Saturday, 22 December 2012

Collection of "Good" Poomsae Videos (Black Belt Poomsae)

In my last post I provided Youtube links to all the colour belts Poomsae. I though I should do the same with the Black Belt Poomsae as a service to the readers:-) This way you have all the Poomsae in the Kukkiwon System together at one site. I started the Blog as a means for me to gather my thoughts, get rid of "frustrations" and to ramble away everything Taekwondo. The blog has not gathered a lot of attention, and there is little traffic on it (somewhere between 60-100 hits a day) but I know at least a few use this Blog as a resource, and providing good videos to all the Poomsae in the Kukkiwon system is one way of expanding on this:-) Anyway I wish all my present (future and past) readers out there a Merry Christmas, and if you are reading this then the world has not ended (set to publish at 22th December 00:01 so we can relax untill the next doomsday is on its way:-)

Koryo Poomsae:

Keumgang Poomsae:

Taebaek Poomsae:

Pyongwon Poomsae:

Sipjin Poomsae:

Jitae Poomsae:

Chonkwon Poomsae:

Hansu Poomsae:

Ilyeo Poomsae:

If you do not practise these Poomsae at least it is fun and or interesting to watch the whole system:-)

Bonus: In 1967 the KTA introduced the Palgwe forms and the black belt forms. In the early 70s however the Palgwe forms were faced out along with original Koryo and the Taegeuk forms set and a new Poomsae Koryo was introduced. Here is one version of the original Koryo (not in the current Kukkiwon system and not a grading/competition form):


  1. Hahaha. It sounds funny when you say "stolen". We know this is a subject under discussion today, but this is probably not a space to discuss that. :D
    Anyway, I was really curious about the minor tweaks that had to be updated. I always heard of people talking about changes made by Kukkiwon in the last decades, but never found conclusive answers. I just know some things today are different from the old kwans era, and also from the ITF time. What ITF time? Many taekwondo instructors in my country (as well as it happend to other countries) were affiliate to ITF and later converted to Kukkiwon. :D
    Can you give us some idea of what has been changed say... since around the mid '90s?

    1. The minor tweaks are the stances lengths and widths, the height of the end positions in blocks etc. Only small changes. If there is enough interest in the subject I can dig through my old books and notes and probably give a pre 2006 to post 2006 analasys in techniques.

      It also depends on how far back you go. Some techniques have been lost in the sands of time (Henry Cho demonstrates a "punching block" in his 1968 book that I have not seen anywhere in Taekwondo, as well as the Karate chamber for double middle guarding block etc) others have had their chambers altered so the blocking hand is on the outside of the pulling hand instead of the inside wich seems more common in the Kwan era (40s-70s)

      Other "tweaks" are method for stepping (straight vs cresent step), where the toes points, crane stance done with a straight standing leg vs a bendt standing leg etc.

      The applications almost never changes as the concept remains the same, allthough in other tweaks you do lose something but you always gain something else (at least in my view).

    2. This all sounds highly interesting to me!
      As I told you, I practice in some kind "converted" Kukkiwon school (actually, my master is converted, but his own school has always been Kukki style). Let's say in Brazil those kind of changes come much later (even because some of the Korean pioneers here didn't enjoy some changes, as it's expected). So at my school I'm completely sure we practice a lot of things in the "old ways", but don't know all the differences.
      If you decide to make that article, I'll be completely pleasure.
      Furthermore, I hope you Christmas went great. If we don't talk until 2013, I wish you a happy new year!

  2. Hello
    never like the sound effects on the kicks and strikes, mainly because i couldn't make the same noises.
    anyway, i uploaded the video companion to the "swallow form" article sent into totally tkd. i don't know publication date but since you read draft i thought you might like to see it.

    merry christmas

    1. Happy new year Richard.

      I believe anyone can make those noises if they used a couple of gallons (or liters) of plain old starch in their washing of Doboks:-D I never could make them either and I found them cheesy at first but then I appreciated that it did help make the rythm of the performance easier to follow.

