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Taekwondo Poem

P. I

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Lee, Chang Hoo
tran. Steve Carperner.


In facing an opponent
We can see life and death cross,
when we feel we must live
Only for the sake of live in
Death awakens outside our bodies.
In the moment life and death cross
We can see our gaze reflected in our opponent's eyes.
The heart which holds the universe huddles,
The muscles of the chest breathe deeply
As if to support the cowering heart.
The arms cross the inclined body and
Softly come alive.

Earth is the mother of life,
The humble center is balanced
Being and nothingness awaken where
The feet are planted.
In hiding my own breath
The opponent's breath is sought.
Rhythm is perceived in the breathing:
Distance is found in rhythm
Offense and defense are determined by distance.
Offense and defense are the whole question of existence.



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