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The Meaning of Tae Kwon Do Forms (Poomse/Hyung)

1. Poomse or Hyung are prearranged offensive and defensive movements against an imaginary opponent or attacker. Poomse is the most essential part of Tae Kwon Do training, and enables students to learn Tae Kwon Do techniques before facing an opponent. Poomse is done to prepare a student physically and mentally for sparring or self -defense. Many critics of traditional Martial Arts believe the techniques of traditional Poomse are obsolete and limiting. This could not be further from the truth because Poomse are the foundation on which all Martial Art skill is developed. Individuals make limitations and cause techniques to be obsolete by not training and applying techniques correctly. Without the Poomse it would be difficult if not impossible to acquire the skills needed in Tae Kwon Do.

2. Objectives of Poomse: To prepare students for sparring, teach the application of Tae Kwon Do techniques. To teach the theory of Poomse techniques and philosophy. In addition to offensive and defensive techniques each Poomse has a philosophical and historical definition that the student should familiarize himself or herself with. In this way the student is prepared mentally and physically for the Tae Kwon Do training.

3. Benefits of Poomse: Through Poomse training the student learns the application of TKD techniques. Poomse helps to build coordination balance strength, endurance and flexibility. Poomse also plays a vital role in Ki (internal Power) development.

4. Rules for Practicing Poomse: A. The starting point is also the ending point. B. Maintain proper postures and always moves in the correct direction. C. Understand and control you power know when to move fluidly, fast and when to move slowly. D. Maintain you center of balance E. Learn to control you breathing and yell properly F. Learn and visualize the application of each technique. G. Practice daily H. Practice your Poomse until you learn it well enough to advance to the next one.

5. Types of Poomse/Hyung
There are many different Tae Kwon Do forms used by different Tae Kwon Do schools and organizations. There a Chung Hyung forms used by the International Tae Kwon Do Federation (ITF forms), and Tae Guk forms used by the World Tae Kwon Do Federation (WTF Forms). WTF and ITF are the main governing bodies for Tae Kwon Do worldwide. The two organizations are currently negotiating a merger. At the Iowa City Tae Kwon Do Academy both sets of forms are used. The older Palgwe forms are also used by some schools and organizations in the U.S.