Click here to download a PDF of the steps for all of the poomses up to Koryo. These are useful for guidance during class and at home practice.
What is Poomse?
Taekwondo Poomse is a "Form" in which a self practice is devised to be performed in following the lines of a movement in a systematic and consecutive way against an imaginary opponent or multi-opponents by using various Taekwondo techniques of hand and foot. They can be adapted to controlled sparring or real world confrontation
Through practicing Taekwondo Poomse, we can apply the techniques of hand and foot and the changes of stance learned from the basic techniques adaptable to an actual fighting. It also provides us with the effects of improving flexibility of body and being skilled in strength control, balance control, breath control, eye control and concentration of spirit, as well as cultivating martial art spirit through its mental discipline.
In our class, while a student learns many ways to defend himself or herself, they are highly encouraged to follow the way of yin and yang -- try to avoid violence, be aware, disengage if possible, use what you learn only in serious situations.
Meaning of each Poomse:
- This represents the most profound oriental philosophy from which philosophical views on the World, Cosmos and Life are derived. The Taeguk Poomse consists of different movements in sequence. The vital points of this Poomse are to make exact the speed of breath and action and move the body weight properly while executing speedy actions. thus we can fully realize the main thought of Taeguk.
- Supplementary Training
The thought of Palgye, another concept of the ancient Oriental philosophy, implies symbolically all the phenomena of man and the universe.
- Koryo is the name of an ancient dynasty in the Korean peninsula. The English name of "Korea" is derived from the name of this Koryo Dynasty which was famous for its cultural achievements such as Koryo ceramics and for the valiant spirit of its people with which they defeated the Mongolian aggression.
- The word Kumgang originally meant being too strong to be broken. Also, in Buddhism, what can break off every agony of mind with a combination of wisdom and virtue is called Kumgang. The Poomse Kumgang is named after Mount Kumgang, symbol of solidity. Kumgang is also analogous to "diamond."
- Taeback is the ancient name of Mount Paekdu where the legendary Tangun founded a nation for the first time in the Korean peninsula some 4,300 years ago. Poomse Taeback takes its principles of movement from the word Taeback which means being looked up to as sacred.
|1 Jang:||Taegeuk 1 Jang represents the symbol of "Keon", one of the 8 Kwaes (divination signs), which means the "heaven and yang". As the "Keon" symbolizes the beginning of the creation of all thing in the universe, do does the Taegeuk 1 Jang in the training of Taekwondo. This Poomse is characterized by its easiness in practicing, largely consisting of walking and basic actions, such as arae-makki, momtong-makki, momtong-jireugi, and ap-chagi. The 8th Kup-grade trainees practice this Poomse.|
|2 Jang:||Taegeuk 2 Jang symbolizes the "Tae", one of the 8 divination signs, which signifies the inner firmness and the outer softness. An introduction of the olgul-makki is a new development of Taegeuk Poomse. The ap-chagi actions appear more frequently than in Taegeuk 1 Jang. The 7th Kup-grade trainees practice this Poomse.|
|3 Jang:||Taegeuk 3 Jang symbolizes the "Ra", one of the 8 divination signs, which represent "hot and bright". This is to encourage the trainees to harbor a sense of justice and ardor for training. A successful accomplishment of this Poomse will give the trainees a promotion to a blue belt. New actions are sonnal-mok-chigi and sonnal -makki and dwit-kubi stance. This Poomse is characterized by successive makki and chigi, and continued jireugis. Emphasis is laid on the counterattacks against the opponent's chigi. The 6th Kup-grade trainees practice this Poomse.|
|4 Jang:||Taegeuk 4 Jang symbolizes the "Jin", one of the 8 divination signs, which represent the thunder meaning great power and dignity. New techniques are sonnal-momtong-makki, pyon-son-kkeut-jireugi, jebipoom-mok-chigi, yop-chagi, momtong- bakkat-makki, deung-jumeok-olgul-apchigi and mikkeurombal [slipping foot] techniques. Various movements in preparation for the kyorugi and lot of dwit-kubi cases characterize it. The 5th Kup-grade trainees practice this Poomse.|
|5 Jang:||Taegeuk 5 Jang symbolizes the "Son", one of the 8 divination signs, which represent the wind, meaning both mighty force and calmness according to its strength and weakness. New movements are me-jumeok-maeryo-chigi, palkup-dollyo-chigi, yop-chagi & yop-jireugi, palkup-pyo-jeok-chigi and such stances as kkoa-seogi, wen-seogi and oreun-seogi. This is characterized by the successive makkis such as area-makki and momtong-makki and also the chigi by thumbling after running. The 4th Kup-grade trainees practice this Poomse.|
