chers (unlike all of those who spend a week a year at best With a 9th dan and then proclaim him as their teacher instead of the guy doing the day to day training). I myself have 2nd Dan (I have not bothered With testing and I am in no hurry either). I have travelled to Korea about 10 times to Train intesivly and stayed there 3 weeks each trip. I also did one Whole year of study at Choson University in Gwangju Korea in 2007-2008 where I learned all Poomsae in Kukkiwon from GM Yoon 9th Dan. Prior to 2007 I had learned Taegeuk Il (1) Jang to Poomsae Taebaek by my two primary Teachers. So With that out of the way let us start:
Universal movement principles in Poomsae that will show up again and again if not corrected:
Some mistakes that are barely noticeable in Taegeuk Il (1) Jang will really be showcased in the later forms. For instance: Just before kicking front kick most beginners take a small extra step forward with their non kicking foot. There is only one kick to each side in Taegeuk Il (1) Jang but in the next form Taegeuk I (2) Jang there are toward the end of the form three kick and punch sequences. If you look at the practisioners doing this form you will see that most will take an extra step in between. Once you start looking at this you will notice the same mistake being done at all poomsae. I have even noticed that some high ranking masters are doing it without thinking.. There should of course be no extra step taken as one of the points of basic and poomsae practise is to remove uneccesary movement and telegraphing. Taking an extra step takes longer and it really gives away your intention to do "something".
Also there is a tendency for many when moving from one ap koobi (long front walking stance) to another one where they first turn their front foot 30 degrees, then move. This is also telegraphing and should be removed. The correct is to move without telegraphing and then the back foot will turn about 30 degrees out anyway at the end of the movement.
I think those are the two most common mistakes being done, and as they are universal they show up in just about all the poomsae if it is not corrected early in their training.
Taegeuk Sam (3) Jang: Dwit Koobi (Back stance) hansonnal bakkat makki (single knife hand block), changing into ap koobi (long front walking stance) and momtong jireugi (midle section punch).
Many green belts move their back foot instead of the front foot when transitioning from back stance to front stance. This makes the punch almost redundant in that all the power moving forward in their arm is moved backwards with their stance. Moving the front foot however insures the body weight and range is good for getting the power of the technique into the target.
Another common mistake is when turning 180 degrees to repeat the combination that many move their front leg (the left) into back stance when it is suposed to be the right leg moving into back stance. This is a detail I think few instructors bothers with, and I guess there are about a 50/50 chance of the performer you are watching are doing this correct as a result. It might seem trivial, but the body weight transfer is very different when transitioning with either the right leg (body weight backwards) or left leg (body weight forwards).
Taegeuk Sa (4) Jang:
- Chambering of knife hand guard done in "weird" ways
- Hands start out straight back (no bending of the elbows)
- The arms start high or low
- The arms are "hidden" on the back
- Changing the chamber into a "Karate chamber" instead
- The timing of the downward openhanded block and spearthrust is off according to the standards of Kukkiwon
- Blocking first, step and then thrust
- thrust then block
- all possible combinations except the kukkiwon standard (both together in one movement)
- Chambering and trajectory of Jebipoom Mok Chige (swallow form throat strike).
- Throat strike part is done straight or almost straight forward as a thrust
- End positioning of openhanded face block is wrong according to kukkiwon standards
- Inserting a stance often dwit koobi between the two side kicks
- Kicking the two side kicks straight up
- The outer block-frontkick-put foot back into back stance while doing a middle block is done without timimg the middle block with the foot fall
- The chamber or target for back fist strike is wrong (chamber done on the outside of the Dangki son or pulling hand completly destroys the practical application of having a pulling hand with the technique)
Taegeuk Yuk (6) Jang: Just after the first Dollyo Chagi (roundhouse kick or turning kick) there is an outward block that is supposed to be done in high section (according to Kukkiwon Textbook) but 99% of the teachers I have seen teaches the block as a normal "Momtong bakkat makki" (middle section outward block) and not the "correct" Eulgul Bakkat Makki (face section outward block). That is a shame in my opinion as this is the only time in the Kukkiwon Poomsae that that kind of bakkat makki is done at face level... Yok Jang is a special form in many regards, as it contains several features not shared in other Kukkiwon forms or features that are very rare in the Kukkiwon system (only form that contain the roundhouse kick, only form that has the aforementioned face level block, one of very few forms containing backward movement, one of very few forms that contain the twisting outward block (just before the roundhouse kick) etc etc ). Most people are in a rush to get to the black belt forms at this point so yok Jang does not get study in the level of detail that it deserves
(Still Taegeuk Yuk (6) Jang) The "Arae hecho makki" or low section spreading block done in Narahni Seogi (feet one foot distance appart, paralell stance). Here the arms start at shoulder height and the left arm is forward. Many people start with their arms much higher sometimes blocking their sight, and there seems to be a 50/50 chance wich arm is forward at the start of the movement. Again this is a rare technique in the Kukkiwon forms and it is first encountered in Taegeuk Yuk (6) Jang. A faulty technique here will manifest itself later in the more "advanced" forms.
Taegeuk Chil (7) Jang: Chamber and excecution of the Gawi Makki (scissors Block; double low/middle Block). Here the Chamber is often wrong or the wrong hand ends up instead of Down and vice versa.
Momtong Hecheo Makki (Outward Block middle section just before knee strike) which hand is outward in Chamber is often done wrong.
Deungjomeok Bakkat Chigi (Back fist outward strike just before the cresent kicks) is often Chambered wrong. In Kukki Taekwondo Poomsae the striking hand is always chambered on the inside of the Dangki Son (pulling hand that goes back to the hip) but in Chil Jang you need to change position a little awkwardly to get this right on the first back fist strike if you did the lower x Block correctly. if you look closely on the newest Kukkiwon videos you will see that this is the way it should be done but for the 1000s of practisioners unaware of the practical usage of the Dangki son this is not done and so the Dangki son looses all its meaning.
Taegeuk Pal (8) Jang. An insane number of students and instructors alike fail to recognise that there are 2 DIFFERENT jumping front kicks in the form. There is one type early in the form and another type near the end of the form. Done fast they look simular and in English they are often only described as jumping front kicks.
So next time you are practising Poomsae try to keep the above Points in mind and see just how many you are doing (ideally it should be zero if you want to follow the Kukkiwon standard).
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