What is Taekwondo Poomse?
Taekwondo poomse is the term used to identify taekwondo forms or patterns. Poomse is the Korean word for form. If we were discussing the martial art of Karate, the equivalent term would be kata.
Since there are actually several different styles of taekwondo, the number of patterns is quite large. But, no matter which style we are discussing, these tae kwon do patterns can be divided into two distinct groups. The first group are beginner forms or colored belt forms. The beginner patterns are the training tool for all new martial artists.
Colored belt taekwondo poomse start at the most logical place, the beginning.
Your very first beginner form will be challenging and somewhat confusing. If you are diligent enough to get to black belt, that first beginner form will seem like Kindergarten compared to a High School diploma. Much like learning to read or write, taekwondo poomse are designed to build on the basics as the student masters progressively more complex pieces of the curriculum.
By the time all beginner taekwondo poomse are mastered, the student is ready to test for their first black belt. A full cadre of blocks, kicks, punches, strikes and stances will be as easy as reading your favorite beach novel. Notice I didn’t compare it to reading a classic piece of literature. That’s because a student doesn’t reach a more sophisticated level of mastery until after they’ve reached that first black belt level.
This brings us to the second group of tae kwon do poomse, the black belt forms. Black belt patterns are advanced, sometimes more complex and sometimes more detailed. They tend to be unique and often seem to be telling a story. Watching a black belt poomse performed can be quite inspiring as a junior belt. They resemble a beautifully executed dance performed by a professional.
Black belt forms are learned progressively through each dan level. A first dan level in tae kwon do is the equivalent of saying, “first degree black belt” in karate. Each consecutive dan learns the corresponding black belt poomse. Schools differ according to the style and the master.
Some masters teach additional black belt hyung or patterns to their black belt students while others teach additional colored belt level taekwondo poomse to their black belts.
This serves to expose the advanced students to additional forms to round out their basic skills and gives them more exposure to the basics which in turn makes it easier to understand basic skills.
It’s a good idea to wait until a student is a black belt before teaching additional colored belt forms. The average student takes 3 years to learn all their beginner taekwondo poomse forms and prepare for black belt testing. Waiting to teach more beginner forms after first dan helps the student reach their goals without overwhelming them with the massive amount of information available.
A good school and good instructor will help you learn your required taekwondo poomse in bite size chunks that are easily digestible without causing indigestion.