American Chung Do Kwan Limited
The Korean word poomse translates as "forms" in the English language. In the American Chung Do Kwan Limited, students learn and practice poomse at every level of their training. There are three types of poomse practiced in our association. They are Kibon poomse, Taegeuk poomse, and Black Belt poomse.
Tae Kwon Do poomse consist of both offensive and defensive techniques, that are arranged in a meaningful order in response to attacks from multiple imaginary assailants attacking from different directions. At one time, poomse were the only means that masters had to transmit the essence of their martial art. Students were taught to execute techniques within the poomse at full force. Free sparring, used as a supplement in teaching poomse, did not exist until the twentieth century.
Poomse comprise at least 50% of a student's testing requirements. Mastery of the required poomse is necessary for promotion. Without a thorough understanding of poomse, one cannot fully understand the art and science of Tae Kwon Do.
Constant training in poomse teaches patience and the resolve to overcome any difficulty. Poomse training shows the students how to release tremendous power which develops self-confidence, enabling them to meet any opponent, at any place, and in any situation.
Poomse teach flexibility, grace, balance and coordination. These fundamental exercises develop precision, while training the student in technique, focus, power, and purpose. Eventually, this training permeates every conscious and subconscious action of the student.
Each person is their own worst enemy. In poomse, the body sets its own limits, and therefore, injuries or strains are rare and the physical condition of the student sets the pace of the training automatically. The entire muscular system of the body, from the fingers to the toes, is brought into play.
Tae Kwon Do poomse's high repetition, low resistance movements develop longer, leaner, and more flexible musculature. Such muscles (as opposed to bulky muscles produced by weight lifting) will likely maintain optimal blood supply, which helps promote maximum endurance and well-being.
These forms represent infinity, eternity, no beginning or end, just as an infant looks at the world, or as you look at the sky or an ocean. You are to make the speed of breath and action exact, and move the body weight properly while executing combat-like actions. The translation means that something contains the essence of everything, in other words. your poomse practice will affect your entire life.
Represents heaven and light. Heaven gives us direction to life just as the rain and sun give plants direction to grow. Compare this form to the necessity of water as the most important nutrient required to keep us alive.
Represents joyfulness. This is the state of mind that allows us to remain patient and firm in our self-control so that our smile and virtues always prevail.
Represents fire and sun. Knowing how to control fire is a basic distinction of man from the animals. Fire and sun give us light, warmth, enthusiasm, and hope. Perform the movements with passion and briskness.
Represents thunder and lightning, which are the objects of fear and trembling. We are to practice calm actions and be brave, even in the face of danger or fear. Be confident the blue sky and bright sun will reappear.
Represents wind, knowing that wind can be horrible as are tornados or hurricanes but that the winds of nature are also gentle. Wind symbolizes a humble state of mind and expresses repetitive good-natured deeds. Become your brothers' keeper without expecting reward. Treat others as you wish to be treated.
Represents water which is liquid and formless, never loses its nature, and always follows the path of least resistance. We are to be like water in our attempt to overcome difficulties and hardships. Our level of self- confidence is comparable to an amount of water, one drop is hardly noticed but an uncontrolled drip can cut through the hardest of rock. Imagine the river rock that keeps getting pushed around by the water until it evolves from its jagged start to a highly polished smooth stone. The experiences of life tend to smooth and polish the human spirit.
Represents mountain. When climbing a mountain, we must learn when to stop and rest and when to persist even though the task appears impossible. Man must learn stability from the mountain that never moves; hold true to your beliefs and virtues. Do not act in a hasty manner, do not fall victim to your weaknesses.
Represents earth. We take life from it, grow on it, are buried in it, and are continuously drawing limitless energy from it. The earth hugs and grows everything. You are to learn from nature, be aware of the earth around you, respect nature as it is your lifeblood. You cannot survive without it. Attempt to compliment the earth in all your actions. If you pollute the earth, you are eventually polluting man.
(Korea) - is the name of an ancient dynasty (AD 918-1392) in Korea from which the English word "Korea" originated. Koryo poomsae symbolizes "seonbae" which means a learned man who is characterized by a strong martial spirit as well as a righteous learned man's spirit. The spirit had been inherited through the ages of Koguryo, Pahae and down to Koryo, which is the background of organizing the Koryo poomsae. The line of the poomsae represents the Chinese letter which means "seonbae" or "seonbi," a learned man or a man of virtue in the Korean language.
(Meaning diamond) - signifies "hardness" and "ponderousness." The mountain Keumgang on the Korean Peninsula is regarded as the center of national spirit. "Keungang yoksa" (Keumgang warrior) named by Buddha represents the mightiest of warriors. The poomsae line symbolizes the Chines letter for mountain. The movements should be powerful, well-balanced and dignified.
The name of a mountain with the meaning "bright mountain" where Tangun, the founder of the nation of Korean people, ruled the country. The bright mountain symbolizes sacredness of soul and Tangun's thought of "honik ingan" (humanitarian ideal). There are many sites known as Taebaek, but Mt. Paektu, which is known as the cradle of the Korean people, is the reference here.
A plain which is a vast, stretched-out land. It is the source of life for all creatures and the fields where human beings live their lives. The poomsae Pyongwan was based on the idea of peace and struggle. The joon-be is an overlapping of hands which requires concentration of force in the lower abdomen, the source of body strength, as the land is the source of human life. The line of the poomsae means the origin and transformation of the plain.
The word Sipjin was derived from the concept of 10 longevity which states that there are 10 creatures of long life: sun, moon, mountain, water, stone, pine tree, herb of eternal youth, tortoise, deer and crane. There are 2 heavenly bodies, 3 natural objects, 2 plants, and 3 animals, all giving to human beings faith, hope and love. The poomsae Sipjin symbolizes these things. The Chinese letter meaning ten is the form of the poomsae line, which signifies an infinite numbering of the decimal system and ceaseless development.
The word Jitae means a man with both feet on the ground who is looking at the sky. A man on the earth represents the ways of struggling for human life, such as kicking, walking and jumping on the ground. Therefore, the poomsae symbolizes various aspects occurring in the course of a human being's struggle for existence. The poomsae line signifies a man standing on the earth to spring up toward the heavens.
The word Chonkwon means the Heaven's Great Mighty, which is the origin of all creatures and the cosmos itself. Its infinite competence signifies creation, change and completion. Human beings have used the name of Heaven for all principal earthly shapes and meanings because they felt afraid of the Heaven's Mighty. Over 9,000 years ago, the founder of the Korean people, "Hwanin" (Tangun) was created by the heavenly king. He settled down in the "heavenly" town, the capitol, near the heavenly sea and the heavenly mountain where the Han people, the heavenly race, gave birth to the proper thought and actions from which Taekwondo originated. The poomsae Chonkwon is based on such sublime history and thoughts. The characteristics of movements are large actions and arm actions forming gentle curves, thus symbolizing the greatness of chonkwon thought. The poomsae line "T" symbolizes a man coming down from heaven, submitting to the will of heaven, being endowed with power by heaven and worshipping heaven, which means the oneness between Heaven and a human being.