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Talk Taekwondo Episode 1

Talk Taekwondo Episode 1

An outstanding introduction to taekwondo vocabulary

In English, a single taekwondo technique might go by more than one name. For example, a skip roundhouse kick might also be called a leading-leg roundhouse kick. The same is true in Korean: a single technique might be known by more than one name. For this reason, different taekwondo websites (including this one) might use several different names for the same technique.

The naming problem is further exacerbated by the fact that the same Korean word can be romanized into the English alphabet in several ways. For example, the Korean "g" sound is harder than the English g sound, so that it sounds almost like a soft "k." Sometimes this is romanized as "kg" to indicate that the sound is something between an k and a g. Still other authors will romanize the sound as either a k or a g.

As if that weren't complicated enough, different styles of taekwondo may use the same phrase to refer to completely different techniques. For example in Kukkiwon/WT-style taekwondo, the term Walking Stance usually refers to an upright stance where one foot is only slightly forward of the other (as if walking); in ITF/Chang Hon-style however, the term Walking Stance refers to a lower, long stance where one foot is much more forward. 

The following wiki articles list most of the common taekwondo words and phrases alphabetically:

See also Category:Korean Language for a list of Korean terms used on this wiki.

Simple WordsEdit

While the above articles list many taekwondo words and phrases, many of these phrases are built-up by combining simple terms. This is not an exhaustive list, and spellings may vary.  

Rather than listing these terms alphabetically, the following terms are grouped into logical sets of related meanings. One can build the names of many taekwondo techniques simply by combinine these simple terms. For example, in English a Double Knifehand Block is also known as an Assisted Knifehand Block...combining these terms in Korean yields Kodureo Son-nal Makgi (assisted hand-blade block).

TechniquesEdit

  • Seogi - 서기 (nominalization of 서다, "to stand") also romanized Sohgi, or Sogi. Means stance. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
  • Jase - 자세 means posture, but people will sometimes use it for stance. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
  • Keubi - 굽이 also spelled Gubi, or Kubi. Means limberness. For example in Kukkiwon/WT taekwondo, Ap Kubi literally means "Front Limberness" but is commonly called a Front Stance or Long Stance. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
    • You will sometimes also see the older term Keubigi (굽이기, koo-big-ee) which means "bend". So the Front Stance might be called Ap Kubi or the older term, Ap Kubigi. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
  • Chagi - 차기 (nominalization of 차다, "to kick") Means kick. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
  • Chigi - 치기 (nominalization of 치다, "to strike") Means strike (i.e., with an open hand). {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
  • Jireugi - 지르기 (nominalization of 지르다) also romanized Jirugi. Means punch. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
    • The similar-sounding word Jjireugi 찌르기 means thrust. The intial "j" sound is softer, almost like a cross between a "j" and a "ch". For this reason it is sometimes romanized as Chireugi.
  • Makgi - 막기 (nominalization of 막다, "to block") also romanized Maggi, Makki. Means block. This should be pronounced as "mahk-gee"...in other words, pronounce both the K and the G sound. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}

