannot end another war. Even after WW1, the much touted war to end all wars, yet WW2 has taken place, and even nowadays, some war somewhere in the world, always seems to take place. Thus, it is certain that a war cannot end another war. Unfortunately, humanity has not yet arrived at a peaceful solution to either avoid or to end a war, and the mere recognition of this fact is so sorrowful. By understanding the concept of suffering, martial artists understand in a better way regarding the sorrow in conflict, and the joy in peace. Therefore, traditional martial arts always emphasise peace over conflict.

However much sorrow a person may feel, yet it is a reality that the world is not an ideal world, and so conflicts do take place. The understanding of the concept of suffering can teach a martial artist to acknowledge that suffering exists, and conflict will definitely result in pain, sorrow and suffering. With this acceptance, the martial artist is mentally prepared to initially always favour peace, but if all efforts to maintain peace fails, then the martial artist has to accept conflict and has to fight resolutely. The emotion of sorrow and its emotional content of pain makes the martial artist ready to face pain, to bear pain, and to give pain, as and when necessary. The following video shows how suffering can make a person fight resolutely.

Movieclips video “John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) – Subway Fight Scene (7/10) | Movieclips”

Emotional content based on the concept of dependent origination

Buddhism has influenced Chinese and Japanese martial arts, and in turn other martial arts influenced by them. In Buddhism, there is a concept known as dependent origination. The basic premise of this concept is that existence can be dependent or independent from the cycle of cause and effect. Everything has a cause, which leads to an effect. This effect can become the cause and thereby have its own effect. Again, this effect can also become the cause having another effect, and so on, it continues. Thus, this cycle of cause and effect goes on unending. In other words, “this is” because “that is”, and “this it not” because “that is not”. Therefore, in this universe, there is nothing independent and everything is dependent upon each other. Since everything is dependent, everything is inter-connected with every other thing. This dependency on others to originate and to exist, is what is known as dependent origination. The following video briefly tells about the Buddhist concept of dependent origination.

Sravasti Abbey video “11-13-15 Learning About the 12 Links of Dependent Origination – BBCorner”:

From the perspective of martial arts, this concept of dependent origination signifies that if the cause is A punching B, then its effect on B might be that B freezes in shock, or flees in terror, or fights back in anger, or it may be any other effect. In whichever way B is affected, B’s effect can become a cause for A, and this cause can have its own effect, and so on it continues in a seemingly unending loop of cause and effect. The concept of dependent origination enables the martial artist to comprehend that every cause has an effect, and every effect has a cause; therefore, the martial artist causes only such moves that would have the desired effect on the opponent.

On the other hand, by understanding the concept of dependent origination, a martial artist also understands that an eye for an eye will make the whole world go blind, and therefore, the martial artist becomes a peace-loving and a responsible human being. The martial artist cultivates the emotion of peace having the emotional content of cooperation, patience, and empathy, so that the emotional state is of kindness and compassion. The following video tells how Taekwondo can help to maintain peace.

TEDx Talks video “Taekwondo as a Path to Peace | Martin K. Arceo | TEDxUCR”:

Emotional content based on the concept of emptiness

Buddhism believes that there is no independent self or soul, that may be understood as a separate entity. If there is no self then the question of its having any nature does not arise, and so there is no self-nature. This concept is known as Shoonyataa, which is loosely translated as “emptiness”, “voidness”, or “hollowness”. In this concept the emotion of ’emptiness’ has the emotional content of a lack of ‘self-nature’ (known as svabhaava, loosely translated as sva = self, bhaava = nature). Without a self-nature, the subject cannot be independent, so emptiness contains a lack of self-nature, or a lack of independence. Therefore, everything is impermanent and always changes. The following videos briefly tell about this concept.

