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Taegeuk Sam-Jang

Third: Variety and Spontaneous Energy

 The Ri principle of Palgwe is embodied in the third Taegeuk form. This principle is symbolized by fire, particularly the unpredictability of the flickering flame. It is important for us to realize that we have varying natures and desires within us, that we each contain multitudes. Just as fire can exist in the form of slumbering embers or a violent supernova, we must accept and embrace the varying ways we and our fellow humans exist in this world. Additionally, as martial artists, we must burn brightly as beacons of understanding and empathy in a world full of conflict and discord.  

Ri Principle

"Third: Meaning Fire"

A good friend once abruptly asked me when my birthday was. After a pause, I realized she was actually asking my Zodiac sign. I knew I needed to consider my reply very carefully. At the time, I knew very little about astrology. Soon though, with her guidance, I came to understand that, as a Sagittarius, I'm one of three "fire signs." Being that the natural representation of the Ri principle is fire, I decided to confront what this meant about my own identity. Honestly, the qualities of fire that I ruminated on made me a little uneasy. For example, I remember feeling particularly disheartened when I realized fire "cannot exist alone." Meditating on this form led me to come to terms with parts of myself which I would ordinarily attempt to ignore. In so doing, I came to understand the true meaning of fire as it exists in the Taegeuk: a symbol of liveliness, warmth, hope, and transformation. 

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