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Complete Taekwondo Poomsae: The Official Taegeuk, Palgawe and Black Belt Forms of Taekwondo: The Official Taegeuk, Palgwae and Black Belt Forms Paperback – 1 Feb 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 460 pages
  • Publisher: Turtle Press (1 Feb. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1880336928
  • ISBN-13: 978-1880336922
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 2.4 x 28 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 202,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Complete Taekwondo Poomsae" is the most complete reference book available on the Taegeuk, Palgwae and Black Belt Poomsae of WTF style Taekwondo. Grandmasters Kyu Hung Lee and Sang H. Kim have combined their extensive taekwondo knowledge to teach you not only the 25 official taekwondo poomsae, but the meaning of the forms, the principles of Poomsae performance and the philosophy that underlies the techniques. Each Poomsae is thoroughly illustrated with clear and technically precise photos.The instructional text is supplemented with information about the meaning, movement line and symbol of each form as well as the correct execution of each new movement introduced in the form. In addition to the 25 official Poomsae, the authors explain Poomsae theory and principles to help you understand the underlying concepts of Poomsae practice. Topics covered include: characteristics of poomsae, 13 fundamental taekwondo techniques, stance, vital targets, bodily weapons, structural principles of poomsae, poomsae creating, movement principles, performance tips, mastery, terminology, origin of Taegeuk and Palgwae, meaning of the trigrams, and complete Korean and English poomsae terminology.Much of this information has never before been translated into English.

The following Poomsae are included: Poomsae Taegeuk Il Jang; Poomsae Taegeuk Ee Jang; Poomsae Taegeuk Sam Jang; Poomsae Taegeuk Sah Jang; Poomsae Taegeuk Oh Jang; Poomsae Taegeuk Yuk Jang; Poomsae Taegeuk Chil Jang; Poomsae Taegeuk Pal Jang; Poomsae Palgwae Il Jang; Poomsae Palgwae Ee Jang; Poomsae Palgwae Sam Jang; Poomsae Palgwae Sah Jang; Poomsae Palgwae Oh Jang; Poomsae Palgwae Yuk Jang; Poomsae Palgwae Chil Jang; Poomsae Palgwae Pal Jang; Poomsae Koryo; Poomsae Keumgang; Poomsae Taebaek; Poomsae Pyongwon; Poomsae Sipjin; Poomsae Jitae; Poomsae Cheonkwon; Poomsae Hansoo; and, Poomse Ilyeo.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. Langridge on 15 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is extremely helpful and easy to follow for ages teen and above. The forms are broken down very clearly and excellent advice on shaping of feet and hands for moves needed.
Pictures are good and clear to aid with correct movement and good explanations of kicks etc.
The only bad comment I can make is that some of the forms in the book have been changed since the publishing of it, and so you should still take advice from your master on the correct forms to use. (such as in Taeguek five jang)
My son found it very useful and is now black belt 1st dan.
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By JLR on 4 Oct. 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
I have purchased the Kindle version of the book, the idea being that I could easily carry it with me as a reference/aid memoire.

Whilst it is very useful, a number of the forms have the pictures all mixed up. e.g. 5th Dan pattern SipJin.

So when trying to follow the pattern you have to look closely at the numbers on the photos and flick back and forth searching for the next one in order (otherwise then moves don't fit together and you have a very weird form!!!).

I wonder how easy it is for this to be corrected on the Kindle version?
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By Ian Hamilton on 5 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good book, not many WTF books out there so vital for pattern study.
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By mia on 4 Mar. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 20 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
THE Taekwondo Textbook!!! 12 Dec. 2010
By Plotinus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is THE Taekwondo textbook! The main author was the man who was charged with demonstrating TKD to the world, organizing the TKD demonstration at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. He is now the head coach at the chief headquarters for WTF (the official South Korean) Taekwondo in Seoul, South Korea. You have in your hand THE book of Taekwondo. There is no higher authority!
This book actually has the ENTIRE syllabus of Taekwondo in it, not piecemeal. You can study ALL the forms and their contained techniques through this book. The explanations are crystal clear. There is no mystery. Every move's application is clearly explained for you! There are mnemonic diagrams at the start and end of each form so you can check quickly on things you forgot. I've never seen a better organized instructional book before in my life!
But the question begs itself - why Taekwondo? Why buy this book and learn this particular martial art? I think knowing what TKD is, through understanding where it comes from is crucial to understanding what you are purchasing:

Taekwondo had its birth during the Korean War (1950-53) when the leaders of South Korea's armed forces took notice of the desperate need for their troops to develop strong close quarters combat skills. Unexpectedly, the Korean War developed into a war of close quarters combat and trench fighting, more like World War One than the more recent and highly mobile Second World War. Training had focused on shooting, not on scrapping hand to hand. To remedy this problem, the president, Syngman Rhee, invited ten known martial arts experts to meet and devise a system of training for hand to hand combat to drill the troops in. Apparently these martial arts masters were teachers of variants on Karate, since during the Japanese occupation (1910-45) Koreans were able to travel to Japan to study. In some cases, Karate books read in Korea seem to have been the main inspiration for these masters to initially develop their skills. Karate was developed as the hand to hand combat skill of the royal guards of the king of Okinawa, who were banned from using weapons for hundreds of years by the occupying forces of the Japanese Satsuma clan. They had to arrest and police their own people and visiting sailors from other countries with their bare hands and sticks. Karate, out of necessity, had developed a uniquely effective unarmed fighting method because of this unique situation. The Koreans realized this and learned from it. The Koreans also shared the political situation of the Okinawans of the days of yore, since they too were a disarmed people, colonized by Japan.

