Poomse (Forms) of Taekwondo

Poomse is the Korean word for forms. In this class, the Palgwe and the Taegeuk sets are taught, as well as the 1st two of the Kicho Set.  At each belt grade, two forms will be taught, one from each set. The term "poomse" is the Korean term for form. The term "kata" is actually a Japanese term for form.

Kicho

Il-jang    E-jang

PALGWE

The term Palgwe is loosely translated as Eight Powers of the Universe, and these eight Palgwe poomse are based on these conceptual powers of Heaven, Mind, Fire, Thunder, Wind, Water, Mountain, and Earth.  According to K. M. Lee (Tae Kwon Do: Techniques & Training, 1996), "The idea of Palgwe embraces different symbols and includes all opposing concepts and images.  They grow through the process of constant change...in an endless state of development.  These forms are meant to give the student an understanding of the basic principles of [Taekwondo], which are characterized by contrast-change and coming together, conflict and harmony-thereby corresponding to the idea of Palgwe." 

 Following are the Poomse descriptions:

TAEGEUK

Taegeuk, when loosely translated, means Great Eternity or Eternal Greatness.  The idealism of Taegeuk, which every student should learn are: pacifism, unity, creative spirit, future spirit, and eternity.   The Taegeuk has the same symbolism as the Palgwe.  J. R. Kim (Taekwondo: Basic Techniques Taegeuk Poomse) says the "Taegeuk Poomse  integrates the methods of attack, defense, forward movement and retreat, control of the speed of movements, and the intensity of the actions. The directions and lines of movement are represented by the eight symbols of 'Palgwe.'  The overall purpose of Poomse is to control the breathing to be synchronized while executing techniques requiring great speed.

Following are the Poomse descriptions:

Palgwe

Trigram Symbol

Description

Taegeuk

Il-jang

Il-jang represents the KEON, which is symbolized by the heavens and light. This form represents the source of creation by presenting the most basic techniques. It, therefore, is the foundation from which the other forms build.

Il-jang

E-jang

E-jang represents the TAE, which  symbolizes strength of the mind. This represents a frame of mind which is serene and gentle, yet firm within the state from which true virtue smiles.  This form consists of movements that are made softly yet firmly with control.

E-jang

Sam-jang

Sam-jang represents the RI, Ri represents the characteristics of sun, fire, and light, light warmth, enthusiasm, and hope.  Like fire, this form is filled with changing burst of power connected with a continuous flow of motion.

Sam-jang

Sa-jang

Sa-jang represents the JIN.  Thunder, combined with lightning, evokes fear and trembling but reminds us that danger, like a thunderstorm, passes as suddenly as it comes, leaving blue sky, sunshine, and rain freshened air in its wake.  It teaches to act calmly and bravely in the face of loud and terrifying dangers, real or imagined, knowing that they, too, shall pass.

Sa-jang

Oh-jang

Oh-jang represents the SEON which is Wind.  Although there are horrible and destructive winds, such as the typhoon, hurricane, and tornado, the wind's true nature is gentle but penetrating.  The wind teaches humility and good-natured actions.  Like a gentle breeze, this form is simple.  Yet like a storm, it is strong and powerful.

Oh-jang

Yook-jang

Yook-jang represents the GAM.  Water always flows downward and, in time, can wear away the hardest granite.  We learn that we can overcome every difficulty if we go forward with self-confidence and persistence.  Like water, this form is gentle yet destructive.  It teaches that man, when faced with a challenge, can overcome it by persistence and unwavering belief.

Yook-jang

Chil-jang

Chil-jang represents the GAN.  A Mountain is stable and cannot be moved.  This form teaches us to move only when it is necessary to move - and then move rapidly - and stop suddenly and solidly, standing like a rock.  It teaches commitment to notion and to immobility, for one must not wavier.

Chil-jang

Pal-jang

Pal-jang represents the GON.  The earth is receptive, gentle and nurturing.  It signifies the infinite concentration of UM energy (UM is a passive, receptive force).  The earth hugs and grows everything.  It nurtures in silence and in strength.  It teaches us the importance of the life force within ourselves and to respect life in all of its forms.

Pal-jang

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