Forms, or Poomsaes in Korean language, are a series of defending and attacking movements performed against imaginary opponents in a set pattern.
Through the practice of forms, students come to learn the applications of various techniques of Taekwondo. Forms serve a multi-dimensional role, aiding in development and refinement of coordination, balance, timing, breath control and rhythm, all of which are essential skills to the Taekwondo student. World Taekwondo Federation uses Poomsaes for patterns.
Poomsaes originate from the book 'I Ching', a Chinese oracle. The I Ching has 64 hexagrams, a combination of two sets of three lines, closed or broken. The sets of three lines are called trigrams. The closed lines represent Yang, the open lines Yin. In the Chinese language, the unity of Yin and Yang is called 'taich'i'. In the Korean language, the unity is called T'ae-guk. This explains the term Poomsae Taeguk. The eight trigrams together are called Pal-gwe as in Poomsae Palgwe...
Poomsae Taeguk Ill Jang - Heaven (Keon = Heaven and Light) - Powerful, Manly, pure Yang (South, Father) The first Taeguk is the beginning of all Poomsaes. The associated
trigram represents Yang (heaven, light); therefore, this poomsae should be performed with the greatness of Heaven.
Poomsae Taeguk Ee Jang - Lake (Tae = Joyful, Serene) - Gentle, Firm, Feminine (South East, Youngest daughter) In the depths of the lake are treasures and mysteries.
Poomsae Taeguk Sam Jang - Fire (Ri = Fire and Sun) - Variety, Passion like fire, Feminine (East, Second daughter) Fire contains a lot of energy. Fire helped man to survive, but on the other hand had some catastrophical results. This form should be performed rhythmically, with some outbursts of energy.
Poomsae Taeguk Sah Jang - Thunder (Jin = Brave) - Calm in the face of danger, Masculine (North East, Eldest son) Thunder comes from the sky and is absorbed by the earth. Thunder is one of the most powerful natural forces, circling, gyrating. This Taeguk/Palgwe should be performed with this in mind.
Poomsae Taeguk Oh Jang - Wind (Seon = Alternately yielding and powerful) - Feminine (South West, Eldest daughter) Wind is a gently force, but can sometimes be furious, destroying everything in it's path. Taeguk Oh Jang should be performed like the wind: gently, but knowing the ability of mass destruction with a single movement.
Poomsae Taeguk Yuk Jang - Water (Gam = Flowing) - Gentle and destructive, Masculine (West, Second son) Water can move a mountain. The movements of this Poomsae should be performed like water. Sometimes standing still like water in a lake, sometimes thriving as a river.
Poomsae Taeguk Chil Jang - Mountain (Gan = Stable, Motion and Immobility) - Knowing where and when to stop, Masculine Mountains will always look majestic, no matter the size. This Poomsae should be performed with the feeling that all movements are this majestic and deserved to be praised.
Poomsae Taeguk Pal Jang - Earth (Gon = Strong, Concentrated) - Respect, Pure Um (or Yin), Feminine The associated trigram of this Poomsae is Yin: the end of the beginning, the evil part of all that is good. Even in this darkness, there is still some light. Performing this Taeguk, one should be aware that this is the last Taeguk to be learned, it also is the end of a circle, and therefore it is also the first, the second etc.
Koryo (Korea) is the name of an old Korean Dynasty. The people from the Koryo-period defeated the Mongolian aggressors. Their spirit is reflected in the movements of the Poomsae Koryo. Each movement of this Poomsae represents the strength and energy needed to control the Mongols.
The definition of Keumgang is "Too strong to be broken", or "diamond". The movements of the Poomsae Keumgang are as beautiful as the Keumgang-san (a Korean mountain) and as strong as Keumgang-seok (diamond).
The legendary 'Dangoon' founded a nation in TaeBaek, near Korea's biggest mountain Baekdoo. Baekdoo is a symbol for Korea. The definition of TaeBaek is "lightness". Every movement in this Poomsae must not only be exact en fast, but with determination and hardness.
The definition of Pyongwon is "stretch, vast plain": big, majestic.Poomsae Sipjin
Sipjin stands for decimal. This Poomsae represents the orderliness of the decimal system. It also means the endless development and growth in a systematic order: stability.
Jitae is derived from the meaning of the earth. All things evolve from and return to the earth, the earth is the beginning and the end of life.Poomsae Cheonkwon
Cheonkwon means 'sky'. The sky should be seen as ruler of the universe. It is both mysterious, infinite and profound. The motions of Cheonkwon are full of piety and vitality.
This poomsae is derived from the fluidity of water which easily adapts within nature.Poomsae Ilyo
The state of spiritual cultivation in Buddhism is called 'Ilyo' which means 'oneness'. In Ilyo, body and mind, spirit and substance, "I" and "you" are unified. The ultimate ideal of the martial art and pumsae can be found in this state. It is a discipline in which every movement is concentrated on leaving all materialistics thoughts, obsessions and external influences behind.