Movements - 38
Ready Posture - PARALLEL READY STANCE
YUL-GOK is the pseudonym of a great philosopher and
scholar Yi l (1536-1584) nicknamed the
"Confucius of Korea" The 38 movements of this pattern
refer to his birthplace on 38 latitude
and the diagram represents "scholar".
Yul-Gok is the pseudonym of the great philosopher Yi I (1536-1584 AD), nicknamed "the Confucius of Korea."
Ojuk-hon "Black Bamboo Shrine" is the birthplace of the prominent Confucian scholar/statesman/poet Yi I, more
popularly known by his pen name Yul-Gok "Valley of Chestnuts". He was one of a select group of Neo-Confucianists
who became powerful during the 16th century. Among the many positions he held were royal appointments as Korea's
minister of personnel and war, and rector of the national academy.
Yi I was born on December 26, 1536. He was an infant prodigy who knew Chinese script at the age of three and
composed poems in Chinese before the age of seven. By the age of seven, he had finished his lessons in the Confucian
Classics. He passed the civil service examination in the literary department at the age of 13.
Born near the town of Kang-Nung in Kwangwon-Do province, Yi I (Yul-Gok) was fortunate to have a very talented and
artistic mother, Sin Saim-Dang. She was unusually accomplished for a woman of those times and was known as an
excellent painter. Well-respected throughout Chulla and Kyongsang provinces during her lifetime, she has become more
renowned throughout the world in the last 300 years. It is most likely that her talent had a profound effect on her son's
upbringing, he is said to have been able to write characters as soon as he could speak and to have composed an essay
at the age of seven.
At the age of 29, Yi I passed a higher civil service examination with the highest marks, and his government service started
in that year. The thesis written by Yi I was a literary masterpiece interwoven with erudite knowledge of history and
Confucian philosophy of politics, also reflecting his profound knowledge of Taoism. At age 34, Yi I authored an eleven
article treatise devoted to clarifying his conviction that righteous government could be realized even in his days, showing
his aspirations for it and also measures to achieve it.
His mother's death, when he was 36 years old, brought him deep sorrow. Being close to his mother, Yi I was very
distressed when she died in 1559. According to some sources, as a result of this grief he temporarily renounced the
world and took refuge in a Zen Buddhist monastery in the rugged and beautiful Diamond Mountains. During his one-year
stay there, he meditated, reflected on Buddhist philosophy, and became well-versed in Buddhist teachings. He may have
thought after three years of lamentation that the Buddhist phrase, "life is transient", would ease his sorrow. He may have
understood that the Confucian teaching, "preserve your mind and nurture your nature", was synonymous with the
Buddhist teaching, "open your mind and see your nature." Finally, he may have regarded it as a pleasure simply to rest in
the countryside. After leaving this monastery, he returned to society and devoted his life to studying Confucianism. In
later years, as he developed into a renowned philosopher, he acquired the pseudonym Yul-Gok.
In September of the year he turned 40 years of age, he authored "The Essentials of Confucianism", which is rated as a
most valuable book showing examples for a good Confucian life. The Yul Gok Chônjip ("The Complete Works of Yul
Gok") was compiled after his death on the basis of the writings he bequeathed.
Yul-Gok was well-known for his development of a school of thought concerning the philosophy of the 12th century
Confucian scholar Chu-Hsi. Chu-Hsi established the concepts of "li" (reason or abstract form) and "chi" (matter or vital
force). He proposed that these two concepts were responsible for all human characteristics and the operation of the
universe. As he defined the concepts, they are very similar to the concepts of body and soul in found in Western
philosophy and religion. The "li," however, is not totally synonymous with the idea of an individual represents groups or
models for each form of existence. Yul-Gok's school of thought supported the concept that the "chi" was the controlling
agent in the universe and that the "li" was a supporting component. Experience, education, and practical intellectual
activities were stressed in this school of thought. The other major school of thought, stemming from the philosophy of
Chu Hsi ,was fostered by Yi Hwang (Yi ToiGye), who proposed that the "li" controlled the "chi" and stressed the
importance of moral character building
Yul-Gok's school of thought was carried over into his personal life. In fact, he took sincerity very seriously. "A sincere
man," he felt, "was a man that knew the realism of heaven." He once wrote that a house could not sustain harmony
unless every family member was sincere. He felt that, when confronted with misfortune, a man must carry out a deep
self-reflection to find and correct his own mistakes. In addition to his commitment to society, Yul-Gok emphasized the
value of practical application. The reason for study, he asserted, was to apply the knowledge one gained. As an example
of his dedication to this belief, he is said to have manufactured his own hoes and worked at the bellows, which was not
usually done by a person of his stature. This attitude toward life was consistent with his concern for the improvement of
the individual as well as for society as a whole.
