History and Background

Chief Instructor Tom Foggo began his martial arts journey as a 22-year-old in Adelaide in 2003.

‘’I remember going to my very first lesson. I arrived early as I had heard that TKD was all about discipline so I didn’t want to be late. Instructor Andy was an old family friend that I had not seen for over 10 years. I was wearing football shorts and a singlet and he shook my hand and said “come back next lesson when you are dressed appropriately’’.

Having never attended a single martial arts class, Tom was hooked from the very first time he was able to take part in a class. After his attempt the week before he was immediately impressed with the atmosphere and professionalism in the beautiful old church that was being used as the dojo.

‘’That first lesson I was not asked to do much. I was an eager young man and I am sure that the Instructor knew this…to this date I still remember watching the Blue belts in particular. In the class there may have been 20 students, ranging from beginner to black belt but for some reason it was the Blue belts that caught my eye.

There were higher belts in the class that day but what amazed me was watching the 5 blue belts performing their techniques and patterns together. They were all in sync and moved together as one…I just thought to myself at that point that I would like to be able to move like them and be a part of what I was watching’’

Tom worked his way through the ranks and earnt his red belt. It was at this stage his Instructor and the Chief Instructor started to talk to him about becoming an instructor. Tom would attend class early, 3 nights a week to assist and learn. With no past dream of teaching in any form, he quickly started to enjoy the responsibility and respect that he was shown as an assistant instructor.

After achieving his 1st Degree black belt, Tom was made an instructor of his own gym.

‘’Wow was I scared. I had been an assistant instructor for 1 year but running my own class was terrifying. My Instructors would always tell me that I need to trust my hard work and that I have earnt the right and am qualified to pass on my TKD knowledge.

My first student was a little 5 year old girl named Poppy. She sparked up my passion for teaching Children as she was so cute and talked so much. One day her father told me that I was her idol and that she would walk around the house saying that she only follows Instructor Toms advice…from that moment I just knew that my life could have more purpose as long as it as TKD an detaching in it.

Tom attained his 2nd degree black belt in 2008.

Shortly after this, Tom relocated to Brisbane to establish his own club under the banner National Taekwondo Brisbane and become Chief Instructor of Brisbane.

‘’ Once a year our club would have a special instructor training camps at the gold coast. It was on my 3rd year of attending these that I decided I wanted to live in QLD and teach TKD. I had never even been to Brisbane, I didn’t know anyone in Qld, I didn’t have a job, I only had a room to stay in for 2 weeks and only had $2000 in my wallet…for some reason I just knew that it would all work out!

I will never forget the first days, weeks, months and year living in Brisbane. I was told by everyone including my family that I was crazy for moving. I got a job the day after I arrived, I found a place to live after 2 weeks and then opened up my first class after 1 month. After 6 months of hard work I had 3 students and I was the happiest man on the planet. The following 8 years was a bit of a blur as I kept working hard and the club kept building to what you see today.

In 2018 it was time for a change, Tom achieved his 4th degree and created the Australian School of Taekwondo.

‘’ Leaving my old organization was as tough as decision as I have had to make in my entire life but on the other hand was also the easiest. I just couldn’t see the future playing out how I envisioned it for me and my students and thought that there had to be more that TKD could offer.

2019 to 2022 was a whirlwind of new opportunities. I was like a little kid in a candy store learning about the ITF and competition style of TKD and re-inventing myself as a 4th degree black belt Chief instructor.

From 2019 to current we had to work around the COVID pandemic but made huge leaps as a club. We found a new Grand Master, officially joined the International Taekwondo Federation and ITF Taekwondo Australia, started attending competitions and seminars and made friends with our rival clubs and competitors.

“’heading into 2022 I am proud of my achievements to be able to provide a brand of TKD to my students that is respected world wide, with endless opportunities. My TKD feels fresh and exciting and I just love putting my uniform on and continuing my vision to create the best TKD school in Australia.

Learning is a journey and it takes time and dedication to achieve a goal.

As a student of Taekwon-Do you have started on your own journey towards achieving milestones and I feel honoured that you have trusted me to play a small role in your life.

This handbook outlines the techniques and theory for each level that you will learn as a student of the Australian School of Taekwondo.  It is designed to be your reference source, and a guideline for the grading requirements for all ranks…It should not take the place of an instructor or in class tuition.

Australian School of Taekwondo is founded on the principles of honesty, hard work and enjoying the single life we get to live. I truly believe that you can improve your way of life in all aspects if you follow our program.

I wish you all the best in your studies in becoming a well-rounded, ethical, skilled and accomplished student in the art of Taekwon-Do.

Enjoy the journey!

Tom Foggo - Chief Instructor and Founder of the Australian School of Taekwondo.

Condensed history

The art of Taekwondo was officially named by General Choi Hong Hi on the  11th of April, 1955 and was originated in Korea.

Taekwondo was developed from elements of ancient Korean martial arts and is a version of unarmed combat designed for the purpose of self-defense.

The ITF (International Taekwon-Do Federation) was formed in 1966 and is regarded as the self defence or art form of Taekwond-Do. The other style of TKD is the WTF(World Taekwondo federation) that was formed in 1973. WTF style is the sport style that you will see at the Olympics.

In 1985, general Choi released the encyclopedia of TKD ( also known as the TKD bible). 15 volumes of content that details the 24 ITF patterns he created.

In 2002 general Choi passed away leaving TKD as one of most popular martial arts practiced in the world

Australian School of Taekwondo teaches the ITF style of Taekwon-Do and is aligned with national and international bodies however we are politically neutral.

Extended history

The Life of General Choi

General Choi Hong Hi    Founder of Taekwon-Do (1918-2002)

Choi was born on 9 November 1918 in Hwa Dae, Myŏngch'ŏn county, in what is now North Korea, which at that time was under Japanese rule. At age 15, Choi's father sent him to study calligraphy under Han Il Dong, who was also said to be "a master of Taek Kyon, the ancient Korean art of foot fighting."

In 1938, during his high school years, Choi relocated to Japan to study. Just before Choi left Korea for Japan, Choi had a gambling disagreement with a large and intimidating wrestler named Hu, and the possibility of a future confrontation inspired Choi to train in martial arts; in his own words, "I would imagine that these were the techniques I would use to defend myself against the wrestler, Mr. Hu, if he did attempt to carry out his promise to tear me limb from limb when I eventually returned to Korea." In addition to his academic studies, Choi studied Shotokan Karate while in high school and recieved his 1st dan rank under a Korean instructor named Kim Hyun-Soo. Choi then attended to Chuo University in Tokyo where he continued to train in Shotokan Karate, reportedly receiving his 2nd dan rank before graduation. (Shotokan founder Gichin Funakoshi sometimes taught at Chuo University during this timeframe, so it is commonly believed that Choi probably received at least some instruction from Funakoshi during this time.) Choi graduated from Chuo University in 1943, and taught karate for a short time at the Tokyo YMCA.

Like many young men during the Japanese occupation, Choi was conscripted in October 1943 and forced to serve against his will in the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. Choi was posted to Pyongynag where he became involved in the Korean Independence Movement. Choi was implicated in a rebellion against his Japanese commanders however and was imprisoned by the Japanese. At the end of World War II, Choi and the other prisoners were of course released. The post-war division of Korea between North and South, however, left Choi unable to return to the land of his birth in the north. Instead, Choi joined the South Korean army in 1946. By 1951 he had been promoted to brigadier general, and by 1954 to major general.

Choi believed that the new South Korean army would benefit greatly from martial arts training. He felt strongly, however, that Korea should develop a uniquely Korean martial art to teach to its troops (rather than teaching Japanese karate to Korean troops). During the Korean War, Choi created an officer training program and an infantry division that provided martial arts instructors to the military. As one of the inventors of taekwondo, much of Choi’s energies during his life were devoted to making taekwondo be distinct from karate in terms of its forms and techniques. Choi was ultimately successful at the widespread adoption of taekwondo in the Korean military, and in fact many U.S. servicemen stationed in Korea first learned taekwondo there before bringing taekwondo back to the U.S.

