Forms, or Poomses in Korean language, are a series of defending and attacking movements performed against imaginary opponents in a set pattern. Through the practice of forms, students come to learn the applications of various techniques of Taekwondo. Forms 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.


W.T.F. uses Poomses for patterns. Poomses 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 T'ae-guk. This explains the term Poomse Taeguk. The eight trigrams together are called Pal-gwe as in Poomse Palgwe...

Poomse Taeguk/Palgwe Il Jang -- Heaven
(South, Father) The first Taeguk/Palgwe is the beginning of all Poomses. The associated trigram represents Yang (heaven, light), therefore, this Poomse should be performed with the greatness of Heaven.
Poomse Taeguk/Palgwe Ee Jang -- Lake
(South East, Youngest daughter) In the depths of the lake are treasures and mysteries. The movements of this Taeguk/Palgwe should be performed knowing that man has limitations, but that we can overcome these limitations. This should lead to a feeling of joy, knowing that we can control our future.
Poomse Taeguk/Palgwe Sam Jang -- Fire
(East, Second daughter) Fire contains a lot of energy. Fire helped man to survive, but on the other hand had some catastrophical results. This form should be performed rhythmically, with some outbursts of energy.
Poomse Taeguk/Palgwe Sa Jang -- Thunder
(North East, Eldest son) Thunder comes from the sky and is absorbed by the earth. Thunder is one of the most powerful natural forces, circling, gyrating. This Taeguk/Palgwe should be performed with this in mind.
Poomse Taeguk/Palgwe Oh Jang -- Wind
(South West, Eldest daughter) Wind is a gently force, but can sometimes be furious, destroying everything in it's path. Poomse Taeguk/Palgwe Oh Jang should be performed like the wind: gently, but knowing the ability of mass destruction with a single movement.
Poomse Taeguk/Palgwe Yook Jang -- Water
(West, Second son) Water can move a mountain. The movements of this Poomse should be performed like water. Sometimes standing still like water in a lake, sometimes thriving as a river.
Poomse Taeguk/Palgwe Chil Jang -- Mountain
(North West, Youngest son) Mountains will always look majestic, no matter the size. This Poomse should be performed with the feeling that all movements are this majestic and deserved to be praised.
Poomse Taeguk/Palgwe Pal Jang -- Earth
(North, Mother) The associated trigram of this Poomse is Yin: the end of the beginning, the evil part of all that is good. Even in this darkness, there is still some light. Performing this Taeguk/Palgwe, one should be aware that this is the last Taeguk/Palgwe to be learned, it also is the end of a circle, and therefore it is also the first, the second etc...
Both Palgwe's and Taeguk's are numbered from one to eight. After this point, there is no longer a difference between the patterns. The patterns below follow the Poomse Taeguks as well as the Poomse Palgwes.
Poomse Koryo
Koryo (Korea) is the name of an old Korean Dynasty. The people from the Koryo-period defeated the Mongolian aggressors. Their spirit is reflected in the movements of the Poomse Koryo. Each movement of this Poomse represents the strength and energy needed to control the Mongols.
Poomse Keumgang
The definition of Keumgang is "Too strong to be broken", or "diamond". The movements of the Poomse Keumgang are as beautiful as the Keumgang-san (a Korean mountain) and as strong as Keumgang-seok (diamond).
Poomse TaeBaek
The legendary 'Dangoon' founded a nation in Taebaek, near Korea's biggest mountain Baekdoo. Baekdoo is a symbol for Korea. The definition of Taebaek is "lightness". Every movement in this Poomse must not only be exact en fast, but with determination and hardness.
Poomse Pyongwon
The definition of Pyongwon is "stretch, vast plain": big, majestic.
Poomse Sipjin
Sipjin stands for decimal. This Poomse represents the orderliness of the decimal system. It also means the endless development and growth in a systematic order: stability.
Poomse Jitae Jitae is derived from the meaning of the earth. All things evolve from and return to the earth, the earth is the beginning and the end of life.
Poomse Cheonkwon Cheonkwon means 'sky'. The sky should be seen as ruler of the universe. It is both mysterious, infinite and profound. The motions of Cheonkwon are full of piety and vitality.
PoomseHansoo This poomse is derived from the fluidity of water which easily adapts within nature.
Poomse Ilyo The state of spiritual cultivation in Buddhism is called 'Ilyo' which means more or less 'oneness'. In Ilyo, body and mind, spirit and substance, I and you are unified. The ultimate ideal of taekwondo can be found in this state. It is a discipline in which we concentrate on every movement leaving all materialistics thoughts, obsessions and extermal influences behind.

I.T.F. has 24 patterns (or Tul) representing the 24 hours of the day, or the whole of a man's life. There are 10 patterns for the first black belt, at which point the member moves from being a `beginner' to a `novice'.

The primary difference between I.T.F. and W.T.F. (from looking to the two) is that I.T.F. uses a `stepping' movement for all hand techniques.
Contributed by John Browne.