|6 Jang :||Taegeuk 6 Jang symbolizes the "Kam", one of the 8 divination signs, which represents water, meaning incessant flow and softness. New movements are han-sonnal-olgul-bakkat-makki, dollyo-chagi, olgul-bakkat-makki and batang-son- momtong-makki in addition to pyonhi-seogi [at-ease stance]. One should be careful to make the kicking foot land on the ground correctly after dyollyo-chagi and to lower the hand by a palm's length at the time of delivering a batang-son momtong-makki lower than in the palmok-makki. This is practiced by the 3rd Kup-graders.|
|7 Jang :||Taegeuk 7 Jang symbolizes the "Kan", one of the 8 divination signs, which represents the mountain, meaning ponder and firmness. New movements are sonnal-arae-makkki, batangson-kodureo-makki, bo-jumeok-kawi-makki, mureup-chigi, momtong-hecho-makki, jechin-du-jumeok-momtong-jireugi, otkoreo-arae-makki, pyojeok-chigi, yop-jireugi and such stances as beom-seogi and juchum-seogi. Smooth connection of movements is important for training. The 2nd Kup-graders practice this Poomse.|
|8 Jang:||Taegeuk 8 Jang symbolizes the "Kon", one of the 8 divination signs, which represents "Yin" and earth, meaning the root and settlement and also the beginning and the end. This is the last of the 8 Taegeuk Poomses, which may enable the trainees to undergo the Dan [black belt] promotion test. New movements are dubal-dangsong-bakkat-palmok-momtong-kodureo-bakkat-makki, twio-chagi, and palkup-dollyo-chigi. Emphasis must be laid on the accuracy of stepping and the difference between jumping-over kick and dubal-dangsong [alternate jumping kick in the air]. The 1st Kup-graders practice this Poomse.
Koryo Poomse symbolizes "seonbae" which means a learned man, who is characterized by a strong martial sprit as well as a righteous learned man's sprit. The sprit had been inherited through the ages of Koryo, Palhae and down to Koryo, which is the background of organizing the Koryo Poomse. The new techniques appearing in this Poomse are kodeum-chagi, opeun-sonnal-bakkat-chigi, sonnal- arae-makki, khaljaebi-mureup-nullo-kkokki, momtong-hecho-makki, jumeok- pyojeok-jireugi, pyonson-kkeut-jecho-jireugi, batang-son-nullo-makki, palkup-yop-chagi, me-jumeok-arae-pyojeok-chigi, etc, which only black-belters can practice. The jumbi-seogi is the tong-milgi that requires mental concentration by positioning the hand in between the upper abdomen and the lower abdomen where "sin"[divine] and "jeong"[spirit] converge. The line of Poomse represents the Chinese letter, which means "seonbae" or "seonbi", a learned man or a man virtue in the Korean language.
Keumgang [meaning diamond] has the significance of "hardness" and "ponder", The Keumgang Mountain on the Korean peninsula, which is regarded as the center of national spirit, and the "Keumgang Yeoksa"[Keumgang warrior] as named by Buddha, who represents the mightiest warrior, are the background of denominating this Poomse. New techniques introduced in this Poomse are batangson-teok-chigi, han-son-nal-momtong-an-makki, Keumgang-makki, santeoul-makki, kheun dol-tzogi [large hinge], and the hak-dari-seogi. The Poomse line is symbolic of the Chinese letter. The movement should be powerful and well balanced so as to befit the black belt's dignity.
Taebaek is the name of a mountain with the meaning of "bright mountain", where Tangun, the founder of the nation of Korean people, reigned the country, and the bright mountain symbolizes sacredness of soul and Tangun's thought of "hongik ingan"[humanitarian ideal]. There are numerous sites known as Taebaek, but Mt. Paektu, which has been typically known as the cradle of Korean people, is the background naming the Taebaek Poomse. New techniques introduced in this Poomse are sonnal-arae-hecho-makki, sonnal-opeo-japki [grabbing], japhin-son-mok-ppaegi [pulling out the caught wrist], Kumkang-momtong-makki, deung-jumeok-olgul-bakkat-chigi, dol-tzeogi [hinge], etc. The line of Poomse is like a Chinese letter, which symbolized the bridge between the Heaven and the earth, signifying human beings founded the nation by the Heaven's order. The Poomse movements are largely composed of momtong-makkis and chigis.
Pyongwon means a plain that is a vast stretched-out land. It is the source of life for all the creatures and the field where human beings live their life. The Poomse Pyongwon was based on the idea of peace and struggle resulting from the principles of origin and use. The new techniques introduced in this Poomse are palkup-ollyo-chigi, kodureo- olgul-yop-makki, dangkyo-teok-jireugi, meongye-chigi, hecho-santeul-makki, etc. The jumbi-seogi is the moa-seogi-wen-kyop-son [left overlapping hands], which requires concentration of force in the beginning and source of human life. The line of Poomse means the origin and transformation of the plain.
