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Sky

Taegeuk Il Jang - Sky. Most of the stances in this form are upright stances, with the body open, like the sky.

Taegeuk01

Taegeuk Il Jang - alternative diagram

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 hana is 1); "jang" translates as chapter, so literally the name of this form is "chapter 1 of the taegeuk."

Each taegeuk form is represented by a trigram (such as ); trigrams are divination symbols derived from the I Ching. The trigram for Taegeuk Il Jang is three solid lines. This symbol represents the concept of "Keon." Keon means "the heavens" or "the sky." Keon symbolizes the beginning of the creation of all things in the universe, so Taegeuk Il Jang symbolizes the beginning in the training of Taekwondo. (See the article Taegeuk for additional detail regarding the symbolism of this form.)

This poomsae is characterized by its simplicity. Most of the stances are simply Walking Stances. The Front Stance (aka Long Stance) is also introduced however, 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 downward blocks, or arae-makki), middle blocks (aka inward or inside blocks, or wmomtong-makki), middle punch (momtong-jireugi), and front snap kicks (aka front kick, or ap-chagi). All of the turns are simple 90 degree or 180 degree turns (none of the more difficult 270 turns that you see in later forms). Normally 8th Gup grade trainees practice this poomsae.

Video Edit

The Kukkiwon official video for this form is on YouTube here.

Grand Master Kyu Hyung Lee - WTF Taegeuk Il Jang03:06

Grand Master Kyu Hyung Lee - WTF Taegeuk Il Jang


Video with Notes Edit

The following video is a step-by-step demonstration of Taegeuk Il Jang, with notes.

Taegeuk Il Jang - with notes04:32

Taegeuk Il Jang - with notes


Diagram Edit

To print the diagram, click on the image and select "See full size image," or right-click and open the image in a new tab.

PoomsaeT1 3D

Movements in this form: Ready Stance, Walking Stance, Low Block, Punch, Middle Block (aka Inward Block), High Block (aka Upward Block), Front Kick.

Written InstructionsEdit

Thethreelines

First Line

Like all Taegeuk forms, this poomsae is performed on three lines. Imagine three parallel lines laid out side-to-side before you. You first perform the steps on the first line, then step forward to the second line, perform the steps on the second line, step forward to the third line, etc. The left side of each line is a mirror image of the right side of the line.

The concept of chambering for each upcoming movement is important in taekwondo. The idea is that at the conclusion of each movement you then place your arms or hands in the correct position to prepare for the next movement. Good chambering helps to ensure that not only do you wind up in the correct position at the end of each step, but that the arms and legs follow the correct path to wind up at that position.

THE FIRST LINEEdit

T1 Junbi

Ready Stance (Junbi) in Taegeuk Il Jang

T1 Line1

First Line: Low Block, Punch; Low Block, Punch; then Front Stance - Low Block, Punch

