Taegeuk (Taekwondo)

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For the Korean symbol, see Taegeuk.
Hangul 태극
Hanja 太極
Revised Romanization Taegeuk
McCune–Reischauer T‘ae-kuk

In the context of taekwondo the term taegeuk refers to a set of poomsae or forms used to teach taekwondo.[1] A form, or poomsae (also romanized as pumsae or poomse) is a defined pattern of defense-and-attack motions. Outside of the context of taekwondo, the word taegeuk refers to the Taoist principle of the "unity of opposites" (yin and yang). Taegeuk is also the name of the red and blue circular symbol used in the flag of South Korea.

All students studying World Taekwondo Federation taekwondo must learn these forms to advance to a higher level of belt. There are eight Taegeuk forms, each one more complex than the last to display the student's mastery of the techniques learned. In order to receive a black belt, the student must perform all Taegeuk forms consecutively. The taegeuk forms replace the older palgwae forms previously used in WTF taekwondo, though some school still teach palgwae forms as well.[2]

Each Taegeuk form symbolizes a specific state thought to be indicative of the belt the student currently holds, and is represented in WTF Taekwondo by trigrams (originally derived from the I-Ching) similar to those found in the four corners of the South Korean flag.

Distinct from the World Taekwondo Federation, the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) has its own sequence of poomsae. These are named after figures from Korean history.

Taegeuk Poomsae[edit]

Many schools require that form practice begin with a bow to the flag and/or instructor, but the motions of the forms themselves do not require the bow, nor is it necessary in personal practice.

Belt level Name Symbol Techniques introduced
8th Geup 태극 1장 (Taegeuk Il-jahng) , "天", "건", "Heaven, Light"
  • Walking stance
  • Forward stance
  • Low block
  • Inside block
  • High block
  • Middle punch
  • Front snap kick
7th Geup 태극 2장 (Taegeuk Ee-jahng) , "澤", "태", "Lake"
  • High punch
6th Geup 태극 3장 (Taegeuk Sam-jahng) , "火", "이", "Fire"
  • Back stance
  • Knifehand middle block
  • Knifehand neck strike
5th Geup 태극 4장 (Taegeuk Sa-jahng) , "雷", "진", "Thunder"
  • Double knifehand block
  • High knifehand block
  • Palm block
  • Spearhand strike
  • Side kick
4th Geup 태극 5장 (Taegeuk O-jahng) , "風", "손", "Wind"
  • Cross stance
  • Outside block
  • Outside knifehand block
  • Hammer fist
  • Elbow strike
3rd Geup 태극 6장 (Taegeuk Yuk-jahng) , "水", "감", "Water"
  • Outer forearm block
  • Double wedge block
  • Roundhouse kick
2nd Geup 태극 7장 (Taegeuk Chil-jahng) , "山", "간", "Mountain"
  • Tiger stance
  • Horse stance
  • Lower knifehand block
  • Double block
  • Backfist strike
  • Knee strike
  • Double upset punch
  • Crescent kick
1st Geup 태극 8장 (Taegeuk Pal-jahng) , "地", "곤", "Earth"
  • Mountain stance
  • Jumping front snap kick

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Poomsae". World Taekwondo Federation. Retrieved 2014-04-21. 
  2. ^ Lee, Kyu Hyung (11/06/2006). Complete Taekwondo Poomsae: The Official Taegeuk, Palgwae and Black Belt Forms of Taekwondo. Turtle Press. ISBN 978-1880336922. 

External links[edit]