Forms, or Poomses in the 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. Poomse 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.

Poomse 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-guek.

The Eight Basic Taeguek Forms

Taguek 1 - Il Jang (Heaven)

The first Taeguk is the beginning of all Poomse. The associated trigram represents Yang (heaven, light). This Poomse should be performed with the greatness of Heaven.

Taguek 5 - Oh Jang (Wind)

Wind is a gentle force but can sometimes be furious, destroying everything in its path. Taeguk Oh Jang should be performed like the wind; gently but knowing the ability of mass destruction with a single movement

Taguek 2 -Yi Jang (Lake)

In the depths of the lake are treasures and mysteries. The movements of this Taeguk should be performed knowing that man has limitations, but that we can overcome these limitations. This should lead to a feeling of joy, knowing that we can control our future.

Taguek 6 - Yook Jang (Water)

Water can move a mountain. The movements of this Poomse should be performed like water. Sometimes standing still like water in a lake, sometimes thriving as a river.

Taguek 3 - Sam Jang (Fire)

Fire contains a lot of energy. Fire helped man to survive, but also had some catastrophic results. This form should be performed rhythmically with some outbursts of energy.

Taguek 7 - Tchil Jang (Mountain)

Mountains will always look majestic, no matter the size. This Poomse should be performed with the feeling that all movements are this majestic and deserve to be praised.

Taguek 4 - Sa Jang (Thunder)

Thunder comes from the sky and is absorbed by the earth. Thunder is one of the most powerful natural forces; circling, gyrating. This Taeguek should be performed with this in mind.

Taguek 8 - Pal Jang (Earth)

The associated trigram of this Poomse 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 is also the end of a circle and therefore it is also the first, the second etc...

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