In the Book of Changes the universe is divided into eight subsequent combinations derived from the major forces, um and yang (Korean for yin and yang). Tae Kwon Do Forms: Performing Some Different Palgwe Forms Tae Kwon Do forms can mean a number of different ways of attacking as well as defending oneself, and these attack and defense movements can be practiced against opponents that are imaginary and which follow a certain pattern. Once a student learns the various Tae Kwon Do forms, it becomes easy to become better coordinated, keep a right balance, have the correct timing and know how to control the breath as well as keep a good rhythm. Palgwe And Sub-Forms One of the many different Tae Kwon Do forms that you will learn of is Palgwe in which there are a number of sub-forms that you will need to learn including Palgwe II Jang or Heaven, Palgwe Ee Jang or Lake, Palgwe Sam Jang or Fire, Palgwe Sa Jang or Thunder, Palgwe Oh Jang or Wind, Palgwe Yook Jang or Water, and Palgwe Chil Jang or Mountain as well as Palgwe Pal Jang or Earth. Palgwe II Jang or Heaven is the first Palgwe in which is represented Yang or heaven and light which requires that this Tae Kwon Do forms is performed with Heaven’s greatness in mind. Palgwe Ee Jang or Lake is all about the deepest lake in which are contained many mysteries as well as treasures, and the movement of this Palgwe must be performed keeping in mind that man has a number of limitations, though these can be overcome and which when overcome, should cause you to feel joyous, secure in the knowledge that the future can be controlled. The other Tae Kwon Do forms or fire means much energy and it is fire that keeps man alive though it can also cause catastrophes, and this Tae Kwon Do forms needs to have a rhythmic performance and some amount of venting of energy. On the other hand, the Palgwe of thunder which emanates from the sky and which the earth absorbs should be performed mainly in your mind. The Palgwe of wind which has a gentle force that can also turn to fury and destroy everything that comes in its path must be performed gently like the wind, while keeping in mind the destructiveness it can also cause. The Palgwe of Water is different as water can move mountains and so this Tae Kwon Do form need to be performed like still water in some cases, and in others in the movement of a river. The Palgwe of mountain which signifies majesty regardless of size requires this form to be performed keeping in mind those movements should be majestic and deserving of praise. Finally, the Palgwe of Earth which signifies beginning and also a bit of evil should be performed keeping in mind that it is sometimes the last Palgwe to be performed while other times it could the first, or second and so on.


Tae Kwon Do is perhaps the most commonly practiced martial art in the world today. Tae Kwon Do sparring is generally divided into two forms: one-step sparring and free sparring. One-step Tae Kwon Do sparring involves prearranged movements performed by two participants in concert. One of the participants employs punching and kicking techniques while the other uses various combinations of blocking and counterattacking techniques. One-step sparring helps familiarize the students with the fundamentals of kicking, punching, and blocking movements. One-step sparring is essential in preparation for free Tae Kwon Do sparring. Free sparring in Tae Kwon Do is the practical application of self defense techniques. Typically, full contact is not permitted in free Tae Kwon Do sparring for safety reasons. Students are only allowed to strike specific target areas. Hand techniques, for example, may only be used on the front and side of the body from the belt to the shoulder. This also means that no hand technique may be delivered to the face or head. Foot techniques may only be executed on the front and sides of the body from the belt to the head. Intentional kicks to the back and back of the head are strongly illegal. Taekwondo sparring tournaments consist of three rounds, each of which is three minutes, with a one minute rest period between rounds. In competition, matches are held in an 8x8 meter contest area in the center of a 12x12 meter competition area. Sparring is often used in martial arts training. Specified rules are followed during sparring to decrease the likelihood of injury and still allow the student to improve his or her agility, balance and performance. Two types of protective gear used in martial arts sparring are foot gear and gloves. Sparring gloves give the student full hand and wrist protection with minimal restriction. Steady focus is essential to martial arts sparring. Becoming aware of and ignoring negative self talk also enhances focus during sparring. Kick pads are made of padded high density foam. Kick pads cover either the abdominal area or the arms and are held by the trainer or sparring opponent. Hand clasps and straps are on the underside of the kick pad for easy handling. The abdominal kick pads are used for practicing foot jabs, front and side kicks, knee strikes and punches. Arm kick pads are used in sparring for front and side kicks. The assistant is well-protected by the kick pad, and the student can concentrate on increasing accuracy and power. Kick bags can either be held by the trainer or sparring partner or hung against a wall. Kick bags are made of durable fabric, usually canvas, with a leather kick area, and may have removable stuffing so that the student can adjust the density according to his or her skill. Kick bags are used to improve the power of side and front kicks. Protective head gear for martial arts sparring is made of thick quality foam for maximum shock absorption. Ventilation holes in the head gear allow for good air flow and adjustable straps ensure a comfortable fit. Another piece of martial arts sparring equipment is the protective chest guard. A protective chest guard needs to cover the entire collarbone and shoulder areas. Chest guards reduce the risk of injury during sparring, but full protection cannot be guaranteed.



    September 2008

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