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Basic Meanings - Meanings of the Taegeuk Forms
Forms, or Poomses 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 Tae Kwon Do. 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 Tae Kwon Do student.
The World Tae Kwon Do Federation has 8 colored belt forms and 9 black belt forms. The colored belt forms are all numbered one to eight and are called Taegeuk.
Palgwe is the fundamental oriental philosophy dealing with man and the universe. It speaks about the duals that exist in nature such as good and evil, fire and water, heaven and earth, peace and conflict, etc.
Taegeuk - Tae in this context means bigness and Geuk means eternity.
Taegeuk then is that which is the essence of everything, it has no beginning and no end.
Each form is a combination of techniques of block and attack performed consecutively while moving in certain directions. These are a series of forms designed to correspond with each learning level from beginner to advance. The proper way to learn and practice Taegeuk Forms is to first know the name of the form, then determine the three components of each movement in the order of:
3. Technique of block or attack
Taegeuk 1 (IL JANG) - A series of actions expressing the KEON principle of Palgwe. KEON represents heaven and light, which is the beginning of everything.
Taegeuk 2 (YI JANG) - A series of actions expressing the TAE principle of Palgwe. TAE represents joyfulness so this should be performed gently but firmly. This principle teaches us that mind must remain firm, but outwardly we must appear gentle.
Taegeuk 3 (SAM JANG) - A series of actions expressing the RI principle of Palgwe. RI represents fire and the sun. Fire gives us warmth and the sun gives us light, and both represent hope. It should be performed rhythmically, with some outbursts of energy and with passion.
Taegeuk 4 (SA JANG) - A series of actions expressing the JIN principle of Palgwe. JIN represents thunder. Thunder and lightening are sources of fear and danger. This principle teaches us that we must remain calm and brave when faced with danger and fear.
Taegeuk 5 (OH JANG) - A series of actions expressing the SEON principle of Palgwe. SEON represents the wind. While wind can be terrible as in a tornado, the nature of wind is gentle. This principle teaches us that we must remain humble in mind, and only act forcefully when we must.
Taegeuk 6 (YOOK JANG) - A series of actions expressing the GAM principle of Palgwe. GAM represents water and the principle teaches us that we must proceed with confidence when facing difficulty and hardship if we are to overcome them.
Taegeuk 7 (CHIL JANG) - A series of actions expressing the GAN principle of Palgwe. GAN represents the Mountain. It teaches us that we must attain the stability of the mountain. We must not act in a hasty manner and should know when to proceed and when to stop.
Taegeuk 8 (PAL JANG) - A series of actions expressing the GON principle of Palgwe, which is defined as the quality of being receptive. GON represents the earth, which is the cradle of life. It is the earth that embodies the creative forces of heaven.
•Taegeuk 1 (IL JANG): Keon - Symbolizes heaven and light and has 18 movements.
•Taegeuk 2 (YI JANG): Tae - Symbolizes joyfulness and has 18 movements.
•Taegeuk 3 (SAM JANG): Ri - Symbolizes fire and sun and has 20 movements.
•Taegeuk 4 (SA JANG): Jin - Symbolizes thunder and has 20 movements.
•Taegeuk 5 (OH JANG): Seon – Symbolizes wind and has 20 movements.
•Taegeuk 6 (YOOK JANG): Gam - Symbolizes water and has 23 movements.
•Taegeuk 7 (CHIL JANG): Gan – Symbolizes the mountain and has 25 movements.
•Taegeuk 8 (PAL JANG): Gon – Symbolizes the earth and has 24 movements.
Count to ten in Korean: