TAEKWON-DO...........A way of life.
What exactly is the meaning of Taekwon-Do?
Translated literally "Tae" stands for jumping or flying, to kick or smash with the foot. "Kwon" denotes the fist-chiefly to punch or
destroy with the hand or fist. "Do" means an art or way - the right way built and paved by the saints and sages in the past.
Thus taken collectively "Taekwon-Do" indicates the mental training and the techniques of unarmed combat for self-defense as well as
health, involving the skilled application of punches, kicks, blocks and dodges with bare hands and feet to the rapid destruction of the
moving opponent or opponents
To put it simply Taekwon-Do is a version of unarmed combat designed for the purpose of self-defense. It is more than just that,
however. It is the scientific use of the body in the method of self-defense; a body that has gained the ultimate use of its facilities
through intensive physical and mental training.
It is a martial art that has no equal in either power or technique. Though it is a martial art, its discipline, technique and mental training
are the mortar for building a strong sense of justice, fortitude, humility and resolve. It is this mental conditioning that separates the true
practitioner from the sensationalist, content with mastering only the fighting aspects of the art.
Patterns (tul) in are performed in accordance with "The Encyclopedia of Taekwon-Do" in 15 volumes written by General Choi
Hong Hi, the latest edition being from 1999. This comprehensive work contains 15 volumes with volumes 8 through 15 dedicated
to the 24 patterns and containing descriptions of the pattern movements as well as pictures showing possible applications of some
of the movements.
CHON-JI means literally "the Heaven the Earth". It is, in the Orient, interpreted as the creation of the world or the beginning of
human history, therefore, it is the initial pattern played by the beginner. This pattern consists of two similar parts; one to represent
the Heaven and the other the Earth.
It is said that the pattern was named after Lake Chon-Ji, a beautiful lake in North Korea
with water so clear and calm that you can literally see the Heaven meeting the Earth. 9th Gup
DAN-GUN is named after the holy Dan-Gun, the legendary founder of Korea in the year of 2333 B.C. 8th Gup
DO-SAN is the pseudonym of the patriot Ahn Chang-Ho (1876-1938). The 24 movements represent his entire life which he
devoted to furthering the education of Korea and its independence movement. 7th Gup
WON-HYO was the noted monk who introduced Buddhism to the Silla Dynasty in the year
of 686 A.D. 6th Gup
YUL-GOK is the pseudonym of a great philosopher and scholar Yi I (1536-1584) nicknamed the "Confucius of Korea". The 38
movements of this pattern refer to his birthplace on 38o latitude and the diagram represents "scholar". 5th Gup
JOONG-GUN is named after the patriot Ahn Joong-Gun who assassinated Hiro-Bumi Ito, the first Japanese governor-general of
Korea, known as the man who played the leading part in the Korea- Japan merger. There are 32 movements in this pattern to
represent Mr. Ahn’s age when he was executed at Lui-Shung prison (1910). 4th Gup
TOI-GYE is the pen name of the noted scholar Yi Hwang (16th century), an authority on neo-Confucianism. The 37 movements
of the pattern refer to his birthplace on 37o latitude, the diagram represents "scholar". 3rd Gup
HWA-RANG is named after the Hwa-Rang youth group which originated in the Silla Dynasty in the early 7th century. The 29
movements refer to the 29th Infantry Division, where Taekwon-Do developed into maturity.
The meaning of this pattern sometimes causes confusion as it refers to two time periods,
the Hwa-Rang youth group of the 7th century and the Korean 29th Infantry Division formed by General Choi in 1953. 2nd Gup
CHOONG-MOO was the name given to the great Admiral Yi Soon-Sin of the Lee Dynasty. He was reputed to have invented the
first armoured battleship (Kobukson) in 1592, which is said to be the precursor of the present day submarine. The reason why this
pattern ends with a left hand attack is to symbolize his regrettable death, having no chance to show his unrestrained potentiality
checked by the forced reservation of his loyalty to the king. 1st Gup
KWANG-GAE Is named after the famous Kwang-Gae-Toh-Wang, the 19th King of the Koguryo Dynasty, who regained all the
lost territories including the greater part of Manchuria. The diagram (+) represents the expansion and recovery of lost territory.
The 39 movements refer to the first two figures of 391 A.D., the year he came to the throne. 1st Dan
PO-EUN is the pseudonym of a loyal subject Chong Mong-Chu (1400) who was a famous poet and whose poem "I would not
serve a second master though I might be crucified a hundred times" is known to every Korean. He was also a pioneer in the field
of physics. The diagram ( – ) represents his unerring loyalty to the king and country towards the end of
the Koryo Dynasty. 1st Dan
GE-BAEK is named after Ge-Baek, a great general in the Baek Je Dynasty (660 A.D.). The diagram ( | ) represents his severe and
strict military discipline. 1st Dan
EUI-AM is the pseudonym of Son Byong Hi, leader of the Korean independence movement on March 1, 1919. The 45
movements refer to his age when he changed the name of Dong Hak (Oriental Culture) to Chondo Kyo (Heavenly Way Religion)
in 1905. The diagram ( | ) represents his indomitable spirit, displayed while dedicating himself to the prosperity of his nation. 2nd
CHOONG-JANG is the pseudonym given to General Kim Duk Ryang who lived during the Lee Dynasty, 14th century. This
pattern ends with a left-hand attack to symbolize the tragedy
of his death at 27 in prison before he was able to reach full maturity. 2nd Dan
JUCHE is a philosophical idea that man is the master of everything and decides everything,
in other words, the idea that man is the master of the world and his own destiny. It is said that this idea was rooted in Baekdu
Mountain which symbolizes the spirit of the Korean people.The diagram ( | ) represents Baekdu Mountain. 2nd Dan
KO-DANG is the pseudonym of the patriot Cho Man Sik who dedicated his life to the independence movement and education of
Korea. The 39 movements of the pattern show the number of times of his imprisonment as well as the location of his birthplace
on 39 degrees latitude.