T1 LowBlock

A Low Block in the Walking Stance

T1 Punch

A middle-height Punch

T1 LongStance

A Low Block in the (Long) Front Stance

  • Start in the Ready position , aka "joon-bee" stance.
    • Then, "chamber" the left fist to the right shoulder, and aim the right arm forward, in preparation for the upcoming block. Chamber the left fist with the bottom of the fist (i.e., the fleshy part of the fist) pointing toward your shoulder; that way, during the upcoming block you'll be able to get more "twist" in your wrist as it rotates to face palm-downward at the bottom of the block. In general, this is how you will always chamber for an upcoming low block: with the off-hand pointed outward in front of you, and the blocking arm chambered to the opposite shoulder.
  • FIRST GOING LEFT (the Da 1 direction)...
    • 1. Move the left foot (pivoting on the ball for the right foot) to left 90 degrees into a walking stance with left foot forward. Perform a left-arm low block (aka downward block).
      • Then, raise the left arm to "aim" for the upcoming punch.
    • 2. Step forward into walking stance with right foot forward. Perform a right-hand middle punch.
      • Then, chamber the right fist the left shoulder, and aim the left arm forward, in preparation for the upcoming 180 degree turn and block.
  • THEN GOING RIGHT (mirror image, the Ra 1 direction)...
    • 3. Move the right foot behind you and pivot right 180 degrees on the ball of the left foot into a walking stance with right foot forward. Perform a right-arm low block.
      • Then, as before, aim the right arm in preparation for the upcoming punch.
    • 4. Step forward into walking stance with left foot forward. Left middle punch.
      • Then, as before, chamber the left fist to the right shoulder, and aim the right arm forward, in preparation for the upcoming 90 degree turn and block.
  • TRANSITION TO THE SECOND LINE...
    • 5. Step left with the left foot and pivot on the ball of the right foot to rotate left 90 degrees into a front stance with left foot forward. Perform a left low block.
    • 6. Without pausing, without moving the feet, immediately perform a right middle punch.
      • Then, aim the right arm forward, and chamber the left arm in preparation for the upcoming inward block. To chamber the left arm for the inward block, the left elbow should be pointed leftward with the elbow bent upward so your fist is in the air. As with downward blocks, you'll want to get as much "twist" into your wrist as possible during the block, so during the chamber turn your fist so that it's palm-facing-forward.

THE SECOND LINEEdit

T1 Line2

Second Line: Middle Block, Punch; Middle Block, Punch; then transition to the third line with Front Stance - Low Block, Punch

T1 InwardBlock

Inward Block (i.e., Middle Block) in a Walking Stance

  • FIRST GOING RIGHT (the Ra 2 direction)...
    • 7. Move the right foot only half a step forward and pivot right 90 degrees into a walking stance with the right foot forward. Perform a left inward block (aka middle block).
      • Then, aim the left arm forward. In other words, straighten your left arm from its blocking position, so that it end with the palm facing downward.
    • 8. Step forward into walking stance with left foot forward. Right hand middle punch.
      • Then as previously, chamber for an inward block now with the right arm, with the left arm pointed forward.
  • THEN GOING LEFT (Da 2, the mirror image)...
    • 9. Step with the left foot to turn left 180 degrees into a walking stance with left foot forward. Perform a right inward block.
      • Then, as before, straighten the right arm so that it moves from a right inward block to a right-arm aim.
    • 10. Step forward into walking stance with right foot forward. Left hand middle punch .
      • Then, chamber the right fist to the left shoulder. Aim the left arm forward.
  • TRANSITION TO THE THIRD LINE...
    • 11. Step right with the right foot to turn right 90 degrees into a front stance with right foot forward. Perform a right low block.
    • 12. Without pausing, without moving the feet, immediately perform a left middle punch.
      • Then, chamber for the upcoming high block: put the left fist down to the right-side of the waist, and put the right fist up to the left shoulder.

THE THIRD LINEEdit

T1 Line3

Third Line: High Block, Kick, Punch

T1 HighBlock

High Block (i.e., Upward Block) in a Walking Stance

  • FIRST GOING LEFT (Da 3)...
    • 13. Turn left with the left foot to turn left 90 degrees into a walking stance with left foot forward. Perform a left high block (aka upward block).
      • Then, chamber for upcoming kick by placing both fists in front of your chest, as if blocking.
    • 14a. Perform a right front kick, then place the foot down into a walking stance with the right foot forward.
      • Then, quickly aim the left arm forward to prepare for the upcoming right punch. Often this "aim" will be "slight" (i.e., only partially done and performed quite quickly) because you don't want the upcoming right punch to look like a left-right punch.
    • 14b. Without stepping, perform a right middle punch.
      • Then, chamber for the upcoming high block. Again, the right arm will be at the left waist; the left arm will be at the right shoulder.
  • THEN GOING RIGHT (Ra 3, the mirror image)...
    • 15. Step with the right foot to the right to turn right 180 degrees into a walking stance with right foot forward. Right high block.
      • Then, again, chamber for the upcoming kick by placing both fists in front of your chest.
    • 16a. Perform a left front kick, then place the left foot down into a walking stance with left foot forward.
      • Again, do a "slight" aim with the right arm in preparation for the upcoming left punch.
    • 16b. Without stepping, perform a left middle punch .
      • Chamber the left arm to the right shoulder. Aim the right arm forward.

