Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Taekwondo Poomse

Taekwondo Poomse

Korean history has many facets and the taekwondo poomse are a glorious part of their history and heritage. The translation of the word has several versions of the symbol for form or pattern such as poomse, poomsae, PoomSae, or pumsae. Other organizations may have yet other names for the patterns or forms such as hyeong or teul.

The forms are a way to teach a student the movements needed for battle in a structured way by attaching a form to the name of a famous person or group thus enriching discipline and learning while building strength and balance. As with the need for physical balance, the student must learn balance in the historical lessons and knowledge. Not all of the names are warriors. Many of the names refer to scholars or holy men, which are vital to the balance of the spirit.

The first poomse is ChonJi. It is a simple beginners learning tool whose name means Heaven and Earth. It has 19 moves but contains only three different movements one block, one kick, and one punch. In order to mark the level of excellence achieved there is a system of belt colors ranging from pure and innocent white, to the blending of all colors into the powerful black belt. Basically speaking a student completes one poomse per belt level until they have attained the level of black belt. The reasoning for this system is to allow the student time to mature in have respect for the art they are learning and all of the tradition it represents.

There are different color levels of belts in different schools or disciplines, but the order of the poomse forms are standardized as follows: ChoniJi, DanGun, Dosan, WonHyo, Yougok, JoongGun, ToiGye, HwaRang, ChoongMoo, KwangGae, PoEun, GeBaek, EuiAm, ChoongJang, KoKang, SamII, YooSin, ChoiYong, YonGe, UlJi, MoonMoo, SoSan, SeJong, and TongII. Chonji obviously being the beginning white belt level as mentioned above, while a beginner level for black belt would be studying KwangGae, and a fourth degree black belt would be studying three forms including the longest form SoSan with 72 moves before being advanced to the fifth level of black belt.

A student attempting a poomse is closely judged on the form, the amount of energy shown, speed, precision, and control. Crisp and complete movements are required with masters to critique each movement, breath, and shift in weight. Most have at least one kihap or shout which is to be short but powerful.

The beauty, balance, and grace of a taekwondo poomse may appear to be like a dance, but it is powerful fighting training that requires great skill, strength, many hours of practice and concentration.

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