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Lee, Chang Hoo
tran. Steve Carperner.

 

I clench my fist
Not to fell a firmly rooted tree,
Nor to catch a fish
Rushing into calm water,
Nor to spout flame from my soaring breast,
Nor to put on wings that
I might fly to lofty areas
But that I may enter

From the small, quiet place
Inside my tightly clenched,
Softly trembling fist
Into the way towards a boundless life
Opening endlessly before my eyes.
 


1.

Taekwondo is a way, a way of life.
All that was separated again can meet.
Through this everything is seen
To become one.
I can find my real self and so
Toward perfection turn.

Mind and body when coupled make the human being whole.
Thought and action when coupled free each from the other.
Motion and stay when coupled lead to tranquillity.
Yielding and stoutness when coupled create power.
Strength and weakness when coupled brings about tenderness.
Drawing and erasing when coupled paints a
picture without form.
Eternity and an instant when coupled produces a possibility.
Myself and another when coupled makes we.
Air and ground when coupled becomes the earth.
Living and dying when coupled breathes as a life.
Inhaling and exhaling when coupled is a
cycle of renewal and
Hand and foot when coupled forms martialism
but Military and literary when coupled is art and this brings philosophy.
When all these are blended they melted into one.
This one then is perfect and is equal to
nothingness.

When everything finally reaches the peak
There is no longer a difference between being or not.
I stand alone in the midst of this emptiness
Then I and others appeared in a breath and
My real self can walk the path without
hesitation.

 


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