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Taekwondo Theory


Download information for your present belt level for your next grading





Training Secret of TaeKwon-Do

Tenets of Taekwon-do


Need to know information


Theory of Power

Composition of Taekwon-do





Sparring Steps Terminology

One Step Sparring

Semi Free Sparring




As a member of Taekwon-do, I do solemnly pledge; to abide by the rules and regulations of the Taekwon-do federation, to strive always to be modest, courteous and respectful to all members, in particular to my seniors; to put the art into use only for self-defence, in defence of the weak, and never to abuse my knowledge of the art.


I shall observe the tenets of Taekwon-do, I shall respect my instructors and seniors, I shall never misuse Taekwon-do, I shall be a champion of freedom and justice, I will build a more peaceful world.

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Training Secret of TaeKwon-Do


General Choi Hong Hi mentions 8 training secrets of Taekwon-Do in the

Taekwon-Do Encyclopedia.

Students should keep in mind the following secrets:

1. To study the theory of power thoroughly.

2. To understand the purpose and meaning of each movement clearly.

3. To bring the movement of eyes, hands, feet and breath into a single

coordinated action.

4. To choose the appropriate attacking tool for each vital spot.

5. To become familiar with the correct angle and distance for attack

and defence.

6. Keep both the arms and legs bent slightly while the movement is in


7. All  movements must begin with  a  backward motion with very few


8. To create a sine wave during the movement by utilizing the knee

spring properly.


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Sparring Steps Terminology

Examples starting with left leg forward, 
Students must mirror directions for right leg forward.


Single Step:

(Forward) Example: push forward off the right leg(back leg) sliding forward
(Backwards) Example: push backward off the left leg(front leg) sliding back


Forward Step:

Take one step forward moving with right leg (ending right leg forward)


Backward Step:

Take one step back moving with right leg (ending right leg forward)


Forward double step:

Right leg to left, left leg shifts forward (ending left leg forward)


Foot to foot:

left leg to right, right leg shifts backwards without stepping down (ending left leg forward)

note: feet Never crossover each other (like in X stance)


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The Tenets of Taekwon-do
(Taekwon-Do Jungshin) 


Taekwon-Do students should attempt to be polite to one another and to respect others. Students should address instructors as Sir or Ms and to bow to the instructors before and after classes. Arriving early or on time for classes is also displays courtesy to Instructors and classmates.


Taekwon-Do students should strive to be honest and to live by moral principles. One must have the ability to define right and wrong, and feel guilt for wrongdoing


Perseverance means having patience. To continue and overcome every difficulty by perseverance. (Keep Trying) Confucius said," One who is impatient in trivial matters can seldom achieve success in matters of great importance."


Without self-control, a Taekwon-Do student is just like any fighter in the street. Loss of self-control is disastrous both in sparring and personal affairs. "The term of stronger is the person who wins over oneself rather than someone else", Lao Tzu.

INDOMITABLE SPIRIT (Baekjool Boolgool)

A true student of Taekwon-Do will never give up, not even when faced with insurmountable odds. The most difficult goals can be achieved with indomitable spirit.


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Theory of Power

The power of TKD is attributed to the utilisation of a person's full potential through the mathematical application of TKD techniques. The factors which will result in a high degree of physical power are - reaction force, concentration, equilibrium, breath control, mass and speed.


Reaction Force

According to Newton's Law, every force has an equal and opposite force. If your opponent is rushing towards you at high speed, and you throw the slightest blow at his head, the force at which you strike his head would be that of his own onslaught plus that of your own blow. The two forces combined are quite impressive. Another reaction force is your own. A punch with the right fist is aided by pulling back the left fist to the hip.



By applying the impact force onto the smallest target area, it will concentrate the force and therefore, increase the effect. For example, the force of water coming out of a hose is greater if the orifice is smaller. The blows in TKD are often concentrated onto the edge of the open palm or to the crook of the fingers. In addition to this one must concentrate every muscle of the body, particularly the bigger muscles of the hip and abdomen, towards the appropriate tool to be used at the proper time.



By keeping the body always in equilibrium, i.e, well balanced, a blow is more effective and deadly. Conversely, the unbalanced one is easily toppled. The stance should always be stable yet flexible. To maintain good equilibrium, the centre of gravity of the stance must fall on a straight line midway between both legs, or in the centre of the foot if it is necessary to concentrate the bulk of weight on the foot. The heel of the rear foot should never be off the ground at the point of impact. This is not only necessary for good balance but also to produce maximum power at the point of impact.


Breath Control

Controlled breathing not only affects one's stamina and speed but can also condition a body to receive a blow and augment the power of a blow directed against an opponent. Never inhale while focusing a block or blow against an opponent. This not only will impede movement but it will also result in a loss of power.



