Pattern Meanings

This page is full of the meanings of patterns of various styles. It is unique in the fact that it offers meanings of patterns beyond just ITF and WTF.

ITF (and simmilar styles)/GTF Pattern Meanings:

Four Direction Punch/Saju-Jirugi:

The four represents the four ways of the compass, the direction means the direction you want to go in life, and the punch means to be agressive to achieve your goals.

Four-Direction Block/Saju-Makgi:

The four represents the four ways of the compass, the direction means the direction you want to go in life, and the block means to block out all negative things preventing you from achieving your goals.


Chong-Ji means literally the heaven and the earth, the first part of the tul represents heaven and the second part represents earth. It is named after Lake Chon-Ji. There are 19 movements in the pattern and the diagram is a cross or plus-sign. Patterns starts in a parallel ready stance.


The pattern Dan-Gun is named after the holy Dan-Gun, the legendary founder of Korea in the year 2033 BC. It has 21 movements and the diagram is a capital I. Pattern starts in a parallel ready stance.


Do-San is the psuedonym of the patriot Ahn-Chang-Ho (1876-1938) The 24 movements represent his entire life, which he devoted to furthering the education of Korea, and to its independance movement. The diagram is a right stair step, or a backwards Z. Pattern starts in a parallel ready stance.


Won-Hyo was the noted monk who introduced Buddisimto the Silla Dynasty in the year 686 AD. The pattern has 28 movements and the diagram is a capital I. Patterns starts in Closed Ready Stance A.


Yul-Guk is the pseydonym of the great philosopher and scholar Yi-I (1536-1584) Nicknamed the Confucious of Korea. The 38 movements of this pattern refer to his birthplace on the 38th latitude and the pattern diagram represents the Chinese character for scholar. Patterns starts in a parallel ready stance.


Joong-Gun is named after the patriot Ahn Joong-Gun who assasinated Hirobumi Ito, the first Japanese governer-general of Korea. Ito was known as the man who placed the leading part in the Korea-Japan merger. The 32 movements in this pattern represent Mr. Ahn’s age when he was executed at the Lui Shung prison in the year 1910. The diagram is a capital I. The patterns starts in a Closed Ready Stance B.


Toi-Gye is the pen name of the noted scholar Yi Hwang (16th century) an authority on Neo-Confucinisim. The 37 movements in the pattern represent his birthplace on the 37th Latitute and the diagram represents the Chinese character for scholar. The Patterns starts in a Closed Ready Stance B.


Hwa-Rang is named after the Hwa-Rang Youth Group, which originated in the Silla dynasty in the early 7th Century. This group eventually became the actual driving force of the unification of the three kingdoms of Korea. The 29 movements in this pattern represent the 29th Infantry Division, where Taekwon-Do developed into maturity. The pattern starts in a Closed Ready Stance C.


Choong-Moo is named after the great Admiral Yi Soon-Sin of the Yi Dynasty. He is reputed to have invented the first armored battleship, Kobukson, in the year 1592, which is actually the precursor to the present day submarine. Checked by the forced reservation of his loyalty to the king, Yi Soon Sin was given no chance in his lifetime to show his unrestrained potentiality. The pattern has 30 movements and the diagram is a capital I. The pattern starts in a parallel ready stance.


Kwang-Gae is named after the famous Kwang-Gae-Toh-Wang, the 19th King of of the Koguryo Dynasty, who regained all of the previously lost territories including the greater part of Manchuria. The diagram represents the expansion and recovery of lost territories. The 39 movements refer to the first to figures of 391 AD, the year he came to the throne. It begins in the Heaven Hand position in a parallel stance.


Po-Eun is the pseudonym of the loyal subject and famous poet Chong-Mong-Chu (1400) whose poem “I Would Not Serve A Second Master Though I Might Be Crucified A Hundred Times” is known to every Korean. He was also a pioneer in the field of physics. The pattern represents his unerring loyalty to his king and country towards the end of the Koguryo dynasty, and the pattern has 36 movements. It begins in the Heaven Hand position in a parallel stance.


The pattern Ge-Baek is named after Ge-Baek, a great general in the Baek-Ji Dynasty (660 AD) The diagram represents his strict and severe military displine and the pattern has 44 movements.


Eui Am is the pseudonym of Son Byong Hi, the leader of the Korean independence movement on 1st March 1919. The 45 movements refer to his age when he changed the name of the Dong Hak (Oriental Culture) to Chondo Kyo (Heavenly Way) religion in 1905. The diagram represents the indomitable spirit he displayed whilst devoting his life to the prosperity of his nation. The pattern begins in a position with your hands in fists at your side, looking much like Joombi position.


Choong-Jang is the pseudonym given to General Kim Duk Ryang who lived during the Yi Dynasty (14th Century). This pattern ends with a left-hand attack to symbolise the tragedy of his death at 27 in prison. The pattern has 52 movements and begins in a closed ready stance A.


Juche is the philosopical idea that man is the master of everything and therefore decides and determines his destiny. It is said that the idea was rooted on the Baekdu Mountain, which symbolises the spirit of the Korean people. The diagram represents the Baekdu Mountain, and the pattern has 45 movements. The starting position is hands on hips in fists.


