Training in our Club includes all parts that constitute the Traditional Taekwondo: basic techniques that form the foundation of the system, Poomsae which are some standard combinations of basic techniques, self-defense scenarios that create automations, breaking techniques that accentuate concentration of power, and Fighting (Sparring) that combines all together.
Basic Techniques – Kibon
The basis of Tae Kwon Do as a system is formed by the so called basic or core techniques. They are grouped into three categories: stances, attack/defense techniques with the hands and attack/defense techniques with the feet.
The stances are primarily differentiated by the body’s centre of gravity.
The main characteristic of the attack techniques, namely the impact of both hands and feet, is that the hitting point is either “sharp” or “cutting”.
The main characteristic of the defense techniques, i.e. blocking both by hands and feet, is that the point in contact is flat, essentially “sweeping” or “scanning” an area, thus protecting the torso or the head.
Hosinsul – Self defence
Self-defenses are scenarios of reaction in predetermined or free attacks with or without weapons. They help the trainee consider distance, angle, speed and force in a safe mode. At the same time it arms him with a series of spontaneous reactions in a case of emergency. Thus it provides him with extra time to continue or not the conflict.
There is freedom of choice in the design and study of reactions for each trainee, thus giving him the opportunity to form his own repertoire of automations.
Kyorugi – Sparring
Sparring is a free choice of any technique by the trainee, both in defense and attack. Depending on the skill, experience, perception, imagination, personality and body structure, he makes the combinations he believes that can help him win.
Sparring and the Poomsae are totally different as a procedure. In Poomsae there is no improvisation. Everyone being at the same level should perform the same Poomsae without deviation from the standard range of techniques. In sparring there is no predetermined set of techniques, it is the ultimate improvisation. Any combination, strategy, tactics and assumptions are free. But the best preparation for the real free fighting is Poomsae. Without their practicing the trainee cannot improve in fighting. So the two opposites integrate the fighter.
The so called Poomsae are series of combined basic techniques, with increasing degree of complexity and difficulty that corresponds to the different levels of skill. Apart from improving one’s technique, Poomsae are the best preparation for combat.
Taekwondo has 17 Poomsae. The first eight correspond to levels up to black belt- 1st Dan, and the next nine correspond to Dans from second to ninth, being much more advanced.
Specifically, the first eight Poomsae constitute the so called Taegeuk group. Each one represents one of the eight trigrams that make up the Palgwe as listed below and the number of movements is made up of the following:
The corresponding trigram is “Keon”, representing the sky, symbolizing the beginning of the creation of all things in the universe.
The corresponding trigram is “Tae”, representing joy and symbolizing the combination of internal stability with outer softness.
The corresponding trigram is “Ree”, representing “warm and bright”, fire and sun. This is to encourage the trainee to protect justice and commit to practice.
The corresponding trigram is “Jin”, which represents and symbolizes the great power of thunder and dignity.
The corresponding trigram is “Son”, which represents the wind, symbolizing the strength and calmness that follows the power and weakness.
The corresponding trigram is “Kam”, which represents the water, symbolizing the continuous flow and softness.
The corresponding trigram is “Kan”, which represents the mountain and symbolizes the ability to weigh things and to know when to stop and when to insist.
The corresponding trigram is “Kon”, which represents the earth and symbolizes the roots and the establishment, as well as the beginning and the end.
The following Poomsae follow different paths. If seen carefully from above, we will notice that something like an ideogram is formed by the various points followed during the techniques. Those ideograms characterize each Poomsae.
These are as follows:
The Koryo Poomsae symbolizes the man who possesses the knowledge, characterized by both a strong fighting spirit as well as the righteous spirit of the one who knows. The strength of this spirit has been inherited from the era of Koguryo, Palhae and Silla kingdoms, which are the foundation of Koryo Poomsae.
The Keumgang Poomsae (meaning diamond) has the meaning of hardness and deep thinking. Mount Keumgang at the Korean Peninsula has the power of the spirit centre of the Korean nation and warrior Keumgang Yeoksa, as named by the Buddha, represents the strongest warrior and is the foundation of Keumgang Poomsae.
Taebaek is the name of a mountain (which means Shining Mountain), in which according to the legend, Tangun, founded Korean Nation. Today, this mountain is called Paektu and is the cradle of the Korean people.
Pyongwon is interpreted as a “wide plain”. It is the source of life for all creatures and the field of every human activity. Pyongwon is based on the idea of abundance and vastness.
The word Sipjin means “decimal system”. It is dominated by the idea of perpetual growth of the number 10. It refers to ten creatures with long life duration, namely the sun, moon, water, stone, pine, herb of eternal youth, tortoise, deer and crane. There are two heavenly bodies, 3 natural sources, 2 plants and 3 animals, all giving human things, faith, hope and love.
The word Jitae means “earth.” All natural phenomena result from changes in the earth. This Poomsae reflects the cyclical changes in earth.
The word Chonkwon means Uranus (sky). The sky is considered to be the source from which the world and all creatures come from. Its vastness marks creation, change and completion.
The word “Hansu” means water. Water is the source of the substance that sustains life and grows all the creatures. Hansu symbolizes the birth of life, growth, strength and weakness, generosity and harmony, adaptability.
Ilyeo means “oneness.” The ultimate goal of Buddhism is the state where everything, namely mind, body and spirit are one. It teaches that a point, a line or a circle all end in one and the same. The Ilyeo Poomsae represents this alignment, which is the essence of martial art and is possible after long-time training. It also characterizes the completion of training in Taekwondo.
Breakings using basic or more sophisticated techniques, usually of wooden boards, bricks or special plastic material, demonstrate the ability of raising maximum power in a single moment, at one specific point.
They are particularly used in demonstrations.
In our club we do not perform breakings before the level of black belt, assuming that the trainee’s technique is not yet ready for this.