In 1959 Choi was named President of the Korean Taekwon-do Association (KTA), the organization chartered with bringing the Nine Kwans together to form a common Korean martial art. In 1962, Choi was sent to Malaysia as South Korean ambassador, but after his return to South Korea in 1965 he found life under the South Korean regime so intolerable that by 1972 he finally emigrated to Canada. During the 1960s, Choi and Nam Tae Hi led the original masters of taekwondo in promoting their martial art around the world. In 1966, Choi created the International Taekwon-do Federation (ITF). Choi’s first English-language manual, Taekwon-Do (1965), eventually led to the publication of an entire taekwondo encyclopedia on the art in 1985. In 1973, shortly after Choi’s emigration to Canada, the South Korean government promoted the Kukkiwon and subsequently the WTF. From his new home in Canada, Choi continued however to promote ITF-style taekwondo worldwide. He continued in this endeavor throughout the remainder of his life.

Choi died of cancer on 15 June 2002 in Pyongyang, North Korea. Shortly after his death, the ITF split into three separate organizations.

Translation of Taekwon-Do

Taekwondo is an empty-hand combat form that entails the use of the whole body. Tae means "to Kick" or "Smash with the feet," Kwon implies "punching" or "destroying with the hand or fist," and Do means "way" or "method." Taekwondo thus, is the technique of unarmed combat for self defense that involves the skillful application of techniques that include punching, jumping kicks, blocks, dodges, parrying actions with hands and feet. It is more than a mere physical fighting skill, representing as it does a way of thinking and a pattern of life requiring strict discipline. It is a system of training both the mind and the body in which great emphasis is placed on the development of the trainee's moral character."

Taekwondo is a martial art that in "todays" form of self defense has evolved by combining many different styles of martial arts that existed in Korea over the last 2,000 years and some martial arts styles from countries that surround Korea. Taekwondo incorporates the abrupt linear movements of Karate and the flowing, circular patterns of Kung-fu with native kicking techniques. Over fifty typically Chinese circular hand movements can be identified in modern Taekwondo. A few of the earlier martial arts styles that contributed to Taekwondo are: T'ang-su, Taek Kyon, also known as Subak, Tae Kwon, Kwonpup and Tae Kwonpup. There are also influences from Judo, Karate, and Kung-fu.

The beginnings of Taekwon-Do

"The earliest records of Taekwondo practice date back to about 50 B.C. During this time, Korea was divided into three kingdoms: Silla, which was founded on the Kyongju plain in 57 B.C.; Koguryo, founded in the Yalu River Valley in 37 B.C.; and Paekche, founded in the southwestern area of the Korean peninsula in 18 B.C.."(2) Tae Kyon ( also called Subak) is considered the earliest known form of Taekwondo. Paintings from this time period have been found on the ceiling of the Muyong-chong, a royal tomb from the Koguryo dynasty. The paintings show unarmed people using techniques that are very similar to the ones used by Taekwondo today.

Above is an early painting believed to be from 50BC depicting the first traces of unarmed combat by the Korean people.

Although Taekwondo first appeared in the Koguryo kingdom, it is the Silla's Hwarang warriors that are credited with the growth and spread of Taekwondo throughout Korea. Silla was the smallest of the three kingdoms and was always under attack by Japanese Pirates. Silla got help from King Gwanggaeto and his soldiers from the Koguryo kingdom to drive out the pirates. During this time a few select Sillan warriors were given training in Taek Kyon by the early masters from Koguryo. The Taek Kyon trained warriors then became known as the Hwarang. The Hwarang set up a military academy for the sons of royalty in Silla called Hwarang-do, which means "The way of flowering manhood." The Hwarang studied Taek Kyon, history, Confucian Philosophy, ethics, Buddhist Morality, and military tactics. The guiding principles of the Hwarang warriors were loyalty, filial duty, trustworthiness, valor, and justice. The makeup of the Hwarang-do education was based on the Five Codes of Human Conduct written by a Buddhist scholar, fundamental education, Taek Kyon and social skills. Taek Kyon was spread throughout Korea because the Hwarang traveled all around the peninsula to learn about the other regions and people.

Today, The original Five Codes of Human Conduct have been correlated into the so-called Eleven Commandments of modern day Taekwondo, which are:

Loyalty to your countryRespect your parents
Faithfulness to your spouseLoyalty to your friends
Respect your brothers and sistersRespect your elders
Respect your teachersNever take life unjustly
Indomitable spiritLoyalty to your school
Finish what you begin

During the Silla dynasty (A.D. 668 to A.D. 935) Taek Kyon was mostly used as a sport and recreational activity. Taek Kyon's name was changed to Subak and the focus of the art was changed during the Koryo dynasty (A.D. 935 to A.D. 1392). When King Uijong was on the throne from 1147 through 1170, he changed Subak from a system that promotes fitness to primarily a fighting art.

The first widely distributed book on Taekwondo was during the Yi dynasty (1397 to 1907). This was the first time that Subak was intended to be taught to the general public, in previous years the knowledge was limited to the military. During the second half of the Yi dynasty, political conflicts and the choice to use debate instead of military action almost lead to the extinction of Subak. The emphasis of the art was changed back to that of recreational and physical fitness. The lack of interest caused Subak as an art, to become fragmented and scarcely practiced throughout the country.

In 1909 the Japanese invaded Korea and occupied the country for 36 years. To control Korea's patriotism, the Japanese banned the practice of all military arts, Korean language and even burned all books written in Korea. This ban was responsible for renewed interest in Subak. Many Koreans organized themselves into underground groups and practiced the martial arts in remote Buddhist temples. Other people left Korea to study the martial arts in other countries like China and Japan. In 1943 Judo, Karate and Kung-fu were officially introduced to the Korean residents and the martial arts regained popularity. In 1945 Korea was liberated. In the last few years before liberation, there were many different variations of Subak/Taek Kyon in Korea. This was due to all of the other martial arts influence on it.

The first Taekwondo school (Kwan) was started in Yong Chun, Seoul, Korea in 1945. Many different school were opened from 1945 through 1960. Each school claimed to teach the traditional Korean martial art, but each school emphasized a different aspect of Taek Kyon/Subak. This caused different names to emerge from each system, some of them were: Soo Bahk Do, Kwon Bop, Kong Soo Do, Tae Soo Do and Kang Soo Do.

The Korean Armed Forces were also formed in 1945 and in 1946 Second lieutenant Hong Hi Choi began teaching Taek Kyon at a Korean military base called Kwang Ju. Americans were first introduced to Taek Kyon when Choi instructed Korean Army troops and some American soldiers stationed with the 2nd Infantry Regiment. Later in 1949 Hong Hi Choi attended Ground General School at Ft. Riely near Topeka, Kansas in the United States. While in the U.S., Choi gave public Taek Kyon demonstrations for the troops. This was the first display of Taek Kyon in America.

The greatest turning point for Korean martial arts started in 1952. During the height of the Korean War, President Syngman Rhee watched a 30 minute performance by Korean martial arts masters. He was especially impressed when Tae Hi Nam broke 13 roof tiles with a single punch. After the demonstration Rhee talked with Hong Hi Choi about the martial arts, he then ordered his military chiefs of staff to require all Korean soldiers to receive training in the martial arts. This caused a tremendous surge in Taek Kyon schools and students.

During this same time period in Korea, special commando groups of martial arts-trained soldiers were formed to fight against the communist forces of North Korea. One of the most famous special forces was known as the Black Tigers. The Korean war ended in 1953. In 1954, General Hong Hi Choi organized the 29th Infantry on Che Ju Island, off the Korean Coast, as a spearhead and center for Taek Kyon training in the military.

On April 11, 1955 at a conference of kwan masters, historians, and Taek Kyon promoters, most of the kwan masters decided to merge their various styles for mutual benefit of all schools. The name "Tae Soo Do" was accepted by a majority of the kwan masters. Two years later the name was changed again, this time to "Taekwondo" The name was suggested by General Hong Hi Choi (who is considered the father of Taekwondo). "Taekwondo" was suggested by Choi because of its resemblance to Taek Kyon, and so provides continuity and maintains tradition. Further, it describes both hand and foot techniques.

