Scrolls of Songahm

 Grand Master H.U. Lee Founder of the American Taekwondo Association

The Scrolls of Songahm

Master Haeng Ung Lee:
Saturday, August 13, 1983

Children of Songahm: Listen as I tell about the old times and the new dawn.

In those unwritten years, thousands of lives ago, the first Ssu Suhng also came to the mountain. His disciples and most loyal students followed his journey. He was a Master of martial art.

Ssu Suhng’s vision was that mortal life is short, yet he had much to do and teach. Would his technique and tradition be lost as the morning mists? There were thousands of techniques and postures for the body in movement. There was a steel-tempering of the heart that could change a man’s way of life. He studied how these lessons could live beyond written words or twice-told tales of olden ways.

As a Master Weaver looms fine-spun thread, he wove thoughts across techniques in patterns of art with life. As his students learned the fabric of his art, they could see techniques crossed with spirit… the art would remain in spirit and force long after the weaver was dust. Disciples of Ssu Suhng practiced these patterns woven for them by their Master. And they, in turn, passed them to their juniors, generation after generation.

Did that first Master martial weaver realize he had wrought so well his art would live millions of days? Did his spirit touch us as he wove those first patterns for hearts of future generations? For he is with us even today. The techniques are the same in spirit as when he taught them. The tree has grown, but holds the same roots.

Other Masters grafted their hearts into the great design. The added new life as parents, and in new generations added to the life of their family; and by adding, making it greater, not less.

With dawn drawing light across the sky, I, Haeng Ung Lee, invite you, my disciples, students and family, to join me in a journey through our new day. Families need new generations to live: the spirit of Ssu Suhng needs new enthusiasm and growth to be nourished in us.

I am duty-bound by the mantle of mastership to refresh tradition of spirit with knowledge and skills of our new age.

A sage said ages past, nothing new lies under the sun. Even in my bound duty to keep Songahm at the peak of this age, it is the technique and tradition of the ages… only the patterns of their weaving are new.

As given by that first Master to your seniors, his disciples, I offer this new weave for your futures. Your seniors, too, soon will be with you only in the weave and form created of their spirit for you.

I dream that you learn to enjoy each day without thought to merely relieve yesterday for its comforts. To climb the ladder of life or art, the security and warmth of the first step must give way to find a higher level.

Come, witness with me this affirmation of our art, heritage and renewal.

In the spirit of Ssu Suhng, I bring you “Songahm” to join the east and the west, north and south… a new wellspring to mix and join in a voyage to the stars.

 

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