Meaning of the symbol Taegeuk
Taegeuk is a symbol representing the principles of the cosmos creation and the
norms of human life. The circumference of the Taegeuk mark symbolizes infinity and
the two parts, red and blue, inside the circle symbolize yin (negative) and yang
(positive), which look like rotating all the time. Therefore, Taegeuk is the light which
is the unified core of the cosmos and human life and its boundlessness signifies
energy and the source of life. The yin and yang represents the development of the
cosmos and human life and the oneness of symmetrical halves, such as negative and
positive, hardness and softness, and materials and anti-materials.
The eight bar-signs (called kwae) outside the circle are so arranged to go along with
the Taegeuk in an orderly system. One bar means the yang and two bars the yin,
both representing the creation of harmonization with the basic principles of all
cosmos phenomena. The Taegeuk, infinity and yin-yang are the three elements
constituting the philosophical trinity as mentioned in the Samil Sinko, the Scripture
of Korean race.
Taegeuk Ill(1) Jang
Taegeuk 1 Jang represents the symbol of “Keon”, one of the 8 Kwaes (divination
signs), which means the heaven and “yang”. As the “Keon” symbolizes the beginning
of the creation of all things in the universe, so does the Taegeuk 1 jang in the
training of Taekwondo. This poomsae is charaterized by its easiness in practicing,
largely consisting of walking and basic actions, such as arae-makki, momtongmakki, momtong-jireugi and ap-chagi. The 8th Kup-grade trainees practice this
Taegeuk Ii(2) Jang
Taegeuk 2 Jang symbolizes the “Tae”, one of the 8 divination signs, which signifies
the inner firmness and the outer softness. An introduction of the olguljireugi is a
new development of Taegeuk poomsae. The apchagi actions appear more frequently
than in Taegeuk 1 Jang. The 7th Kup-grade trainees practice this poomsae.
Taegeuk Sam(3) Jang
Taegeuk 3 Jang symbolizes the “Ree”, one of the 8 divination signs, which represents
“hot and bright”. This is to encourage the trainees to harbor a sense of justice and
ardor for training. A successful accomplishment of this poomsae will give the trainees
a promotion to a blue belter. New actions are sonnal mokchigi, sonnal makki and
the dwitkubi stance. This poomsae is characterized by successive makki and
jireugi, chagi and continued jireugi. Emphasis is laid on the counterattacks against
the opponent’s attack. The 6th Kup-grade trainees can practice this poomsae.
Taegeuk Sa(4) Jang
Taegeuk 4 Jang symbolizes the “Jin”, one of the 8 divination signs, which represents
the thunder meaning great power and dignity. New techniques are sonnal
momtongmakki, pyonsonkkeuttzireugi, jebipoom mokchigi, yopchagi,
momtong bakkatmakki, deungjumeok olgulapchigi. It is characterized by
various movements in preparation for the kyorugi and lots of dwitkubi seogi cases.
The 5th Kup-grade trainees practice this poomsae.
Taegeuk Oh(5) Jang
Taegeuk 5 Jang symbolizes the “Son”, one of the 8 divination signs, which
represents the wind, meaning both mighty force and calmness according to its
strength and weakness. New movements are mejumeok naeryochigi, palkup
dollyo-chigi, palkup pyojeokchigi and such stances as kkoaseogi, wenseogi
and oreunseogi. This is characterized by the successive makki such as araemakki
and momtongmakki and also the chigi by tumbling after jumping. The 4th Kup grade
trainees practice this poomsae.
Taegeuk Yuk(6) Jang
Taegeuk 6 Jang symbolizes the “Kam”, one of the 8 divination signs, which
represents water, meaning incessant flow and softness. New movements are
hansonnal olgul bitureo makki, dollyo-chagi, olgul bakkat-makki, arae hecho
makki, and batangson momtong-makki. One should be careful to make the
kicking foot land on the ground correctly after dollyo-chagi and to lower the hand by
a palm’s length at the time of delivering a batangson momtong-makki lower than in
the palmok-makki. This is practiced by the 3rd Kup-graders.
Taegeuk Chil(7) Jang
Taegeuk 7 Jang symbolizes the “Kan”, one of the 8 divination signs, which
represents the mountain, meaning ponderosity and firmness. New movements are
sonnal araemakki, batangson kodureomakki, bojumeok kawimakki,
mureupchigi, momtong hechomakki, dujumeok jeocho jireugi, arae otkoreo
makki, deungjumeok bakkat chigi, pyojeok-chagi, yop-jireugi and such
stances as beomseogi and juchumseogi. Smooth connection of movement is
important for training. The 2nd Kup-graders practice this poomsae.
Taegeuk Pal(8) Jang
Taegeuk 8 Jang symbolizes the “Kon”, one of the 8 divination signs, which
represents “Yin” and earth, meaning the root and settlement and also the begining
and the end. This is the last of the 8 Taegeuk poomsaes, which may enable the
trainees to undergo the Dan (black belt) promotion test. New movements are dubal
dangseong apchagi, momtong kodureo bakkatmakki, arae kodureo makki,
twiochagi, and palkup dollyochigi. Emphasis must be laid on the accuracy of
stepping and the difference between jumping-over kick and dubal-dangsong
(alternate jumping kick in the air). The 1st Kup-grade trainees practice this