The Kukkiwon uses the word poomsae for form. Poomsae philosophy originate from the book 'I Ching', a Chinese oracle. The I Ching has 64 hexagrams, a combination of two sets of three lines, closed or broken. The sets of three lines are called trigrams. The closed lines represent Yin, the open lines Yang. In the Chinese language, the unity of Yin and Yang is called 'taich'i'. In the Korean language, the unity is called Tae-geuk. This explains the term poomsae Taegeuk. The eight trigrams together are called Pal-gwe as in poomsae Palgwe.
Most Kukkiwon schools will use the pumsae Taegeuk whereas a few schools will use the pumsae Palgwe. The meanings, trigrams and symbols are shared by both pumsae Taegeuk and pumsae Palgwe, however the sequence of movements is different. The first 8 forms of the set of pumsae differ from each other, whereas the last 9 forms of the set are shared between the two sets.
Palgwe pumsae were used from 1967 to 1971. Taegeuk pumsae have been in use from 1971 to the present time. Kukkiwon states that Palgwe pumsae have been eliminated.
The official forms for Kukki-Taekwondo, as mandated by the Kukkiwon (World Taekwondo Headquarters), are the Taegeuk pumsae. Poomsae is sometimes written as poomse; however this would lead to an incorrect pronunciation as the Hangeul for the term uses the same Jamo as the Tae in Taekwondo, not the sound "Sey" (comparison: Teh-kwon-do not Tay-kwon-do nor Tie-kwon-do). However, many dialects of Korean pronounce the jamo ae and e almost identically. The Hanja for pumsae is 品勢, and means "Quality Shapes of Strength"
On February 26, 1987, the Kukkiwon amended the spelling with it being interpreted as poomsae, which changed the Hanja character from the earlier "se" to the current "Sae". This also changed the meaning to one that is more complex. This has been reflected in the WTF World Poomsae Championships and of which the inaugural event was held in Seoul, South Korea in September 2006.
Taegeuk Il Jang/Palgae Il Jang
The general meaning of this form and associated trigram is Yang, which represents Heaven and Light. Also, this trigram has a relationship to South and Father. The first Taegeuk form is the beginning of all pumsaes, the "birth" of the martial artist into Taekwondo. This pumsae should be performed with the greatness of Heaven.
Taegeuk Yi Jang/Palgae Yi Jang
The associated trigram of this pumsae represents the Lake. Also, related to the symbol is South East and the relationship of the youngest daughter. The movements of this Taegeuk/Palgwe are aimed to be performed believing that man has limitations, but that we can overcome these limitations. The Lake and its water symbolize the flowing and calm nature of the martial artist. This form is to reflect those attributes.
Taegeuk Sam Jang/Palgae Sam JangThis trigram represents Fire. Related to this symbol is also East and the relationship of the Second Daughter. Fire contains a lot of energy. The symbol behind the fire is similar to the symbolism of the water in that both can aid and both can destroy. This form is intended to be performed rhythmically, with some outbursts of energy to reflect fire's rhythmic and energetic dualism.
Taegeuk Sa Jang/Palgae Sa Jang
This trigram represents Thunder. Also, the trigram is strongly connected to northeast and the relationship of the Eldest son. Thunder comes from the sky and is absorbed by the earth, thus, according to the beliefs of the I Ching, thunder is one of the most powerful natural forces. This pumsae is associated with power and the connection between the heavens and earth. This pumsae is intended to be performed with power resembling the Thunder for which it is named.
Taegeuk O Jang/Palgae O Jang
The trigram associated with this pumsae represents Wind. The trigram is also related to southwest and the relationship with an eldest daughter. The I Ching promotes that wind is a gentle force, but can sometimes be furious, destroying...