Taegeuk Yook Jang (also spelled Taegeuk Yuk Jang) is the sixth of eight "taegeuk" forms (i.e., poomsae) used by Kukkiwon and the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). The word "Yook" is the number 6 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 Yook Jang represents the concept of "Kam" (also spelled Gam). Kam symbolizes water, which is flowing and gentle but also persistent, able to wear away at the hardest stone. (See the article Taegeuk for additional detail regarding the symbolism of this form.)
This form requires very fluid movements, such as the immediate but complex transition from step 12a to step 12b: the left Roundhouse Kick to the right Low Block. Like water, the attacks are persistent, such as with steps 8-9: punch, kick, punch - uninterrupted by blocks. The final backwards steps 16-18 mimic the way water flows formlessly back to its container. 3rd Gup grade trainees practice this poomsae.
- Of all the taegeuk forms, only Yook Jang and Pal Jang do not have a kihap at the end.
- Of all the taegeuk forms, only Yook Jang concludes by moving the right foot to the left foot to return to the ready position.
- 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 with Notes Edit
The following video is a step-by-step demonstration of Taegeuk Yook Jang, with notes.
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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.
- Start in the Ready position or "joon-bee" stance
- FIRST GOING LEFT (Da 1)...
- THEN GOING RIGHT (Ra 1, mirror image)...
- TRANSITION TO THE SECOND LINE...
- 5. Stepping with the left foot, turn left 90 degrees (so that you're facing the Ga direction) into a left front stance. Chamber the right knifehand to the left side waist, then raise the right knifehand to perform a right knifehand high twist block, as if grabbing the opponent's shoulder.
- 6a. Right roundhouse kick. As you finish the roundhouse kick, place the kicking leg down just ahead of the left foot, in preparation for the upcoming pivot.
- Technically, at the end of the roundhouse kick, as you place your kicking foot on the floor, you're still facing in the Ga direction, in preparation for an upcoming pivot to the left. In practice, however, these two things (6a-6b) happen so quickly that it may feel like you put your kicking foot down immediately into a pivoted position.
- FIRST GOING LEFT (Da 2)...
- THEN GOING RIGHT (Ra 2, mirror image)...
- TRANSITION TO THE THIRD LINE...
- 10. Step left with the left foot to turn left 90 degrees into a parallel stance. Cross both hands in front of your chest (thumbs away from the chest) then lower and open your arms slowly (to an 8-count) to perform a slow low opening block.
- 11. Step forward into a right front stance. Left knifehand high twist block.
- 12a. Left roundhouse kick. Kihap.
- FIRST GOING LEFT (Da 3)...
- 12b. Place the left kicking leg down next to right foot (so that technically you're still facing in the Ga direction), then step back with the right foot to turn right 270 degrees into a right front stance. In practice, the step-down-and-pivot might happen so quickly that it feels like you only had to turn 180 degrees to the right. In any case, you wind up facing in the Da direction in a front stance. Right low block.
- 13a. Left front kick.
- 13b. Step back into left back stance (i.e., right foot forward). Right outward block.
- THEN GOING RIGHT (Ra 3, mirror image)...
MOVING BACKWARD TO THE FIRST LINEEdit
- 16. Step forward with the right foot to turn left 90 degrees into a right back stance (i.e., left foot forward). Leftward double knifehand block.
- 17. Step backward into left back stance (i.e., right foot forward). Rightward double knifehand block.
- 18a. Step backward into left front stance (this is a front stance, so that's left foot forward). Left middle palmheel block.
- 18b. Without pausing, right middle punch.
- 19a. Step backward into right front stance. Right middle palmheel block.
- 19b. Without pausing, left middle punch.
- When the Master says "bah-ro", move your right foot backwards (in line with your left foot) and go into Ready stance. If you did everything correctly, you should finish right where you started.
Helpful Tips Edit
- This is another one of those forms where the first line and the third line are the same. That makes it easier to remember.
- A lot of people seem to have trouble remembering Step 5 and Step 11. “Which hand is used? Which foot goes forward?” Here’s a couple of tips: (1) the forward hand and the forward foot are always opposite. So for example at Step 5 it’s the right arm forward, therefore it must be the left foot forward. (2) the blocking hand will always be pointing in the direction of the upcoming Roundhouse Kick.
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Other Forms in the Taegeuk Series Edit
- Taegeuk Il Jang also called Taegeuk 1 Jang
- Taegeuk Yi Jang also spelled Taegeuk Ee Jang, or Taegeuk 2 Jang
- Taegeuk Sam Jang also spelled Taegeuk Sahm Jang, or Taegeuk 3 Jang
- Taegeuk Sa Jang also spelled Taegeuk Sah Jang, or Taegeuk 4 Jang
- Taegeuk Oh Jang also spelled Taegeuk O Jang, or Taegeuk 5 Jang
- Taegeuk Yook Jang also spelled Taegeuk Yuk Jang, or Taegeuk 6 Jang
- Taegeuk Chil Jang also called Taegeuk 7 Jang
- Taegeuk Pal Jang also spelled Taegeuk Phal Jang, or Taegeuk 8 Jang
- Poomsae webpage at World Taekwondo Federation (WTF)
- Poomsae webpage at Kukkiwon, the WTF headquarters
- Grand Master Kyu Hyung Lee demonstrating Taegeuk Yook Jang on YouTube
- List of Taekwondo techniques at Wikipedia
- Taegeuk Yook Jang on Taekwondo Animals
- Taegeuk Yook Jang at Taekwondo Preschool
- Taegeuk Yook Jang on Black Belt Wiki
- Taegeuk Yook Jang on Poomse.me
- Taegeuk Yook Jang on Taekwondo Bible, a Korean-developed website