WTF - latest changes to poomsae

Discussion in 'The Instructors Room' started by ssiidd, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. ssiidd

    ssiidd Active Member

    Sorry if this has been already asked. Question specific to WTF, there have been a number of changes recently introduced particularly to poomsae. Is there anywhere I can find a definitive list? Tried the WTF website but couldn't find much detail. Apparently a lot of unlearning to do esp for higher grades.

  2. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    What kind of changes are you referring to, can you give some examples, and do you mean Kukkiwon poomsae, or do you mean the WTF competition standard, because the two are very different in terms of details?
  3. ssiidd

    ssiidd Active Member

    Thanks for replying Gnarlie.

    WTF poomsae (not Kukkiwon) is what we were explicitly told.

    A good example would be the punches. In all poomsae (and general line work) we used to punch with shoulders square (arm-shoulders at 90 degrees - blocks are shoulders at 45 degrees), this has been changed to the punch leading so the shoulders twist at a 30 degree angle, as if one were punching through a target and not stopping when shoulders are at a 90 degree angle. Same applies to all knife edge techniques.

    Another example would be when blocking (inner-forearm block 'Momtong-maki' for example) the blocking arm stretches out behind and swings around instead of being loaded closer to the body (ear), to get as much power in the technique as possible.

    Sorry, not the bestest of explanations but not sure how else to describe.

    There are some other subtle changes as well for instance the last move of Taeguk 5 (Oh jang) and the exact placement of feet.

    I am thinking all these changes must have been documented somewhere and if I can get a list it will greatly help unlearn the previous techniques.

  4. Mario Ray Mahardhika

    Mario Ray Mahardhika Active Member

    Usually, such changes are not properly documented (well at least I could never find any document related to it) and only spread through each country's WTF representatives (mostly masters) and its their duty to spread to the lower belts.

    I haven't got this one, I'll have to confirm first.
    I got this one a couple of months ago, breaking the previous technique whose purpose is to block as fast as the attack comes.
  5. Blue_Knight

    Blue_Knight Active Member

    Academically speaking, the WTF does not mandate any changes to the Poomsae, nor do they have any say over how they are to be done. The only purpose of the WTF Poomsae rules are to teach judges and referees how to run competition and what grading criteria to look for. The changes you describe would not come from the WTF, but would have to come from the Kukkiwon, and be adopted by the WTF as official changes to the Kukki-Taekwondo curriculum.

    Having recently reviewed the Poomsae at a seminar with Grandmaster Hae Man Park (one of the co-creators of the Taegeuk forms), the hand strikes in both walking and front stance (ap seogi and ap gubi) are all squared at 90 degree to the target. Defensive blocks have the torso at 45 degrees. Certain exceptions apply, such as in the knife hand swallow high block with inward neck strike (jebipoom mok chigi), movements 5 & 13 in Sa Jang, where the striking shoulder is forward.

    The only reference I could find on the Kukkiwon website was the following:

    “1. The outline of a jireugi…

    g. When seeing from the side, it is the fundamental rule that the shoulder become to the square position, but it is permitted the shoulder to move front to some extent during punching.”

    However, I do not believe this should be interpreted as a “change” or a “new required way” of doing the punches, but is most likely due to a difference of opinion among high ranking Grandmasters and perhaps between various Kwans. Therefore, it is more of an option that is “permitted” but not mandated.

    Personally, I do not agree with the extension of the shoulder as a general rule, because it reduces the scientific principles of reaction force utilized in Taekwondo punching, and reverts to the forward momentum of mass used in boxing punches. There is a reason for the alignment of the shoulders and it is not just because it looks pretty. It is for maximum internal destructive force.

    Blue Knight
  6. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    I have an old USAT document that outlines scoring guidelines for referees and competitors in WTF competition. The requirements listed are quite different to those of the KKW standard (and were at the time the document was written), with much more focus on making the forms visually pleasing. I find the WTF competition requirements so different as to be impractical and these differences often cause confusion among black belts when the forms are taught. That's the main reason I'm hot on what the current KKW standard is.

    The USAT doc is long out of date and doesn't say anything about the shoulder issue. However, I have done a seminar with an international poomsae referee recently and he mentioned the shoulder thing, amongst several others. These are not really changes as such, but definitions to help the referees score the competitors.

    I doubt that new definitions are documented yet. The best thing you could do is get to a national seminar with a recently up to date poomsae judge, or host your own and invite one. Or get on a poomsae judging course, where these measures are disseminated. Which for a serious competitor would be expected.
  7. ssiidd

    ssiidd Active Member

    Thanks for all the replies.

    Just found the official WTF app (I am sure it has been around for some time). It is worth a look. Called Taekwondo.lesson available in both play and app stores. It covers some of the changes.
  8. Brent Read

    Brent Read New Member

  9. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    No, they are different. The standards you listed in the other thread for stances, for example, were documented and spread through WTF NGBs like USAT and British Taekwondo for the purposes of standardisation of competition poomsae and to promote fairness, ease and consistency in scoring.

    Kukkiwon gives some photographic examples of stances in the Taekwondo Textbook, and some guidance regarding foot placement, but there's much more emphasis on doing what is comfortable and what suits your individual body type. For example, for a tall guy like me with long legs, a 2 foot length wide Ju choom seogi is way too narrow and makes Keumgang look high and wobbly. That's pretty much the absolute opposite of the main philosophical message of the form according to the TKD textbook.

    If you don't own the textbook, join the education centre on the Kukkiwon website for similar info.

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