So what exactly IS a Taeguek anyway?

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by Gemini, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. matt.m

    matt.m Senior Master

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    What an interesting lesson. Thank you for all the neat information.
     
  2. Payne

    Payne White Belt

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    so to recap, 8 taegeuk forms, 8 palgue forms, 8 trigrams, thats a lot of eights. Then 9 black belt forms. I wonder why they broke the line
     
  3. Shaderon

    Shaderon Master of Arts

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    Slightly differnt names from frm those I know.

    I have

    1. Ch'ien (three long bars)
    2. K'un (three broken bars)
    3. Chen (one long bar underneath two broken bars)
    4. Sun (one broken bar underneath two long bars)
    5. K'an (one long bar between two broken bars)
    6. Li (one broken bar in between 2 long bars)
    7. Ken (one long bar above two broken bars)
    8. Tui (one broken bar above 2 long bars)

    Maybe it's a language or dialect difference, the names themselves I din't think matter that much.

    Major Yang Trigrams
    Ch'ien (Heaven) and Tui (Marsh)

    Minor Yin Trigrams
    Chen (Thunder) and Li (Fire)

    Major Yin Trigrams
    K'un (Earth) and Ken (Mountain)

    Minor Yan Trigrams
    K'an (Water) and Sun (Wind)

    The Trigrams are paired up as upper and lower trigrams as the person doing the reading throws them (sometimes done with Yarrow sticks or coins) and make Hexagrams. There are 64 hexagrams and it takes practice to read them as they can be quite er... poetic? lol

    For instance if we take Hexagram one which is Ch'ien and Ch'ien (thrown twice) the meaning of that is.

    Sublime success through perseverance
    As creative power permeates all heaven
    By clouds and rain all beings attain form
    So the great man sees, with great clarity, causes and effects.
    By persevering does he complete things in thier due time,
    Each end is a new beginning.

    the interpretation for that goes kinda like... Don't try and push for things to happen before they are ready, everything has it's time and patience must be used. Don't worry about things changing, each thing that ends also shows a new beginning. Doors not only let you out of a place, they also let you into another.

    I studied a little.
     
  4. Errant108

    Errant108 Purple Belt

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    You're using Wade-Giles transliterations of Mandarin Chinese.

    The rest of the posters in this thread are using various transliteration systems for Korean, since we are discussing Korean martial arts. That's where the differences come from.
     
  5. Shaderon

    Shaderon Master of Arts

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    Ah thank you, i knew there must be an explantion. It's gotta mean the same thing though and the concept is the same.

    The Trigrams converted into hexagrams is used as a tool for divination and expressing philosophy. It is written in the "Book of Changes" in the east. Many people suggest it originated in China but I don't personally know that.
     
  6. Errant108

    Errant108 Purple Belt

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    It's a bit more complicated than that.

    The Taegeuk & Palgwe sets aren't derived from the Yijing, but a later work called the Zhouyi. The Zhouyi was a primary influence for Baguazhang, the Chinese martial system, and when these new Taegwondo forms were being created to do away with the Shotokan forms, this was what the Kukkiwon looked to. There is actual an entire lineage of Baguazhang traced through Korea to modern times.

    Each trigram is also associated with an animal and an individual fighting strategy, however, these do not come through in either the Palgwe or Taegeuk sets. The creators of these forms, a committee of masters who had only trained in what is now considered "elementary school karate", did not have the training in form applications to be able to actual create something with an inherent fighting strategy.

    Qian = Lion
    Kun = Lin (The Chinese unicorn-dragon)
    Kan = Snake
    Li = Hawk
    Zhen = Dragon
    Gen = Bear
    Xun = Phoenix
    Dui = Monkey
     
  7. Master Dan

    Master Dan Master Black Belt

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    PHILOSOPHY
    OF THE TAEGEUK FORMS

    From Master Dan

    To my students realize that your movements are more that just punches and kicks.

    Taegeuk forms are representation of the Tae Kwon Do system of martial arts. They include all the movements that you must learn on your journey to 1st Dan black belt.
    Also they include mental aspirations or what you should be thinking of when performing these forms. These thoughts go beyond that of who is attacking me from where and how should I respond.

    All Martial art styles including any of the heavy contact sports are simulating life and death struggle. Even though death does not occur as a rule during practice or competition the fact remains that the practitioner comes away with a feeling of heightened awareness related to life and death. Over time as a person matures they cannot escape the contemplation of what is the meaning of life.