Dissension among the various kwans that did not unify carried on until September 14, 1961. Then by official decree of the new military government, the kwans were ordered to unify into one organization called the Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA), with General Hong Hi Choi elected as its first president. Under the leadership of Choi, demonstration teams were able to spread taekwondo to almost every part of the world. A key member of these teams was the South Korean grandmaster Rhee Ki-ha, who spread it to the United Kingdom and he is also known as the “Founder of Taekwon-Do in Great Britain and Ireland”. Other taekwondo masters include grandmaster Rhee Jhoon Goo, also known as the “Father of American Taekwondo” and grandmaster Rhee Chong Chul, also known as the “Father of Australian Taekwondo

In Korea, the study of Taekwondo spread rapidly from the army into high schools and colleges. In march of 1966 Choi founded the International Taekwon-do Federation (ITF), which he also served as president. Choi later resigned as the KTA president and moved his ITF headquarters to Montreal, Canada, from where he concentrated on organizing Taekwondo internationally. His emphasis is on self-defense methodology, not particularly on the sport. By 1974, Choi reported that some 600 qualified ITF instructors were distributed throughout the world.

Young-wun Kim was elected the new KTA president. Feeling that Korea was the mother country of Taekwondo and that the world headquarters should be located there, he dissolved the ITF's connection with the KTA and on May 28, 1973 created a new international governing body called the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF)

In 1972 the Kukkiwon was built and is widely regarded as the official headquarters of Taekwon-Do, located in Seoul, South Korea. In 1973 it hosted the first World Taekwondo Championships with 200 competitors form 17 different countries competing. The WTF is the only official organization recognized by the Korean government as an international regulating body for Taekwondo. The Kukkiwon has been the permanent home to the Taekwondo demonstration team since 1974.

Above is the Kukkiwon is Seoul korea. The official home of WTF TKD

After the 2nd World TKD Championship in Seoul, the WTF became an affiliate of the General Assembly of International Sports Federation (GAISF), which has ties to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC recognized and admitted the WTF in July 1980. In 1982 the General Session of the IOC designated Taekwondo as an official Demonstration Sport for the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea and became a medal sport at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

With the two styles split between the ITF and WTF the art and sport grew throughout the globe to become one of the most popular and practiced martial arts in the world to this day.

After general Choi’s passing in 2002, the art of Taekwon-Do is as strong as ever and his legacy lives on through the ITF and the loyal practitioners he introduced to the art of TKD.

Taekwon-Do Ideology and Philosophy

The 5 Tenets of TKD

Courtesy (Ye Ui)

Taekwon-Do students should attempt to practice the following elements of

courtesy to build up their character:

  • To promote the spirit of mutual concessions:
  • To be ashamed of one's vices, contemptuous of those of others
  • To be polite to one another
  • To encourage the sense of justice and humanity
  • To distinguish instructor from student, senior from junior, and elder from younger
  • To behave oneself according to etiquette
  • To respect others' possessions
  • To handle matters with fairness and sincerity
  • To refrain from giving or accepting a gift when in doubt

Integrity (Yom Chi)

One must be able to define right and wrong and have a conscience, if wrong, to feel guilty. Listed are some examples where integrity is lacking:

  • The instructor who misrepresents themselves and the art
  • The student who requests ranks from an instructor or attempts to purchase it.
  • The student who gains rank for ego purposes or the feeling of power.
  • The students whose actions do not live up to their words.
  • The student who feels ashamed to seek opinions from their juniors.

Perseverance (In Nae)

One of the most important secrets in becoming a leader of Taekwon-Do is to overcome every difficulty by perseverance.

Confucius said, "one who is impatient in trivial matters can seldom achieve success in matters of great importance."

Self Control (Guk Gi)

This tenet is extremely important inside and outside the dojang, whether conducting oneself in free sparring or in one's personal affairs.

A loss of self-control in free sparring will not be tolerated.

According to Lao-Tzu "the term of stronger is the person who wins over oneself rather than someone else."

Indomitable Spirit (Baekjool Boolgool)

A serious student of Taekwon-Do will at all times be modest and honest.

If confronted with injustice, they will deal with the belligerent without any fear or hesitation at all, with indomitable spirit, regardless of whosoever and however many the number may be.

Confucius declared, "It is an act of cowardice to fail to speak out against injustice."

Student Oath

I shall observe the tenets of Taekwondo

I shall respect the instructor and seniors

I shall never misuse Taekwondo

I shall be a champion of freedom and justice

I shall build a more peaceful world

The Physical Make-up of Taekwon-Do

  • Fundamental movements
  • Dallyon (body maintenance, toughening, stretching, running, weight training etc)
  • Patterns
  • Sparring
  • Self defence

The Mental Make-up of Taekwon-Do

  • Travel (to broaden the mind and experience new things)
  • Mountain Climbing (to toughen ourselves mentally)
  • Cold showers and baths (experience hardships)
  • Public service (learning to help others)
  • Etiquette (using the right manners in the right place - not just in Taekwon-Do)

Student / Instructor Relationship

  • Never tire of learning - learn anytime, anywhere.
  • A good student must be willing to work for his art and his instructor. Many students think their training can be bought with monthly fees and are not willing to take part in other TKD activities. An instructor can afford to lose this type of student.
  • Always set a good example to your juniors. They will copy you.
  • Always be loyal and never criticize the instructor, the art of TKD, or the teaching methods.
  • If an instructor teaches a technique, practice and attempt to use it.
  • Remember a student’s conduct outside the do-jang reflects on the art and the instructor.
  • If a student learns a technique from another gym, and his instructor dislikes it, the student must forget it, or train at the other gym.
  • Never be disrespectful to the instructor.
  • A student must always want to learn and ask questions.
  • Never betray a trust.


Bowing in any martial art is a sign of respect and should be a sincere slow bow. It is sometimes more disrespectful to bow incorrectly than to not bow at all as this is a sign that you do not understand the reason behind the gesture.

Some martial arts may differ but in Taekwon-Do you must always:

  1. Stand in the attention position before bowing
  2. Ensure there are no gaps between your feet
  3. Hands must be placed smartly at the sides of your body.
  4. Bend at 45º from the waist and lower your eyes to the floor.
  5. Hold the position for a split second before coming back to your original standing position.

When to bow:

  • When greeting an instructor.
  • When wanting advice or help from your instructor or a higher grade.
  • When entering and leaving the Dojang.
  • When your instructor has given you advice.
  • Before and after working with a training partner.

Do Bok

The uniform worn to practice Taekwon-Do is called the Dobok, literally meaning ‘clothes of the way’, and consists of a shirt (Sang-i), trousers (Ha-i), and belt (Ti). The dobok is considered an essential part of the art of Taekwon-Do. For reasons of both presentation and hygiene, doboks should be kept clean (preferably washed after every training session) and neatly folded (or even better, ironed) to avoid creases.

The reasons for wearing the dobok are as follows:

  • The wearing of the dobok should instill pride in the student as a practitioner of Taekwon-Do
  • It identifies the degree of skill and education in Taekwon-Do that the Individual has attained
  • The style of the dobok is symbolic of Taekwon-Do heritage and tradition
  • The official dobok distinguishes Taekwon-Do from its imitators

Classes of Black Belts:

  • 1st to 3rd degree = Novice (boosabum)
  • 4th to 6th degree = Expert (sabum)
  • 7th Degree = Master (sahyun)
  • 8th Degree = Senior Master (sonim sahyun)
  • 9th degree = Grand Master (saseong)

Korean Terminology

Counting in Korean

Once you reach 10, you start over with the word of the corresponding number first ( eg 11 yol hana, 12 yol dool & so on )












































  • Attention (charyot)
  • Bow (kyong ye)
  • Ready position (junbi)
  • Return (baro)
  • Start (shijak)
  • Stop (guman)
  • Punch (jirugi)
  • Kick (chagi)
  • Block (magki)
  • Strike (Chigi)
  • Low (najunde)
  • Middle (kaunde)
  • High (nopunde)
  • Rising (technique) (chookyo)
  • Front (ap)
  • Side (yop)
  • Back (dwit)
  • Downward (naeryo)
  • Upward (ollyo)
  • Inward (anuro)
  • Outward (bakuro)
  • Turning (dollyo) when refering to a kick
  • Perform in your own time (kuryong obsi)


  • Back Sole (dwitkumchee)
  • Ball of foot (ap Kumchee)
  • Sole (Kumchee)
  • Side Sole (yop bal badak)
  • Foot (bal)
  • Foot Sword (balkal)
  • Toes (balkut)
  • Instep (balding)
  • Side Instep (yop balding)
  • Reverse Foot-sword (balkal dung)
  • Back heel dwichook)
  • Knee (moorup)


