Taegeuk Il Jang

Taegeuk Il Jang

The beginning

Taegeuk Il Jang

Forms, or Poomsaes in the Korean language, are a series of defending and attacking movements performed against imaginary opponents. Each form is a combination of blocking and attacking techniques performed consecutively while moving in certain directions. Through the practice of forms, students come to learn the applications of various techniques of Taekwondo.

Taegeuk Forms are a series of forms corresponding with each learning level from beginner to advance. The proper way to learn and practice Taegeuk Forms is to first know the name of the form, then the  four elements comprising the form: pattern, direction, stance, and technique.

The World Tae Kwon Do Federation has 8 colored belt forms and 9 black belt forms. The colored belt forms are all numbered one to eight and are called Taegeuk. Taegeuk Il Jang is the first of eight Taegeuk Forms (i.e., poomsae) used by the Kukkiwon and World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). The word “Il” is the number 1 in the sino-Korean numbering system (as opposed to the traditional Korean numbering system, where hanna is 1); “jang” translates as chapter, so literally the name of this form is “chapter 1 of the taegeuk.” Taegeuk Il Jang symbolizes the beginning in the training of Taekwondo.

This poomsae is characterized by its simplicity. Most of the stances are simply Walking Stances. The Front Stance (aka Big Stance) is also introduced to teach the student how to shift from one stance to the next. The techniques seen in this form are basic techniques such as low blocks (aka down blocks, or arae makki), middle blocks (aka inward or inside blocks, or momtong makki), middle punch, and front snap kicks. All of the turns are simple 90 degree or 180 degree turns.

Learning the poomsae requires great coordination because one must perform several techniques simultaneously, in conjunction with remembering the flow of the poomsae, breathing correctly, adequate power, and so forth, in order to achieve a complete and harmonic poomsae.

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What is Taekwondo?


Taekwondo

The way of the foot and the hand

taekwondoTaekwondo, also spelled Tae Kwon Do, is a Korean martial art. In Korean, tae means “to strike or break with the foot”; kwon means “to strike or break with the fist”; and do means “way of life”. Thus, taekwondo may be loosely translated as “the way of the foot and the hand.” It combines combat and self-defense techniques with sport and exercise.

Though Taekwondo may trace its traditions back almost two thousand years to Tae Kyon and the kingdom of Koguryo, it is still an essentially modern martial art based on modern principles of biomechanics. Taekwondo was developed by a variety of Korean masters during the 1940s  and 50s. After World War II. Korea wanted to eliminate outside influences in martial arts and began to unite the various martial arts schools and styles into a single style and national sport. In 1965, the name Tae Kwon Do was chosen to represent this unified style of Korean martial arts. Kukkiwon (Korea’s national academy for Taekwondo, also called the World Taekwondo Headquarters) is the traditional center for taekwondo and was founded in 1973 by Dr. Kim Un Yong. Kukkiwon-style Taekwondo has been an Olympic event since 2000 and is governed by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF).

The art in general emphasizes kicks and punches thrown from a mobile stance. Training generally includes a system of blocks, kicks, punches, and open-handed strikes and may also include various take-downs or sweeps, throws, and joint locks. It is characterized by the use of high standing and jump kicks as well as punches and is practiced for sport, self-defense, and spiritual development. “Do” represents the moral path we choose as trained martial artists to live a life of discipline and respect. To only use our skills in self-defense as a last resort.

We teach our students the balance found in Taekwondo by developing speed, strength, stamina and coordination mixed with the philosophical side of the art. This is taught by reinforcing positive behavior and goal-setting. Taekwondo pursues harmonious growth and improvements of life through its unique activities. This is why one could say it is a way of life. To ultimately enable ourselves to lead more valuable lives, we would do well by finding the guiding principles deeply hidden in Taekwondo.

WTF Logo - taekwondo

Old WTF logo - taekwondo

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Taekwondo Blocking – Makki

Makki (defense blocking)

Taekwondo is an art of self-defense, in which blocking techniques are highly developed and very important. Taekwondo blocks, known as makki (defense or blocking) techniques are to protect oneself from being attacked by an opponent. Makki use various parts of the arm with the hand and are held in different positions (low, middle, high, knife-hand, closed fist, etc.) to protect against or deflect an opponents attack. Each block is used to defend against a particular kind of attack and may be combined with another punch or kick to make a counter-attack. Below are some of the basic blocks taught in our Adult and Child Taekwondo classes.

