Poomsae (Patterns or forms)

Poomsae are a series of movements for offense and defence techniques which can be practiced and trained, even without presence of an instructor, in accordance with the fixed patterns.
Taekwondo beginners at Chungdokwan practice the Taegeuk poomsae. By learning the poomsae the student learns the basics; the foundations of taekwondo.

Things to considerations when training in poomsae
Students should seek to understand of the significance / meaning of poomsae

Students should memorise of the poomsae line, movements and direction. Repetition is king here. Practice until the body, not just the mind know the poomsae. All poomsae should be practiced frequently.

During practice, the following must be taken into consideration :
(a) The eyes
(b) Movement and centre of balance
(c) Low or high speed
(d) Strong or weak force
(e) Respiration
(f) Use of qi (chi)

Learning a new poomsae
The first step of training poomsae is to learn the pattern. Learn what each movement is for / interpretation of the Master of each move.

Next, think about the balance, strength and weakness, low or high speed, respiration and poomsae line.

The student should apply the poomsae to their own practical use.

Students should look for their own style when performing the poomsae. They should take into consideration their own body structure, speed, strength, ability to use qi (chi), their practical application of each movement and combination.

Types of Poomsae
Kup grade students practice il jang (Pattern 1) to pal jang (Patern 8).

Poomsaes from Koryo up to Ilyo are classified as Dan-grade patterns , i.e., black-belt poomsaes.

The poomsaes consists of basic movements and poom and they are so arranged to fit the frame of movement direction, which is called the poomsae line. The poomsae lines are follow the shapes of symbols or Chinese characters.

Taegeuk poomsae : These poomsae follow the 8 divination signs (bars) in the Oriental science of divination and it is generally expressed by a Chinese character, meaning a king. 4 of these can be seen on the South Korean flag (originally the flag displayed all eight but was simplified some time ago)

Koryo poomsae : the shape of a Chinese character, meaning a learned man.

Keumgang poomsae : a Chinese character, meaning a mountain (Mt. Diamond)

Taebaek poomsae : a Chinese character, meaning an artisan.

Pyongwon poomsae : a Chinese character, meaning one.

Sipjin poomsae : a Chinese character, meaning ten.

Jitae poomsae : the shape of a Korean vowel, sounding “oh”

Chonkwon poomsae : the shape of a Korean vowel, sounding “wu”

Hansu poomsae : a Chinese character, meaning water.

Illyo poomsae : the shape of a reversed swastika sign.

irection of Poomsae Lines
Na : the starting point of each poomsae
Ga : the forward direction
Da : the left side from the starting point.
Ra : the right side from the starting point.
Ma : the backward direction towards starting point.