  • Fist (joomuk)
  • Fore fist (ap joomuk)
  • Side fist (yop joomuk)
  • Back fist (dung joomuk)
  • Palm (sonbadak)
  • Knife hand (sonkal)
  • Reverse knife hand (sonkal dung)
  • Base of knife hand (sonkal batang)
  • Fingertip (sonkut)
  • Flat fingertip (opun sonkut)
  • Straight fingertip (sun sonkut)
  • Upset Fingertip (dwijibun sonkut)
  • Forearm (palmok)
  • Inner forearm (an palmok)
  • Outer forearm (bakat palmok)
  • Back forearm (dung palmok)
  • Under forearm (mit palmok)
  • Elbow (palkup)
  • Front elbow (wi palkup)
  • Arc hand (an jin son)

Starting a class (Senior grade gives the commands):

  • Attention (charyot)
  • Face the Instructor (boosabum nim kke or sabum nim kke)
  • Bow (kyong ye)
  • Senior student recites the Student Oath

Finishing a class (Senior grade gives the commands)

  • Attention (charyot)
  • Face the Instructor (boosabum nim kke or sabum nim kke)
  • Bow (kyong ye).
  • The class then faces the senior grade (Appropriate salutation relative to the rank of the senior grade (eg Sabum nim kke).
  • The second senior grade then instructs the class to bow (kyong ye) to the senior grade and who then dismisses the class (hae san).
  • All students bow and say thank you and clap (ko mup sum neda).

Technical Information

Characteristics of Attention Stance

  • Heels together
  • Feet 45-degree angle
  • Equal weight on both legs
  • Hands lightly clenched by sides.

Characteristics of a Parallel Ready Stance

  • Feet parallel
  • Feet shoulder width from outside to outside
  • Hands position in front of abdomen
  • Hands 5cm apart

Characteristics of an ‘L’ Stance

  • One and a half shoulder widths long from the foot sword of rear foot to the toes of front foot.
  • 5cm wide from inside heel of front foot to back heel of front leg.
  • Rear leg is bent with the kneecap over toes of rear foot, foot angle 15%.
  • Front leg bent slightly with the front foot angled 15%.
  • Performed with body half facing.

Characteristics of Walking Stance

  • 1 shoulder width wide (from centre of each foot).
  • One and a half shoulder widths long (from big toe to big toe).
  • Weight is evenly distributed (the same on each foot - 50% on front, 50% on rear).
  • Back leg straight and locked, back foot angled 25 degrees.
  • Front leg bent, knee cap over the heel, front foot straight.

Characteristics of Sitting Stance

  • Sitting stance (annun sogi)
  • Shoulder width and a half measure from the inside of the feet.
  • Weight distribution is equal.
  • Both feet facing the front and parallel to each other.
  • Both knees are bent equally.

Low Stance (nachuo sogi)

  • One shoulder width wide measured from centre of the feet. One and a half shoulders long measured from the big toe of the rear foot to the heel of the front foot. Weight is 50 - 50. Back leg is straight with back foot at no more than a 25-degree angle. Front leg bent with kneecap over heel.


Rear Foot Stance (dwit bal sogi)

  • One shoulder width long measured from the front big toe to the rear foot sword. The heel of the rear foot is slightly beyond the heal of the front foot. The weight is mostly on the rear foot. The rear leg is bent so the rear kneecap is over the toes of the rear foot and the rear foot is at a
  • 15-degree angle. The front leg is bent with the ball of the foot slightly touching the floor and that foot at about 25-degree angle. Perform half facing.

X-Stance (kyocha sogi)

  • An X-stance is performed standing on one leg.
  • Both feet point in the same direction.
  • Both knees are bend evenly.
  • The ball of the non-supporting foot lightly touches the ground - in front in stepping motion, and behind in a jumping motion.

Characteristics of Bending Ready Stance A

  • All of the weight on the supporting leg.
  • The sole of the foot is brought to the knee joint (not touching).
  • The supporting leg is bent and the arms are forming a guarding block.
  • This is considered a preparatory movement for a side piercing kick.

Characteristics of a Fixed Stance

  • Length = 1.5 shoulder widths long from toe to toe. Width = 2.5cm wide.
  • Weight distribution is 50%/50% (half on front leg/half on back leg)
  • The rear leg is bent with the rear foot angled at 15 degrees.
  • Front leg is bent with the front foot angled at 15 degrees.
  • Body is half facing

Vertical stance (Soojik Sogi)

  • One-shoulder width long measured from the big toe of the front foot to the big toe of the rear foot.
  • Weight is distributed 60% on the rear foot, 40% on the front.
  • The rear leg is straight with foot pointed 15 degrees.
  • The front leg is straight with the front foot pointing 15 degrees also.

Closed Ready Stance A

  • Both legs carry the body’s weight.
  • The knees and ankles are locked and close to together.
  • The feet are “closed” meeting at the big toes.
  • The right hand forms a fist with the left palm covering the first with the fingers just over the top of the knuckles.
  • The hands are approximately 30 cms from the philtrum.

Closed Ready Stance B (moa junbi sogi B)

  • It is performed with both feet together and parallel.
  • The weight is evenly distributed on both feet with the legs straight.
  • This stance is performed full facing with the fists held 15cm in front of the navel.

Closed Ready Stance Type C (Moa junbi sogi C)

  • Both feet are together and parallel.
  • Legs are straight.
  • Performed full facing with the knife hands (right hand closest to the body) held 10 cm in front of the abdomen.

Close ready stance A,B and C have the same feet position as below.

Heights of techniques are defined as:

  • Centre, Chest, Shoulder line
    • A - Centre Line (yomchi son)
    • B - Chest Line (kasum son)
    • C –Shoulder Line (otkae son)


  • Full facing – your upper body and shoulders will face parallel to the front.
  • Half facing – Your upper body and shoulders will be on a 45 degree angle to the front. Your angle will be determined by your stance and should be the natural body position.
  • Reverse Half Facing – Your upper body and shoulders will twist to the opposite 45 degree angle to your stance.

Sine Wave refers to a mathematical graph often used when describing acoustics or simple harmonics. We use this formula of movement to create our flow when moving and executing techniques.

Sine Wave should be a natural movement, not a forced or conscious action. Being a natural movement, it often occurs without having to ‘create’ it.

The focus should be on the technique you are about to execute and focussing all your power into the blocking or attacking tool.

During a ‘normal’ or regular stepping motion, Sine wave is generally created by the relaxation, or un-weighting, of the leg muscles at the initial stage of the technique’s execution, whether it be whilst stepping or whilst stationary.

It is this relaxation of these muscles which causes the body to drop slightly. This drop is subtle, rather than a distinctive ‘squat’. The body should be relaxed during this phase.

This is, in part, synchronized with the backward motion referred to in the ‘Training secrets’ … “every movement begins with a backward motion”, with the arms reaching their intermediate preparation position for the technique about to be executed.

The practitioner then increases their height, by extending their legs, but not fully locking them out, before dropping their body weight again as they lengthen their stance to execute the technique.

It is this dropping which incorporates our body’s mass into the technique, utilizing the kinetic energy and gravity, to assist in adding to the power of the movement.

Sine Wave and different types of motion

In addition to Sine Wave whilst stepping in a regular fashion, we also have numerous speeds/types of motions which effect the type of sine wave executed.

Sine Wave in Slow motion

During Slow Motion movements, Sinewave is very much manufactured and artifical.

The trajectory is performed as usual, commencing with a slight downward motion, then upwards, and then downwards again. However, the movement is performed slowly in conjunction with slow breathing. An example where this is evident is the Palm Pressing Blocks in Joong-Gun tul.

Sine wave is slow movements is a little redundant, as during a slow movement there is not a natural relaxation or unweighting of the joints, and also given the purpose of Sine wave is to contribute to power generation, slow movements are not powerful.

Thus in slow movements, we are merely mimicking the posture, technique and trajectory to show balance, control and for aesthetics. There are no real-life applicable Taekwon-Do techniques that are performed slowly.

  • Movement is performed slowly with slow breathing.
  • This is used to emphasize an important movement and to check balance and control. (internal count of 3)

Sine Wave in Fast motion

The Sine wave is still performed as per usual. The major difference between Fast and ‘normal’ movements, is the time interval the foot spends flat on the ground between movements is much shorter. You should still execute one sharp breath for each technique. An example of this concept is the two punches, as can be found in Do-San tul and Yul Gok tul.

Many practitioners merely perform what is nown as a ‘saw-tooth’ (up-down) motion in these instances. We explain the saw-tooth concept a little later.