Ko-Dang was replaced by Juche in the ITF, but some organizations still teach this pattern, either with Juche or instead of Juche. More info coming soon.


Sam-Il denotes the historical date of the independence movement of Korea, which began throughout the country on 1st March 1919. The 33 movements in the pattern stand for the 33 patriots who planned the movement.


Yoo-Sin is named after General Kim Yoo Sin, a commanding general during the Silla Dynasty. The 68 movements refer to the last two figures of 668 AD, the year Korea was united. The ready posture signifies a sword being drawn from the right rather than the left, symbolising Yoo Sin’s mistake of following the kings orders to fight with foreign forces against his own nation. The pattern has 68 movements.

Choi Yong:

Choi Yong is named after General Choi Yong, Premier and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces during the 14th century Koryo dynasty. Choi Yong was greatly respected for his loyalty, patriotism and humility. He was executed by his subordinate commanders headed by General Yi Sung Gae, who later became the first king of the Yi dynasty. The pattern has 46 movements.

Yon Gae:

Yon Gae is named after General Yon Gae Somoon, a famous general during the Koguryo dynasty. The 49 movements refer to the last two figures of 649 AD, the year he forced the Tang dynasty to leave Korea after destroying nearly 300,000 of their troops at Ansi Sung.

Ul Ji:

Ul Ji is named after General Ul Ji Moon Dok who successfully defended Korea against a Tang invasion force of nearly 1,000,000 soldiers led by Yang Je in 612 AD. General Ul Ji used hit and run tactics to destroy a large number of the opposing force. The diagram represents his surname. The 42 movements represent General Choi’s age when he designed this pattern.


Moon-Moo honors the 30th King of the Silla Dynasty. His body was buried near Dae Wang Am (Great Kings Rock). According to his will, the body was placed in the sea ‘Where my soul shall forever defend my land against the Japanese’. It is said that the Sol Gul Am is a fine example of the culture of the Silla dynasty. The 61 movements represent the last two figures of 661 AD when Moon-Moo came to the throne.


So-San is the pseudonym of the great monk Choi Hyong Ung (1520 to 1604) during the Yi dynasty. The 72 movements refer to his age when he organized a corps of monk soldiers with the assistance of his pupil Sa Myung Dang. The monk soldiers helped repel the Japanese pirates who over ran most of the Korean peninsular in 1592.


The pattern Se-Jong is named after the greatest Korean king Se-Jong who invented the Korean alphabet in 1443, and was a noted meteorologist. The diagram represents the king, while the 24 movements refer to the 24 letters of the Korean alphabet.


Tong-Il denotes the resolution of the unification of Korea that has been divided since 1945. The diagram symbolises the homogenous race. It has 56 movements. This is the last of the ITF patterns learned.

Patterns Only Offered in the GTF:


Jee-Goo means “Global”. The ready stance is a parallel stance with forearms crossed. This stance symbolizes the crossing out of the years of strife in Taekwon-Do. The first movement represents breaking away from the past and reflects Grandmaster Park’s desire for world peace and harmony. The 30 movements are divided into 24, 4 and 2. The number 24 represents the hours in a day, so that the thought of world peace and harmony will be with us every second. The number 4 represents the four directions of North, South, East and West, for all people of all nations. The number 2 is demonstrated by playing the pattern twice in each direction to reaffirm our commitment to the idea of world peace and harmony.


Jook-Am is a pseudonym for the Grandmaster Park. Jook means bamboo which shoots up straight forward without any curvature, its roots intertwining to form an inseparable force. Am is an immovable boulder from which the bamboo plants its roots to form an unshakable foundation. This pattern represents Grandmaster Park’s life and his constant struggle for perfection. The diagram is a representation of a bamboo shooting up from the boulder. This pattern’s 95 movements (112 including combinations) symbolizes the year 1995 in which Jook-Am was created.

ATA/Songahm Pattern Word Meanings:


Pine Tree and Rock.

In Wha:

An unbroken glory.

Choong Jung:

All things turn out perfect and beautiful.

Shim Jun:

Begin planting seeds for the future.

Jung Yul:

With your noble character, you will develop a new permeance in your life.

Chung San:

Peace of mind and tranquility.

Sok Bong:

You will live confortably and in peace.

Chung Hae:

Mastered all kinds of knowledge and utilizes this to do many things.

Jhang Soo:

Long Life.

WTF Taeguk and Poomsae Meanings:

Il Chang Pattern:

This pattern represents heaven and light. Heaven gives us rain and the sun gives us light and making things grow. Therefore Keon is the beginning of everything on earth and the source of creation. When performing this Taegeuk the mind should be clear and allow all the basic techniques to flow. As with creation this Taegeuk is the simple, yet forms the basis for more complex movements and techniques to come.

I Chang:

This pattern is expressed by the symbol Tae, Meaning joyfulness. This is the state in which ones minds is kept firm, yet appears gentle so that smile and virtue prevail. When performing this Taegeuk all actions should be performed gently yet forcefully.

