Taekwondo Wiki

Kukkiwon/WT Taekwondo uses the following series of forms (called the Yudanja series) for Black Belt forms:

  • Koryo (고려) - first dan, also spelled Goryeo and Koryeo ("learned man", symbolizing a wise person)
    • An older, deprecated form called Original Koryo is also considered by some clubs/associations to be one of the Yudanja forms, but it isn't considered so by the Kukkiwon (for gradings or the Master Instructor Course) or by the WTF (for the World Poomsae Championships).
  • Keumgang (금강)) - second dan ("diamond", symbolizing hardness, unbreakable)
  • Taebaek (태백)) - third dan ("sacred mountain", symbolizing spirituality)
  • Pyongwon (평원)- fourth dan, also spelled Pyeong-won ("open plain", symbolizing peacefulness)
  • Sipjin (싶진)) - fifth dan, also spelled Shipjin ("eternal 10", symbolizing health and longevity)
  • Jitae (지태) - sixth dan (symbolizes mankind as the connection between heaven and earth)
  • Cheonkwon (천권) - seventh dan, also spelled Cheon-gwon ("sky", symbolizing piety)
  • Hansoo (한수) - eighth dan, also spelled Hansu ("water", symbolizing adaptability)
  • Ilyeo (일여) - ninth dan (symbolizing the Buddhist concept of oneness of the mind and body)

Each of the yudanja forms has a floor pattern that traces out a Chinese character or other symbol. Each character is said to represent a characteristic that should be exhibited by a taekwondo master: wise, unbreakable, spiritual, peaceful, long-lived, pious, adaptable, etc.

Yudanja Meanings.png

Original Koryo (also called Old Koryo) was one of the original Yudanja series of Black Belt forms, developed between 1965 and 1967 as part of the unification of the Nine Kwans to form modern taekwondo. This form was replaced by the modern Koryo form in 1972 and is rarely practiced nowadays. The reason commonly cited for the replacement of Original Koryo was that it was deemed to be too simplistic as compared to modern Koryo.


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Note that in the version shown here, at step 10 (the opening block) the performer does a low opening block rather than a middle-height opening block.


Original Koryo Poomsae 초기고려 품새 performed by Kang, Yu-Jin 강유진, Namchang Dojang. 남창도장-0


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Original Koryo.png

Written Instructions[]

This form is esentially performed on a single line, first moving forward, then back, then forward again.

Going Forward (the Ga direction)[]

Going Back (the Na direction)[]

  • 7a-b. Lift the right foot to turn 180 clockwise (to face Na) into a Left Back Stance (i.e., right foot forward). Right Outward Knifehand Block, then Left Punch.
  • 8. Slide the right foot forward into Right Front Stance. Extend both hands forward as if to grab the opponent's head (as if grabbing the back of the opponent's head, behind his ears; your palms will be on his ears). Left Knee Strike.
  • 9. Without pausing, step forward with the left foot into Cross Stance (left foot forward). Low Cross Block, right hand over the left hand.
  • 10. Slide the right foot back into Left Front Stance. Middle-height Inner Forearm Opening Block (palms upward).
  • 11. Without stepping, extend the left backhand toward the opponent, shoulder-height. Turn the hand to grab the opponent by the shoulder.
  • 12a-b. Without pausing, step with the right foot to (to face Ra) into Horse Stance. Right Elbow Target Strike. Step with the left foot (to face Ga) into Right Back Stance (i.e., left foot forward). Left Low Knifehand Block.
  • 13. Step back with the left foot into Left Back Stance (i.e., right foot forward). Outward Knifehand Block .
  • 14. Step back with the left foot and then the right foot to maintain a Left Back Stance (i.e., right foot forward). Right Inward Block.
  • 15. Step back with the right foot into Right Back Stance (i.e., left foot forward). Left Inward Block.
  • 16. Pivot 180 clockwise, then step with the left foot to turn another 180 clockwise (to face Ga again) to Right Front Stance. Right Backfist Strike (face-height).
  • 17. Without stepping, chamber the left knifehand (palm-up) under the right elbow.  Left Outward Knifehand High Twist Block. (It's like the Twist Block that's done in Taegeuk Yook Jang, but  performed at forehead height.) As with any Twist Block, the idea is that you've grabbed the opponenent and intend to pull him toward you.

Going Forward Again[]

  • 18. From the Twist Block, pull the opponent into you while executing a Left Front Kick to face-height.
  • 19. Step down with the left foot and immediately perform a jumping Front Kick with the left leg.
  • 20. Land into Left Front Stance (still facing Ga), Left then Right Punch. Kihap.
  • Baro. Return to ready stance.