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Thunder

Taegeuk Sa Jang - Thunder. This form should be practiced with great power and dignity -- like the feeling of a thunderstorm.

Taegeuk04

Taegeuk Sa Jang - alternative diagram

Taegeuk Sa Jang (also spelled Taegeuk Sah Jang) is the fourth of eight "taegeuk" forms (i.e., poomsae) used by Kukkiwon and the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). The word "Sa" is the number 4 in the sino-Korean numbering system.

Each taegeuk form is represented by a trigram (such as ); trigrams are divination symbols derived from the I Ching. The trigram for Taegeuk Sa Jang represents the concept of "Jin." Jin represents thunder, symbolizing great power and dignity. The power can be seen, for example, in the introduction of the Side Kick, a powerful, linear kick. (See the article Taegeuk for additional detail regarding the symbolism of this form.)

As the first of the "intermediate-level" taegeuk forms, Taegeuk Sa Jang is much more complex than the previous forms. Previous forms allowed the student to focus on just movements of the upper body or lower body, but in Taegeuk Sa Jang the student must learn to focus on the movements of the entire body all at once; for example, the right Side Kick at step 8a must flow smoothly into proper chambering for the Double Knifehand Block at step 8b; in other words, the chambering has to occur before the kick has even concluded. Likewise, steps 9-12 require the student to smoothly incorporate upper-body techniques into the transitions from kicks. 5th 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 Sa Jang03:09

Grand Master Kyu Hyung Lee - WTF Taegeuk Sa Jang


Video with Notes Edit

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

Taegeuk Sa Jang - with notes06:27

Taegeuk Sa 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.

PoomsaeT4 3D


New movements in this form: Double Knifehand Outward Block (at step 1), Vertical Fingertip Thrust (aka Spearhand Strike, at step 2), Swallowform Knifehand Strike (at step 5), Side Kick (at step 7), Backfist Strike (at step 14b).

Other movements in this form: Ready StanceBack StanceFront Stance (aka Long Stance), Front KickPunchLow Block (aka Downward Block), Middle Block (aka Inward Block).

Written InstructionsEdit

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 poomsae you've learned previously went from the first line to the second, from the second to the third. This poomsae is different. In this poomsae, you go from the first line to the third, then back ot the second line.

THE FIRST LINEEdit

T4 Line1

First Line: introduces the Double Knifehand Blocks and the Supported Spearhand Thrust

T4 DoubleKnifehandBlock

Double Knifehand Block in a Back Stance

T4 DoubleKnifehandBlock2

Double Knifehand Block (detail)

T4 Spearhand

Vertical Fingertip Thrust, aka Spearhand Thrust

T4 Transition

First Line transitions to the Third Line: introduces the Swallowform Block

T4 Swallowform

Swallowform Knifehand Strike

  • Start in the Ready position or "joon-bee" stance.
    • Chamber for the upcoming double knifehand block: place the left knifehand palm-up at the right waist. Place the right knifehand palm-down straight out to the side.
  • FIRST GOING LEFT (Da 1)...
    • 1. Step with the left foot to turn left 90 degrees into a right back stance (i.e., with the left foot forward). Leftward double knife hand middle block.
      • Chamber for the upcoming fingertip thrust: bend the left elbow and swat the left knifehand downward, as if swatting an incoming punch downward with the knifehand.
    • 2. Step forward into a front stance (aka long stance). Right fingertip thrust (i.e., spearhand thrust) supported at the elbow by the left knifehand (still in its previous position of having swatted down an incoming block).
      • Chamber for another double knifehand block, this time with the right knifehand palm-up at the left waist, and the left knifehand palm-down straigh to the side.
  • THEN GOING RIGHT (Ra 1, mirror image)...
    • 3. Step with the right foot to turn right 180 degrees into a left back stance (i.e., right foot forward). Rightward double knifehand middle block.
      • Again, use the swatting motion to chamber for the upcoming fingertip thrust.
    • 4. Step forward into front stance. Left fingertip thrust (i.e., spearhand thrust), again support at the elbow.
      • Chamber for the upcoming swallowform strike by placing the left knifehand palm-up a the right waist, and placing the right knifehand palm-up to the side.
  • TRANSITION TO THE THIRD LINE...
    • 5. Step left with the left foot to turn left 90 degrees into front stance. Perform a swallowform strike: the left knife handhand performs a high block (aka an upward block). Simultaneously the right knifehand strikes inward at neck-height.
    • 6a. Right front kick, then place foot down into a front stance.
    • 6b. Left middle punch.
    • 7. Perform a left side kick by pivoting to the right. Then place the left foot back down in preparation for the upcoming right side kick.
    • 8a. Perform a right side kick by pivoting to the left.
      • As you're finishing the right side kick, chamber for a rightward double knifehand block while putting the right foot back down into a left back stance (i.e., with the right foot forward).
    • 8b. Right double knifehand middle block.
      • Chamber for the upcoming outward block (aka outside block) by placing the left fist to the right waist, and the right fist to the left shoulder.