  • Urgent and aggressive, normal breathing.
  • Fast motion is nearly always attacks mainly two punches.
  • Short-cut your sinewave – spring straight from the first movement into the next.
  • Remember to let your heal touch the ground.

Sine Wave in Continuous motion

In this case there is no pause between the end of one movement and the execution of the next. An example is the Outer Forearm Low Block and the Rising Block in Dan-Gun tul. You should still have one breath and create a separate Sine Wave for each technique.

In reality however, many of the examples of connection motion involve an initial movement which performers don’t execute with full power, and load up on the secondary movement, despite no specific documented instruction to perfrom this way.

In this case, the secondary moevent does not really take advantage of sine wave, as the step is generally completed with the first movement. It is more of a ‘knee-spring’ scenario with the secondary movement.

Sine wave is NOT performed where the performer does not actually step.

Many instructors refer to sine wave when they mean knee spring. Sitting stance punch is a classic example.

  • Link the movements together with no pause between the end of one movement and the start of the next.
  • Breathe in normally emphasizing each movement.
  • Try to link the moments smoothly, with grace and beauty.
  • Continuous movements always start with a block.

Sine Wave in Connecting motion

In Connection motion, there is also no pause between two techniques, however in this case, there is only one breath and one Sine Wave for the two techniques, which is performed at the end of the second movement. An example of this Connecting Motion is the Palm Upward Block and Middle Punch in Ge-Baek tul.

Again, in most these cases, the intial movement is generally not a full power tehnique, so sine wave is not really utilized for the purpose it is intended. Once again, as the step is completed with the initial movement, it is more a ‘knee-spring’ where the secondary movement is only accompanied by the drop in body weight.

  • Complete the two movements with one breath and one sinewave.
  • Connecting motion is always with two movements using opposite arms.

There are six factors that determine the theory of power used in Taekwondo.

Reaction Force (Bandong Ryok)

According to Newton’s Law, every force has an equal and opposite force. When an automobile crashes into a wall with the force of 2,000 pounds, the wall will return a force of 2,000 pounds; or forcing the end of the seesaw down with a ton of weight will provide an upward force of the same weight; if your opponent is rushing towards you at a high speed, by the slightest blow at his head,
the force with which you strike his head would be that of his own onslaught plus that of your blow.

The two forces combined; his, which is large, and yours, which is small is quite impressive. Another reaction force is your own. A punch with the right fist is aided by pulling back the left fist to the hip.

Concentration (Jip Joong)

By applying the impact force onto the smallest target area, it will concentrate the force and therefore, increase its effect. For example, the force of water coming out of a water hose is greater if the orifice is smaller. Conversely, the weight of a man spread out on snowshoes makes hardly any impression on the snow. The blows in Taekwon-Do are often concentrated onto the edge of the open palm or to the crook of the fingers. It is very important that you should not unleash all your strength at the beginning but gradually, and particularly at the point of contact with your opponent’s body, the force must be so concentrated as to give a knock-out blow. That is to say, the shorter the time for the concentration, the greater will be the power of the blow. The utmost concentration is required to mobilize every muscle of the body onto the smallest target area simultaneously.

Equilibrium (Kyun Hyung) 

Balance is of utmost importance in any type of athletics. In Taekwon-Do, it deserves special consideration. By keeping the body always in equilibrium, that is, well balanced, a blow is more effective and deadly. Conversely, the unbalanced one is easily toppled. The stance should always be stable yet flexible, for both offensive and defensive movements.
Equilibrium is classified into both dynamic and static stability. They are so closely inter-related that the maximum force can only be produced when the static stability is maintained through dynamic stability.

To maintain good equilibrium, the centre of gravity of the stance must fall on a straight-line midway between both legs when the body weight is distributed equally on both legs, or in the centre of the foot if it is necessary to concentrate the bulk of body weight on one foot. The centre of gravity can be adjusted according to body weight. Flexibility and knee spring are also important in maintaining balance for both a quick attack and instant recovery. One additional point; the heel of the rear foot should never be off the ground at the point of impact. This is not only necessary for good balance but also to produce maximum power at the point of impact.

Breath Control (Hohup Jojul)
Controlled breathing not only affects one’s stamina and speed but can also condition a body to receive a blow and augment the power of a blow directed against an opponent. Through practice, breath stopped in the state of exhaling at the critical moment when a blow is landed against a pressure point on the body can prevent a loss of consciousness and stifle pain. A sharp exhaling of breath at the moment of impact and stopping the breath during the execution of a movement tense the abdomen to concentrate maximum effort on the delivery of the motion, while a slow inhaling helps the preparation of the next movement. An important rule to remember; Never inhale while focusing a block or blow against an opponent. Not only will this impede movement, but it will also result in a loss of power. Students should also practice disguised breathing to conceal any outward signs of fatigue. An experienced fighter will certainly press an attack when he realizes his opponent is on the point of exhaustion. One breath is required for one movement with the exception of a continuous motion.

Mass (Zilyang)
Mathematically, the maximum kinetic energy or force is obtained from maximum body weight and speed and it is all important that the body weight be increased during the execution of a blow. No doubt the maximum body weight is applied with the motion of turning the hip. The large abdominal muscles are twisted to provide additional body momentum. Thus the hip rotates in the same direction as that of the attacking or blocking tool. Another way of increasing body weight is the utilization of a springing action of the knee joint. This is achieved by slightly raising the hip at the beginning of the motion and lowering the hip at the moment of impact to drop the body weight into the motion. It is necessary to point out that the principles of force outlined here hold just as true today in our modern scientific and nuclear age as they did centuries ago. I am sure that when you go through this art, both in theory and in practice, you will find that the scientific basis of the motions and the real power which comes out a small human body cannot fail to impress you.

Speed (Sokdo)
Speed is the most essential factor of force or power. Scientifically, force equals mass multiplied by acceleration (F = MA) or (P = MV2). According to the theory of kinetic energy, every object increases its weight as well as speed in a downward movement. This very principle is applied to this particular art of self-defence. For this reason, at the moment of impact, the position of the hand normally becomes lower than the shoulder and the foot lower than the hip while the body is in the air. Reaction force, breath, control, equilibrium, concentration, and relaxation of the muscles cannot be ignored. However, these are the factors that contribute to the speed and all these factors, together with flexible and rhythmic movements, must be well coordinated to produce the maximum power in Taekwon-Do.

1) To study the theory of power

2) To understand the purpose and meaning of each movement

3) To bring the movement of eyes, hands, feet, and breath into a single co-ordinated action

4) To choose the correct attacking tool for each vital spot

5) To understand the correct angle and distance for attack and defence

6) Keep both the arms and legs bent slightly while the movement is in motion

7) All movements must begin with a backward motion with very few exceptions

8) To create a sine wave during the movement by using the knee spring properly.


In order for kicks and strikes to be effective in power breaking the proper technique must be used. Balance, breath control, focus/accuracy, speed, power, mass & muscle (relaxation/tension) must all be employed properly. When a kick or strike is delivered using proper technique, it carries with it accuracy, speed, and power. With breaking you either do or you don’t, there is no question to whether a technique was delivered properly or not. Avoid just hitting the front of the target. You must aim for well behind the target. Avoid psyching yourself up to a point where you are tense, do not get mad at the target. You must stay calm for your body to be relaxed. Don’t rush the kick, punch or strike, control your technique. It will help develop focus.

You may have power in your kicks, punches and strikes but without technique and all the other elements coming together your break will be unsuccessful. Good breaking techniques demand practise, by the time you are required to break you will already know how to properly execute a kick, punch, or strike.

Strengthening the bone, tendons and muscles behind the breaking tool is vital. Regular Taekwon-Do strength exercises will help e.g. push-ups on knuckles, squats etc. A well thought out weight training program will also assist. Dozens of preparatory (single boards) breaks can be considered forging in most cases. A serious hand breaker should develop strength to the muscles of the hand and wrist as associated muscles augment bone/joint stability. The most obvious example is the tightening of the fist, which is paramount to hand breaks. Wrist curls are useful.

