In the context of taekwondo the term taegeuk refers to a set of poomsae or forms used to teach taekwondo. 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.
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.
|Belt level||Name||Symbol||Techniques introduced|
|8th Geup||태극 1장 (Taegeuk Il-jahng)||☰, "天", "건", "Heaven, Light"||
|7th Geup||태극 2장 (Taegeuk Ee-jahng)||☱, "澤", "태", "Lake"||
|6th Geup||태극 3장 (Taegeuk Sam-jahng)||☲, "火", "이", "Fire"||
|5th Geup||태극 4장 (Taegeuk Sa-jahng)||☳, "雷", "진", "Thunder"||
|4th Geup||태극 5장 (Taegeuk O-jahng)||☴, "風", "손", "Wind"||
|3rd Geup||태극 6장 (Taegeuk Yuk-jahng)||☵, "水", "감", "Water"||
|2nd Geup||태극 7장 (Taegeuk Chil-jahng)||☶, "山", "간", "Mountain"||
|1st Geup||태극 8장 (Taegeuk Pal-jahng)||☷, "地", "곤", "Earth"||