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Which poomsae does our school practice?
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Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:08 am    Post subject: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Palgwe Forms Reply with quote

Hello, I'm new to the forum, and this is my first post.

I practice Jidokwan Taekwondo, and we use the Palgwe poomsae instead of Taegeuk. Anyone else studying the Palgwe poomsae?
5th Geup Jidokwan Tae Kwon Do/Hap Ki Do

(Never officially tested in aikido, iaido or kendo)
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Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 12 Oct 2005
Posts: 1084
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Styles: Taekwondo Chung Do Kwan

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I'm Chung Do Kwan, not Ji Do Kwan, I have done the Pal Gwe poomsae in the past. The Pal Gwe poomsae were only official KKW/WTF poomsae for a short time in the early 1970s. The Tae Geuk poomsae have been the Kukkiwon standard for more than 40 years.

Here's a great piece on a bit of the history and philosophy of the Tae Geuk poomsae written by Master Peter Miles of Michigan. **Note: both the Pal Gwe & Tae Geuk were designed by the same group of men: with additional men added for the latter Tae Geuk. Note also the Ji Do Kwan men involved. GGM LEE Chong Woo being chief among them.**

During the 1950's Korean martial artists were primarily performing Okinawan and Chinese forms. With the efforts to unify the various Kwans came an effort to standardize the material taught. To this end, the Korea Taekwondo Association had representatives from the various Kwans become members of the Poomsae Committee.

The task of the Poomsae Committee was to create uniquely Korean Taekwondo poomsae. The members of the Committee and their Kwan affiliation were:

1) KWAK Kun Sik (Chung Do Kwan)
2) LEE Yong Sup (Song Moo Kwan)
3) PARK Hae Man (Chung Do Kwan)
4) HYUN Jong Myung (Oh Do Kwan)
5) KIM Soon Bae (Chang Moo Kwan)

These original members created the Palgwae poomsae and the Yudanja poomsae (Koryo through Ilyo). It is important to emphasize that the Oh Do Kwan, which were using the Chon Ji forms created by Gen. Choi, participated in the creation of the new KTA poomsae, and thus were an active part of the unification process. The Oh Do Kwan member who participated was GM HYUN Jong Myung, the Oh Do Kwan Jang at the time.

The Palgwae poomsae were the first uniquely Korean Taekwondo poomsae. Unfortunately, they were created without the input of two of the original Kwans: the Jidokwan and the Moo Duk Kwan. The reason for this is that the Kwan Jangs of these Kwans: Dr. YOON, Kwe Byung and GM HWANG, Kee, respectively, had left the Korea Taekwondo Association and had a rival organization, the Korea Soo Bahk Do Association.

Several years later, a majority of Jidokwan (under the leadership of GM LEE, chong Woo) and Moo Duk Kwan (lead by GM HONG, Chong Soo) members rejoined the Korea Taekwondo Association. At that time, it was felt that the input of these Kwans should be included, and new poomsae, the Tae Guek series was created. The additional members from the Jidokwan and Moo Duk Kwan were:

6) LEE Chong Woo (Jidokwan)
7) BAE Young Ki (Jidokwan)
HAN Yong Tae (Moo Duk Kwan)
(Names and Kwan affiliation of Poomsae Committee members comes to me courtesy of my friend and senior Glenn U. from his many conversations with Kwan founders and pioneers).

Background. In order to discuss the philosophical context of the Taeguek series, it might be a good idea to look at what "Tae" "Guek" means. "Tae" means "largeness" and "Guek" means "eternity." Together the thought behind "Taeguek" represents the creation of the universe. The symbol for Taeguek is the familiar red/blue yin/uhm (negative) and yang (positive). The circle of the Taeguek symbolizes infinity-no beginning or end. Around the outside of the Taeguek are 8 "gwes" or "Palgwe".

