Theory

Tenets of Taekwon-Do


  • Courtesy
  • Integrity
  • Perseverance
  • Self-Control
  • Indomitable Spirit

International Oath


As a student of Taekwon-Do:

I shall observe the tenets of Taekwon-Do
I shall respect the Instructor and Seniors
I shall never misuse Taekwon-Do
I shall be a champion of freedom and justice
I shall build a more peaceful world

Interpretation of Patterns


The name of the pattern, the number of movements, and the diagrammatic symbol of each pattern symbolise either heroic figures in Korean history or instances relating to historical events.

Chon-Ji means literally “the Heaven the 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 Heaven and the other the Earth. (19 movements)

Dan-Gunis named after the holy Dan-Gun, the legendary founder of Korea in the year of 2333 BC (21 movements)

Do-San is the pseudonym of the patriot Ahn Chang-Ho (1876-1938). The 24 movements represent his entire life, which he devoted to furthering the education of Korea and its independence movement. (24 movements)

Won-Hyo was the noted monk who introduced Buddhism to the Silla Dynasty in the year 686 AD (28 movements)

Yul-Gok is the 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 the 38o latitude and diagram represents “scholar”. (38 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 pattern to represent Mr. Ahn’s age when he was executed at Lui-Shung prison (1910). (32 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 the 37o latitude, the diagram represents “scholar”. (37 movements)

Hwa-Rang is named after the Hwa-Rang youth group, which originated in the Silla Dynasty in the early 7th century. The 29 movements refer to the 29th Infantry Division, where Taekwon-Do developed into maturity. (29 movements)

Choong-Moo was the name given to the great Admiral Yi Soon-Sin of the Lee Dynasty. He was reputed to have invented the first armoured battleship (Kobukson) in 1592, which is said to be the precursor of the present day submarine. The reason why this pattern ends with a left-hand attack is to symbolise his regrettable death, having no chance to show his unrestrained potentiality checked by the forced reservation of his loyalty to the king. (30 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 represents 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. (39 movements)

Po-Eun is the pseudonym of a loyal subject Chong Mong- Chu (1400) who was a famous poet and whose poem “I would not serve a second master though I might be crucified a hundred times” is known to every Korean. He was also a pioneer in the field of physics. The diagram represents his unerring loyalty to the king and country towards the end of the Koryo Dynasty. (36 movements)

Ge-Baek is named after Ge-Baek, a great general in the Baek Je Dynasty (660 AD). The diagram represents his severe and strict military discipline. (44 movements)

Eui-Am is the pseudonym of Son Byong Hi, leader of the Korean independence movement on March 1st, 1919. The 45 movements refer to his age when he changed the 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. (45 movements)

Choong-Jang is the pseudonym given to General Kim Duk Ryang who lived during the Lee 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. (52 movements)

Juche is a philosophical idea that man is the master of everything and decides everything, in other words, the idea that man is the master of the world and his own destiny. It is said that this idea was rooted in Baekdu Mountain, which symbolises the spirit of the Korean people. The diagram represents Baekdu Mountain. (45 movements)

Sam-Il denotes the historical date of the independence movement of Korea, which began throughout the country on March 1st, 1919. The 33 movements in the pattern stand for the 33 patriots who planned the movement. (33 movements)

Yoo-Sin is named after General Kim 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 united. The ready posture signifies a sword drawn on the right rather than left side, symbolising Yoo Sin’s mistake of following his king’s orders to fight with foreign forces against his own nation. (68 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 his subordinate commanders headed by General Yi Sung Gae, who later become the first king of the Lee Dynasty. (46 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. (49 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 guerrilla 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. (42 movements)

Moon-Moo honours 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 fine example of the culture of the Silla Dynasty. The 61 movements in this pattern symbolise the last two figures of 661 AD when Moon Moo came to the throne. (61 movements)

So-San is the pseudonym of the great monk Choi Hyong Ung (1520-1604) during the Lee Dynasty. The 72 movements refer to his age when he organised a corps of monk soldiers with the assistance of his pupil Sa Myunh Dang. The monk soldiers helped repulse the Japanese pirates who overran most of the Korean peninsula in 1592. (72 movements)

Se-Jong is named after the greatest Korean King, Se-Jong, who invented the Korean alphabet 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. (24 movements)

Tong-Il denotes the resolution of the unification of Korea which has been divided since 1945. The diagram symbolizes the homogenous race. (56 movements)

Significance of Belt Colours


WHITE
Signifies innocence, as that of the beginning student who has no previous knowledge of Taekwon-Do.

YELLOW
Signifies Earth, from which a plant sprouts and takes root as the Taekwon-Do foundation is being laid.

GREEN
Signifies the plant's growth as the Taekwon-Do skill begins to develop.

BLUE
Signifies the heaven, towards which the plant matures into a towering tree as training in Taekwon-Do progresses.

RED
Signifies danger, cautioning the student to exercise control and warning the opponent to stay away.

BLACK
Opposite of white, therefore, signifying the maturity and proficiency in Taekwon-Do. It also indicates the wearer's imperviousness to darkness and fear.