Meaning of Poomsae
The World Taekwondo Federation (W.T.F) uses poomsaes for patterns. Poomsaes originate from the book ‘I Ching’, a Chinese oracle. The I Ching has 64 hexagrams, a combination of two sets of three lines, closed or broken. The sets of three lines are called trigrams. The closed lines represent Yang, the open lines Yin. In the Chinese language, the unity of Yin and Yang is called ‘taich’i’. In the Korean language, the unity is called Tae-guek. This explains the term poomsae Taeguek. Taeguek represents the most profound oriental philosophy, from which oriental philosophical views on the world, cosmos and life are derived. Taeguek has no form, no beginning, no ending, yet everything comes from Taeguek. Taeguek is something that contains the essence of everything.
Taekwondo poomsae (pattern) is a combination of techniques of block and attack performed consecutively while moving in certain directions. There are a series of poomsaes designed to correspond with each learning level from beginner to advanced. The proper way to learn and practice poomsae is to first know the name of the poomsae then determine the three components of each movement in the order of: Direction, Stance and Technique of block or attack. The movements in poomsae range from simple to complex. poomsaes are executed at varying speeds (slow, normal or fast) and on different stances. Some actions require breath and muscular control.
Poomsaes serve a multi-dimensional role, aiding in development and refinement of coordination, balance, timing, breath control and rhythm, all of which are essential skills to the Taekwondo student.