    There have of course been many books written over the ages regarding the meaning of life. In Asia one of the leading books from the 13th century B.C. is the Jooyeok, Book of Changes. This book is the work of several Chinese philosophers for a period of several hundred years. One of these was Fuh Hi, the original author of the Book of Changes, who identified eight combinations of positive and negative forces.

    Please study the graphic diagram of Yin and Yang. This symbol is familar to most of us as the opposing or balance of positive and negative force or a balance between good and evil. Some would even call this a constant battle with never ending conflict and change.
    The Koreans call this um and yang. Fuh Hi decided that these forces combine in a harmonious relationship all dependant on each other in a continuous circle representing the symbol of life and the universe. These eight symbols or concepts are part of everything we have and know past present and future.

    In all literature through out the ages you will always see the identification of two opposing forces however they are dependent on each for their existence or you cannot have one with out the other. Example, (mixing paint) you need different variations of black and white to get the required result of color that you need. Each combination has its own useful color that you may desire to have at that moment.

    The eight symbols arrange themselves starting with 1. being the pure form of Yin or all white as if on a color chart and 8. the pure form of Yang or all black. All numbers or symbols in between are the result of combining greater or lesser portions of Yin and Yang in combination.






    PHILOSOPHY OF TAEGEUK FORMS


    PAGE TWO


    As you study the chart and the meaning of each of the eight symbols contemplate this as you practice your forms. All Tae Kwon Do forms have mental, physical and spiritual
    implications.

    As you train for advancement we would hope that you consider the balance between your martial skills and the traditional values of Tae Kwon Do in your life.

    It is believed that a person’s perception becomes their reality, hence what you think is what you are. This means if you think something is good for you it will be. If you think something is bad for you it will be. The issue of who wrote a form, where it came from or even should you be doing a certain technique such as inside or outside is not as important as your thoughts and attitude related to the performance of that form.

    Poomse is a spiritual journey that no one can say they have arrived. This is why we say that no one can ever master any form. Your experience and relation ship with each form will change depending on how much time and effort you put into that form. So each form will always be changing just like life.

    1. Keon Pure Um./Yin. Heaven and Light.
    2. Tae. Joy
    3. Ri. Fire and the sun. Creative passion.
    4. Jin. Thunder suggesting courage in the face of danger.
    5. Seon. Wind. Varies like the weather.
    6. Gam. Water A river that never stops.
    7. Gan Wisdom of know what to do and when.
    8. Gon Pure Yang opposite of Yin. Earth bound providing elements
    Needed by Yang. Gon requires more in depth study to understand
    It and Keon and their relationship to all mater and universe.

    I am not sure about Palgue having anything to do with Tageuk. I can tell you when I was there when Grand Master Choi first introduced Tageuk to us his first explanaiton was that they were made for Caucasians who were out of shape and the stances were easeir to do? Obviously there is way more to it and some of the forms are tied spirtually to actual places in Korea as well. Before becoming a Master I pushed him hard for along time wanting to know who was the actual author and finally he replied that no single person wrote the Taeguks it was done by committee from many different Korean Martial Artitsts. I think it may go deeper than that with some Chinese and Japanese influence as well. I would love to here Ray Terry comment on this.

    Hope this helps





     
  8. Sambone

    Sambone Yellow Belt

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    My advice is for you to buy a copy of the I Ching...yes it is a difficult philosophy book, but well worth the read. It explains (or at least if you can interpret what it is saying) what you have asked in your question.
     
  9. Indie12

    Indie12 Blue Belt

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    It's the Um/Yang (Korean Yin/Yang).
     
  10. msmitht

    msmitht 2nd Black Belt

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    Looks like everyone else covered it.
     
  11. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master Black Belt

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    I suppose because a) there are 9 dans, and b) the black belt forms don't form the shape of the trigrams the way the taeguk forms do (not sure if the palgwe ones do too, I don't know them).
     
  12. Napitenkah

    Napitenkah Orange Belt

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    What you learn, actually depends on whether you are in a WTF school or ITF school.
    Taeqeuks are WTF.
    I know the 8 Taeqeuk forms.
    Their representations are the same as trigrams, but they are called Kwai, in Korean.
    When you do the form, you are doing the shape of a kwai.
    Taeqeuk Il jang represents the sky, heavens.
    Taeqeuk yi jang represents, lake.
    Taeqeuk Sam Jang represents fire.
    Taeqeuk Sa Jang represents thunder.
    Taeqeuk Oh Jang represents wind.
    Taeqeuk yuk Jang represents water.
    Taeqeuk chil jang represents mountains.
    Taeqeuk Pal jang represents Earth.
    After that there are more Black belt forms, which have their own meanings.
    I am presently learning Koryo.
    I would also like to learn the ITF forms, as general Choi was the founder of Taekwondo anyway.
     