      Is it ok that I use that youtube clip in a future blog post? I really loved the applications in the clip:-) Your performance of the technique made me think of the "original" movement my Korean teacher showed me. before there was Jebipoom mok chigi there was Japkipoom mok chigi (grasping movement throat strike) where the grab in the blocking hand was more emphasised. He was told of the namechange and the completly open knife hand block change in the mid 70s and had to alter his teachings after that. Ahh the things you can learn over a cup of coffe:-)

  3. Hey, I just noticed I accidently posted my last comment on the wrong post! I was reading your post at work and then only wrote the comment at home, without noticing there was a new post! I hope it didn't sound very confusing! If you wish I could re-post my comment in the correct post, and the wrong comment could be deleted. It'd be great to understand, anyway, what was changed in Kukki taekwondo in the recent years, though.
    I hope I'm not completely late to say Merry Christimas! :D

    1. Its Ok Samir:-) I got it:-) Its never too late to wish someone merry christmas though:-) Merry christmas and happy new year:-)

      I wrote a short answer in your first comment regarding the changes, but I will happily write a post or several posts if there is enough interest in the subject.

  4. Hello
    feel free to do your best to make me world famous! i have no scheduling conflicts and work cheap. just link to where you got it.

    with regard to the changes mentioned above. i know that this is a personal bug of mine, but i think that too often these changes occur for the wrong reasons--or, at the very least, unspecified ones. even the history of JKA follows a similar pattern. the open hand was changed to a fist, the knife hand used here because it looks good, we take three hops backward so the form is symmetrical, and so on.
    i really don't think that the principles show through all of this as the changes are driven by other considerations (esthetics, uniformity, competition).
    i have had a couple of teachers who really taught in a principles based manner, it was quite a revelation.
    i have put together a discussion of the "Iconic, if misunderstood, Knife Hand" anything in particular any would like to see mentioned?

    1. "Hello
      feel free to do your best to make me world famous! i have no scheduling conflicts and work cheap. just link to where you got it."

      I hope you will work for free:p I can give you a movie tip though as you seem to enjoy Norwegian television: Watch out for the new movie "Kon tiki" made 2012. It just came out and I am extremly impressed with it. It was a great movie. Also I will reccomend a little older one called "Max Manus" wich is about one of our heroes from the Norwegian resistance during world war 2. I doubt netflix has "Kon tiki" yet but I believe "Max Manus" is there:-)

      "with regard to the changes mentioned above. i know that this is a personal bug of mine, but i think that too often these changes occur for the wrong reasons--or, at the very least, unspecified ones. even the history of JKA follows a similar pattern."

      I too believe that many changes are superficial in that it is for aestetic reasons for sport and uniformity, but often the changes does not affect the basic principle of application. Iain Abernethy once showed the opening movement of Naihanchi, Chulgi, Naebojin, Tekki or what ever you want to call it (in many styles it is a sideways knife hand strike). He showed noumerous different variations from the different styles (knife hand, ridge hand, the back of the hand, bendt arm, straight arm etc). The striking surfaces were different but all the applications really were was a grab (hand on the hip) followed by a strike to the head/throat (different striking surfaces, different ranges but the principle remained the same).

      "i have had a couple of teachers who really taught in a principles based manner, it was quite a revelation."

      I strive to be one of those teachers that teach in a principle based manner, but I still struggle with this as it is so much "easier" to teach a collection of techniques. The whole belt system, curriculum thing just makes it a litle hard:-) That being said I have no doubt in my mind that the most effective solution for the student is to learn in a principle based manner.

      "i have put together a discussion of the "Iconic, if misunderstood, Knife Hand" anything in particular any would like to see mentioned?"

