The TaeGuk Forms of Taekwondo

THE MEANING OF TAE GUK

At the American Dragon Martial Arts Academies school in Ocoee, Florida students of all ages learn the philosophy of Taekwondo as it relates to their forms training. There are many martial arts that do forms or Poomse as they are called in Korea. These forms each have a philosophical lesson to be learned. There are other arts, like the self-defense are of Hapkido which do not do form that learn these lessons in another way.

taekwondo lessonsThe philosophy of these forms center around the meaning of TAE GUK, pronounced “Tay Gook” (literally means Tae – ‘largeness’ and Guk – ‘eternity’). It is represented by the red and blue circle called “Um and Yang” on the Korean flag. The Korean national flag is called Taegukki . Tae Guk represents the unity of opposites that composes the cosmos. Its characteristics are often described as pacifism, unity, creative spirit, future spirit, eternity, and Um and Yang (Yin and Yang in Chinese). Um (earth, female – the blue lower half of the circle) and Yang (heaven, male – the red upper half) are themselves opposites in delicate balance. Remember that each is dependent upon the other: without ugliness there is no beauty; without night there is no day; without cold there is no hot; without winter there is no summer. By maintaining the balance and harmony of these opposing forces, characteristics and elements in everyday life, we experience the Do (or Tao in Chinese) that is at the heart of our chosen martial art: Taekwondo.

There are eight Tae Guk Poomse, or forms, sometimes called Kata in Japanese martial arts such as Karate, Jujitsu and Judo, and each is represented by a different Gwe, or theory (which explains the derivation of the term Palgwe, meaning eight theories, which was the name for the original Taekwondo poomse). In addition to its Gwe, every poomse also has an associated Chinese trigram drawn from the I Ching (the Chinese Book of Changes). In the trigrams, the straight lines represent Yang, or male, and the broken lines represent Um, or female.

These philosophies are applied to the teachings of the physical self-defense movements of the Taekwondo Forms in traditional schools so that student develop a deeper knowledge. Learn forms properly will enhance the student physically, mentally and spiritually.

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