Ko-Dang was replaced by Juche in the early 1980s, either in the year 1982 or 1983.
SAM-IL denotes the historical date of the independence movement of Korea which began throughout the country on March 1,
1919. The 33 movements in the pattern stand for the
33 patriots who planned the movement. 3rd Dan
YOO-SIN is named after General Kim Yoo Sin, a commanding general during the Silla Dynasty. The 68 movements refer to the
last two figures of 668 A. D., the year Korea was united. The ready posture signifies a sword drawn on the right rather than left
side, symbolizing Yoo Sin’s mistake of following his king’s orders to fight with foreign forces against his own nation. 3rd Dan
CHOI-YONG is named after General Choi Yong, Premier and Commander-in-Chief of the
Armed forces during the 14th century Koryo Dynasty. Choi Yong was greatly respected
for his loyalty, patriotism, and humility. He was executed by his subordinate commanders headed by General Yi Sung Gae, who
later become the first king of the Lee Dynasty. 3rd Dan
YON-GAE is named after a famous general during the Koguryo Dynasty, Yon Gae Somoon. The 49 movements refer to the last
two figures of 649 A. D., the Year he forced the Tang Dynasty to quit Korea after destroying nearly 300,000 of their troops at
Ansi Sung. 4th Dan
UL-JI is named after general Ul-Ji Moon Dok who successfully defended Korea against a Tang’s invasion force of nearly one
million soldiers led by Yang Je in 612 A.D., Ul-Ji employing hit and run guerilla tactics, was able to decimate a large percentage of
the force. The diagram ( L) represents his surname. The 42 movements represents the author’s age when he designed the pattern
MOON-MOO honors the 30th king of the Silla Dynasty. His body was buried near Dae Wang Am (Great King’s Rock).
According to his will, the body was placed in the sea "Where my
soul shall forever defend my land against the Japanese." It is said that the Sok Gul Am (Stone Cave) was built to guard his tomb.
The Sok Gul Am is a fine example of the culture of the Silla Dynasty. The 61 movements in this pattern symbolize the last two
figures of 661
A.D. when Moon Moo came to the throne. 4th Dan
SO-SAN is the pseudonym of the great monk Choi Hyong Ung (1520-1604) during the Lee Dynasty. The 72 movements refer to
his age when he organized a corps of monk soldiers with the assistance of his pupil Sa Myung Dang. The monk soldiers helped
repulse the Japanese pirates who overran most of the Korean peninsula in 1592. 5th Dan
SE-JONG is named after the greatest Korean king, Se-Jong, who invented the Korean alphabet in 1443, and was also a noted
meteorologist. The diagram (Z) represents the king, while the 24 movements refer to the 24 letters of the Korean alphabet. 5th Dan
TONG-IL denotes the resolution of the unification of Korea which has been divided since 1945. The diagram ( | ) symbolizes the
homogeneous race. 6th Dan
TAEKWON-DO: COMPOSITION OF TAEKWON-DO (Taekwon-Do Goosung)
Taekwon-Do is composed of fundamental movements, patterns, dallyon, sparring and self-defense techniques that are so closely
related that it is impossible to segregate one phase of instruction from another. Fundamental movements are necessary for sparring and
patterns, while both patterns and sparring are indispensable for perfection of fundamental movements.
One can see it is difficult to distinguish the beginning of the cycle from the end. There is, in fact, like the Deity, no beginning or end. A
student will find that he will have to return time and time again to the beginning fundamental movements to perfect his advanced
sparring and self-defence techniques.
Each fundamental movement, in most cases, represents and attack or defense against a particular target area or definite action of an
imaginary opponent or opponents. It is necessary to learn as many fundamental movements as possible and fit them into complete
proficiency so the student can meet any situation in actual combat with confidence. The pattern actually places the student in a
hypothetical situation where he must avail himself to defense, counterattack, and attack motions, against several opponents. Through
constant practice of these patterns, the attack and defense become a conditioned reflex movement. Power and speed must be
developed to such a high degree that only one single blow is needed to stop an opponent, so the student can shift stance and block or
attack another opponent. Each pattern is different from the other in order to develop reaction against changing circumstances.
Once the basic patterns are mastered, the student then begins to physically apply the skill obtained from fundamental patterns and
movements to sparring against actual moving opponents.
Collaterally with sparring, the student must begin to develop his body and toughen his attacking and blocking tools so he is able to
deliver maximum damage in actual combat. Once a student has applied himself to fundamental movements, patterns, sparring and
dallyon, then the time has arrived for the student to test his coordination, speed, balance, and concentration against spontaneous
attacks: ie. self-defense. The student will constantly find himself returning, however, to his fundamentals even when he has achieved
the highest possible degree of self-defense techniques. As in military training, Taekwon-Do progression follows a certain parallel:
1. Fundamental Movements = Individual soldier's basic training
2. Dallyon = Maintenance of equipment
3. Patterns = Platoon tactics
4. Sparring = Field exercises in simulated combat conditions
5. Self-defense = Actual Combat