      Yes every thing:-D

    2. Guys, this is all really impressive.
      I've been thinking of this "teach by principles instead of techniques thing" for quite some time and now I find it here. Once I'll be starting to have my own class in 2013, I have instentions in this direction here. But this just doesn't fit my own master style of teaching (the typical style, let's say). But more than that, there is a tip my master already gave me some times, and I try not to ignore it completely: sometimes the students don't want to learn principles. They wanna get sweated, they wanna feel like having ran a marathon... not really wanna give up this feeling to learn a more consistent and logical martial art. Oh, I can even understand this feeling... But this is another subject and I don't want us to deviate from the totally exciting "changes along time" thing! I'm totally eager to know more about this. I've just read Ørjan speak about the changing of arms some blocks in the past (pulling hand was in the outside of the crossing arms and now is in the inside). And the world falls over after this! I mean, would we be talking, for example, about the knife-hand block first shown in taegeuk sam-jang? Because if we change the crossing of arms it becomes much easier to apply (like the today's version of shotokan's shuto uke).
      One last thing, to Richard: is that youtube channel yours? You have a blog or website, too? If you do, you have to provide a link in the about session of your channel! Hey, guy, go make it! And after that, you can start with the "iconic, if misunderstood knife hand" stuff we're waiting for!
      Cheers and happy new year for both of you!

    3. The chamber change in the blocks happened somewhere in the mid to late 60s as far as I know, so the knife hand block you are refering to in Taegeuk Sam Jang has always been excecuted the way it is taught today (the end position of the block has changed in height however) since the Taegeuk series were introduced in the early 70s (sources vasy between 72-75).

      In the Taegeuk Cipher the author uses the old chamber for the knife hand block when doing the application so this is one of the times he deviates from the present form (nothing wrong about that but the transferrable skill developed through the performance of the form deteriorates the farther away from the form you go in application, but it can at the same time still be a great mnemonic device).

      Other things that changed is the height of the kicks and if it were a good thing to emphasise the kicks by holding them out slightly extended before moving on in the form. Pre 2006 we learned that we should kick as high as we possible could in poomsae competition and if possible keep the foot extended for a fraction of a second before moving on, in 2006 all kicks (with some exceptions) were to be delivered in middle height and you were deducted points if you kept your foot extended, then it went back to head height (except the side kicks with the elbow strike combo) but not keeping the extended foot out, and at this years championship the winners were those who kicked straight up and kept the foot extended to emphasise the kicks. Go figure...

      In the latest Poomsae book that I have (from 2011 and Kukkiwon endorsed) it is written that you should never kick straight up or outside your own body because it is difficult to judge accuracy of movement. I agree with this, that being said I am a little jelous of those talented enough to kick straight up:p

    4. Dear Ørjan, thank you for your response.
      It looks like most the changes (if not all of them) have been made not for combat efficacy purposes (instead, it seems to have been mainly for standardization or esthetics/pumsae competition). Honestly this feels really sad to me.
      It took me some time to be able to apply the knife hand block the "KKW way", that is, the "reverse chamber" when compared to shotokan. I can see it work, but the "old style" seems much better, once the first movement of the "blocking" hand (when it goes crossing over the chambering hand, close to your body) can be used right in that very point to deflect and attack (with the chambering arm -- now extended -- backing the deflection up and getting ready to grab the opponent). In the "KKW way" I see having only the chambering arm (when extended) being used to deflect the attack, which seems poor to me, even worse because the "blocking" hand, at this point, is almost useless -- in the truth, it's even making it more difficult for the use of the deflecting arm, because the "knife blocking hand" will be in front of the deflecting/pulling arm (when it should be at least out of the way, or suporting the deflection, if using the shotokan shuto uke motion). I hope I was able to make myself understandable. I think this could be a subject for further analysis, anyway.

      Some of the kicking applications just make no sense to me when we kick above the waistline. One example is the combo side kick/elbow strike in taegeuk oh jang: how would I be able to use my hand to reach the opponent if I kick, say, middle section, and my leg is obviously longer than my arm (worse if I kick really high: what would be my extending arm for, then?)? Other examples also don't fit well and, obviously, I just don't think kicking high is a good idea when it comes to self-defense application.
      When I talk to other students about kicking high, I usually tell them they're learning to surpass their limits and have control over their bodies, which is a good thing in itself, but that it's just not a motion intended to be used in self-defence.

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. I will try to give some practical application to the kukkiwon chamber knife hand block:-) I actually think it is a great variation allthough I also see very potent applications for the Shotokan chamber.

