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Meaning of the Karate Katas

Gekisai Dai Ichi (To destroy introduction number 1)


This kata was created by Miyagi Sensei in 1940 out of his desire to popularise Goju Ryu within the high school system in Okinawa. It is interesting to note that this kata finishes with a step forwards. Japan was at war at the time of this katas creation and according to Higaonna Sensei's book The History of Karate-Do, Miyagi Sensei included the forward step as an analogy to the country moving forward.

Gekisai Dai Ni (To destroy introduction number 2)
This kata was created at the same time as Gekisai Dai Ichi. It introduces open hand techniques and Neko Ashi movements, an important feature of many advanced Goju Ryu kata.
Saifa (To destroy by pounding/pulverising)
Saifa utilises tai-sabaki (Body Shifting) and many escape techniques.
Seiyunchin (Grasping, pulling, unbalancing)
Seiyunchin is unusual in that it does not employ any kicking techniques. It contains several escape techniques.
Shisochin (To destroy in 4 directions)
This kata is said to have been the favourite of Miyagi Sensei in his later years. The kata employs joint locking and close quarter fighting techniques.
Sanseru (36 hands or movements)
Sanseru employs many entry, joint attacks and defences against kicking attacks.
Sepai (18 hands or movements)
Sepai uses many movements that require co-ordination between the hips and hands. It contains many varied techniques.
Kururunfa (Holding on long and striking suddenly)
Kururunfa employs a great deal of Neko Ashi movements and in-fighting techniques.
Sesan (13 hands or movements)
Sesan contains many unusual techniques and demonstrates the difference between Go (Hard) and Ju (Soft) A different version is practised in Shotokan (Hangetsu) and in Wado Ryu (Seishan). Sesan was the favourite kata of Shinzato Jin'an Sensei.
Suparimpei (108 hands or movements)
The most advanced and intricate kata of the Goju Ryu system. Sometimes known by an old name of Pitchurrin.
Sanchin (3 battles)
The name Sanchin or 3 battles refers to the conflict between mind, body and spirit during the practice of this kata. There are two versions of Sanchin, Higaonna Kanyro Sanchin and the version developed by Miyagi Sensei.
Tensho (Rotating palms)
Miyagi Sensei developed this kata from his research in Fuzhou, southern China during the period 1917 to 1921. It is also known as Rokkishu.






















































 Tae Kwon Doe- Form, Names and Meanings

1.  Poomise # 1=  Keon, is a concept which is pure Um ( Yin).  It is the unbridled creative force associated with heaven and light.

 2.  Poomise # 2=  Tae, is the concept of joy.  

3.  Poomise # 3=  Ri, means fire and the sun, and it is interpreted as the creative passion.  

4.  Poomise # 4=  Jin, symbolizes thunder, suggesting courage in the face of danger. 

5.  Poomise # 5=  Seon, symbolizes wind, sometimes gentle, sometimes forceful. 

6.  Poomise # 6=  Gam, means water, and the characteristics of the      constancy and flow.  

7.  Poomise # 7=  Gan, means “top stop,” suggesting the wisdom of  knowing where and when to stop. 

8.  Poomise # 8=  Gon, is the concept which is pure Yang.        



 W.T.F. uses Poomses for patterns. Poomses originate from the book 'I Ching', a Chinese oracle. The I Ching has 64 hexagrams, a combination of two sets of three lines, closed or broken. The sets of three lines are called trigrams. The closed lines represent Yang, the open lines Yin. In the chinese language, the unity of Yin and Yang is called 'taich'i'. In the Korean language, the unity is called T'ae-guk. This explains the term Poomse Taeguk. The eight trigrams together are called Pal-gwe as in Poomse Palgwe...

Poomse Taeguk/Palgwe Il Jang -- Heaven

 (South, Father) The first Taeguk/Palgwe is the beginning of all Poomses. The associated trigram represents Yang (heaven, light), therefore, this Poomse should be performed with the greatness of Heaven.

