Tuesday, 23 August 2011

How many poomsae do you know?

What is the most
practical meaning for
this move??
"How many Poomsae do you know Teacher?" I was asked this question not long ago by one of my students. Usually I just answer with the number of Poomsae I can perform since that is what the students are really asking anyway. This time however I froze. And then I started something scary.. I started thinking.

I can perform all the Poomsae from Taegeuk 1 Jang to 8 Jang as well as all the official black belt Poomsae except the last one, but how many of them did I really know??? The simple question suddenly started to become complicated. Finally I answered my student, dead serious I answered that I know 2 Poomsae. And I knew in my heart that it was the right answer to give:) Allthough my student looked sad (I believe he wanted a somewhat higher number like 52 or something) I felt that 2 Poomsae is really all that I can say that I know. Taegeuk 1 Jang and Keumgang are the Poosmae I at least think I know:)

Why just 2 Poomsae and why theese two you ask? Well in the old days a master of martial arts would know somewhere between 1 to 4 patterns. Instead of simplistic block, kick and punch applications the old masters would study the patterns indepth for many years and they would know how to use the techniques and principles contained in the patterns in real combat. The only two patterns I have studdied indepth like that are Taegeuk 1 Jang and Keumgang.

Dont get me wrong, I am studying all the other Poomsae in my chosen system as well, but thoose two "spoke" to me more than the others. I even enjoy performing them:) I can with great ease show you applications from all the poomsae in Taekwondo in the simplistic block, kick punch variety, but ask me to show you how and why the poomsae are related to self defense and combat, as well as to show you practical no nonsense techniques? I would fall back to Taegeuk 1 Jang and Keumgang everytime:) I will reveal more in my next posting, but untill then ponder this: "How many Poomsae/Patterns do you KNOW?

Go to part two by clicking here

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