      Honestly I also think that many changes has been for looking good but some also seem to contradict this. The stances lengths and wideness have been severely shortened since Kukkiwon was started in the 70s. Loong deep stances look great while narrower stances are better for combat mobility. I think that this change is good.

      Kukkiwon says you should never kick over you head but competition is another matter. Again it is not practical to kick as high as the head but you do at least kick at "something":-) And the removal of the emphasis of the kick by keeping the foot extended is frowned upon by Kukkiwon as I understand it (competition is another matter) wich also is a good change toward combat efficiancy.

      Your example of the Taegeuk Oh Jang side kick and hammer fist strike is the very same as the one I identified almost a year ago:-) "The role of kicks in Poomsae" there is a link in the latest post to that article were I discuss this very thing.

      I think your last comment about high kicking in Taekwondo is spot on!:-)

  5. hello
    ok, i went and put a link to my web as requested. i hope that you find it interesting. i had i redone graphically by someone and liked the result, the problem is that all of it was converted to Wordpress format except the headers. so i can upload material but can't get the links to them to work. i suppose i will figure it out eventually. same with you tube. it never occurred to me to link to web, as i never paid much attention.

    anyway with regard to the above discussion. i agree it is so much easier to teach technique based curriculum. the guy who kicked me off the book project (apps too confusing to him) is quite proud of his curriculum that includes multiple forms and one step techniques all the way from white belt to 4dan, but only has a rudimentary understanding of any of them.

    i guess that teaching techniques is a must for lower belts, but a transition has to be made at some point. i have seen high degree BB's that do not understand that a front stance is designed to teach you to move your weight behind a technique, and therefore contact should be made halfway through the transition.
    they will come to a complete stop and fire off a punch. it looks right but the lesson is lost.

    i think that also your principles can be described too broadly, which i believe can cause confusion. is grab then hit a good didactic start? for higher belts, or those who have been in actual fights, it actually is! i am not so sure for novices or in depth study.

    1. Hey, you did not tell me you had a blog too? I found it and I put a link under "interestin blogs". Great article on the knife hand:-)

      Technique based corriculum is easier to teach and in some ways even better at student retention (there are always more techniques to learn and master), but the principle based one is probably easier to learn people to "free flow" wich many technique based students really struggle with (in my experience). I guess you need a little of both really. A place to start and then to understand why the collection of the techniques work the way they do.

      Happy new year:-)

  6. hello
    well thank you for the link, makes me feel more important. i am glad that you liked the article. it still needs a little more work. i plan to submit it when i get the chance to do some photos to go with it. always difficult. Do you think that people would regard it as too basic?

    i guess now i will have to devote some more time to fixing the web page from the problems mentioned above. i had a hard enough time getting the video done!
    thanks again

  7. oh, forgot to mention. i added two short videos to you tube channel. one on a sequence from balsek, and the other a short description of an old school middle block bunkai. see if you like them.

    1. The old school middle block bunkai is the same as I use for the same movement so naturally I like it a lot:p I use the same principle to the modern excecution of the knife hand block with the chambering hand on the outside as in "modern" performance too. In Taegeuk Sam Jang it works brilliantly as a defense against a straight attack (push, shove, attempted grab or punch), you use the back stance to angle yourself offline while deflecting the attack with the chambering movement of the block, you then trap it with the other arm (the actual knife hand block), the hand being open makes it easier to grab the opponents wrist pulling it toward my hip and exposing his floating rib at the same time as I deliver a punch there and shifting my body weight forward into long front stance.

      The video got me thinking of the opening of Jitae Poomsae in a new light though. In the opening move they do the outward middle block, if we use the same application there you might see the following high section block as a variation on the same theme. It too uses a deflection move as a part of the chambering movement of the technique. Mybe it is a response to too attacks? The first as your application, the second either as moving the attacking arm upwards as a variation, or moving forward and doing the high section blocking movement in the armpit to uproot him? Or as a third variation the same deflection, removing of the arm to the side (the middle outward block) grab the arm and do the high section block movement just under the elbow to lock his arm (maybe this is why it is done slow in the form?? Oh the possibilities.. Thanks for the clips:-) The Balsaek one was very neat too:-)