Traditional martial arts in Korea had focused on weapon forms (for example, sword, spear, flail and halberd patterns/poomse/kata) done by soldiers on foot and horseback; archery was practiced by much of the upper classes as part of their Confucian cultural tradition of the warrior-gentleman. Ssirum, a kind of jacket wrestling, was a major sport, a staple event of fairs and celebrations, and hand to hand fighting method, basically identical to modern judo's standing phase, Kurash and other Eurasian jacket wrestling styles. There was one interesting sport called Taekkyon, popular around the capital city Seoul, which was a form of Ssirum wrestling but also allowed wins by either kicking gently to the head or push kicking so that your opponent had to step back at least three steps to stay up. Kicking someone down to the ground was of course a flat out victory. Korea, a very bookish and intellectual country, had codified many of its martial arts in a book called the Muye Dobo Tongji, which you can purchase in translation through Amazon, and it is a very interesting book too! This book contains a vast array of armed fighting methods, some unarmed ones, and instructions on how to use football games and polo as military training too! I should add that modern Korean soldiers are still made to practice a lot of soccer to develop their fighting skills, including full contact mountainside, in-the-depths-of-the-forest soccer! The South Korean flag depicts a yin-yang (um-yang in Korean) symbol representing perfect balance, surrounded by elemental symbols for earth, fire, water and air. From all these influences, Taekwondo was born. It has the no-nonsense techniques of the weapon-forbidden royal Karate guards of Okinawa, the intentions of the Muye Dobo Tongji for drilling an entire national armed force in hand to hand combat, and the balance and organization of the ying-yang national flag of Korea. It is a powerful, potent and emotional combination, brought about by a desperate situation in the middle of one of the world's most horrific and brutal civil wars, and you can feel it when you practice the forms in the book!
I really like some of the common sense and down to earth qualities the authors bring to bear on the subject. They are realistic about the limits of solo training in poomse, and also embrace each individual's personalization of the forms to suit their own needs, physical form and qualities. To explain it simply, poomse practice is excellent low-impact but high-yield exercise; it improves the circulation of the cardio-vascular system; develops a fearless spirit in fighting, since you ALWAYS WIN against your imaginary opponents and you soon begin to expect to always win against real opponents too; and of course, you develop a set of tactical moves to use against real opponents which in most cases either distract, entice or mislead your opponent into leaving an opening for you to exploit. A great many of the moves in this book are illegal in modern TKD competition. I'm actually primarily a judo practitioner, and I see more applications for the book's techniques in jacket wrestling situations (nearly every move involves a pull with the opposite hand to the one striking, on the opponent's sleeve or other part) and street-fighting (all the injury-producing moves) than in a modern TKD ring. The authors point this fact out for us, and let us know that the poomses contain a vastly more complete system of fighting than can sparring, with all its safety considerations. (In the military, however, TKD sparring and full-contact TKD football (soccer) is done full-contact, without safety equipment.) But the poomses cannot teach us distance and timing against real opponents, things that only sparring can teach us, in spite of its limited, watered-down nature.
One of the genius things about TKD is that it is designed to be practiced in a very limited space. I imagine the creators of the poomse devising them in their small traditional houses, or little courtyards in their houses, or even in their small apartments. But this is brilliant for a modern martial art. What I love about this book the most is that I can practice and hone my TKD skills in my own home, and not bother anyone or have to go out of doors somewhere to train, like a gym or something. I can do it all right where I live! This is why I think this book is among the very best BOOKS for martial arts. You can learn and do everything yourself, in your own house, in a small or moderately sized room! Get to it! I'm in great shape because of it! My judo fighting has improved tremendously. I'm much more healthy, alert, happy and feeling awake and alive! Also, my memory has improved tenfold from memorizing all the forms and drilling them. My mind is much sharper than it was before too!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Complete Tae Kwon Do Poomse 7 Jun. 2009
By Gary Slaughter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was invaluable in my progression to black belt. Many times, students learn a form and after belt testing forget it. I, too, fell victim to that. To test for black belt requires knowledge of all the Tae Guk forms, and sometimes they run together in my mind. This was a great help in refreshing what we had gone over in class. It also helps me prepare for the next new form I learn.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Excellent for preparation or review 5 Nov. 2010
By Craig Martell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book for getting ready for promotion, or to review your prior poomsae. The pictures and descriptions are really helpful. In particular, it first gives you an overview of the form, and then gives you pictures from the front and side of each of the individual movements. There are one or two misplaced pictures, but they didn't at all detract from this great book. All of the students at my dojang liked it so much that I had to buy a second copy for the dojang to use. Our dojang is one of the few I've seen that requires students to learn both Taegeuk and Palgwae forms (which I really like). This book covers them all.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Poomsae Reference 1 Aug. 2013
By Liza Murphy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book over two years ago and I refer to it on a daily basis. It has been an excellent reference tool to learn all taekwondo poomases: taegeuk, palgwae and black belt forms. The pictures and explanations are very easy to follow and understand. I highly recommend this book to anyone learning taekwondo.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Poomsae - Clear To Understand 3 Aug. 2008
By Dr. Adrian K. Hitch - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Complete Taekwondo Poomsae: The Official Taegeuk, Palgwae and Black Belt Forms of Taekwondo
This is clear and easy to follow with meaningful photos as support for the English and Korean explanations. One word of warning however - not all the sequences flow down the page. Value for money.
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