  13. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

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    The Taegeuk forms are used by the WTF for competition but originate from and are controlled by Kukkiwon.

    Do you understand why each form represents something?

    Do you understand the meaning behind Koryo?

    Choi as the founder of Taekwondo is debatable, not just among us but among the pioneers of our art. As far as TKD history goes, I would recommend not believing everything you hear or are told. Seek out reliable sources and avoid making statements without having factual evidence.

    That said, no harm in learning as many forms as you can find as long as you have a core set. Taekwondo is about unification, and a bit of crossover can only help that.

    Gnarlie
     
  14. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    The palgwe forms do not trace the gwae in the way that the taegeuk forms do. They all trace the same "I" pattern on the floor as the kicho forms, except for chil jang which traces an inverted "T" pattern.

    There are 9 dan/yudanja forms because 9 is 3x3 and the number 3 is of significance to eastern mysticism. The Yudanja forms do not trace the trigrams, but the shape traced by each is certainly of importance to the overall meaning of the form i.e. the pattern traced by Koryo is the symbol for "a man of virtue", etc.
     
  15. Napitenkah

    Napitenkah Orange Belt

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    I don't believe everything I am told, I don't have that kind of allegiance to WTF or ITF to be biased on taking sides.

    I don't have an allegiance to Choi Hong Hi.

    I was trained in WTF.

    Most of the history on Taekwondo is not based on factual evidence, but on supposition.

    If you look at Taekkyon and
    Hwa Rang Do, they are their own styles.


    "
    Do you understand why each form represents something?"

    Look at what I wrote in the first post.

    "Do you understand the meaning behind Koryo?"

    Yes.

    I just looked at this thread here;
    http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php/17-Tae-Kwon-Do

    And it syncs with what I found of the actual history of Taekwondo.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  16. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    That's the problem. There is no WTF style of TKD. The WTF is purely an organization to promote and regulate a sport. It's not a style. It awards no rank. It sets no standards.

    There is no WTF TKD, and it always saddens me that people who train in Kukkiwon style TKD confuse the two.
     
  17. Napitenkah

    Napitenkah Orange Belt

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    You are right there.

    It is a sort of common altering of the meanings that people in Taekwondo do.

    It was born of separating the International Taekwondo federation with the world Taekwondo federation, which is not the same as the world taekwondo headquarters in kukkiwon.

    I am not focused on those political, social distinctions, because what matters more is Taekwondo itself, without all the outside historical corruption.

    I write; "Their representations are the same as trigrams, but they are called Kwai, in Korean.
    When you do the form, you are doing the shape of a kwai."

    Then you ask; "Do you understand why each form represents something?"

    It is just what people are focused on.
     
  18. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

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    1) The 'history' of TKD is based on supposition. The actual history is out there to find if you are willing to do the work. It has not much to do with Taekkyon or Hwa Rang Do.

    2) And why are the Kwaes involved? What's the point?
     
  19. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    Just to be correct, it's "gwae" in Korean. The Koreans don't have a natural "aye/ai/eye" sound. People often mispronounce Taekwondo as if it was spelt "Thai-kwondo" and it's my number 1 pet peeve! Then again Hyundae hasn't helped the cause (they pronounce it as Hyun-dai in England, but in Korea it's always Hyun-deh).

    When they need an "ai" sound they have to write it as two separate characters "ah" and "ee", so when they write Aikido, they have to write "ah-ee-gi-do" - 아이기도.
     
  20. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Thank you.

    I'm not sure what you mean by this.

    Well, no, it has nothing to do with that, since when the ITF was formed, neither the Kukkiwon nor the WTF existed.

    I'm not sure what you mean by this.



    Actually, they're called gwae in Korean. As in poomsae palgwae - the patterns of the eight tragrams.

    When I do any of the poomsae, I am doing more than just "the shape of the [gwae]".



    I didn't ask that, but it's a valid question.

    What is your understanding of the meaning of the taeguk (or palgwae) il jang?
     

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