The word "Sipjin" derived from the thought of 10 longevity, which advocates there are ten creatures of long life, namely, sun, moon, mountain, water, stone, pine-tree, herb of eternal youth, tortoise, deer, and crane. They are 2 heavenly bodies, 3 natural resources, 2 plants and 3 animals, all giving human beings faith, hope and love. The Poomse Sipjin symbolizes those things. The new techniques introduced in this Poomse are hwangso-makki [bull makki], son-badak[palm]-kodureo-makki, opeun-son-nal-jireugi, son-nal-arae-makki, bawi-milgi [rock pushing], son-nal-deung-momtong-hecho-makki, kodeo-olligi [lifting up], chettari-jireugi [fork-shape jireugi], son-nal-otkoreo-arae-makki, son-nal-deung-momtong-makki, which counts 10. The Chinese letter meaning ten is the form of the Poomse line, which signifies an infinite numbering of the decimal system and ceaseless development.
The word "Jitae" means a man standing on the ground with two feet, looking over the sky. A man on the earth represents the way of struggling for human life, such as kicking, trading and jumping on the ground. Therefore, the Poomse symbolizes various aspects occurring in the course of human being's struggle for existence. The new techniques introduced in this Poomse are han-son-nal-olgul-makki, keumkang-momtong-jireugi, and me-jumeok-yop-pyojeok-chigi only, and the Poomse line signified a man standing on earth to spring up toward the heaven.
The word "Chonkwon" means the Heaven's Great Mighty, which is the origin of all the creature and itself the cosmos. Its infinite competence signifies the creation, change and completion. Human beings have used the name of Heaven for all principal earthly shapes and meanings because they felt afraid of the Heaven's mighty. Over 4,000 years ago, the founder of the Korean people, "Hwanin" meant the heavenly King. He settled down in the "heavenly" town as the capital near the heavenly sea and heavenly mountain, where the Han people as the heavenly race gave birth to the proper through and action from which Taekwondo was originated. The Poomse Chunkwon is based on such sublime history and thoughts.
The new techniques introduced in thtis Poomse are nalgae-pyogi [wing opening], bam-jumeok-sosum-chigi [knuckle protruding fist springing chigi], hwidullo-makki [swinging makki], hwidullo-jabadangkigi [swinging and drawing], keumgang-yop-jireugi, taesan-milgi, etc., and a crouched walking manner.
The characteristics of movements are large actions and arm sections forming gentle curves, thus symbolizing the greatness of Chunkwon thought. The Poomse line "T" symbolizes a man coming down from the heaven, submitting to the will of Heaven, being endowed power by the Heaven and worshiping the Heaven, which means the oneness between the Heaven and a human being.
The word "Hansu" means water is the source of substance preserving the life and growing all the creatures. Hansu symbolizes birth of a life and growth, strength & weakness, magnanimity & harmony, and adaptability. Especially, "han" has the various meanings, namely, the name of a country, numerousness, largeness, evenness, length and even the heaven and the root of evening, among others. Above all, the above significances, is the background of organizing this poomse.
The new techniques introduced in this Poomse are son-nal-deung-momtong-hecho-makki, me-jumeok-yang-yopkuri[both flanks]-chigi, kodureo-khaljaebi, an-palmok-arae- pyojeok-makki, son-nal-keumgang-makki, etc., and also modum-bal as a stance.
Actions should be practiced softly like water but continuously like a drop of water gathering to make an ocean. The Poomse line symbolizes the Chinese letter that means water.
Ilyeo means the thought of a great Buddhist priest of Silla Dynasty, Saint Wonhyo, which is characterized by the philosophy of oneness of mind [spirit] and body [material]. It teaches that a point, a line or a circle ends up all in one. Therefore, the Poomse Ilyeo represents the harmonization of spirit and body, which is the essence of martial art, after a long training of various types of techniques and spiritual cultivation for completion of Taekwondo practice.
The new techniques introduced in this Poomse are son-nal-olgul-makki, wesanteul-yop-chagi, du-son-pyo[two opened hands]-bitureo-jabadangkigi [twisting and pulling], twio- yop-chagi and the first stance of ogeum[knee back]-hakdari-seogi. Jumbi-seogi is the bo-jumeok-moa-seogi [wrapped-up fist moa-seogi], in which, as the last step of Poomse training, two wrapped-up fists are placed in front of the chin, which has the significance of unification and moderation, so that the spiritual energy can flow freely into the body as well as the two hands. The line of Poomse symbolizes the Buddist mark [swastika], in commemoration of saint Wonhyo, which means a state of perfect selflessness in Buddhism where origin, substance and service come into congruity.