palgwe... Should we learn them?

Discussion in 'Taekwondo Patterns' started by Midnight, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. Midnight

    Midnight New Member

    So does anybody know how to perform the palgwe forms and do you guys think it is useful to know and practice. Surely there must have been something good about them if they were approved in the first place. Anyway the question is... Should I learn them?
  2. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    GM Hae Man PARK, chief editor of the Taegeuk forms when they were created, was recently asked this very question. He said they are superseded by the Taegeuk forms and there was no need to learn them. He couldn't remember how to do them himself.

    That said, the Palgwae forms are included in the Kukkiwon approved DVD set (albeit in less detail than the Taegeuks), so there must be something there.

    I learn them, for fun, and because there are some motions in there that do not appear in the Taegeuk forms.

    There are also some sequences that bear a strong resemblance to the Chang Hon and Shotokan Heian forms. This means that any applications for those pattern sets that might be proliferated online can be applied to the motions of Palgwae. I do find the Palgwae form less of a coherent set from a philosophical standpoint, but there are some lively sequences in there that are worth the work in my view. Especially if you are interested in where your art comes from.

    Other forms worth a look are those like Balsek, the early Korean expression of Shotokan's Bassai, and the Old Koryo form that belonged with the Palgwae forms before 1972. Google Old Koryo for details.
  3. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    PS be aware that different sources will have different moves for Palgwae - for example Palgwe 1 some sources show inward blocks, some outward. Check for the Kukkiwon videos on Youtube. They have multiple camera angles and step by step.
  4. Midnight

    Midnight New Member

    Why where they changed. Just watching them on you tube... They seem quite complicated compare to taeguek. Are there any Dan forms that where changed apart from koryo? And like you said there are many variations on you tube. But I did find the Kukkiwon palgwe videos. Thank you. Are there schools that still teach these?
  5. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Because when the Palgwae forms were created, it was an attempt to unify the Kwans that were practicing the various predecessor forms of Taekwondo (Kongsoodo, Tangsoodo, Kwon Bup, all with their own variations on technique and strategy) under one banner as Kukkiwon. However, not all of the Kwans were represented on the committee, so a few years later when the last Kwans joined, the patterns were redone and the Taegeuk forms were born.

    No, only the Kup grade forms and Koryo were replaced. The rest of the Yudanja Poomsae remained untouched.
    My school does, from Blue belt onward in addition to the Taegeuk forms. We also cover the Chang Hon set. I learned Old Koryo for fun.

    The Palgwe forms are basically obsolete according to Kukkiwon but there are instructors out there who still prefer them or teach both. The Taegeuk forms are required for first dan Kukkiwon.
  6. Midnight

    Midnight New Member

    Thank you. Do you think reading the I-Ching would help to have an understanding of palgwe and taeguek?

    Has anybody here read it? And what did you think?
  7. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Yes. Although it's not a book one reads and instantly understands, people have dedicated their lives to the study of it. It is worth studying though.

    One of the difficulties we face trying to understand the Taegeuk and the Philosophy behind Taekwondo in general, is that we are just not brought up philosophically aligned with Eastern traditional thought.

    Here are some questions one needs to investigate in order to begin:

    How does Eastern philosophy differ from Western Philosophy?

    What does Taekwondo, the word, really mean?

    What is 'do', and why is it part of the name of our art?

    What is the ultimate purpose of Taekwondo?

    What is Taoism?

    What is Buddhism?

    What is Confucianism?

    What is Korean Shamanism?

    What is Jooyeok?

    What is Yeokhak?

    What are Kang and Yu, and Um and Yang?

    What is the Chunbukyung?

    What is Samjae?

    What are Won, Bang and Gak?

    What are Haneul, Tang, and Saram?

    What is the Samilshingo?

    What is Shinsundo?

    What elements of the above and other forms of traditional Korean thought influenced the development of Taekwondo, and how?

    How does the Korean world view differ from our own in terms 'being'?

    Can it be true that all of the above can be comprehended and understood by simply practicing those forms over and over and always trying to improve??

    I can steer you towards recommended reading on any of the above. Or you can just wait for me to finish writing my book. :p
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  8. Midnight

    Midnight New Member

    If you can recommend a starter book that would be excellent. Although I would be most exited to read your book. I greatly enjoy your posts. When do you think you will finish writing?
  9. Midnight

    Midnight New Member

    Also. There seems to be alot of I-Chings on amazon. Any particular one you could recommend?
  10. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately there is no one book. You have to collect what you can.

    I won't be finished for a number of years, there are some sources closed to me until I reach a higher dan grade.

    I have Alfred Huangs 10th anniversary I Ching and can recommend it:

    Also worth a look as an introduction is the now out of print Korean Traditional Martial Art Taekwondo Philosophy and Culture, by Kyong Myong Lee. This book touches on some of the meaning and symbolism behind the forms and the overall meaning behind Taekwondo.
  11. truejim

    truejim Member

    FYI, you can find instructions for the Palgwae forms (and many other forms) here
  12. John Hulslander

    John Hulslander Active Member

    We still use the Palgwe forms, and I expect we will until our GM is done.
    He is a firm believer in tradition.

    We are behind in the respect that we have not adopted nor learned the Taeguks, nor do I expect our GM to.

    We have adopted the WTF dan forms (Koryo, Keumkang, Taebek, Pyongwon, Sipjin, etc....)
  13. Midnight

    Midnight New Member

    So i followed the link and bought the I-Ching... I also purchased the taeguek cipher. Palgwe Il Jang with back stance. Wow. For a beginner that would be difficult to learn. but it's exciting. Any other recommendations?
  14. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Do you use the Old Koryo that belongs with the Palgwae forms, or the new on that belongs with the Taegeuk forms?
  15. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    My only other recommendation here would be not to believe everything you read. Especially to take what you read in modern TKD literature (Taegeuk Cipher, A Killing Art) with a pinch of salt. There's a lot of examples of people trying to make the facts fit their desired conclusion. This is unscientific, unbalanced and misleading, especially if that modern literature is the first source of information one is exposed to.
  16. John Hulslander

    John Hulslander Active Member

    The new one I believe. GM introduced the WTF forms so his dans could compete in USAT tournaments.

  17. Gary Thorpe

    Gary Thorpe New Member

    In answer to the original post, there are three clubs in our local area and we include both the the Taegueks and Palgwes in our training. Palgwes are a lot of fun, though not used in competition they are a great adjunct the the training regime.
  18. Diamond78

    Diamond78 New Member

    Our club is still using the Palgwe forms as well - one Taeguk one Palgwe at each belt level starting at yellow. I find the problem is the variations of Palgwe and not having a consistent resource as there are many videos out there, but our club seems to have some slight differences in how they are taught. I did not know about the Kukkiwon videos though and will be definitely be researching those.
  19. Midnight

    Midnight New Member

    Hi guys. So I'm still trying to learn palgwe. It would seem that the an momtong makki start point is different to the Taegeuk. If you watch the kukkiwon version of both. And so I wonder should I do the block as is or the Taegeuk way. For view of this block see Taegeuk oh jang and palgwe Il Jang for comparison.

  20. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Hey Midnight.

    Go with what you have been taught, the guy demoing O Jang, that is Kukkiwon technical director GM KANG Ik Pil. He IS the current standard, although this video is old.

    There is some leeway in performance of blocks, and the guys demonstrating in these videos are long time GMs. They all do things slightly differently, so try not to get too hung up on the detail. The path of the block and its finishing position are important, and it should not start much higher than the shoulder.

Share This Page