Black Belt Forms, WTF

WTF Taekwondo has nine black belt forms. Each represents a different aspect of Taekwondo development and level, and each has its own philosophical meaning.

In black belt forms competition today, it not unheard of for participants to do any of the forms which would be assigned by either the judges or the competition officials., not just the form of their current black belt level. Thus a first degree black belt may have to learn forms up to fourth degree (and beyond) for some competitions.

The meaning of each form also indicates a way to practice and perform the poomse.

Kumkang Poomse, by Kathryn Lichlyter

  • 1. Koryo (Korea): Represents the fighting spirit of the ancient Korean culture and people. This form should be performed with power and spirit.
  • 2. Kumkang (Diamond): Represents the beautiful mountains in Korea. This form should be performed like the stable mountain that it represents with grace and beauty but stability. This form is also described as "too strong to be broken" or “immovable.”
  • 3. Taebek (Sacred Mountain): Taebek is the ancient name of Mount Peakdo (or Beakdo or Paekdu), considered the ancestral mountain of Korea. This mountain was the historical birthplace of Choson, where Tan-Gun founded the kingdom, over 4,300 years ago. It is one of the best-known geographical spots in Korea. The black belt should perform this poomse with precision and dexterity as a sign of respect for Taekwondo’s Korean cultural heritage.
  • 4. Pyung Won (Vast Plain): Represents fertile plains where people live on the crops and farms they cultivate themselves. The student should perform it as a graceful dance.
  • 5. Ship Jin (Symmetry): Represents endless growth and balanced learning. Literally, it means “decimal system,” indicating the value of order in life. Strive to perform this poomse with balance, precision and control.
  • 6. Ji Tae (Earth): Represents the changes in the earth. Perform it with an emphasis on rooted stances, to represent connections with the earth.
  • 7. Chun Kwon (Sky): Represents the mystery of the sky. The sky has always stimulated the imagination. Perform this poomse with the respect for the balance of life, but with the optimism of imagination. [The Chun Kwon poosme movements are the exact opposite of the movements of Ji Tae (6) demonstrating the balance of earth and sky]
  • 8. Han Soo (Water): Represents water, which adjusts to any situation, which can both weak and powerful. Perform this poomse with fluid movements but with power execution.
  • 9. Ill Yo (Oneness): Represents the Buddhist goal of enlightenment – the state in which the mind, body and spirit are one. Perform this poomse with a concentration that cannot be disturbed by outside influences.

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