Study Buddhism video “What is Emptiness? | Geshe Lhakdor”:

Plum Village App video “Emptiness: Empty of What? | Thich Nhat Hanh (short teaching video)”:

London Buddhist Centre video “Suffering, Impermanence and no-Self | Devamitra | Key Buddhist Teachings”:

The concept of impermanence is popularly taught by pouring water in different containers having different shapes, wherein it is seen that the water changes its shape continuously, by taking the shape of the container in which it is poured. Thus, water has no shape of its own, but it simply changes to the shape of the container in which it is poured; signifying that everything is impermanent and subject to change. From a martial arts perspective, the concept of impermanence prepares the martial artist, to understand that circumstances in a fight will go on changing continuously, no two fights will ever be the same, and in order to win, the martial artist has to successfully go on changing strategies and techniques, according to the changing circumstances of the fight.

The concept of emptiness makes the martial artist realise the importance of having an empty mind. An empty mind has no self-nature, due to which it lacks independence. But emptiness is not nothingness, as it contains the emotion of calmness having the emotional content of awareness. An empty mind is the most aware mind. Awareness comes on its own, because the mind is empty. If one concentrates on making the mind aware, then the mind is occupied with the effort to make it aware, and thereby, it is no longer empty. If it is not empty, then the mind misses the various happenings taking place in the current moment. This results in not being in the present moment. If one is not in the present, then one is either in the past or in the future. So, the present moment is made to die under the burden of the past moment, or the imagination of the future moment. The past moment gives birth to the present moment, and the present moment gives birth to the future moment. The past cannot be changed, and the future is unknown. What can be changed and known is only the present moment. If the present moment is changed, then the future moment is also changed. Hence, staying in the present moment is important. The way of staying in the present moment, is to keep the mind empty, so that it becomes aware.

With awareness, the mind behaves like calm still water. Still water appears like a mirror, and similarly, the calm mind also acts like a mirror reflecting all the movements taking place in the peripheral vision of the martial artist. This can happen only if the martial artist feels the present time, moment by moment. As the mind is not occupied with thoughts, or analysis, or anything at all, excepting emptiness, the martial artist can only feel the fight. This feeling is experienced as a whole, in its entirety, with all the senses of the body. Thus, the martial artist fights by feeling with sight, touch, smell, taste, sound, and other developed senses. When the martial artist stops thinking and simply feels the fight with the entire body, then the body moves on it own. At that time, the martial artist does not consciously strike, but the body unconsciously strikes on its own. In this way, when the body moves on its own, the martial artist is able to defeat one or multiple opponents, with zero wastage of movements, in the shortest possible time.

This concept is shown in the following video, where the legendary martial artist Bruce Lee teaches a student to kick correctly by fusing an emotional content in the kicks. When the correct emotional content is fused in the kick, then the kick is not demonstrative, but it is rather used to end the fight. This fusion is done by feeling the present moment in its entirety, with all the senses as a single whole, without any thinking or analysing. In the scene showed in the following video, the finger symbolises the emotional content of awareness, the moon symbolises the mirror-like calm mind, and the heavenly glory symbolises the various different happenings in the changing circumstances of that present time. However, if one concentrates on awareness (the finger), then the calmness of the mind is lost (the moon cannot reflect), which in effect would make it non-mirror-like, and thus, the different happenings taking place would not be reflected and seen (the heavenly glory).

Dowlphwin video “Bruce Lee – finger pointing at the moon (commentary in description)”:

Emotional content in Muay Thai

The influence of Hinduism in Thai culture is evident as the King of Thailand symbolized the Hindu god Vishnu. Currently, the national emblem of Thailand is a dancing Garuda with outstretched wings (the Garuda is a mythical bird associated with the Hindu god Vishnu). Later on, Buddhism made a significant mark. Both Hindu and Buddhist concepts can be seen in “wai khru ram muay”, a Muay Thai ritual that is followed by a practitioner before a fight. The following video shows a demonstration of this ritual.

sergrodik video “Buakaw Wai Kru Demonstration”:

The traditional way of greeting in Hindu culture is by joining the palms together and is known as “namaste”. This same act of greeting is also the traditional Thai greeting known as “wai”. The palms are joined because the nerves of the body end in the palms and the soles of the feet. The nerves carry electricity and thus, with an open palm, the electricity of the body is transmitted in the air. While if the palms are closed, then the nerve endings are connected, which makes a complete electrical circuit in the body, and so the electricity instead of dissipating in the air, is smoothly re-directed in one’s own body. The electricity raises awareness and with increased awareness, chances of taking correct decisions are also increased. Thus, by greeting in this manner, both parties attempt to engage in a meeting that has the potential of mutually beneficial outcomes.