THE THIRD LINEEdit

T4 Line3

Third Line: Outward Block, Kick, Inward Block

T4 Line2

Third Line transitions to the Second Line

T4 BackfistChamber

Chambering for the Backfist Strike

T4 BackfistStrike

Backfist Strike

  • FIRST GOING RIGHT (Ra 3)...
    • 9. Move the left foot back and to right of the right foot to turn left 270 degrees into a right back stance. Left outward block.
    • 10a. Right front kick (don't move forward); return the right foot back to the back stance. It will feel like you moved forward for the kick, and then returned backward again to where you were before the kick.
      • Chamber for a right middle block (aka inward block) by placing the left arm straight in front of you and the right arm to the side with the elbow bent upward.
    • 10b. Right inward block, still in a back stance.
      • Chamber for the upcoming outward block by placing the right fist to the left waist, the left fist to the right shoulder.
  • THEN GOING LEFT (Da 3, mirror image)...
    • 11. Pivot to the right 180 degrees, moving the right foot slightly as needed to wind up in a left back stance (i.e., right foot forward). Right outward block.
    • 12a. Left front kick (don't move forward). Return the left foot to the back stance.
      • Chamber for a left inward block (right arm straight in front, left arm to the side with the elbow bent upward).
    • 12b. Left inward block, still in back stance.
      • Chamber for the upcoming swallowform strike: right knifehand palm-up to the side, left knifehand at the right waist palm-up.
  • TRANSITION TO THE SECOND LINE...
    • 13. Step left with the left foot to turn left 90 degrees into a left front stance.  Peform a swallowform strike: left knifehand high block, right knifehand neck strike (both at same time).
    • 14a. Right front snap kick (aka front kick), landing in a front stance.
      • As you're finishing the front snap kick, chamber the right fist underneath the left armpit, palm facing downward. The left arm should be aimed straight forward.
    • 14b. Right backfist strike (to opponent's nose).
      • This next chamber may feel weird: even though you're about to pivot left (which means you'd normally do an inward block with the right arm, to benefit from the rotation of your body), this time you're going to pivot left yet perform an inward block with the left arm. So...aim the right arm straight in front of you, chamber the left arm to the left with the elbow bent upward.

THE SECOND LINEEdit

  • FIRST GOING RIGHT (by going right, we mean as seen from the starting position, Ra 2)...
    • 15. Step with the left foot to turn left 90 degrees into a left walking stance. Left inward block followed immediately by...
    • 16. Right middle punch.
      • Again, this chamber may feel weird: chamber the left arm forward, and the right arm to the side with the right elbow bent upward.
  • THEN GOING LEFT (mirror image, Da 2)...
    • 17. Pivot in place to turn right 180 degrees into a right walking stance. Right inward block followed immediately by a...
    • 18. Left middle punch.
      • You might as well get used to it, this chamber is going to feel weird too, for the same reason. You're about to pivot left and yet still do a left inward block. So aim the right arm forward and chamber the left arm to the side, with the left elbow bent upward.

RETURN TO THE FIRST LINEEdit

T4 End

Return to the First Line: Inward Block, Double-Punch...repeat

  • 19a. Step left with the left foot to turn left 90 degrees into a left front stance. Left inward block.
  • 19b-c. Right-left double punch.
    • Finally! This chamber won't feel so bad since you're moving forward without rotating. Chamber the left arm forward and the right arm to the side with the elbow bent upward.
  • 20a. Step forward into a front stance. Right inward block.
  • 20b-c. Left-right double punch. Yell ("kihap").
  • When the Master says "bah-ro", step with the left foot to turn and face the Master. If you did everything correctly, you'll wind up right where you started.

Helpful Tips Edit

  • Most of this form should feel pretty natural, except maybe the transitions between steps 14 and 19. It may feel weird to be doing inward blocks that are turning opposite the direction in which the body is pivoting. It takes some getting used to.

Wallpapers Edit

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T4 Wallpaper

Other Forms in the Taegeuk Series Edit

See AlsoEdit

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