An introduction for beginner to black belt and beyond
Taegeuk Pal Jang - By Grand Master Tony Vohra 8th Dan. Photographs by Master Jeff Scott-Smith 5th Dan
In April we covered Taegeuk Chil Jang, which is the Seventh Poomsae used in the basic development of Taekwondo techniques and is the penultimate form in the journey from beginner to black belt. This pattern has 33 movements, counted as 25 consecutive counts with one Kihap at the end, performed over 32-37 seconds. This month we take a look at Pal Jang, the eighth and final Taegeuk form. Pal Jang has 38 movements, counted as 27 consecutive counts with two kihaps on the two jump kick techniques and should take between 32-37 seconds to be performed from sijak to baro.
Taegeuk Pal Jang is essential for progression from 2nd KUP to 1st KUP (Red belt, black tag). This form should demonstrate firmness and stability whilst paying particular attention to the accuracy and control of stances following the complex jump / kicking techniques. The pattern contains the meanings of beginning and ending as this is the last poomsae for KUP holders to perform before pursuing the way of the DAN holder.
If we consider the new material arising in this form, we have new eight new techniques which are covered in this article. This pattern also contains the most complex consecutive movement combinations of all of the Taegeuk patterns, which further reflects its significance in the progression of a practitioner from KUP to DAN holder.
For the first time there are two movements with which a kihap should be performed in Taegeuk Pal Jang. The first of which is at the moment of impact when executing dubal dangseong apchagi (two foot alternate front kick). This is the third movement in the form. The second utterance of a kihap is executed at the moment of impact when performing ttwio apchagi (jumping front kick). This movement is performed on the 19th count of the form.
Godureo [momtong] bakkatmakki.
Assisting trunk blocking/ guarding stance. This technique is delivered the same as open knife hand guard stance, but with the hands closed, and ends up in guard position.
Dubal dangseong apchagi.
Two feet alternate front kicking. Whilst jumping into the air, the two feet perform front kicks. The first is directed to midriff whilst the second higher kick targets the face with Kihap.
Single hand wide open blocking. This is a low section block which should be two fists span above the knee to one side. Whilst the other hand performs a high block to the side, covering the philtrum with the wrist area. A point to consider is as follows: the arm blocking the upper part will start its action from a ready stance for an inner wrist outer makki of the trunk, while the arm blocking the lower part starts from a ready stance for an araemakki.
Dangkyo teok jireugi.
Pulling in whilst jaw punch with the other hand. The opponent is pulled in by
the left hand fist, and the right fist delivers a jireugi at the jaw. At the same time, the left fist comes to the
front of the attacker’s shoulder. The jeugi fist in the state of bending backwards will deliver a jireugi (punch strike with the clenched fist fingers upwards) as high as the jaw line. The fist of the other hand is laid in front of the shoulder on the side of the punching arm keeping the base of the punching fist direct towards the face. Points to note whilst performing are as follows: the back fist is directed towards the body and the punching arm is stuck to the body at the height of the chest while the jireugi is delivered. The punching fist is bent just before reaching the target. The other arm is pulled across with the punching fist in front of the chest and, as soon as it reaches the front of the shoulder, the fist needs to be turning. Jeueugi and pulling should be executed simultaneously.
Low section twin guarding block. The starting position is from high blocking position to low down with the defending arm starting point being face level.
Jumping front kick. Double front kick one being done mid section whilst the other is head height.
Palgup dollyo chigi.
Turning elbow strike. The back of the hand is facing upward and the elbow is turned all the way to the centre of the face. The elbow is positioned at a point higher than the shoulder line. The waist is twisted at the time of hitting.
Forward cross stance. A left hand forward cross stance is the suspended stance of the momentary action when you move side ways. Draw your left foot to cross over the instep of the right foot and place its fore sole by the smallest toe of the right foot. The movement should be made with the knees kept bent and the shins of both feet will make an ‘X’ sign, crossing with each other. Keep the two feet as near as possible, and when you execute any moves from a cross stance, the whole body weight should be supported by the sole of the right foot and only fore sole of the left foot. At this moment, the shin and calf must firmly stick together, and your body should be lowered by bending both knees. The stance is mainly used in sideways moves.