TKD Vocabulary

Directions & ModifiersEdit

  • Front and Back:
    • Ap - 앞 also romanized Ahp. Means front (as in front side). Examples: Ap Chagi literally translates as Front Kick. Ap Seogi literally translates as Front Stance (though note that in Kukkiwon/WT taekwondo this term refers to a Walking Stance). As another example, the ball of the foot is the ap chuk (front joint).  {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
    • Dwi - 뒤 also romanized Dwi. Means rear or back (as in back side). Examples: Dwi Chagi literally translates as Back Kick. Dwi Kubi (called a Back Stance in Kukkiwon/WT taekwondo) literally translates as Back Limberness. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
  • High, Middle, and Low Sections:
    • Ollyeo  (올려) and Olgul (얼굴) are both terms can refer to the high section of the body (shoulders and above). The first term is more like the direction "going upward" while the second term is similar to the word for face, eogul. Example: Olgul Makgi and Olyeo Makgi both refer to a High Block. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how they're pronounced on Google Translate: 올려 and 얼굴.}
    • Momtong - 몸통 the middle section of the body; this is also the word for torso. Example: Momtong Makgi is a Middle Block. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
    • Arae - 아래 means bottom, the low section of the body (below the waist). Example: Arae Makgi is a Low Block. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
      • Note that a Low Block can also be Naeryo Makgi (see below) -- i.e., a Downward Block. This is another example of how even in Korean the same technique can go by multiple names.
  • Skip Kicks:
    • Balbucheo (발붙여) - means "facing foot", as in the foot that's facing your opponent. A skip kick using the front leg is sometimes called a Balbucheo Chagi, as is any kick that's performed with the lead foot. In the case of a Roundhouse Kick, the term Balbucheo Dollyeo Chagi is often used to refer to a skip roundhouse. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
    • Bbareun - (빠른) also romanized Bbaleun or Balun. Means quick or fast. A skip kick using the front leg is also sometimes called a Barun Bal (빠른발) "fast foot". {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
  • Left and Right Side:
    • Wen - 왼 Means left. Example, Wen Seogi literally means Left Stance. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
    • Oreun - 오른 also romanized Orun. Means right. Example, Oreun Seogi literally means Right Stance. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
    • Note that Korean has different words for left and right, depending on on the part of speech being used (noun, adjective, adverb). Also note that stances are usually (but not always) named by which leg carries most of the weight. For example, a Back Stance where the right leg is in the rear is a Right Back Stance. One exception is the Cross Stance, where the stance is named by the leg which is crossing over.
  • Yeop - 옆 also romanized Yop, or Yup. Means side. Example: Yup Chagi literally translates as Side Kick. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
  • Bandae - 반대 also romanized Bandae. Means reverse or the opposite. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
  • Inward and Outward:
    • An - 안 means inner. Example: An-Palmok Bakkat Makgi translates as inner-wrist outside-block. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
    • Anuro - 안으로 also romanized Aneuro. Means inward. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
    • Bakkat - 밖앗 also romanized Bakat. Means outer. Example: Bakkat Momtong Makgi translates as outer middle block, i.e., an Outside Block. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
    • Bakkeuro - 밖으로 also romanized Baggeuro. Means outward or outside. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
  • Upward and Downward:
    • Ollyeo - 올려, see this same entry above, under High Section; means upward or high section.
    • Nae-ryeo - 내려 also romanized Naeryeo, Naeleo. Means downward. Example: Naeryo Chagi literally translates as Downward Kick, though it is often called an Ax Kick in English. As previously noted above, Naeryo Makgi would be a Downward Block, also known as a Low Block. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
    • Note: to English-speaking ears, the word Nae-ryeo (내려, downward) can sound a bit like Na-rae (나래), but they should not be confused. A nae-ryeo chagi ("nay-ryuh) is an Axe Kick, a na-rae chagi ("nah-ray") is a Double Roundhouse Kick.
  • Bitureo - 비틀어 also romanized Biteuleo. Means twisting. Examples: Bitureo Magki is a Twist Block; Bitureo Chagi is a Twist Kick. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
  • Assisted (two handed) techniques:
    • Kodureo - 거들어 also romanized Kodeuleo. Means assisted. Example: Kodureo Sonnal Makgi translates as Assisted Knifehand Block, though it is often called a Double Knifehand Block in English. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
    • Yangson - 양손 means two-handed. Example: a Double Knifehand Block can also be called Yang-son-nal Makgi (double-hand-blade block). {Click on the speaker icon to hear how they're pronounced on Google Translate: yangson 양손 and yangsonal 양손날.}
  • Dollyeo - 돌려. Means roundward, or turning. Example: Dollyeo Chagi literally translates as Turning Kick, though it is often called a Roundhouse Kick in English. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
    • Note that this term is distinct from dolgae, which means spinning. So doollyeo-chagi translates as turning kick, but dolgae-chagi translates as spinning kick (i.e., a tornado kick).
    • Note: some taekwondo schools will call a roundhouse kick Ap Doolyo Chagi, putting the word "front" (ap) at the start of the phrase. Specifically they will use this term to refer to a roundhouse that strikes with the instep of the foot, rather than the ball of the foot.
  • Bandal - 반달 also romanized Bandul. Means crescent (as in a crescent moon). Example: Bandal Chagi literally translates as Crescent Kick. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
  • Spinning (Tornado) Kicks:
    • Doolgae - 둘개 (from the verb 돌리다, spinning) also romanized dolgae or dolge. Means spinning or whirling. Example: Doolgae Chagi literally translates as Spinning Kick; often this term refers to a 360 Roundhouse or Tornado Kick; some schools also use the term doolage chagi to refer to a spinning Back Hook Kick.
    • Naraebang - (나래방) this term is also sometimes used to refer to a Tornado Kick.
    • Tun Chagi - (턴차기) also romanized as teon, this a Hangul representation of the English word "turn". This term is also sometimes used to refer to a Tornado Kick.
  • Jumping Kicks:
    • Ttwieo and Twimyo: these are both terms that are commonly used for jump kicks.
      • The term 뛰어 (ttwieo) alone means "run"; this is the term usually used in Kukkiwon/WT-style taekwondo when referring to jump kicks, as in "running and jumping to kick". {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
      • The term 뛰며 (romanized tdwimyu or ttwimyeo) alone means "jump"; this is the term favored by ITF-style taekwondo when referring to jump kicks, as in "kicking as you jump". {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
      • To the extent that a distinction is made between these two terms, it's that twimyo connotes "jumping upward in place" while ttwieo connotes "running and then jumping horizontally" -- but in practice the two terms are used somewhat interchangeably.
    • Eedan - 이단 (二段) also spelled Yidan. Literally means second level (ee dan) but like twimyo is sometimes used to mean jumping when referring to kicks. So eedan ap chagi is a Jump Front Kick.

