Martial Arts Meets the Grinch

I am writing – just not here.  Always striving to find balance.

Below is a poem I altered slightly for our academy to perform at the annual holiday party! With apologies and thanks to Dr. Seuss. (Note: Pilsung is a Korean word roughly translated to ‘I can do it’ or ‘Certain victory.’ We use it at our school as a salutation, farewell, and all through out class as a reminder.)

Every student
In the dojang
Liked Tae Kwon Do a lot …

But the one
Who lived just North of the school
Did NOT!

Oh he hated the school, the whole on going season.
Please don’t ask why, no one quite knows the reason.
It could be that his head wasn’t screwed on just right.
It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
Maybe deep down his spirits were low.
But I think that most likely, he just didn’t KNOW.

Whatever the reason,
His spirit or shoes,
He glared out the window, hating the school.

“Just look at those cars, picking up, dropping off.
They can’t really be happy.” The angry one scoffed.
“There’s going to be fighting, head kicks and swift punches.
Then they’ll follow it all with some push ups and crunches!”

They’d do something he liked least of all!
Every student in class, the tall and the small
Would breathe deeply in, to fill up their lungs
Saying hi and goodbye with a hearty PILSUNG!

“‘I can do it they say’. Well, I think they cannot!
Those belts that they wear are just something that’s bought.”
He paced back and forth, deciding to go.
“I’m going to demand that they stop the whole show!

And over he marched, slamming their door,
His angry words falling all over the floor.
The students unsure whether truth or a test,
Said, “We’re sorry. Did we do something to make you upset?”
He suddenly stopped, surprised by concern,
Wondering now what they really did learn.

When out to the front, from the back of the line
Stepped young Abby Smith, who was just turning nine.
“It may look like fighting, but you know what we find,
That our best self-defense is always being kind.
It’s for good that we practice and hope that we teach,
Being our best is not out of reach.
For we can change the world, bit by bit, one by one.
Come try it with us, I think you’ll have fun!

And what happened then?
Well in the dojang they tell,
That the spirit within him started to swell.
With each class his strength and serenity grew.
He honored his practice every week through.
And now when old or new students come call,
His PILSUNG rings out as the loudest of all!


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