The Sanskrit word for teacher is “guru”, which in Thai language is known as “khru”. Therefore, “wai khru” is the act of respectfully greeting teachers. Teachers may include parents, relatives, ancestors, king, personal trainers, or any other person considered respectable by the practitioner. This form of showing respect to teachers or “wai khru”, is seen across a broad spectrum of Thai culture, right from traditional Thai music, dance, to Thai martial arts like Krabi Krabong and Muay Thai.

The word “ram” means classical dancing in Thai language, and “muay” or “muai” means “boxing” or sometimes “war”. Hence the phrase “wai khru ram muay” may be loosely translated as “showing gratitude or greeting or respecting the teacher by a dance of war or boxing”.

The ritual is highly personalised and may have different patterns. However, the common pattern is that when the fighters enter the ring, then they move around the ring in a circle in a counter-clockwise direction. At every corner, they pray and bow their heads three times to show respect to the three concepts of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. Then, generally accompanied by music, they perform their dance of war or boxing. The dancing movements of the body involve different martial poses of mythical or legendary fighters, like the poses of the Indian warrior god Hanuman, movements of exceptional fighters of Thailand, the practitioner’s personal trainer, and so on. These poses and movements besides warming up, stretching and generally exercising the body, also help, presumably and arguably, to activate the different chakras or the energy centers of the body, due to which victory can be assured.

Thus, in the ritual preceding a Muay Thai fight, both Hindu and Buddhist emotional contents are seen. The following video shows two Muay Thai fighters performing the ritual before a fight.

Tiger Muay Thai and MMA Training Camp, Phuket, Thailand video “Buakaw Por Pramuk & Ramazan Ramazanov perform Wai Kru”:

Emotional content in Taekwon-Do

The martial art of Korea known in its different variations as Taekwon-Do (ITF) or Taekwondo (WTF), also feature emotional content in their respective techniques. Gen. Choi Hong Hi, the founder of Taekwon-Do, in his book “Encyclopedia of Taekwon-Do (Vols. 1–15)”, explains the nomenclature of the different 24 patterns (tuls) of Taekwon-Do, and thereby informs about the corresponding emotions and their emotional content.

It is to be noted that the understanding of the terminology, its associated emotion and the emotional content, creates an emotional state in which the practitioner can truly feel the movements of the pattern and hence, perform them with the correct spirit and realism.

Accordingly, the 24 patterns are briefly mentioned below and links are also given for a deeper understanding.

1. CHON-JI. The term “Chon-Ji” literally means “the Heaven the Earth”. It symbolizes the beginning of the world and is thus, composed of two parts – one to symbolize the Heaven and the other to symbolize the Earth. It is the first pattern performed by the beginner. Thus, the emotion is creativity with the emotional content of excellence (heaven) and solidity (earth).

2. DAN-GUN. The term “Dan-Gun” is taken from the name of the holy Dan-Gun, who founded Korea in 2,333 B.C. Thus, the emotion is holiness, with the emotional content of morality, austerity, and penance.

3. DO-SAN. The term “Do-San” is taken from the pseudonym of Ahn Chang-Ho (1876-1938), who was the famous patriot of Korea. He devoted his entire life to the independence movement of Korea and to educate Koreans. His life is symbolized in the 24 movements of this pattern. Thus, the emotion is patriotism, with the emotional content of freedom.

4. WON-HYO. The term “Won-Hyo” is taken from the name of the monk Won-Hyo, who during the Silla Dynasty introduced Buddhism in Korea in the year 686 A.D. Thus, the emotion is devotion, with the emotional content of devoted practice.

5. YUL-GOK. The term “Yul-Gok” is taken from the pseudonym of Yi I (1536-1584), who was the famous scholar and philosopher of Korea, also known as the “Confucius of Korea”. Thus, the emotion is learning, with the emotional content of achievement and continuing education.