Body PartsEdit

  • Baal - 발 also spelled Bal, or Bahl. Means foot. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
    • Note that tae (as in taekwondo) does not mean "foot," it means "to strike with the foot." 
  • Sohn - 손 also spelled Son, or Sahn. Means hand. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
    • Note that kwon (as in taekwondo) does not mean "hand," it means "to strike with the hand." (Also, do not confuse kwon with the similar-sounding kwan.)
    • Some hand position in taekwondo are named by combining "sohn" with other words. For example a spear-hand is sohn-kkeut (손끝), i.e., the tip of the hand.
  • Jumeok - 주먹 also spelled Chumok. Means fist. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
    • ​Some hand techniques in taekwondo are named by combining "jeumeok" with other words. For example hammer fist is me-jeumeog (메주먹).
  • Palkeop - 발겁 means elbow, especially when used as an adjective as in "elbow strike". {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
    • Especially when used as a noun, palkkumchi (팔꿈치) also means elbow.
  • Mok - 목 (pronounced "moke") means neck. So a knifehand strike to the neck is called a "mok chigi" - neck strike.
  • Palmok - 팔목 means wrist or cuff. So for example an Outside Block performed with the Inner Wrist would be called an An Palmok Bakkat Makgi. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
    • Note that sohnmok (손목) can also mean wrist. Pal (팔) means "arm" and sohn (손) means "hand"; remember mok (목) means "neck". So the wrist can be called either the sohn-mok (the neck of the hand) or the pal-mok (the neck of the arm).
  • Mureup - 무릎 also romanized as Murup, means knee. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
  • Dwi Chuk - 뒤축, also romanized as Dwee Chook, refers to the heel ("back joint"), though sometimes the shorter term chuk is used alone to refer to the heel, for example in the term hwe chuk ("arcing heel" -- one name for a back hook kick).
  • Ap Chuk - 앞축, also romanized as Ap Chook, refers to the ball of the foot ("front joint"). For example a Front Kick where the ball of the foot is being used as the striking surface is said to be done "ap chuk".

Basic Terms 1 Basic Terms 2

Common Training VocabularyEdit

There are a number of simple words and commands that are also commonly used as part of everyday taekwondo training. Again, more complete lists are available at the links listed near the top (and bottom) of this page. Some of the commonly-used words however are:

