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Taegeuk Sam Jang

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Fire

Taegeuk Sam Jang - Fire. This form should be performed with burning enthusiasm and bursts of power.

Taegeuk03

Taegeuk Sam Jang - alternative diagram

Taegeuk Sam Jang is the third of eight "taegeuk" forms (i.e., poomsae) used by Kukkiwon and the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). The word "Sam" is the number 3 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 Sam Jang represents the concept of "Ree" (also spelled Ri). Ree represents heat and brightness, like a fire. The idea is that this form should crackle like a fire: rapidly fluid throughout, with bursts of power. For example, the punches at steps 8 and 10 "burst" forward from their prior stances, like the crackle and pop of a fire. The concept of Ree also symbolizes that the form should be practiced with burning enthusiasm and passion. (See the article Taegeuk for additional detail regarding the symbolism of this form.)

This form introduces knifehand techniques as well as combinations (i.e., multiple movements performed on the same beat). 6th Gup grade trainees practice this poomsae.

Trivia:Edit

  • Of all the taegeuk forms, only Sam Jang and Yook Jang conclude with a left-hand technique.
  • Of all the taegeuk forms, only Sam Jang and Yook Jang repeat the first line on the third line.

Video Edit

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

Grand Master Kyu Hyung Lee - WTF Taegeuk Sam Jang02:12

Grand Master Kyu Hyung Lee - WTF Taegeuk Sam Jang


Video with Notes Edit

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

Taegeuk Sam Jang - with notes05:21

Taegeuk Sam 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.

PoomsaeT3 3D

New movements in this form: Inward Knifehand Strike (at step 5), Back Stance (at step 7), Outward Knifehand Block (at step 7).

Other movements in this form: Ready Stance, Walking Stance, Low Block (aka Downward Block), Front Kick, Punch, 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 FIRST LINEEdit

T3 Line1

First Line: Low Block, Kick, Double-Punch. Then two Knifehand Strikes.

T3 KnifehandStrike

Inward Knifehand Strike in Taegeuk Sam Jang

  • Start in the Ready position or "joon-bee" stance
    • Chamber the left fist to the right shoulder for a left low block (aka downward block).
  • FIRST GOING LEFT (Da 1)...
    • 1. Step left with the left foot to turn left 90 degrees into a walking stance with the left foot forward. Left low block.
      • To chamber for the upcoming punches, it's sometimes useful for beginners to aim the left arm forward during the upcoming punch. In other words, as you perform the right kick, your left arm is held straight in front of you. More experienced practitioners will instead chamber their fists in front of these chest, as if to block.
    • 2a. Right front kick, then step down into a front stance (aka long stance).
    • 2b-c. Right punch, left punch. There's no pause between these two punches; they're done rapidly in succession.
      • Chamber the right fist to the left shoulder in preparation for the upcoming right low block.
  • THEN GOING RIGHT (Ra 1, mirror image)...
    • 3. Step right with the right foot to turn right 180 degrees into a walking stance with the right foot forward. Right low block.
      • Chamber for the upcoming kick and double punch.
    • 4a. Left front kick, then step down into a front stance
    • 4b-c. Left punch, right punch (again, rapidly in succession, with no pause between punches).
      • To chamber for the upcoming knifehand strike, aim your right knifehand to your right, palm-side up; the elbow is bent upward slightly. At the same time, aim your left arm (fist is palm-down) forward in front of you.
  • TRANSITION TO THE SECOND LINE...
    • 5. Step left with the left foot to turn left 90 degrees into a walking stance with the left foot forward. Right knifehand strike to the neck.
      • Then, chamber for a left knifehand strike. As before, aim your left knifehand to your left, palm-side up, elbow slightly bent. At the same time, aim your right arm in front of you.
    • 6. Step forward into right walking stance. Left knifehand strike to the neck.
      • Then, chamber for the upcoming outward knifehand block by placing the left knifehand palm-up at the right side of the waist. Chamber the right fist to the left shoulder.

