At Walker's we study the three categories of formal exercise fundamental to the study of Tae Kwon Do: Ki-Cho Forms, Pal-Gwe Forms, and Tae-Guk Forms. Each category of the forms was conceived with a particular viewpoint.
The Ki-Cho Forms are the most basic, and are executed in an H pattern, to give the student practice in performing the fundamental techniques of walking, turning, blocking, and punching in continuous sequence in all four directions. The begin and end in the same place, and when performing them, the student should bear in mid that their pattern represents the fact that we all are born as we shall die, naked, bringing nothing into the world and taking nothing out of it.
The Taeguk Forms are the basic combat forms, and constitute patterns of modern fighting sequences forward and backward, to the front and rear.
The Palgwe Forms have a deep philosophical reference. They are dynamic symbols of eternal truths, going back in Oriental thought to the ancient Chinese concepts of Yin and Yang. The constancy of truth, and the truth of constant change, are both symbolized in the Pal-Gwe Forms.
Black Belt Forms:
- KORYO (Korea)
- The word "Koryo" derives from Ko-Ryo, the name of an ancient dynasty. The Ko-Ryo men were people of strong convictions an will, which they demonstrated in battle. Their firm resolution and intrepid spirit, born of wisdom rather than brute strength or numbers, earned them the title "men of conviction." This form can be a way of cultivating the strength that arises from conviction. With every motion, you must demonstrate confidence and a strong will.
- KUMGANG (Diamond)
- Kumgang means diamond. The diamond, the hardest substance known to man, can also represent perfection an clarity. The theme of a diamond's strength carries into Buddhism, where that which can break off every agony of mind with the combination of wisdom and virtue is called Keumgang. This form moves to outline the Chinese character for mountain. Your movements in this form must be based on a spiritual strength that is as beautiful in its perfection as the Diamond Mountains and is as hard and adamant as the diamond, strong enough to cut off all distractions.
- TAEBAEK (Mountain)
- The mythological story about the founding of Korea says that about 4300 years ago, the legendary Dangoon began the nation in Taebaek, currently know as Mount Baekdoo. This is the loftiest mountain in Korea and is thus held sacred. As the mountain reaches toward the sun, the Taebaek has also grown to mean light, an Mount Baekdoo is regarded as the symbol of Korea. The line of this form is like a Chinese letter which symbolizes the bridge between the Heaven and the earth and signifies that human beings founded the nation by the Heaven's order. In this form you must demonstrate the rigor and determined will of the Korean people, displaying the respect due a sacred object. It must be performed also with the precision and agility of light.
- PYONGWON (Plain)
- Pyongwon means a plain that is a vast stretched-out land. It is the source of life for all the creatures and the field where human beings live their lifes, elevating man with its majestic spirit, giving him a feeling of strength. This form is the application of the providence of the plain, its abundance and grace as well as its vastness, which welcomes man as a part of itself rather than challenging him to conquer it. In this form you must demonstrate the majestic but friendly spirit of the vast plain.
- SIPJIN (Decimal)
- The word "Sipjin" derived from man's base 10 decimal system. The Sipjin form outlines the Chinese character meaning ten, which signifies an infinite numbering of the decimal system and ceaseless development. To demonstrate the key characteristics of the decimal system in this form, you must seek stability with every movement, giving change a systematic, orderly progression.
- JITAE (Earth)
- According to Oriental beliefs, all life comes from and returns to Jitae [Earth]. The earth is endlessly bountiful, yielding the fruit that sustains mankind. It is also completely accepting, as all living things eventually become earth again. The earth hides its greatest power deep within its hot core, only occasionally allowing it to well up in volcanoes or to shake the buildings of civilization, reminding man how weak he is in comparison with the supreme strength of the earth. In this form, you must demonstrate the properties of the earth, showing the vigor of life as it stems from the power welling up from strong muscles and from a deep powerful core.
- CHEONKWON (Sky)
- In this form you must demonstrate the piety and awe that the sky commands as well as the vitality it sparks in man's imagination, driving him to strive upward. The form should show a man's feelings as he looks up from earth and is reminded of an eagle flying off into the clouds.
- HANSOO (Water)
- The word "Hansoo" means water, the source of life and substance of power. Water's power comes not from resisting or refusing to yield, but it adapts easily to flow around anything in its path and cannot be stopped. Water overcomes obstacles not by destroying them with a sudden burst of force but with persistence, gradually wearing away the rocks in the bed of a river or the cliffs on the seacoast. Like water, the strength of TaeKwon Do stems not from stubbornness and the refusal to yield but rather from fluidity.
- ILYEO (Oneness)
- In Buddhism, the goal of the spiritual life is said to be Ilyo - oneness, or nirvana. To arrive at this state of purity one must discard all worldly desires, leaving oneself with a profound faith and a complete unity of body and mind. Only in this state is the ego overcome. Buddha taught that the entire perceptible universe has no permanent being and because everything is impermanent, including the individual self, it is all in a state of becoming, moving from birth to death and subject to pain and sorrow. The ego, or self, suffers because of its desires, its attempt to cling to objects and people and to life itself. This clinging, given the inevitable ongoing cycle of birth and death, can only bring pain. So the first step to freedom is to realize that the self has no reality; then it is easy to shed the desires that the self clings to.
The ideal of Tae Kwon Do is this state of Ilyo. It is a discipline in which you concentrate your attention on every movement and in so doing shed all worldly thoughts and preoccupations. The Ilyo form begins and ends at the center, moving outward but eventually returning to its center to achieve oneness. The spirit must be kept within the confines of the form, allowing no distraction.