Yul-Gok's concern for sincerity, loyalty, and the improvement of the individual was manifested in his own actions toward
others. His stepmother enjoyed drinking wine, a practice Yul-Gok never approved of. Every morning, year after year, he
brought her several cups of wine, never reproaching her for her habit. Finally, she decided on her own to stop drinking
without ever having been told of his displeasure. In gratitude for those years of non-judgmental dedication, Yul-Gok's
stepmother clad herself in white mourning attire for three years after his death.
Yul-Gok was also deeply involved in government and public affairs. He passed the state examinations at the very young
age of 24 and was ultimately appointed to several ministerial positions including that of Minister of Defense. He did more
for establishing a mechanism to obtain the opinion of the common people, a national consensus, than any man in Korean
history. Popular opinion of the masses, he felt, must arise spontaneously from the total population. He knew that the
survival and vitality of a kingdom depended directly upon whether public opinion was obtained from all sections of the
population. Yul-Gok felt that public resentment could be directly attributed to misrule. Therefore, rulers should pay closer
heed to the voices of their subjects. He was convinced that when impoverished people are deprived of their humanity,
morality crumbles, and penal systems are rendered ineffective. Because of his beliefs and his fear for the survival of the
kingdom, Yul-Gok initiated many attempts at government reform. In one such effort, he sought to establish local
government structures that were based on an education according to the philosophy of Chu-Hsi. He drew up set of
village articles (Hyang-Yak) designed to instruct the villagers of Hae-ju in Confucian ethics. This government, however,
was run by the elite class (Yang-Ban) and ultimately failed due to corruption.
Yul-Gok was also the first to propose the Tendong (Great Equity) System for solving the financial crisis of the Korean
government. Under the Tendong System, taxes would be levied on land rather than on house holds and government
would be required to purchase local products with tax dollars.
In addition to his active involvement, Yul-Gok was also inadvertently pulled into a serious political squabble by virtue of
his philosophy. In 1575, the Korean government became mired in a political stalemate that ultimately contributed to its
inability to repulse the invasion by Japan some ten years later. Two distinct factions, polarized within the Korean
government, were constantly at each other's throats. These factions originally arose as a result of a personal quarrel
between two men, Sim Ui-Gyom and Kim Hyo-Won. Ultimately, every official in the government had to align himself with
one side or the other or risk attack by both. Since Kim's residence was in the Eastern quarter of Seoul and Sim's was in
the western quarter, these two factions became known as the Easterners and the Westerners, respectively. This feuding
continued long after Kim and Sim had disappeared from public life, and often took the guise of schemes designed to
have members of the rival faction exiled, removed from office, or executed on false charges. These two factions were not
only at odds politically but soon became philosophically opposed, with the easterners following the teachings of
Yi-Hwang and the western faction following the teachings of Yul-Gok. These philosophical differences tended to drive the
two factions further apart, increased the conflicts, and made the functioning of government virtually impossible.
In 1583, a year before his death, Yul-Gok proposed that the government train and equip a 100,000-man Army Reserve
Corps. This suggestion, like others he recommended, was undermined by minor officials who were caught up with the
east-west political conflict within the government. It was unfortunate that this suggestion concerning national security
was never allowed to be implemented. Nine years later, the Korean military forces and government officials failed in their
resistance against the invasion by the Japanese army of Hideyoshi, resulting in the occupation of Korea.
Although never really permitted to see his theories and systems applied due to the political environment of the time,
Yul-Gok nonetheless was an extraordinary philosopher. Long after his death in 1584, Yul-Gok has continued to have a
profound effect Upon Korea and the world as a result of his lifelong dedication to Confucianism and theory of
|Rare International Tae Kwon-Do (ITF) video produced with the
GENERAL CHOI on North Korea, you can see Grand Master Park Jung
Tae, Grand Master Choi Jung Wha and other masters of the ITF
performing tuls and explaining the movements of each tul.