THE SECOND LINEEdit

T3 Line2

Second Line: Knifehand Block, pivot, Punch

T3 KnifehandBlock

Knifehand Middle Block (i.e., Knifehand Outward Block)

T3 KnifehandBlock2

Knifehand Middle Block (detail)

  • FIRST GOING LEFT (Da 2)...
    • 7. Step left with the left foot to turn left 90 degrees into a back stance with the left foot forward (when the left foot is forward in a back stance, it's called a right back stance). Left knifehand outward block. The left knifehand should not travel in a straight line from the chamber at the waist; rather, it should arc upward from the waist to block outward.
    • 8. Slide the left foot forward into a front stance (aka long stance). Right punch.
      • Then, chamber for the upcoming outward knifehand block by placing the right knifehand palm-up at the left side of the waist. Chamber the left fist to the right shoulder.
  • THEN GOING RIGHT (Ra 2, mirror image)...
    • 9. Step with the right foot to turn right 180 degrees into a back stance with the right foot forward (aka, left back stance). Right knifehand outward block.
    • 10. Slide the right foot forward into a front stance. Left punch.
      • Then, chamber for the upcoming inward block. Raise the left arm in front of you. Place the right arm to your side, elbow bent upward with the fist high.
  • TRANSITION TO THE THIRD LINE...
    • 11. Step left with the left foot to turn left 90 degrees into a walking stance. Right middle block (aka inside block, or inward block).
      • Chamber for another inward block, this time with the right arm aimed in front and the left arm to the side, elbow bent upward, fist high.
    • 12. Step forward into right walking stance. Left middle block.
      • Chamber for the upcoming downward block. Place the left fist at the right shoulder. Aim the right arm in front of you. 

THE THIRD LINEEdit

T3 Line3

Third Line: same as the first line

The third line in this form repeats the first line.

  • FIRST GOING RIGHT (Ra 3)...
    • 13. Lift the left foot and stretch it behind you and to the right of the right foot. Then pivot to the left to rotate 270 degrees into a walking stance. In other words, turn right by pivoting all the way around to the left. Perform a left low block (aka downward block).
    • 14a. Right front kick. Land in a right front stance.
    • 14b-c. Right punch, left punch.
  • THEN GOING LEFT (Da 3)...
    • 15. Step right with the right foot to turn right 180 degrees into a walking stance. Right low block.
    • 16a. Left front kick landing in a left front stance.
    • 16b-c. Left punch, right punch.
      • Chamber for the upcoming low block placing the left fist at the right shoulder. Aim the right arm in front of you.

RETURN TO THE FIRST LINEEdit

T3 End

After the third line, return to the starting position: Block-Punch, Block-Punch, Kick-Block-Punch, Kick-Block-Punch

  • 17a. Step left with the left foot to turn left 90 degrees into left walking stance. Left low block.
  • 17b. Without stepping, right punch.
    • Chamber for a right low block, with the right fist at the left shoulder, and the left arm in front of you.
  • 18a. Step forward into right walking stance. Right low block.
  • 18b. Without stepping, left punch.
  • 19a. Left front kick, landing in a left walking stance.
  • 19b-c. Left low block. Right punch.
  • 20a. Right front kick, landing in a right walking stance.
  • 20b-c. Right low block. Left 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

  • Just as with the form Taegeuk Yi Jang, transitioning from Walking Stance to Front Stance via a Front Kick in this form may feel weird. Specifically, it kinda feels like you're "falling" into the Front Stance after the kick. That's how it's done though. With practice you learn to drop into the Front Stance with good control.
  • The double-punches (for example at 2b-c) should be done in rapid succession; there's no beat or pause between the two punches. Or to phrase that another way: don't think of this as two punches, think of it as a single double-punch.
  • The one place where most people seem to have trouble with this form is at the final run: steps 17a onward. The constant back and forth — left and right — block, punch, kick, block, punch…it’s easy to lose track of whether you should be using your right hand or your left hand. But there’s actually a simple trick to make this easier to remember: chamber and aim for the upcoming downward block as you start each kick. It may look awkward, but it makes it easy to remember: you simply chamber left, then chamber right, then chamber left, then chamber right…alternating. Once you have it well memorized, you can stop using the “awkward” technique to remember the sequence and you can make it more graceful by (as is normal) bringing both fists in front of you during the kicks. But until you reach that level of memorization, the “always chamber at each step” rules makes this form much simpler to memorize.

Other Forms in the Taegeuk Series Edit

See AlsoEdit

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