by Sang H. Kim and Kyu Hyung Lee | Excerpted from Complete Taegeuk Poomsae
There are eight Taegeuk Poomsaes in the martial art of Taekwondo. Each Poomsae is built upon the previous one, adding more complicated movements, yet every form has unique characteristics and principles:
- Taegeuk Il Jang: Keun meaning heaven: the spirit of solid foundation
- Taegeuk Ee Jang: Tae meaning river: inner strength and external gentleness
- Taegeuk Sam Jang: Ri meaning fi re: the spirit of enthusiasm
- Taegeuk Sah Jang: Jin meaning thunder: the spirit of undeniable power and dignity
- Taegeuk Oh Jang: Sohn meaning wind: the spirit of gentle power
- Taegeuk Yuk Jang: Gam meaning water: the spirit of fl ow and ultimate fl exibility
- Taegeuk Chil Jang: Gahn meaning mountain: the spirit of fi rmness and strength
- Taegeuk Pal Jang: Gon meaning earth: the spirit of humbleness
More information about the individual Taegeuk Poomsae:
Taegeuk Il Jang
This is the most basic form of Taekwondo training. The movements are walking stance, front stance, low block, high block, inside block, middle punch, front kick. For the 8th Gup.
Taegeuk Ee Jang
After diligent practice of Taegeuk lL jang, now you have a stronger base to develop yourself further. There are more front kicks and block-kick-punch combinations in Taegeuk Ee jang. Techniques must be performed gently but with dynamic inner power. For the 7th Gup.
Taegeuk Sahm Jang
Through Taekwondo training, you have developed physical strength, and inner power. Now is the stage where the more effort you put out, the more your enthusiasm and skills grow. New movements in Taegeuk Sahm jang are back stance, knife hand strike, knife hand block. The combinations of block-punch and block-kick require quick speed and the ability to coordinate your body to create integral forces. Put speed in defense and power in attacks. For the 6th Gup.
Taegeuk Sah Jang
There are more advanced movements in this Poomsae such as double knife hand blocks, finger tip thrust, swallow stance knife hand strike, consecutive side kicks, and cross stance back fist. To prepare for Kyuroogi practice, there are more transitional movements to help you to improve correct body shifting and coordination. This is for the 5th Gup.
Taegeuk Oh Jang
Taegeuk Oh jang is designed to develop the inner energy and kinetic force of the body with the application of the two opposite phenomena of nature. New movements are hammerfist, elbow strike, side kick with side punch, and jumping cross stance. Special attention is required in striking a specific target area with the elbow. For the 4th Gup.
Taegeuk Yuk Jang
Water symbolizes a constant flow and the ultimate flexibility. Not only must the techniques flow like water but the mind must be flexible as well. New techniques are single knifehand high section block, roundhouse kick, palm press block and pyunhee suhgi in the middle of the poomse. Special attention must be paid to the foot position right after executing the two roundhouse kicks. For the 3rd Gup.
Taegeuk Chil Jang
A mountain is the spirit of firmness and strength. At this level the practitioner's resolution for training Taekwondo starts firmly rooting in the heart. The meaning of self-improvement through Taekwondo becomes deeper daily. Therefore, it is recommended to reexamine all of the previously learned skills so that the base for progress is strongly secured. You may experience some difficulties and obstacles mentally and physically. Effort is required to get through this stage. New techniques are low double knife hand block, palm press block, scissors block, knee strike, middle section opening block, cross hand block, side punch, cat stance and horseriding stance. Focus on powerful and articulate execution in single movements and smooth transitions in combination techniques. For the 2nd Gup.
Taegeuk Pahl Jang
Taegeuk Pahl jang is the last poomse before becoming a black belt. Perfection of all basic Taekwondo skills and maturity of character is the goal at this stage. New techniques are jump front kick, elbow strike, single mountain block, and uppercut. Accurate footwork is required for combinations. Required for the 1st Gup.