RETURN TO THE FIRST LINEEdit

T1 End

After the third line, return to the starting position (red figures): the final turn is tricky: move the LEFT foot and chamber the LEFT arm for the Low Block

  • 17. Step with the left foot to turn right 90 degrees into a front stance with left foot forward, left low block.
    • Raise the left arm to aim.
  • 18. Step forward into a front stance with right foot forward, right middle punch.
  • Yell (Kihap). Remain in that position.
  • When the Master says "bah-ro", turn and face the Master. If you did everything correctly, you should wind up on the same spot you started.

Helpful Tips Edit

  • The transition from step 6 to step 7 might feel a little weird until you get used to it. Instead of being a full step forward, the right foot is being pulled only a half-step forward.
  • The transition from step 10 to step 11 might feel a little weird too. Often we chamber the punching hand before the next step, but in this case we're chambering the belt hand (i.e., the hand that's down by our belt).
  • The transition from step 16b to 17 might feel weird for two reasons: For one thing, at step 16b as you're getting ready to turn right, it probably feels more logical to turn right by moving the right foot, when in fact you step with the left foot instead. Also, At the end of 16b, you're chambering the left hand to turn right. This particular turn is a bit of an "oddball" compared to the other turns in the form.
  • One common problem beginners have is this: how to hold your hands while you're doing the kick-and-punch steps at the end of the form. Normally when kicking you should hold your hands as if in a fighting stance, with your fists in front of your chest. Then  - since it's best to aim before each punch in a form - as you complete the kick, do a quick, slight aim with the off-hand before punching.
    • That having been said...some schools teach you to aim for the punch right at the outset of the kick, so that your off-arm remains aimed-forward during the kick. In some ways this might feel a little more awkward ("I'm supposed to aim while I'm kicking?") but it has the advantage that you're already pre-aimed for the upcoming punch by the time you finish the kick, so in that since it "simplifies" the movements.

Stance Problems with Taegeuk Il JangEdit

For people who like to make their poomsae "perfect", Taegeuk Il Jang sometimes presents a special challenge. In principle each poomsae should finish on the same spot that it started. This can be tricky to accomplish in Taegeuk Il Jang however since the turns in this form accumulate to create an error in position.

Assuming one performs the poomsae with consistent stance lengths, by the time one finishes the form, one is somewhat behind the starting spot. Specifically, if all your stances are "perfect" you will finish 4.5 apseogi-widths behind the starting spot. The problem is exacerbated if your apseogi-widths are too wide, which is a common mistake.

In other words, when performing a Walking Stance, your feet should not be spread very much to the sides at all, and even a few inches mistake on this will accumulate through all the turns in this poomsae to result in a substantial error.

In practice, the small 4.5 apseogi-widths problem is handled by making the Long Front Stances on the way forward a tad too long, and then making the Long Front Stances on the way back a tad too short.

T1 Do The Math

Wallpapers Edit

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T1 Wallpaper

Other Forms in the Taegeuk Series Edit

A comparison of Taegeuk Il Jang in some common reference books
Complete Taekwondo Poomsae, a classic reference used to develop the diagrams on this wiki Official Taekwondo Training Manual, Kukkiwon-endorsed Tae Kwon Do: The Ultimate Reference, WTF-endorsed, with full-color photos
CTP T1
TKDb T1
TKDb2 T1
Taekwondo - The State of the Art The Book of Teaching & Learning Taekwondo, another WTF-sponsored reference Kukkiwon's Taekwondo Textbook, an excellent reference in Korean, but virtually unreadable in English
TKDSOTA
BOFLTKD T1
TKDTextbook T1

See AlsoEdit

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