6. JOONG-GUN. The term “Joong-Gun” is taken from the name of the famous patriot Ahn Joong-Gun, who killed Hiro-Bumi Ito, the first Japanese governor-general of Korea. Mr. Ahn was caught and executed at Lui-Shung prison (1910), when he was 32 years old and hence, the 32 movements in this pattern symbolize his age. Thus, the emotion is patriotism, with the emotional content of freedom and self-sacrifice.

7. TOI-GYE. The term “Toi-Gye” is taken from the pseudonym of the famous scholar Yi Hwang (16th century), who was considered as an authority on neo-Confucianism. Thus, the emotion is learning, with the emotional content of achievement and continuing education.

8. HWA-RANG. The term “Hwa-Rang” is taken from the name of the Hwa-Rang youth group of the early 7th century during the Silla Dynasty. The 29 movements of this pattern represents the 29th Infantry Division, where the art of Taekwon-Do was matured. Thus, the emotion is youth, with the emotional content of satisfaction upon leaving childhood and excitement upon entering adulthood.

9. CHOONG-MOO. The term “Choong-Moo” is taken from the name given to the great Admiral Yi Soon-Sin during the Yi Dynasty. Admiral Yi Soon-Sin is credited with the invention of an armoured battleship (Kobukson) in the year 1592. Due to his loyalty to the king, he had no opportunity to demostrate his unrestrained potentiality and his regrettable death is symbolized by a left hand attack, which ends this pattern. Thus, the emotion is loyalty, with the emotional content of faithfulness and innovativeness.

10. KWANG-GAE. The term “Kwang-Gae” is taken from the name of King Gwang-Gae-Toh-Wang, who was the 19th ruler of the Koguryo Dynasty. He expanded his kingdom by regaining a large part of Manchuria and several other lost territories. He ascended the throne in the year 391 A.D. The first two numbers of this year are “39”, which represents the 39 movements of this pattern. Thus, the emotion is expansion, with the emotional content of conquest, victory, and rulership.

11. PO-EUN. The term “Po-Eun” is taken from the pseudonym of the pioneer in physics and a famous poet Chong Mong-Chu (14th century). His loyalty to the king towards the end of the Koryo Dynasty is well-known and every Korean knows his poem “I would not serve a second master though I might be crucified a hundred times”. Thus, the emotion of unstinted loyalty, with the emotional content of faithfulness, devotion, and poetry.

12. GE-BAEK. The term “Ge-Baek” is taken from the name of Ge-Baek, who was a great general of the Baek Je Dynasty (660 A.D.). He was a very strong disciplinarian. Thus, the emotion is discipline, with the emotional content of non-stop regularity.

13. EUI-AM. The term “Eui-Am” is the pseudonym of Son Byong Hi, who in 1905 gave the name Chondo Kyo (Heavenly Way Religion) to what was known as Dong Hak (Oriental Culture). When he gave this name he was 45 years of age and thus, there are 45 movements in this pattern. On 1st March, 1919, he also led the Korean independence movement with an indomitable spirit. Thus, the emotion is leadership, with the emotional content of indomitable spirit and total dedication to the nation.

14. CHOONG-JANG. The term “Choong-Jang” is taken from the pseudonym given to General Kim Duk Ryang of the 14th century Yi Dynasty. At the young age of 27, he died in prison and this tragedy is symbolized with a left-hand attack that ends this pattern. Thus, the emotion is bravery with the emotion of self-sacrifice for the nation.

15. JUCHE. The term “Juche” is taken from the philosophical idea that a person is the master of his/her own destiny. This idea is supposed to have roots in the Baekdu Mountain, which represents the Korean spirit. Thus, the emotion is loftiness, with the emotional content of vastness and solidity of a mountain.

16. SAM-IL. The term “Sam-Il” is taken as a representation of the historical date of 1st March 1919, when the Korean independence movement began. The movement was planned by 33 patriots and thus, there are 33 movements in this pattern. Thus, the emotion is freedom, with the emotional content of patriotism and team work.