Mathematically, the maximum kinetic energy or force is obtained from maximum body weight and speed and it is all important that the body weight be increased during the execution of a technique. The hip and the large abdominal muscles are twisted to provide additional body momentum. Thus the hip rotates in the same direction as that of the attacking or blocking tool. Another way of increasing body weight is through use of knee spring.



From the laws of Physics- F=MA, where A is the acceleration or speed of the technique. It is clear therefore that if we increase the speed of the technique we will increase the force and therefore the power.


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Semi-Free Sparring

These are the set semi-free sparring combinations as set down by the Irish United Taekwon-do Federation.

1. Hop-in-side piercing kick ( 4x ) off the lead leg.
  Counter Attack: Jumping Back Fist

2. Straight blitz (4 punches)
  Counter Attack: Jumping Reverse Punch

3. Lead Leg side-piercing kick/turning kick combination, followed by a triple blitz.
  Counter Attack: Jumping Back Fist moving backwards.

4. Step-up side piercing kick, followed by back piercing kick (land exactly 180 degrees around), and finish with a jumping back fist.
  Counter Attack: Jumping Side Piercing Kick moving backwards.

5. Jab-cross-turning kick (back leg) combination, followed by an axe kick with the back leg and finish with a jumping back piercing kick.
  Counter Attack: Jumping Back Piercing Kick.


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One Step Sparring

These are the one-step sparring combinations as set by the Irish United Taekwon-do Federation. They are descriptive of techniques against a right hand attack.

1. Left outward crescent kick followed by right front kick-turning kick combination (consecutive kick). Finish with a left L-stance forearm-guarding block.

2. Right inward crescent kick, followed by left back-piercing kick, landing in a left sitting stance executing a knife-hand strike.

3. Right L-stance executing a palm upward block, followed by a left side-front snap kick and right jumping turning kick. (NOTE: Place left foot on floor after side-front snap kick.)

4. Slide out to the open side (right) performing a forearm-guarding block in a right L-stance, followed by a right leg jumping back-piercing kick.

5. Slide out to the attacking side (left) executing a knife-hand block in a left L-stance, followed by a right leg consecutive side kick and land in a left L-stance attacking with a right knife-hand strike.

6. Step your right leg forward into a sitting stance, executing an outer forearm block to the attacker’s inner forearm. Follow with a knife-hand strike using the sine wave and a right jumping side-piercing kick.

7. Slide out to the open side (right) into a sitting stance with the right leg forward, step forward performing a right leg side-piercing kick and land in a right walking stance executing a reverse punch.



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9 Shape Block = Gutja Makgi
Circular Block = Dollimyo Makgi
Checking Block = Momchau Makgi
Double Forearm Block = Doo Palmok Makgi
Double Arc-Hand High Block = Doo Bandalson Nopunde Makgi
Downward Block = Naeryo Makgi
Forearm Guarding Block = Palmok Daebi Makgi
Forearm Low Reverse Block = Palmok Najunde Bandae Makgi
Forefist Pressing Block = Ap Joomuk Noolo Makgi
Guarding Block = Daebi Makgi
Hooking Block = Golcho Makgi
Knifehand Block = Sonkal Makgi 
Knifehand Guarding Block = Sonkal Daebi Makgi
Low Section Block = Najunde Makgi
Middle Section Block = Kaunde Makgi
Inner Forearm Middle Block = An Bakat Palmok Kaundae Makgi
Outer Forearm Middle Block =  Bakat Palmok Kaundae Makgi
Palm Pushing Block = Sonbadak Miro Makgi
Palm Upward Block = Sonbadak Ollyo Makgi
Palm Pressing Block = Sonbadak Noollo Makgi
Palm Hooking Block = Sonbadak Gorro Makgi
Pushing Block = Miro Makgi
Reverse Knife-hand Low Guarding Block = Sonkaldung Najunde Daebi Makgi
Rising Block = Chookyo Makgi
Scooping Block = Duro Makgi
Twin Forearm Block = Sang Palmok Makgi
Twin Knife-hand Block = Sang Sonkal Makgi
Twin Straight Forearm Checking Block = Sang Sun Palmok Momchau Makgi
U-Shape block = Digutcha Makgi
U Shape Grasp = Digutja Japgi
Waist Block = Hori Makgi
Wedging Block = Hechyo Makgi
W-Shape Block = San Makgi
X-fist Pressing Block = Kyocha Joomuk Noollo Makgi
X-Fist Downward Block = Kyocha Naero Makgi
X-Fist Rising Block = Kyocha Joomuk Chookyo Makgi