Dan-Gun, Do-San, Won-Hyo and Yul-Gok
Ready Posture - PARALLEL READY STANCE
1.Move the left foot to B forming a sitting stance toward D while extending the left fist to D horizontally.
2.Execute a middle punch to D with the right fist while maintaining a sitting stance toward D.
3.Execute a middle punch to D with the left fist while maintaining a sitting stance toward D. Perform 2 and 3 in a fast
4.Bring the left foot to the right foot and then move the right foot to A forming a sitting stance toward D while
extending the right fist to D horizontally.
5.Execute a middle punch to D with the left fist while maintaining a sitting stance toward D.
6.Execute a middle punch to D with the right fist while maintaining a sitting stance toward D. Perform 5 and 6 in a fast
7.Move the right foot to Ad forming a right walking stance toward AD while executing a middle side block to AD with
the right inner forearm.
8.Execute a low front snap kick to AD with the left foot keeping the position of the hands as they were in 7.
9.Lower the left foot to AD forming a left walking stance toward AD while executing a middle punch to AD with the left
10.Execute a middle punch to AD with the right fist while maintaining a left walking stance toward AD. Perform 9 and
10 in a fast motion.
11.Move the left foot to BD forming a left walking stance toward BD at the same time executing a middle side block to
BD with the left inner forearm.
12.Execute a low front snap kick to BD with the right foot keeping the position of the hands as they were in 11.
13.Lower the right foot to BD forming a right walking stance toward BD while executing a middle punch to BD with the
14.Execute a middle punch to BD with the left fist while maintaining a right walking stance toward BD. Perform 13 and
14 in a fast motion.
15.Execute a middle hooking block to D with the right palm while forming a right walking stance toward D, pivoting
with the left foot.
16.Execute a middle hooking block to D with the left palm while maintaining a right walking stance toward D.
17.Execute a middle punch to D with the right fist while maintaining a right walking stance toward D. Execute 16 and
17 in a connecting motion.
18.Move the left foot to D forming a left walking stance toward D while executing a middle hooking block to D with the
19.Execute a middle hooking block to D with the right palm while maintaining a left walking stance toward D.
20.Execute a middle punch to D with the left fist while maintaining a left walking stance toward D. Execute 19 and 20
in a connecting motion.
21.Move the right foot to D forming a right walking stance toward D at the same time executing a middle punch to D
with the right fist.
22.Turn the face toward D forming a right bending ready stance A toward D.
23.Execute a middle side piercing kick to D with the left foot.
24.Lower the left foot to D forming a left walking stance toward D while striking the left palm with the right front elbow.
25.Turn the face toward C forming a left bending ready stance A toward C.
26.Execute a middle side piercing kick to C with the right foot.
27.Lower the right foot to C forming a right walking stance toward C while striking the right palm with the left front
28.Move the left foot to E forming a right L-stance toward E while executing a twin knife-hand block.
29.Move the right foot to E forming a right walking stance toward E while executing a middle thrust to E with the right
straight finger tip.
30.Move the right foot to F turning clockwise to form a left L-stance toward F while executing a twin knife-hand block.
31.Move the left foot to F forming a left walking stance toward F while executing a middle thrust to F with the left
straight finger tip.
32.Move the left foot to C forming a left walking stance toward C while executing a high side block to C with the left
33.Execute a middle punch to C with the right fist while maintaining a left walking stance toward C.
34.Move the right foot to C forming a right walking stance toward C while executing a high side block to C with the
right outer forearm.
35.Execute a middle punch to C with the left fist while maintaining a right walking stance toward C.
36.Jump to C forming a left X-stance toward B while executing a high side strike to C with the left back fist.
37.Move the right foot to A forming a right walking stance toward A at the same time executing a high block to A with
the right double forearm.
38.Bring the right foot to the left foot and then move the left foot to B forming a left walking stance toward B while
executing a high block to B with the left double forearm.
END: Bring the left foot back to a ready posture.