Sam Chung:

This pattern concerns actions applying the principles of RI. This symbol means fire and sun. What distinguishes man from the animals is that man knows how to use fire. Burning fire gives man light, warmth, enthusiasm and hope. The action therefore of Sam Chang accordingly should be performed with vitality and passion.

Sa Chang:

This pattern concerns actions applying the thoughts and principles of Jin, Thunder. Thunder and lighting are the objects of fear and fright. The principles of Jin suggest that we should act calmly and bravely in the face of danger and fear, and then the blue sky and bright sunlight will appear. When performing Taegeuk Sa Chang show a positive mind and a brave attitude. The movements should be strong powerful opposing Jin.

Oh Chang:

This pattern expresses the principle of wind. There are such winds as typhoons, hurricanes and tornadoes. But the nature of the wind is gentle. Spring breezes caress weeping willows. Wind symbolizes a humble state of mind. Actions should be performed as gentle breezes, slow yet graceful, then strong and fast like hurricanes.

Yuk Chang:

This pattern represents water. Water is liquid and formless. Water never loses it’s nature, it always flows downwards. The principles behind this Taegeuk show us that we can overcome difficulties and hardships if we go forward with self confidence. Actions should be performed with a flowing motion, steadily through the techniques.

Chil Chang:

This pattern symbolizes a mountain. We should stop when we should go on when must. Moving and stopping should match with time in order to achieve things.
A mountain never moves. Man must learn this stability like a mountain. We should not act hastily or push too hard. This principle is well adapted to Taekwondo. Through fast actions seem fine, we should know where and when to stop. The stance Beom Seogi (Cat Stance) is included because it is very stable, yet still allows us free movement.

Pal Chang:

This pattern is a series of actions applying the Gon principle. Gon symbolizes Earth. The earth is the source of life. Things take life from it and grow, draining limitless energy. The earth is where the creative force of heaven is embodied. The earth is wordless, it hugs and grows everything. Taegeuk Pal Chang is the gardens last round of training, and stepping stone to the way of Dan grade holder.
Here you perfect all the fundamental actions and review them. Actions should be performed clearly and expertly. A strong character should be shown in technique and, as is the earth, an unbending force


Koryo is the name of an ancient Korean dynasty (AD918 – 1392). The English word Korea is derived from the name Koryo. Koryo’s legacy to the Korean people is very significant, as they successfully defeated and thus defended Korea from the attacking aggression of the Mongolian Empire, who were sweeping the known world at the time.
In Poomsae, Koryo the spirit of the Koryo dynasty should be emphasized. Consequently every motion of the Poomsae should show a strong conviction like that shown by the Koryo people in their struggle with Mongolians.


The word Kumgang has the meaning of the being too strong to be broken. The Korean people named their most beautiful mountain Keumgang-san, it is also the name of natures hardest substance, diamond, Keumgang Seok.
Therefore, Kumgang in Taekwondo means movements based on spiritual strength that is both beautiful and majestic, as are mountains and diamonds. Strong and beautiful.
The lines of the Poomsae correspond to the Chinese character for mountain. In the movement of Poomsae Kumgang therefore, such sharp and endlessly changeable majestic spirit, as that of mountains should be displayed. This is a rewarding art both physically and spiritually, and is applicable to people regardless of whether they play party poker or have learnt other martial arts- all skills must be learnt, and the rewards are easy to see.


There is an ancient Korean story about the origin of Korea. It says that about 4,300 years ago, legendary founded the nation for the first time in Taebek, the present day Mount Baekdoo.
Mount Baekdoo is the largest and highest mountain in Korea. As may be understood, poomsae Taebek has its basic principles of movement from the word “Taebek” with its meaning of light, and being looked upon as being sacred by the Korean people. Mount Baekdoo is regarded as the symbol of Korea. Therefore, every movement in Taebek should not only be displayed precisely and nimbly, but also with rigor and a determined will.


The definition of Pyongwon is “stretch, vast plain, big, majestic.”


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


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. 37 movements.


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. Has 38 movements.

Han Su:

This poomsae is derived from the fluidity of water which easily adapts within nature. It has 33 movements.

Il Yo:

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 materialistic thoughts, obsessions and external influences behind. Has 28 movements.

Rhee Tae Kwon Do Hyung Meanings:

Although the belts and ways of pattern performance are different, the meanings are the same as in the ITF style Taekwon-Do.


Same as ITF Chon-Ji


Same as ITF Dan-Gun.


Same as ITF Do-San.


Same as ITF Won-Hyo.


Same as ITF Yul-Guk.


Same as ITF Joong-Gun.


Same as ITF Toi-Gye.


Same as ITF Hwa-Rang.


Same as ITF Choong-Moo.


Jhoon-Rhee Taekwondo:

Although the belts and ways of pattern performance are different, the meanings are the same as in the ITF style Taekwon-Do.


Same as ITF Chon-Ji. 


Same as ITF Dan-Gun


Same as ITF Do-San.


Same as ITF Won-Hyo.


Same as ITF Yul-Guk.



%d bloggers like this: