Meaning of Palgwe Taekwondo Forms

Meaning of Palgwe Taekwondo Forms

This page will help you to learn the meaning of each Palgwe Taekwondo form (i.e. Il Jang or Form 1). Many Taekwondo schools require their students to know the meaning of each form in order to pass their belt tests. Some instructors will also ask students for the meaning of the word Palgwe… so for extra bonus points, it means Eight (Pal) Trigrams (Gwe). In Asian philosophy, the eight trigrams represent the fundamental principles of reality (i.e. Air, Water, Fire, Earth, etc.).

However, be aware that Palgwe forms have been replaced by “newer” Taegeuk forms at many WTF Taewondo schools. Nevertheless, a number of Taekwondo schools still use the Palgwe forms. In addition, be aware that Palgwe and Taegeuk forms have the same names (i.e. Il Jang) but the forms have different movements. Check with your instructor to see if your school uses Palgwe or Taegeuk forms. For videos and instructions on how to perform Palgwe forms, please visit the main Palgwe Taekwondo forms section.

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Meaning of Palgwe Taekwondo Forms

  • Il Jang (Form 1) – Il Jang “represents the symbol of ‘Keon’, one of the 8 Kwaes (divination signs), which means the ‘heaven and yang’. As the ‘Keon’ symbolizes the beginning of the creation of all thing in the universe, so does the Taegeuk 1 Jang in the training of Taekwondo”.
  • Ee Jang (Form 2) – Ee Jang “symbolizes the ‘Tae’, one of the 8 divination signs, which signifies the inner firmness and the outer softness”.
  • Sam Jang (Form 3) – Sam Jang “symbolizes the ‘Ra’, one of the 8 divination signs, which represent ‘hot and bright’. This is to encourage the trainees to harbor a sense of justice and ardor for training”.
  • Sa Jang (Form 4) – Sa Jang “symbolizes the ‘Jin’, one of the 8 divination signs”, which represents thunder “meaning great power and dignity”.
  • Oh Jang (Form 5) – Oh Jang “symbolizes the ‘Son’, one of the 8 divination signs, which represent the wind, meaning both mighty force and calmness according to its strength and weakness”.
  • Yuk Jang (Form 6) – Yuk Jang “symbolizes the ‘Kam’, one of the 8 divination signs, which represents water, meaning incessant flow and softness”.
  • Chil Jang (Form 7) – Chil Jang “symbolizes the ‘Kan’, one of the 8 divination signs, which represents the mountain, meaning ponder and firmness”.
  • Pal Jang (Form 8) – Pal Jang “symbolizes the ‘Kon’, one of the 8 divination signs, which represents ‘Yin’ and earth, meaning the root and settlement and also the beginning and the end”.

After the color belt forms (1-8), most schools that teach Palgwe forms switch back to the “official” WTF Taekwondo forms for the black belt forms (i.e. Koryo).

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