17. YOO-SIN. The term “Yoo-Sin” is taken from the name of General Kim Yoo Sin, who commanded the army of the Silla Dynasty. Korea was united in the year 668 A.D. The last two numbers of this year are “68” and therefore, there are 68 movements in this pattern. General Kim Yoo Sin’s king gave orders to fight with foreign forces against his own nation and he followed the king’s orders. This was a mistake, which is symbolized by the ready posture signifying that a sword is drawn on the right instead of the left side. Thus, the emotion is a fallacy, with the emotional content of loyalty leading to incorrect judgement.

18. CHOI-YONG. The term “Choi-Yong” is taken from the name of General Choi Yong, who was the Premier and Commander-in-Chief of the army during the Koryo Dynasty (14th century). His humility, loyalty and patriotism was highly respected. Unfortunately, his subordinate commanders led by General Yi Sung Gae executed him. Thereafter, General Yi Sung Gae became the king and the first ruler of the Yi Dynasty. Thus, the emotion is loyalty, with the emotional content of patriotism, self-sacrifice, and humbleness.

19. YON-GAE. The term “Yon-Gae” is taken from the name of General Yon Gae Somoon, who was a famous general of the Koguryo Dynasty. In 649 A.D. in the battle at Ansi Sung, he destroyed nearly 300,000 soldiers of the Tang Dynasty. The defeated Tang Dynasty was forced to quit Korea in that same year. The last two numbers of the year 649 A.D. are “49” and hence, there are 49 movements in this pattern. Thus, the emotion is planning, with the emotional content of leadership, team work, and success.

20. UL-JI. The term “Ul-Ji” is taken from the name of General Ul-Ji Moon Dok. In 612 A.D. Korea was invaded by the Tang Dynasty army led by Yang Je and comprising of nearly one million soldiers. General Ul-Ji Moon Dok successfully defended Korea against this invasion by employing hit and run guerilla fighting tactics. Thus, the emotion is defending, with the emotional content of stealth and hiding.

21. MOON-MOO. The term “Moon-Moo” is taken from the name of King Moon Moo, who was the 30th ruler of the Silla Dynasty. After his death, as per his will, his body was buried near Dae Wang Am (Great King’s Rock) and placed in the sea, “Where my soul shall forever defend my land against the Japanese.” It is believed that the Sok Gul Am (Stone Cave), a fine example of the cultural achievement of the Silla Dynasty, was built to guard his tomb. King Moon Moo ascended the throne in the year 661 A.D. The last two numbers of this year are “61” and therefore, there are 61 movements in this pattern. Thus, the emotion is defending, with the emotional content of military and cultural achievement,

22. SO-SAN. The term “So-San” is taken from the pseudonym of the monk Choi Hyong Ung (1520-1604) of the Yi Dynasty. When he was 72 years of age, along with his pupil Sa Myung Dang, he created a corps of monk soldiers, who helped to repulse the Japanese pirates in 1592. Since the monk was of 72 years of age at this time, therefore, there are 72 movements in this pattern. Thus, the emotion is creation, with the emotional content of military discipline fused with monkhood.

23. SE-JONG. The term “Se-Jong” is taken from the name of King Se Jong, who is known as the greatest Korean king. He was a renowned meteorologist and he also invented the Korean alphabet. The Korean alphabet consists of 24 letters and hence, there are 24 movements in this pattern. Thus, the emotion is progress, with the emotional content of literacy, knowledge, and development.

24. TONG-IL. The term “Tong-Il” is taken to denote the resolution for the unification of Korea that remains divided since 1945. Thus, the emotion is unification, with the emotional content of homogeneity, fusion, and hope.


Emotions have emotional contents and the fusion of these produce an emotional state. Emotional state influences human actions of thoughts, words, and deeds. Human actions lead to decisions, which result in outcomes. Outcomes determine, to a large extent, how life is lived. The life of a dedicated martial artist, is to undertake a life-long journey on the path of the martial art. Therefore, understanding emotions, emotional content, and all other related aspects, help the martial artist in this journey, to attain peace, both within and without. The following video shows how Taekwon-Do and Taekwondo, both together, can be a way of life on the path of peace, harmony and unity.

ITF HQ video “(2019) ITF & WT Joint Taekwon-Do Demo in Rousanne, April 2019”:

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