Taegeuk Il-jang is the first of eight patterns in WTF Taekwondo based on the eight divination signs known as the Palgwe. It is designed after the esoteric principles of the Palgwe Keon, pronounced Kon(kånn), and represents heaven, or the concept of transcendance, and masculine energy. It also represents the tracendance of reasons attempt at understanding. The man is trancendant in nature having to use reason to survive and comfort, the woman is bound to the earth by her obligation to the circle of life and death. Being the first attempt to understand the pattern is a simple and basic rule of thumb. Relying mainly on going between neutral and wide stance, hammerfists to the head, straight punches to the upper body and front kicks to the lower body, preferably legs, hips, lower back and groin. It also stresses the importance of keeping on ones toes “reaching for heaven” as the practitioner will get approximatly 20% behind the start position for each turn done without turning on the ball of the foot. The first manurism the practitioner is introduced to is the startposition of Il-Jang, and also all eight of the taegeuk patterns. By moving ones hands up from this position and moving one foot forward into ap-seogi you are in the basic guard neutral stance, this is your go to guard adviced by the pattern. By going into Ap-kubi you have the basic guard wide stance, this is good for moving in fast with a punch or a counterattack. The pattern advices that this is to be done with a block and a straight powerpunch from the same position, like a right straight in boxing. Or moving in from a block into a powerful punch, hopefully ending the fight. This Taegeuk stresses the importance of simplicity. A good exercise going along the same theme, for better execution of defense utilizing the guard with the movements kept within the pattern, is to have a training partner attack you with pads, forcing you to move the guard with attention for economy of motion, attempting to delete big openings in the guard, usually created by panic reactions and also closing eyes at impact of an attack. While immediately after counterattacking with a high hammerfist, mid straight or mid-low front kick. It can also be wise to try and make combinations with these three moves, to find out what is a good combination in terms of controlling the momentum stored up from the movement, when this is done the small and simple arsenal can be quite potent and fast. Boon-Hae Think of the patterns as simple memos to remember the different defense systems by. Like a person studying for a medical exam might create rimes and stories, about musclegroups and organs to remember for an exam, martial artist create patterns to remember self-defense systems for when dealing with an attacker. What follows is not meant to be one-step extravaganza for students to swallow raw and practice without thought to get a belt, it is meant as examples of what a practical use of the system when dealing with a real life attacker could look like. In this example the TKD practitioner pics up on two things. The aggressor is waving a finger in his face, it is sensed as a feeling of a highly aggressive energy and rising impulse to attack. The aggressor also has a wide and loud energy in his body, suggesting a use of very round overarticulated haymaker punches. This is blocked by both hands in the guard in a cross, like when performing area maki, but here the areamaki is used as a hammer-fist, preferably to the groin, but livershots, tanden and floating ribs are good alternatives. As the TKD practitioner is on the inside of the attacker, between his arms, aggressiveness is deployed to force the attacker on the defense, this is not a position to relax in and hope one hit did the job. The area maki hammer-fist is immediately followed up by a mean combination of a nausea invoking straight punch to the upper body to blow his balls from the stomach and back into his scrotum. A chopping hammer-fist momtong maki to the throat and neck area, profiting on the nausea. A kick to the lower body, preferably to the small bones in the wrist, but weak chins, upper-knees and groin is also good. The point of this is to make it easier to escape and harder for the attacker to follow. In this example the TKD practitioner senses a forward energy telegraphed in the body-language of the aggressor. The response is to move to the side moving the guard in a momtong maki motion to get on the outside of the attack. The practitioner continues to move to the side while straight punching the side of the body under the attackers arm. He hooks the attackers neck with a turning momtong maki and tosses the body over the hip to bring the attacker to the ground. The attacker persists to feed aggressive energy and is dealt several rapid straight punches to the body and hammer-fists to head and groin before he rolls over into fetal position and snorts for air. In the third example one deals with a energy coming in a downward motion, as the attacker is using a bottle as weapon. Defender steps outside of the line of danger, but just to make sure redirects attackers arm with an egul maki. Quickly counterattack with apchagi to hips, or kick towards what we call the unfortunate triad of the knee, attacking the knee from the side to cause strain to anterior cruciate ligament, medial menisk and medial collateral ligament. If this is not enough momtong maki hammer-fist is used to trap the arm from moving up while attacking face, momtong chirigy is used to attack body and trap arm from going down. If the unfortunate triad is triggered you can simply walk away or concentrate on different attacker, the attacker is effectively unable to follow you. The entire clue with the system is to step up the game one notch from the brawlers bread and butter. The brawlers bread and butter consists mainly of sloppy haymakers, telegraphing straight punch, front kick to shins, storming tackle takedowns. It is also crucial that this is done fast. It shouldn't be a routine for display. It should be an understanding of the system that reacts fast and allows creativity. At once you taste the energy you feed it right back on autopilot. Also, these few examples are just scratching the surface of how this system can be used, there are some really important stuff I have not drawn yet.