4 Directional Punching = Sajo Jirugi
Angle Punch = Giokja Jirugi
Back Fist = Dung Joomuk
Double Punch = Dibo Jirugi
Forefist Punch = Ap Joomuk Jirugi
Front Elbow Strike = Ap Palkop Terrigi
Hammer Fist Strike = Yop Joomuk Terrigi
Hook Punch = Dollyo Jurugi
Horizontal Punch = Soopyong Jirugi
Middle Knuckle Fist Middle Punch = Joongji Joomuk Kaunde Jirugi
Obverse Punch = Baro Jirugi
Reverse Punch = Bandae Jirugi
Side Punch = Yop Jirugi
Side Elbow Strike = Yop Palkop Terrigi
Straight-line Punch = Sun Jurugi
Twin Fist Vertical Punch = Sang Joomuk Sewo Jirugi
Twin Fist Upset Punch = Sang Joomuk Dwijibo Jirugi
Uppercut Punch = Ollyo Jurugi
Upset Punch  = Dwijibo Jurugi
Upper Elbow Strike = Wi Palkop Terrigi



Strikes & Thrusts

Outer Knifehand Strike = Bakat Sonkal Taerigi
Palm Strike = Sonbadak Taerigi
Arc Hand Strike = Bandalson Taerigi
Backfist Side Strike = Dung Joomuk Yop Taerigi
Backfist Front Strike = Dung Joomuk Ap Taerigi
Backfist Side Back Strike = Dung Joomuk Yop Dwi Taerigi
Back Elbow Thrust = Dwit Palkup Tulgi
Front Elbow Strike = Ap Palkup Taerigi
Inward Knife-Hand Strike = Anuro Sonkal Taerigi
Knife-hand Strike = Sonkal Taerigi
Palm Heel Strike = Sonbadak Taerigi
Reverse Knife-Hand Strike = Sonkal Dung Taerigi
Side-fist Strike = Yop Joomuk Taerigi
Upper Elbow Strike = Wi Palkup Taerigi
Flat Fingertip Thrust = Opun Sonkut Tulgi
Side Elbow Thrust = Yop Palkup Tulgi
Straight Fingertip Thrust = Sun Sonkut Tulgi
Side Fist downward Strike = Yop Joomuk Naeryo Taerigi
Twin Elbow Horizontal Thrust = Sang Palkup Soopyong Tulgi



Axe Kick = Naero Chagi
Back Kick = Dwit Chagi
Crescent Kick = Bandal Chagi
Downward Kick = Naeryo Chagi
Front Checking Kick = Ap Cha Mum Chagi
Front Kick = Ap Chagi
Front Push Kick = Ap Cha Milgi
Front Rising kick = Apcha Olligi
Front Snap Kick = Apcha Busigi
Hooking Kick = Golcha Chagi
Inner Sweep Kick = An Suroh Chagi
Jump Side Kick = Twigi Yop Chagi
Jump Back Kick = Twigi Dwit Cha Chagi
Knee Upwards Kick = Moorup Ollyo Chagi
Knee Kick = Moorup Chagi
Reverse Crescent Kick = Bandae Bandal Chagi
Reverse Turning Kick = Bandae Dollyo Chagi
Side Checking Kick = Cha Mum Chagi
Side Kick = Yop Chagi
Side Piercing Kick = Yopcha Jirugi
Turning Kick = Dollyo Chagi
Twisting Kick = Bituro Chagi
Outer Sweep Kick = Bakat Suroh Chagi
Waving Kick = Doro Chagi
Outward Pressing Kick = Bakuro Noollo Chagi
Consecutive Kick = Yonsok Chagi


Directions & Actions

High = Nopunde
Middle = Kaunde
Low = Najunde
Inward = Anuro
Outward = Bakuro
Jumping = Twigi
Left = Wen
Right = Orun
Backward = Darogi
Forward = Nagagi
Consecutive = Yonsok
Forward Double stepping = Ibo Omgyo Didimyo nagagi
v (turn “gwang gae” movement 10) v
Forward Double stepping = Apuroilbo Omgyo Dolgu
Backward foot shifting = Durogamyo Jajunbal 


Body Parts

Back Heel = Dwit Chook
Back Sole = Dwit Kumchi
Ball of the foot = Ap Kumchi
Foot sword = Balkal
Head = Mori
Inner Forearm = An Palmok
Instep = Baldung
Outer Forearm = Bakat Palmok