Important Factors in Breaking

  • Balance/Equilibrium: A correct stance should be applied. Movements should be smooth through the break.
  • Breath Control: Exhaling of your breath through your break allows your body to be relaxed and tenses the abdomen muscles which are required for efficient power
  • Focus/Accuracy: You need to hit what you’re striking for. Know your target, concentrate, and focus on that target.
  • Speed enhances power. Speed is the most essential factor of force or power. Force equals mass x acceleration (F = MA)
  • Power: To put the most power into your techniques, you must use as many muscle groups as possible. When you punch, turn your hips, shoulders, and wrist to get your entire body into the punch. Kicks which involve a pivoting foot derive much of their power from that pivot motion. e.g. a side kick which is delivered without pivoting the planted foot has much less power than when it is executed properly.
  • Mass: is the maximum body weight and is applied to the technique by using sine wave, rotating hips, and attacking tools, chambering and reaction.

The 24 patterns created in Taekwon-Do

The life of a human being, perhaps 100 years, can be considered as a day when compared with eternity.Therefore, we mortals are no more than simple travelers who pass by the eternal years of an eon in a day. It is evident that no one can live more than a limited amount of time. Nevertheless, most people foolishly enslave themselves to materialism as if they could live for thousands of years. And some people strive to bequeath a good spiritual legacy for coming generations, in this way, gaining immortality. Obviously, the spirit is perpetual while material is not; therefore, what we can do to leave behind something for the welfare of mankind is, perhaps, the most important thing in our lives.

"Here I leave Taekwondo for mankind as a trace of man of the late 20th century. The 24 patterns represent 24 hours, one day, or all my life. The name of the pattern, the number of movements, and the diagrammatic symbol of each pattern symbolizes either heroic figures in Korean history or instances relating to historical events."

~General Choi Hong Hi

Reason for Patterns In General

Pattern practice enables the student to go through many fundamental movements in series, to develop sparring techniques, improve flexibility of movements, master body shifting, build muscles and breath control, develop fluid and smooth motions, and gain rhythmical movements.

It also enables a student to acquire certain special techniques which cannot be obtained from either fundamental exercises or sparring. In short, a pattern can be compared with a unit tactic or a word, if fundamental movement is an individual soldier's training or alphabet. Accordingly, pattern, the ledger of every movement, is a series of sparring, power, feats and characteristic beauty.

Though sparring may merely indicate that an opponent is more or less advanced, patterns are a more critical barometer in evaluating an individual's technique.

Important Points While Performing Patterns:

  • Patterns should begin and end at exactly the same spot. This will indicate the performer's accuracy.
  • Correct posture and facing must be maintained at all times.
  • Muscles of the body should be either tensed or relaxed at the proper critical moments in the exercise.
  • The exercise should be performed in a rhythmic movement with an absence of stiffness.
  • Movement should be accelerated or decelerated according to the instructions in this book.
  • Each pattern should be perfected before moving to the next.
  • Students should know the purpose of each movement.
  • Students should perform each movement with realism.
  • Attack and defense techniques should be equally distributed among right and left hands and feet.

Meaning of the colour of the belts

White signifies innocence as that of a beginning student who has no knowledge of Taekwondo.

Yellow signifies the colour earth; from which a plant sprouts and takes root as the Taekwon-Do foundations are laid.

Green signifies the plants growth as Taekwon-Do skills begin to develop

Blue signifies heaven, towards which the plant grows as it matures into a towering tree as training in TKD progresses.

Red signifies danger, warning the student of his own capability for damage and other students of his skill

Black is opposite of white; therefore it shows the maturity and proficiency in Taekwon-Do. It also shows the wearer’s imperviousness to darkness and fear.

The colour belt pattern names and origins

Patterns Chon-Ji Tul – 19 movements

Chon-Ji means “the heaven, the earth.” In the Orient it is interpreted as the creation of the world, or the beginning of human history. Therefore it is the first pattern learnt by the beginning student. The pattern is made up of two similar parts, one to represent the heaven and the other to represent the earth. The pattern diagram is in the shape of a +.

“The heaven, the earth.”

Along Korea’s northern border with China sits the Kaema Plateau at an average elevation of 1,500 meters (4,921 ft). Mt. Paektu, Korea’s highest peak and the source of the Yalu and Tumen Rivers, dominates the northwestern corner of this lava plateau, an area often called the “roof of Korea.” Just north of Mt. Paektu’s summit is a large crater lake named Chon-Ji, meaning “Heavenly Lake.” Paektu is an extinct volcano and it is also claimed to be the original home of the legendary founder of Korea, Dan-Gun. Chon-Ji is appropriately named because creation is the beginning of all things and this pattern establishes a good foundation for all the remaining patterns. Chon-Ji consists of two similar parts – one part representing heaven – one part representing earth. The stances and techniques in this pattern are the basic movements required for mastering all of the 24 patterns.


Patterns Dan-Gun Tul – 21 movements

Dan-Gun is named after the Holy Dan-Gun, the legendary founder of Korea in the year 2333 BC.

The Legend of Dan-Gun

Every October 3rd is “Gae-cheon-jeol” or the “Festival of the Opening of Heaven,” the Korean foundation day. “Dan-gun” is considered the founder of 1st Korean Kingdom.

The legend of Dan-Gun dates to ancient times when world was ruled by Hwanin, “Lord of the Heaven.” His son, Hwangung along with 3,000 followers descended and lived in this world. it was told that a tiger and a bear prayed to Hwangung wishing to become human. They were told to eat sacred food and remain in a cave for 100 days. After 20 days the tiger gave up and left the cave but the bear remained in the cave and was transformed into a beautiful woman. She became known as Ungnyeo (Ung-Yo) which means bear-woman. Ung-Yo was grateful and made offerings to Hwang-Ung but as she lacked a husband she became sad and prayed.

Hwang-Ung was moved by her prayers and took her as his wife and she gave birth to a son whom they named Dan-Gun (Tangun). Dan-Gun rose to the throne and built the city of Asadal, this given rise to the Korean Dynasty called Go-Joseon. He is regarded to have built the first altar on Kang-Wha island in 2265 BC which is also known as Dangun’s Altar. Legend has it that Dan-Gun was a wise and powerful leader until his reign ended after being ousted by a Chinese descendant of the Shang Dynasty named Ki-Ja. Dan-Gun was said to have reigned for 1,211 years or until the age of 1,908 when he returned to his spirit form. TH


Patterns Do-San Tul - 24 movements

Do-San is the pseudonym of the patriot Ahn Chang-Ho (1876-1938). The 24 movements represent his whole life, which he devoted to developing education in Korea and the Korean independence movement.

The Life of Do-San

Ahn Chang-Ho was born in Korea in 1876. He is one of Korea's most respected patriotic figures. He is also a historical figure in America.

He died on March 10, 1938, after being imprisoned and tortured by the Japanese. He was persecuted for his patriotism and complete love of his country and his people.

He travelled more than most Independence Movement leaders. He may have been the first Korean to go around the world. From the time he was a teenager he set out to reform the Korean nation. He studied Western Education and became a great leader and educator with a keen vision of modernization.

He fought for democracy and independence for Korean people trying to save them from being obliterated by the Japanese imperialist who annexed Korea in 1910. His legacy leaves a clear lesson for any person anywhere to improve their character and broaden their spirit. People can discover lessons about life once they learn and understand his experiences.

He died at the age of 60 after leading an extremely meaningful and honourable life. Many scholars believe there would be no division of North and South Korea if he would have lived beyond Korean liberation in 1945. 


Patterns Won-Hyo Tul – 28 movements

Won-Hyo was the noted monk who introduced Buddhism to the Silla dynasty in the year 686AD.

The Life of Won-Hyo

Won-Hyo was born in 617 AD in the Kyongsang Province. His name at birth was Sol Sedang but assumed his pen name in later years. After being accomplished as a Buddhist philosopher and poet.

At the age of 33 he set out for China to study under the Buddhist scholar Huan-Tchuang. In 661 AD he developed the Chongto-Gyo (pure land) sect which required diligent prayer for salvation. By 662 AD he left the priesthood and travelled the country teaching his sect.

Won-Hyo died at the age of 70 just nine years after the unification of the Korean Peninsula under the Silla dynasty. It was said that during his time he authored 240 works in Buddhism of which 20 works in 25 volumes still exist. One of the forms he chose to use was

Hyang-Ga, a special Silla Poetic form. His poem is said to be among the most admired poems. In his life Won-Hyo dominated intellectual and religious arenas in and out of Korea. He set the shape and form of Silla Buddhism and a dominant figure in Korean Buddhist tradition. He is one of the most influential thinkers Korea has produced.