Poomse Taeguk/Palgwe Ee Jang -- Lake

 (South East, Youngest daughter) In the depths of the lake are treasures and mysteries. The movements of this Taeguk/Palgwe should be performed knowing that man has limitations, but that we can overcome these limitations. This should lead to a feeling of joy, knowing that we can control our future.

Poomse Taeguk/Palgwe Sam Jang -- Fire

 (East, Second daughter) Fire contains a lot of energy. Fire helped man to survive, but on the other hand had some catastrophical results. This form should be performed rhythmically, with some outbursts of energy.

Poomse Taeguk/Palgwe Sa Jang -- Thunder

 (North East, Eldest son) Thunder comes from the sky and is absorbed by the earth. Thunder is one of the most powerful natural forces, circling, gyrating. This Taeguk/Palgwe should be performed with this in mind.

Poomse Taeguk/Palgwe Oh Jang -- Wind

 (South West, Eldest daughter) Wind is a gently force, but can sometimes be furious, destroying everything in it's path. Poomse Taeguk/Palgwe Oh Jang should be performed like the wind: gently, but knowing the ability of mass destruction with a single movement.

Poomse Taeguk/Palgwe Yook Jang -- Water

 (West, Second son) Water can move a mountain. The movements of this Poomse should be performed like water. Sometimes standing still like water in a lake, sometimes thriving as a river.

Poomse Taeguk/Palgwe Chil Jang -- Mountain

 (North West, Youngest son) Mountains will always look majestic, no matter the size. This Poomse should be performed with the feeling that all movements are this majestic and deserved to be praised.

Poomse Taeguk/Palgwe Pal Jang -- Earth

 (North, Mother) The associated trigram of this Poomse is Yin: the end of the beginning, the evil part of all that is good. Even in this darkness, there is still some light. Performing this Taeguk/Palgwe, one should be aware that this is the last Taeguk/Palgwe to be learned, it also is the end of a circle, and therefore it is also the first, the second etc...

Both Palgwe's and Taeguk's are numbered from one to eight. After this point, there is no longer a difference between the patterns. The patterns below follow the Poomse Taeguks as well as the Poomse Palgwes.

Poomse Koryo

Koryo (Korea) is the name of an old Korean Dynasty. The people from the Koryo-period defeated the Mongolian aggressors. Their spirit is reflected in the movements of the Poomse Koryo. Each movement of this Poomse represents the strength and energy needed to control the Mongols.

Poomse Keumgang

The definition of Keumgang is "Too h3 to be broken", or "diamond". The movements of the Poomse Keumgang are as beautiful as the Keumgang-san (a Korean mountain) and as h3 as Keumgang-seok (diamond).

Poomse TaeBaek

The legendary 'Dangoon' founded a nation in Taebaek, near Korea's biggest mountain Baekdoo. Baekdoo is a symbol for Korea. The definition of Taebaek is "lightness". Every movement in this Poomse must not only be exact en fast, but with determination and hardness.

Poomse Pyongwon

The definition of Pyongwon is "stretch, vast plain": big, majestic.

Poomse Sipjin

Sipjin stands for decimal. This Poomse represents the orderliness of the decimal system. It also means the endless development and growth in a systematic order: stability.

Poomse Jitae

Jitae is derived from the meaning of the earth. All things evolve from and return to the earth, the earth is the beginning and the end of life.

Poomse Cheonkwon

Cheonkwon means 'sky'. The sky should be seen as ruler of the universe. It is both mysterious, infinite and profound. The motions of Cheonkwon are full of piety and vitality.

Poomse Hansoo

This poomse is derived from the fluidity of water which easily adapts within nature.

Poomse Ilyo

The state of spiritual cultivation in Buddhism is called 'Ilyo' which means more or less 'oneness'. In Ilyo, body and mind, spirit and substance, I and you are unified. The ultimate ideal of taekwondo can be found in this state. It is a discipline in which we concentrate on every movement leaving all materialistics thoughts, obsessions and external influences behind.