Attention Stance = Charyot Sogi
Bending Ready Stance 'A' = Goburyo Sogi 'A'
Close Stance = Moa Sogi
Close Ready Stance 'A' = Moa Junbi Sogi 'A'
Close Ready Stance 'B' = Moa Junbi Sogi 'B'
Crouched Stance > Knee < = Oguryo Sogi
Fixed Stance = Gojung Sogi
L-Stance = Niunja Sogi
Low Stance = Nachuo Sogi
One Leg Stance = Waebal Sogi
Parallel Ready Stance = Narani Junbi Sogi
Ready Stance < Feet > = Chunbi sogi
Rear Foot Stance = Dwit Bal Sogi
Sitting Stance = Annun Sogi
Vertical Stance = Soojik Sogi
Walking Stance = Gunnun Sogi
Walking Ready Stance = Gunnun Junbi Sogi
X-Stance = Kyocha Sogi



One = Hanna
Two = Dool
Three = Seth
Four = Neth
Five = Dasaul
Six = Yousaul
Seven = Ilgop
Eight = Yodoll
Nine = Ahop
Ten = Yoll
20 = seumul
30 = seoreun
40 = maheun
50 = swin
60 = yesun
70 = ilheun
80 = yeodeun
90 = aheun
100 = on
1,000 = jeumeun



1 Step Sparring = lbo Matsoki
2 Step Sparring = IIbo Matsoki
3 Step Sparring = Sambo Matsoki
Free Sparring = Jayoo Matsoki
Semi Free Sparring = Ban Jayoo Matsoki
Foot Sparring = Jayu Matsogi



Attention = Charyot
Begin = Si Jak
Bow = Kyong Ye
Foot Fist Art = Tae Kwon Do
Grading = Simsa
Instructor 1-3rd degree = Bo Sabum
Instructor 4-6th degree = Sabum
Instructor 7-8thdegree = Sah Hyung
Instructor 9th degree = Sah Syung
Return to ready position = Parro
Relax = Swiyo
Stance = Sogi
Student = Jeja
Suit = Dobok
Training Hall = Dojang
Uniform = Dobuk
Wrist Release = Jappyosol Tae
The Tenents of Taekwon-do = Taekwon-do Jungshin
Courtesy = Ye Ui
Integrity = Yom Chi
Perseverance = In Nae
Self-Control = Guk Gi
Indomitable Spirit = Baekjul Boolgool
White = Huin –Saek
Yellow = No-Rang
Green = Nok-Saek
Blue = Ch’ong-Saek 
Red = Pal-Gang
Black = Kom-Jong
Theory of power = Him Ui Walli
Reaction Force = Bandong Ryok
Concentration = Jip Joong
Equilibrium = Kyun Hyung
Breath Control = Hohup Jojul
Mass = Zilyang
Speed = Sokdo




Taekwon-do is composed of fundamental movements, patterns, dallyon, sparring and selfdefence techniques that are so closely related that it is impossible to segregate one phase of instruction from another Fundamental movements are necessary for sparring and patterns while both patterns and sparring are indispensable for the perfection of fundamental movements. In the illustration, one can see it is difficult to distinguish the beginning of the cycle from the end. There is, in fact, like the deity, no beginning or end. A student will find that he/she will have to return time and time again to the beginning fundamental movements to perfect his/ her advanced sparring and self defence techniques. Each fundamental movement, in most cases represents attack or defence against a particular target area or definite action of an imaginary opponent or opponents. It is necessary to learn as many fundamental movements as possible and fit them into complete proficiency so the student can meet any situation in actual combat with confidence. The pattern actually places the student in a hypothetical situation where he/she must avail him/herself to defence, counter-attack, and attack motions against several opponents. Through constant practice of these patterns, the attack and defence become a conditioned reflex movement. Power and accuracy must be developed to such a high degree that only one single blow is needed to stop an opponent, so the student can shift stance and block or attack another opponent. Each pattern is different from the other in order to develop reaction against changing circumstances. Once the basic patterns are mastered, the student
then begins to physically apply the skill obtained from fundamental movements and patterns to sparring against actual moving opponents. Collaterally with sparring, the student must begin to develop the body and toughen his/her attacking and blocking tools so he/she is able to deliver maximum power in actual combat. Once a student has applied him/herself to fundamental movements, patterns, sparring, and dallyon, then the time has arrived for the student to test his/her coordination, speed, balance, and concentration against spontaneous attacks; i.e., self-defence. The student will constantly find him/herself returning, however, to fundamental movements even when he/she has achieved the highest possible degree of proficiency in self-defence techniques. As in military training. Taekwon-do progression follows a certain parallel

Training Secret of Taekwondo
The Tenets of Taekwondo
Theory of Power
Semi-free Sparring
Sparring Steps Terminology
One Step Sparring
Taekwondo Composition
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