Patterns Yul-Gok Tul – 38 movements

Yul-Gok is the pseudonym of the great philosopher and scholar Yi I (1536-1584) nicknamed “Confucius of Korea”.

The 38 movements of this pattern refer to his birthplace on the 38th degree latitude and the diagram represents the Chinese character for scholar.

The Life of Yul-Gok

Yi I was born in Pukp'yong Village, Kangwon Province, on  26/12/1536. Yul-Gok became his pen name and he grew into a Confucian scholar, revered as the 'Greatest Teacher in the East.'

By the age of seven, Yul-Gok had already finished his lessons in the Confucian Classics. He became a Chinsa (a title conferred on scholars who passed the civil service examination in the literary department) at the age of 13. A trusted advisor of the King ,Yul-Gok played a leading role in Korean politics for a little over 10 years but retired at the age of 40.

He returned to politics again 5 years later in 1581 holding various ministerial positions and striving to resolve some of the political turmoil of the times but by 1583 felt that King Seonjo’s non-committal attitude made it difficult for him to remain in office and he finally retired in 1583 and died in the January of the following year.


Patterns Joong-Gun Tul - 32 movements

Joong-Gun is named after the patriot Ahn Joong-Gun who assassinated Hiro Bumi Ito, the Japanese Governor of Korea, known as the man who played the leading part in the Korea - Japan merger.

The 32 movements represent Mr Ahn’s age when he was executed at Lui Shung prison in 1910

The Life of Joong Gun

Ahn Joong-Gun (2/9/1879 to 26/3/1910) As a well-known educator, Ahn Joong-Gun had established his own school, Sam-Heung (Three Success) school. In 1907, with the Emperor Ko-Jong being forced to abdicate and the oppression of his country worsening,

Ahn went into self-exile in Manchuria where he set up his own guerrilla army. He led several offensives against the Japanese until he was eventually defeated in 1909. In October 1909, Ahn decided the only way forward was to assassinate Hiro Bumi Ito.

Knowing that he would have no possible means of escape and disguised as Japanese, Ahn Joong-Gun lay in wait at Harbin Station, Manchuria. As Ito stepped off the train on 26th October, Ahn Joong-Gun shot him.

Ahn was captured and imprisoned at Lui-Shung prison. Despite five months of barbaric torture his spirit never broke and on 26th March 1910, he was executed. Mr Ahn’s love for his country was preserved in the calligraphy found in his cell it simply said, ’The Best Rivers and Mountains’; he reputedly wrote this in his own blood after severing a finger. It would take another 35years for Korea to realise the independence that Ahn had fought and died for so bravely


Patterns Toi-Gye Tul - 37 movements

Toi-Gye is the pen name of the noted scholar Yi Hwang (16th century), an Authority on neo-Confucianism. The 37 movements of the pattern refer to his birthplace on the 37 latitude, the diagram represents the Chinese character for  “scholar”.

The Life of Yi Hwang

Yi Hwang was born in Ongye-ri, North Gyeongsang Province, on November 25, 1501. He belonged to the Jinseong Yi clan.

At the age of six he started to learn the Thousand Character Classic from an old gentleman in his neighborhood, and at 12 he learned the Analects of Confucius from his uncle, Yi U. \At the age of 19, he obtained the two-volume great compendium of neo-Confucianism by Hu Guang, and experienced a process of great awakening. At 23 years old he studied at the National Academy, and passed the preliminary provincial Civil Service examination with top honours at the age of 33.

His integrity made him relentless as he took part in purges of corrupt government officials.

In 1549 he retired back to his home and lived there until his death. There he began to build a private Confucian academy offering instruction in the classics and honouring the sages with regular memorial rites. Unfortunately, he died in 1570 and never lived to see the opening of his academy, although his students continued to work after his death.

Dosan Seowon opened in 1574, and remains in use to this day. On his death, Yi Hwang was promoted to the highest ministerial rank, and his mortuary tablet is housed in a Confucian shrine as well as in the shrine of King Seonjo. He was the author of many books on Confucianism. Toegyero—a street in central Seoul—is named after him, and he is depicted on the South Korean 1,000-Won note.


Patterns Hwa-Rang Tul - 29 movements

Hwa-Rang is named after the Hwa-Rang youth group, which originated in the Silla Dynasty in the early 7th century. The 29 movements refer to the 29th Infantry Division, where Taekwon-Do developed into maturity.

The Hwarang Movement

The Hwarang were a group of aristocratic young men who gathered to study, play and learn the arts of war. Though the Hwarang were not a part of the regular army, their military spirit, their sense of loyalty to king and nation, and their bravery on the battlefield contributed greatly to the power of the Silla army.

It should be noted the Hwarang-do was a philosophical and religious code followed by valiant warriors - not a fighting style or combat technique in itself. The Hwarang spread their influence throughout the Korean peninsula and excelled in archery (mounted and unmounted), no set unarmed combat styles developed from the Hwarang warriors. Instead, they focused on studying Chinese classics and military strategies, as well as the fighting arts, and in July and August, an annual national festival was conducted for the Hwarang to demonstrate martial skills. But it was in their devotion to furthering the unity and well-being of the nation as a whole that the Hwarang played their most important role.

The Hwarang movement appeared to be a type of schooling for the sons of Silla's aristocrats; however, there are cases of sons of low-ranking parents belonging to this elite group. The movement was certainly royally supported as kings themselves served as Hwarang before taking their responsibilities on the throne. Most of the great military leaders of the Silla Dynasty had been Hwarang.

The Three Kingdoms of Ancient Korea

The Three Kingdoms period in Korean history refers to the period of time from 57 BC  to AD 668, when Korea was divided into three separate kingdoms: Silla, Koguryo and Paekche kingdoms (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2011).

The Koguyro Kingdom (pronounced “Gorudeo”; 37 BC - 670 AD) was the northern and largest of the three kingdoms, extending into what is now modern-day China.  In the ceiling of the Myung- Chong Royal Tomb, archeologists found a mural depicting two youths engaged in sparring. Located in Tunsko, the capital of Koguyro, the Myung-Chong tomb dates from 3 - 427 AD.

Beginning in 372 AD, during the time of the Koguyro kingdom, the Buddhist monk Sun-Tae introduced philosophical ideas into Tae-kyon and Soo Bak.  Monks continued to develop the martial arts as a means for common man to achieve total body fitness.

The Paekche Kingdom (pronounced “beck-jay”; 18 BC - 668 AD) was located on the southwestern tip of the Korean peninsula, is thought to have been founded in 18 BC, by a legendary leader name Onjo. By the 3rd century AD, the Paekche kingdom had extended its control to the entire Han River basin area in central Korea.  The kings that ruled the Paekche kingdom supported the martial arts.  Ancient records suggest that the military and common people favored barehanded fighting as a fighting art. Competitions were staged for men and women that included archery and horsemanship.

The Silla Kingdom (57 BC - 936 AD) was located in the southeastern part of Korea and was the smallest of the three kingdoms.  Due to the kingdom's martial arts abilities and leadership of the Hwarang-do, the Koguyro and Paechke kingdoms were assimilated into the Silla kingdom in 668 AD and 660 AD respectively.

The Hwarang-dowas an educational, social and military organization  founded by King Jin Heung of the Silla kingdom. Hwarang-do members were comprised of groups of youths from noble families that were devoted to cultivating mind, body and spirit, to better defend and serve the Silla kingdom.  Wong-Wang Bopsa, a teacher for the Hwarang, created a five-point code of honor that is still an important part of Taekwondo today.

Five Parts of the Hwa-Rang Warrior Code:

1) Be loyal to your King

2) Be obedient to your parents

3) Be honourable to your friends

4) Never retreat in battle

5) Make a just kill


Patterns Choong-Moo Tul - 30 movements

Choong-Moo was the name given to the great Admiral Yi Sun-Shin of the Yi Dynasty. He was reputed to have invented the first armoured battleship (Kobukson) in 1592, which is said to be the precursor of the present-day submarine. This pattern ends with a left-hand attack, to symbolise his early death before showing his full potential. He was noted for his loyalty to the king.

The Life of Admiral Yi Sun-Shin

Yi Sun-Shin (Choong-Moo) was born in Seoul on April 25, 1545. He passed the entrance examination at the age of 32 and was appointed an officer to start his military service. Through the years he rose through the ranks and was appointed as naval commander of the Left Division of Cheollado when he was 47 years old. This was the time when he came up with the idea of the armoured battleship “Kobukson” which had iron plates covering the top decks resembling a turtle’s shell. At his time the ship was regarded as revolutionary as being the most developed warship of its time.