Low block – arae makki

This block is for blocking incoming low kicks.

  • The blocking fist is kept apart from the thigh of the fore-leg by the width of two erected fists.
  • The other hand’s wrist is at the waist side.

Blocking - Arae Makki

Middle block – momtong makki

This block is used (for example) if an attacker were aiming to punch you in the chest; using this block would deflect the punch away from your chest.

  • The elbow is kept open at around 90~120 degrees.
  • The blocking fist is kept as high as the shoulder.
  • The wrist should not be bent.
  • The other hand’s wrist is at the waist side.

Blocking - Momtong Makki

High block – olgul makki

This block is used to deflect an attack that comes from above, such as a downward strike.

  • The wrist of the blocking arm comes right in front of the center of the face.
  • The blocking wrist is one fist’s distance apart from the forehead.
  • The other hand’s wrist is at the waist side.

Blocking - Olgul Makki

Knife hand block – sonnal makki

A knife hand block is a block made using a knife hand rather than a fist.

  • The blocking hand is located in a position parallel with the lateral part of the shoulder.
  • The finger-tips are kept as high as the shoulder.
  • The wrist should not be bent, the palm facing the front.
  • The other hand’s wrist is at the waist side.

Blocking - Sonnal Makki

Palm block  – batangson makki

A palm block is a block in which the palm of the hand is used to block.

  • The palm hand is positioned in parallel with the stomach
  • The finger-tips are facing obliquely upward.
  • The other hand’s wrist is at the waist side.

Blocking - Batangson Makki

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What is Hapkido?

Hapkido

The Art of Coordinated Power

Hapkido is a dynamic martial art of Korean origin. Its name means literally, “The way of coordination and internal power” (Hap, meaning coordinated, Ki, meaning power (internal energy), and Do, meaning the art or way). Hapkido is the combination of two Korean Martial Arts – Yool Sool which comes from the Japanese art known as Daito-Ryu Aiki-Jutsu and Tae Kyon which is an ancient Korean Kicking Skill that was widespread during the time of the Three Kingdoms. It is a complete martial art in that it consists of dynamic striking and kicking techniques, very similar to Tae Kwon Do, both hard and soft style deflection techniques, throws, takedowns, ground-fighting, and extensive joint locking techniques. There is also the use of traditional weapons, including a swordropenunchakucane, short stick, and staff.

HapkidoHapkido is based on three important basic principles:

  1. Circular Motion (The principle of the circle): All movements are round. The Hapkido fighter moves as inside a ball. Influencing forces are rerouted from the outside and neutralized at the surface of the “ball”.
  2. Water Principle (The principle of the river)As the river, which adapts extremely flexibly to the landscape and nevertheless in the moment the buildup develops an enormous strength, the Hapkido fighter also sensitively reacts to his opponent, in order to let his pent-up “Ki” flow by the technique into the opponent in the crucial moment.
  3. Non-resistance (The principle of influence): By lightning movements, which hardly can be noticed, the aggressor is arranged to reflex counter movements, which then are used in a subsequent technique.

Hapkido contains both long and close range fighting techniques, utilizing jumping kicks and percussive hand strikes at longer ranges and pressure point strikes, joint locks, or throws at closer fighting distances. Hapkido emphasizes circular motion, non-resisting movements, and control of the opponent. Practitioners seek to gain advantage through footwork and body positioning to employ leverage, avoiding the use of strength against strength. Once the opponent’s balance has been taken, there are a myriad of techniques to disable and subdue the opponent. Hapkido is widely taught to military and law enforcement because of the effectiveness against armed and unarmed attacks.

In addition to learning effective self-defense, Hapkido is a dynamic art that provides the student with the means to improve their physical fitness, awareness, flexibility and self-confidence. As the student progresses through our program, he or she will gain the confidence, awareness, and attitude to avoid confrontation and de-escalate a situation. We teach traditional Hapkido and we follow the Korea Hapkido Total Federation rules.

hapkido

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