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Meaning of the Taegeuk Poomsae

The Uhm and Yang (the blue and the red on the Taegeukdo) represent the harmony of all life force. This harmony becomes imbalanced and the stronger of the two overflows into the weaker, creating an imbalanced state of Uhm and Yang. The state of balance and imbalance of the two forces constantly fluctuate throughout life. These constant changes however, follow a certain orderly course without exception.

Taegeuk Poomses are designed according to the Taegeuk Principle. The opposing phenomena of nature are the main formula of the Taegeuk Poomses -- challenge and response, offense and defense, attack and retreat, fast and slow, hard and soft.

The keys in practicing Taegeuk Poomses are to manage internal and external energy properly and to perform in an accurate and timely manner, with adequate breath, speed, and power control. Special attention also must be given to transitional techniques, by shifting the center of gravity perpendicular to the ground, so as not to lose overall body balance. Each technique must be performed with complete focus and dynamic energy.

Taegeuk Poomse 1 -- IL JANG: [For the 8th Kup]

Symbol is Geun, meaning the sky, yang – the base of the cosmos.

This is the first and most basic form of Taekwondo training. The movements are walking stance, front stance, low block, high block, inside block, middle punch, front kick.

Taegeuk Poomse 2 – EE JANG: [For the 7th Kup]

Symbol is Tae; meaning ‘internal strength and external gentleness’

After diligent practice of Taegeuk IL 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. Techniqures must be performed gently but with dynamic inner power.

Taegeuk Poomse 3 – SAM JANG: [For the 6th Kup]

Symbol is Yi, meaning fire.

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 burns. New movements in Taegeuk SAM JANG are back stance, knife hand strike, knife hand block. The combinations of block-punch and block-kick require quick speed and ability to coordinate bodily parts to create integral forces. Put speed in defense and power in attack.

Taegeuk Poomse 4 – SAH JANG: [For the 5th Kup]

Symbol is Jin; meaning thunder, the undeniable power and dignity of space.

There are more advanced movements in this Poomse such as double knife hand blocks, finger tip thrust, swallow stance, knife hand strike, consecutive side kicks, cross stance back fist. To prepare you for the Kyuroogi practice there are more transitional movements to help you to improve correct body shifting and coordination.

Taegeuk Poomse 5 – OH JANG: [For the 4th Kup]

Symbol is Sohn; meaning wind.

The wind is so gentle when it is a breeze and devastating when it becomes a hurricane. Human power can also be used either way. 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.

Taegeuk Poomse 6 – YUK JANG: [for the 3rd Kup]

Symbol is Kahm, meaning water – the origin of life.

Water symbolizes a constant flow nd the ultimate flexibility. Not only must the techniques flow like the water, but the mind must be flexible as well. New techniques are single knifehand high section block, roundhouse kick, palm press block and pyunhee sughi in the middle of the poomse. Special attention must be paid to the foot position right after executing the two roundhouse kicks.

Taegeuk Poomse 7 – CHIL JANG: [For the 2nd Kup]

Symbol is Kahn; meaning a mountain.

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 re- examine all of the 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. Powerful and articulate exedcution is required in single movements and smooth transition in combination techniques.

Taegeuk Poomse 8 – PAL JANG: [For the 1st Kup]

Symbol is Kohn; meaning the Earth.

The earth is the foundation of the growth for all life. It is the beginning of life and all lives must return to where they began. Taegeuk PAL JANG is the last poomse before becoming a black belt. The end means a new beginning. Perfection of all basic Taekwondo and maturity of character is the goal at this stage. If pride, confidence, and dignity were the results of training, honesty and humbleness are the preresquisites for the black belt stage. It is required to perfect from Taegeuk IL JANG to Taegeuk PAL JANG to be eligible to apply for the 1st Dan black belt test. New techniques are jump front kick, elbow strike, single mountain block and uppercut. Accurate footwork is required in combinations.