Each of these "gwe" consist of various combinations of three solid (yang) or broken (uhm) bars. From the 12 O'clock position and moving clockwise, the order of the Palgwe is as follows: "keon", "seon", "kam", "kan", "kon", "jin", "ri", and

"tae." For those who are not familiar with what the Palgwe symbols look like, you can see them here:

Taeguek 1 represents "keon" which is heaven-that which is great and original-it is the first poomsae so it is easy to learn. Since it has 3 solid bars, it is all "yang" or positive.

Taeguek 2 represents "tae" which is strength of mind-gentle or soft on the outside, firm of intention on the inside.

Taeguek 3 represents "ri" which is sun or fire or light. It is hot and bright like one's passion for training. It is the last of the beginner poomsae.

Taeguek 4 represents "jin" which is thunder. It is loud and strong but disappears and brings forth freshness. This poomsae is for intermediate students-those who have trained long enough to have a grasp of basic techniques but desirous of new challenges. One of the challenges of this poomsae is the introduction of returing the kicking leg to its original position.

Taeguek 5 represents "seon" or wind. Wind can be refreshing like a gentle breeze or overwhelming like Hurrican Rita. Like a gathering storm, Taeguek 5 starts out with easy motions and builds up to a crescendo with the front kick/stomp and backfist combination at the end.

Taeguek 6 represents "gam" or water. Water can form to fit any container yet can also be dangerous. Like water, this poomsae has both fluid and strong motions such as the ending combination of pushing blocks and reverse punches.

Taeguek 7 represents "kan" or mountain. A mountain is majestic and can be either tranquil or angry.This is an advanced poomsae and the majesty of the covering fist (ITF stylists begin "Won Hyo" in this position) pause followed by the scissors block is an example.

Taeguek 8 represents "kon" or earth-the opposite of heaven so it consists of 3 broken sets of bars (all yin-negative). The earth is firm, rooted, like those ready to test for black belt who are grounded in their knowledge and like earth, ready to spring forth with new knowledge.

Technical Aspects:
The first 3 poomsae are for beginners. They are characterized by simple, straightforward moves such as walking stances, low blocks, middle and upper section punches. The only kicking technique is a front kick, again, the most basic of the kicks.

Nevertheless, they increase in level of difficulty from 1 through 3. For example, in Taeguek 1, the 5th motion is a low block in front stance followed immediately by a reverse punch. In Taeguek 3, there is a middle section knife hand block in a back stance followed immediately by a stance change before the middle section punch.

The second set of 3 (i.e. Taeguek 4-6) are intermediate poomsae. These poomsae introduce increasingly difficult techniques. For example, Taeguek 4 introduces double knife hand block, spear hand strike with push block, simultaneous knife hand block and neck strike, consecutive side kicks, and body-weight concepts (i.e. returning kicking leg to original stance, use of forward momentum from front kick in subsequent front back fist strike).

The final 2 poomsae in the Taeguek series, Taeguek 7 & 8 are advanced poomsae. They have a different feel and flow than the earlier 6 poomsae. In fact, Taeguek 7 has what I perceive to be an almost "kung-fu-like" feel with soft palm blocks, body-weight shifting 180 degrees in tiger stances, and inside crescent kicks to open hand targets. Taeguek 8 likewise diffentiates between kicking combinations moving forward and those which are stationary. It also introduces in the final half a sliding stepping motion not seen in any of the earlier poomsae.

What is fascinating about the Taeguek series is that the footwork matches the respective Palgwe symbol. So, if one were to do Taeguek 4 for instance in the sand, from overhead, the sand would be marked with the Palgwe symbol "ri." Clearly there was a great deal of thought put into the series.
Being a good fighter is One thing. Being a good person is Everything. Kevin "Superkick" McClinton
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Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, what a wonderful response! This was extremely informative! Thank you very much!
5th Geup Jidokwan Tae Kwon Do/Hap Ki Do

(Never officially tested in aikido, iaido or kendo)
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KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 30188
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE, Police Krav Maga, SPEAR

PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was in the ATA system initially, doing their Songham forms. My current school performs the Chang On forms.
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