As a part of training, taekwondo forms are very crucial. This write-up talks about the various forms and their related aspects.
A pattern or a poomse in taekwondo is characterized by a number of aspects―direction, technique, and stance. Direction is a major part, because it is expected that every practitioner should be able to change direction quickly and smoothly. It is especially in context of a real-life situation, where you might be fighting with an opponent up front, and another comes from the rear or the side. For developing balance and strong foundation for the moves, martial stances within the forms are fundamental. If the stance is not correct, everything from your defense to kicks can go haywire. These forms help students focus on the technique, which has to merge speed, power, accuracy, and of course, the intention.
At the onset, all the taekwondo forms start with a defensive movement or stance. This represents the defensive nature of taekwondo, which involves restraint as much as possible. Attacking comes as a last resort, which is represented through a counter-attack move.
Forms of Taekwondo: Taegeuk
The forms depend on the organization that is governing the sport. There is an International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) as well as a World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). The taegeuk forms come under the World Taekwondo Federation. Some of these are:
- Il Jang
- Ee Jang
- Sam Jang
- Sa Jang
- Oh Jang
- Yok Jang
- Chil Jang
- Pal Jang
One of the last forms in WTF is hansoo. These forms are very simple at the beginning, with a couple of kicks at the most, and punches a repetition of the defensive stances. But as a student goes up the rankings, they start getting more complex and demanding.
The International Taekwondo Federation forms are a bit different from the poomse under the WTF.
- Cheon-Ji, Dan-Gun
These patterns and sequences are helpful in real life, but only to some extent. However, they are an excellent way to improve one’s stance.
All the taegeuk forms portray a certain state of thought, which indicates the belt the student holds before he gets a new one. These are represented in WTF taekwondo with the help of trigrams which resemble those on the four corners of the South Korean flag. Palgwe is another style. These forms are of earlier generations. They are similar to some extent to the supplemental WTF poomse, and there are overall 8 palgwe forms.
In addition to these, there is a style called songahm taekwondo, which again has its own set of songahm taekwondo forms for graduating from one belt to the next, and increasing the level of difficulty and complexity.