  • Attention - Charyeot 차렷. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
  • Get Ready - Junbi 준비 (Hanja: 準備) {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
  • Begin - Sijak 시작 (Hanja: 始作) {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
  • Stop - Geuman 그만 (used as a command, as in "end the sparring match"). {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
  • Return to starting position - Baro 바로. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
  • Bow or Salute - Kyung-Nyeh 경례 (Hanja: 敬禮) (敬 = "display, show", 禮 = "respect", lit. "show respect"). {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
  • National Flag - Geuk-gi 국기 (Hanja: 國旗) (國 = "nation" + 旗 = "flag"). {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
  • Yell - Kihap 기합 (Hanja: 氣合) ("氣" = spiritual energy (like 'chi'), 合 = gather and focus, so literally "focus your energy"). {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
  • Form -
    • Kukkiwon/WT and ATA styles: Poomsae, (품세, Hanja: 品勢)
    • ITF style taekwondo: Teul (들)
    • Traditional taekwondo: Hyeong (형, Hanja: 型)
  • Uniform - Do-Bok (도복, Hanja: 道服) (literally: 道 = "way" + 服 = "clothing"; lit. "clothing of the way")
  • Taekwondo Studio - Do-Jang (도장, Hanja: 道場) (道 "way" + 場 = "place"; lit. "place of the way")
  • Thank you (Sino-Korean) - 감사 합니다 (Hanja: 感謝 "thankfulness" + 합니다, formal form of 하다, "to do") Gamsa-Hamnida. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
    • There are different phrases for "thank you" in Korean, depending on the formality of the situation. Gamsa-Hamnida is a very formal version of thank you; it's the version that's most often used in taekwondo. Read more at WikiHow.
  • Thank you (native) - 고맙습니다 (Formal ending, Dictionary Form: 고맙다) Gomapseumnida. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
  • Titles - the use of titles can vary from school to school.
    • Instructor - Gyosa-Nim 교사님 (Hanja: 教師 + 님 "respected person" suffix) or Gyobeom-nim 교범님 (Hanja: 敎範 + 님 "respected person" suffix) 
    • Master - Sabeom-nim 사범님 (Hanja: 師範 + 님, "respected person" suffix) 
    • Grand Master - Gwanjang-nim 관장님 (Hanja: 館長님, + 館 = "school", 長 = "head" -- so literally this is the head of a school) 관장님 
    • Some alternative terms also seen:
      • Master  - 세헌님? Say-Hun-Nim
      • Grand Master  - 사성님 Sah-Sung-Nim

Activities Edit

  • Sparring:
    • Gyorugi - 겨루기 (nominalization of 겨루다, "to compete") also romanized Gyeorugi or Kyorugi. Means compete, referring to sparring, particularly in WT/Kukkiwon-style taekwondo. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
    • Majseogi - 맞서기, also romanized as Matseogi.  Means confront, referring to sparring, particularly in ITF-style taekwondo. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
  • Kyeokpa - 격파 also romanized Kyukpa. Refers to breaking. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}
  • Hosinsool - 호신술, means self-defense. {Click on the speaker icon to hear how it's pronounced on Google Translate.}

Numbers and CountingEdit

Koreans have two different counting systems. The native system is purely Korean, while the Sino-Korean numbering system is derived from Chinese numerals. Some measure words use native numbers, others use Sino-Korean numbers. Generally, native numbers are used for cardinals numbers (one thing, two things, three things, etc.) while Sino-Korean numbers are used for ordinals (first thing, second thing, third thing, etc.). In modern practice, numbers above 100 are generally rendered in Sino-Korean numbers only.

Native

Hangeul

Sino-Korean

Hangeul

Hanja
1 hana 하나 il 
2 dul i ("yee") 
3 set  sam 
4 net  sa 
5 daseot 다섯 o ("oh") 
6 yeoseot 여섯 yuk 
7 ilgop  일곱 chil 
8 yeodeol 여덟 pal 
9 ahop  아홉 gu 
10 yeol  sip 

WT Sparring VocabularyEdit

In WT-style sparring, referees use a combination of hand-signals and Korean vocabulary to provide direction and indicate penalties. In addition to the conventional training vocabulary listed above, sparring vocabulary includes:

  • Chung (청) - Blue (competitor); Hong (홍) - Red (competitor)
  • Gahllyeo (gawl-yuh; 갈려) - Pause
  • Gyay-sok (gyay-soak; 계속) - Resume
  • Gam-jeum (gam-jum; 감점) - Penalty
  • Gueman (goo-mahn, the first vowel is like "brook"; 그만) - end
  • Sueng (soong, the vowel is like "brook"; 승)- winner (victory)
  • Kye-shi (kyay-shee; 계시) - injury time-out (60 seconds)
  • Shi-gan (shee-gawn, 시간) - time-out (indefinite)
Sparring Gestures
Sparring Penalties

See AlsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

Some of the better webpages on the Internet for listing taekwondo terminology are:

...but of course there are many others on the Internet as well.