Speed and consecutively delivered movements
In Taegeuk Pal jang, the consecutively delivered combination movements are as follows:
Dubal dangseong apchagi (kihap) Momtong makki-momtong dubeon jireugi:
Rear leg swing front leg front kick( shout ) - mid section block - double mid punch is done as a continuous motion. These are movements 3-1, 3-2, 3-3, 3-4, 3-5. delivered consecutively
Apchagi - batangson momtong makki:
Front kick - mid section pressing block. Front kick is pulled back to original start position then moving back to tiger stance and inward forward pressing block is executed. Motions 11-1 11-2 done consecutively
Apchagi - momtong barojireugi:
Front kick -mid section reverse punch. Front leg front kick and then long stance reverse punch is executed.13 and 16 are consecutive motions.
Apchagi - ttwioappchagi (kihap) - momtong makki-momtong dubeonjireugi:
Double Jump front kick Front ( shout )- mid section block - double punch .19-1, 19-2,10-3, 19-4,19-5 are done swiftly one after the other.
Forward cross stance .followed by Wesanteul Makki. Single hand wide open blocking. 7-1, 7-2, done with a swift motion.
Dangkyo teok jireugi.
Pulling in whilst jaw punch with the other hand. Is a slow motion with concentration of force on the entire body. Motions 6 and 8 are done slowly and strongly taking 8 seconds.
When consecutive and speed movements are delivered, it is important to express in the timing of the movements that they should follow on from one another. This can be achieved by displaying more urgency and sharpness in execution and when moving between the techniques.
When practising this form, it is important to ensure that you have symmetry and balance in techniques so that left and right side techniques are shown as mirror images. Visualization of a real fight should be utilized when performing all Poomsae. Attack and defence should be executed to the centre line of your body. Please remember that defence is angular and circular. Attack is direct and straight. Power generation and force at deliverance of technique is generated by mass multiplied by acceleration and we are looking at being relaxed with the tightening of core muscle groups occurring at the moment of impact.
From commencement to termination of a form, it is important to remember that all movements balance out. This is shown through analysis of the forms, the starting and finishing positions are the same. Breathing and breath control is good for power development, relaxation and concentration, which will enhance performance. If you take the basic movements which have been explained in previous articles and use them as a foundation for patterns in general, then your standard is going to continue to improve which will enable you to gain a greater depth of knowledge and inspire you to greater heights.
If you wish to get a better analysis of your forms please look at videoing yourself from different angles so that you can see your techniques and use that to improve your performance for the future.
Obviously, reading articles and books can help to improve your theoretical knowledge and practice of techniques; however, nothing beats practical, first-hand tuition. Master Tony Vohra is always pleased to offer this type of quality expertise to allow you to reach your highest potential. Individualised personal development programmes are currently being run locally, nationally and internationally. These have already succeeded in enabling practitioners, both young and old, to achieve their physical, mental and spiritual goals. Educational programmes are also being run at present, working with young children to promote positive values such as physical health, self esteem and self confidence and to combat negativity, obesity and bullying. If you are interested in taking part in any courses or require any advice, Master Tony Vohra is pleased to be of service to individual students, instructors and clubs and can arrange demonstrations, courses & seminars to suit any individual or groups both at home and abroad. For further details please contact:
President Grandmaster S. S.
Vohra (8th Dan), International
School of Martial Arts UK HQ,
Nottingham School of Tae Kwon Do,
Ilkeston Rd., Nottingham NG7 3FX,
England. Tel: 00 44 (0)115 9780439;
Fax: 00 44 (0)115 9785567
Photography: Master Jeff Scott-Smith
5th Dan (firstname.lastname@example.org)