This `stepping motion' that the I.T.F. utilizes is referred to by I.T.F. practioners as "Knee Spring" or "up/down Motion". It causes the body to move in a "sine wave" resulting in the whole body being involved at the moment of impact, blocking or attacking.

This techniques us not just used for hand-techniques. It is used in I.T.F. kicking techniques as well.
Contributed by

Chon-Ji Tul (19 movements)
Literally means heaven and 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.
Dan-Gun Tul (21 movements)
Dan Gun is named after the Holy Dan Gun, the legendary founder of Korea in the year 2333 B.C..
Do-San Tul (24 movements)
Do-San is a pseudonym of the patriot Ahn Chang-Ho (1876 - 1938). The 24 movements represent his entire life which he devoted to furthering education in Korea and the Korean independence movement.
Won-Hyo Tul (28 movements)
Won-Hyo was the noted monk who introduced Buddhism to the Silla Dynasty in the year 686 AD.
Yul-Gok Tul (38 movements)
Yul-Gok is a 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 38 degree latitude and the diagram of the pattern represents scholar.
Joon-Gun Tul (32 movements)
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 patter to represent Mr Ahn's age when he was executed at Lui-Shung in 1910.
Toi-Gye Tul (37 movements)
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 37 degree latitude, the diagram represent "scholar".
Hwa-Rang Tul (29 movements)
Hwa Rang is named after the Haw Rang youth group which originated in the Silla Dynasty in the early 7th century. The 29 movements refer to the 29th infantry Division, where Taekwondo developed into maturity.
Choong-Moo Tul (30 movements)
Choong-Moo was the name given to the great Admiral Yi Soon-Sin of the Yi Dynasty. He was reputed to have invented the first armored battleship (Kobukson) in 1592, which is said to be the precursor of the present day submarine. This pattern ends with a left hand attack, to symbolize his regrettable death. He was noted for his unrestrained loyalty to the King.
Kwang-Gae Tul (39 movements)
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 represent the expansion and recovery of lost territory. The 39 movements refer to the first two figures of 391 AD, the year he came to the throne.
Po-Eun Tul (36 movements)
Po-Eun is the pseudonym of a loyal subject Chong-Mong-Chu (1400) who was a famous poet and who's poem "I would not serve a second master though I might be crucified a hundred time" is know to every Korean. He was also a pioneer in the field of physics. The diagram represent his unerring loyalty to the king and country towards the end of the Koryo Dynasty.
Ge-Baek Tul (24 Movements)
Ge-Baek is named after Ge-Baek, a great general in the Baek-Je Dynasty (660AD). The diagram represents his severe and strict military discipline.
Eui-Am Tul (45 Movements)
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 his 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.
Choong-Jang Tul (52 Movements)
Choong-Jang is the pseudonym given to General Kim Duk Ryang who lived during the Yi Dynasty, 14th century. This pattern ends with a left hand attack to symbolise the tragedy of his death at 27 in prison before he was able to reach full maturity.
Juche Tul (45 Movements)
Juche is a philosophical idea that man is the master of everything and decides everything, in other words, the idea that man is that master of the world and his own destiny. It is said that this idea was rooted in Baekdu Mount which symbolise the spirit of the Korean people. The diagram represents Baekdu Mountain.
Sam Il Tul (33 Movements)
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.
Yoo-Sin Tul (68 Movements)
Yoo Sin is named after General Kin Yoo Sin, a commanding general during the Silla Dynasty. The 68 movements refer to the last two figures of 668 AD the year Korea was unified. The ready posture signifies a sword drawn to the right rather than the left side, symbolizing Yoo sin's mistake of following his king's orders to fight with foreign force against his own nation.
Choi Yong Tul (46 Movements)
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 subordinate commanders headed by General Yi Sung Gae, who later became the first king of the Yi Dynasty.
Yon Gae Tul (49 Movements)
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 AD the year he forced the Tang Dynasty to quit Korea after destroying nearly 300,000 of their troops at Ansi Sung.
UL-JI Tul (42 Movements)
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 AD, Ul-JI employing hit and run guerilla tactics was able to decimate a large percentage of the force. The diagram represents his surname. The 42 movements represent the author's age when he designed the pattern.
Moon-Moo Tul (61 Movements)
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 find example of the culture of the Silla Dynasty. The 61 movements in this pattern symbolize the last two figures of 6612 AS when Moon Moo came to the throne.
So-San Tul (72 Movements)
So San is the pseudonym of the great monk Choi Hyong Ung (1520 - 1604) during the Lae Dynasty. The 72 movements refer to his age when he organised 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.
Se Jong Tul (24 Movements)
Se-Jong is named after the greatest Korean King, Se-Jong, who invented the Korean alphabets in 1443, and was also a noted meteorologist. The diagram represents the king, while the 24 movements refer to the 24 letters of the Korean alphabet.
Tong Il Tul
Tong Il denotes the resolution of the unification of Korea which has been divided since 1945. The diagram symbolises the homogenous race.