In 1592 Admiral Yi Sun-Shin made headquarters in the port city of Yosu wherein he started construction of the Kobukson. He engaged the Japanese at Okpa and was successful in setting fire to 26 Japanese ships and forced the rest to flee.

A courageous and tactical genius Admiral Yi fought every Japanese squadron he encountered and seemed to always outguess the enemy. His bravery was shown by not demonstrating pain when shot in the shoulder, rather revealing his injury once the battle was over. Admiral Yi’s greatest engagement was in August 1592 when 100,000 Japanese reinforcements headed to the Pyongyang peninsula. He confronted them among the islands off the southern coast of Korea. He used his Kobukson to ram into the Japanese ships and his fleet copied his actions and were successful in sinking 71 vessels. Reinforcements came and Admiral Yi was able to sink 48 of them. It was considered as one for the history’s greatest naval battles.

Admiral Yi also took command of the entire Korean Navy of 180 ships and used them to attack the main Japanese naval forces that were still in anchor. He was able to sink over half of the Japanese vessels and this has been regarded as the most important series of naval engagements in Korean history.

Unfortunately, Admiral Yi was shot by a stray bullet during the final battle of war.  He was 54 years of age when he died. Admiral Yi Soon-Si was one of the greatest heroes in Korean History. In 1643 he was awarded the honorary title of Choong-Moo which means Loyalty-Chivalry.

Code of Conduct


As a martial artist and as a member of the Australian school of Taekwon-Do our expectations are that you constantly strive to improve the person you are both inside and outside of the dojo. This guide is designed to help you understand your responsibilities, rights and obligations. It applies to every student in the school (including juniors, seniors, Black Belts and Instructors) irrespective of rank.

We all at one stage begun our journeys as white belts. As the belt meaning for the white belt states that the “student has no knowledge of Taekwon-Do”. As you progress through the ranks you will be challenged and expected to understand and be able to execute more about the art of TKD.

Our rules are created to provide a healthy and positive environment to learn and grow. We all make mistakes so this code of conduct is set in place to limit damage and to know what to do.

Who does this code of conduct apply to?
The answer to this question is very simply, everyone. There are no exceptions or exemptions. It was a primary expectation of the founder of Taekwon-Do that a strict moral code be employed alongside the training programs. A student is defined as any student who takes part in classes, wears the Taekwon-Do uniform irrespective of age or rank…your instructors are bound by the same code that you are.

General Behaviour Code

  • Be prepared to train – mentally and physically. By joining our TKD school you are signing up to a mental and physical activity. Enter each class with a clear attitude to learn and ensure that you are physically ready to perform the class actions.
  • Be fair in your dealings with instructors & students - We all have bad days so try to attend your classes in an appropriate mind set (mood) and you and fellow students will have a great time.

Students/Instructors/children/adults are all made of the same stuff and we all show emotions and typical human actions. Approach your lessons with a kind attitude towards one another and you will help to create a healthy learning environment.

  • Be responsible for you own actions – Taekwon-Do is not a team sport so you must be able to control what you say, what you think and your physical actions. The only person to blame if your progression is not excelling as you would like is yourself.
  • Respect the chain of authority – Martial arts can be a great activity to learn this. By respecting all of those that have been in your shoes before you and helped to create the environment that you get to enjoy, you will learn how important a chain of command is. If you are more junior to another student show them the same respect that you would expect from those junior to you. We all play a part in creating our class environment so learn your role and just do it to the best of your ability.
  • Be aware of venue rules and school regulations and policies – When classes are held on school grounds/community halls we must respect their rules and property. Only enter areas assigned by instructors and do not touch or move any objects without your instructors consent. As community hirees we must leave the training area as it was found when we arrived!
  • Operate within the Australian school of Taekwon-Do syllabus only – The art, sport and pastime of TKD can be practiced in many styles. The ASTKD syllabus has been made to guide you every step of the way.

By all means you are welcome to enjoy all martial arts and other forms of Taekwon-do but do not let this affect your training inside the dojo.

  • Demonstrate the highest level of behaviour when dealing with students under 18 years of age – remember at all times that your actions are being watched. Our classes will place some students in an environment that is foreign to them so it is the up most importance that you approach junior students with a nurturing attitude.

When teaching or partnering up with Teenage students, respect their physical space. The teen years are tough as its when our bodies start to form into young adults. Use common sense when working with females and do not target the chest area. All students need to be respectful and control where their hands are grabbing or touching.

  • Refrain from any form of harassment – This comes in many forms (verbal, physical, psychological) as this will not be tolerated. Taekwondo is not an activity that is forced apon you as students signup at their own accord. Please always remember that your actions will affect others so leave the school yard and work place mentally behind and support fellow students. You may just find that you have more in common with your fellow students as you first thought!
  • Refrain from any behaviour which may bring the reputation of the school into disrepute – Chief Instructor Tom Foggo has worked extremely hard to create a culture of excellence, support and enjoyment. Life is about making mistakes but please own up to yours and do not include your TKD school, instructors or fellow students in your personal issues.
  • Ensure you are training safely and providing a safe environment for others – Follow the guidelines and teachings of your instructor and all students will have an enjoyable lesson. Your dojo is not the time to attempt a back flip for the first time as an example. Stay within the syllabus and all students will have that safe environment to excel.
  • Understand that breaches of the code of conduct will have repercussions – If your instructor has to talk or reprimand you for a failure to abide the code of conduct you will be punished! Below is an example of punishment.
  1. Your instructor will arrange a meeting to talk about the breach.
  2. If minor, you will be assigned a physical punishment to do in class immediately.
  3. If major, you will be asked to sit out the class or miss future lessons.
  4. If a breach continues you will be demoted a rank in your belts.
  5. If after you have been demoted a belt and if the breach continues your membership as a student will be terminated for 1 term.
  6. If further breaches are recoded your membership with the ASTKD will be terminated for life.

Physical appearance - For the safety of the students, all jewellery must be removed before training.  This includes all dangly earrings and neck laces, rings that could be of danger to fellow students, facial / body piercings and all watches or fitness tracking watches.

A TKD uniform was not designed to be a fashion statement. I highly recommend that you attend class as natural as possible. In the class environment there is no need for any accessories to improve your appearance.

A TKD student will learn how to accept all flaws they have been given and love the person that they are. In our society we are judged a lot by appearance so we try to provide a place to escape this stigma so that we can enjoy our TKD journey without peer and social judgement.

It is also a students right to feel comfortable. If a student feels that they need make up to cover acne or a skin issue, they are welcome to do so. If a student feels like they need to wear lip stick to gather attention from fellow students, they are not understanding their true inner beauty.

  • Personal Hygiene – Please attend class respecting yourself and your fellow students. There is a high chance that you will exert energy and perspire(sweat)in your TKD lesson.

Please ensure that you have the appropriate deodorant and that you are in a clean state to interact with fellow students.

Please ensure your nails are clipped appropriately as it is too common that a student is cut in sparring due to a students lack of self care.

Please ensure your uniform is washed and clean for each lesson. Your belt and uniform should become one of your prized possessions so treat them accordingly and wear them with pride.

  • Medical conditions and injuries - Ensure your Instructor is made aware of these before class begins so they can follow any required procedures.

If you suffer from any form of Medical condition is extremely important that your instructor knows. Do not feel embarrassed in any way as it could be the difference between life or death.

If suffering from an injury it is each students responsibility to monitor and take care of it. Only YOU know your body so take the necessary precautions to aid your recovery. If the class is doing an exercise that you are unable to do due to injury or illness, you may quietly excuse yourself of choose to do an exercise that you can do to substitute.

Students are welcome to wear braces or any form of protective equipment that will aid your recovery.

  • Food and Liquid -  No food is to be consumed once a class has started. Chewing gum can be a hazard so is also not allowed.

Before class begins, make sure you are well hydrated and have used the toilet.  Please bring a drink bottle, as the instructor will allow you to have a drink break when it is necessary.

  • Acts of aggression will not be tolerated – Taekwon-Do was created as a fighting art. The art of fighting can be beautiful but at the same time dangerous.

When dealing with anger, one must learn to control their actions. If a student lets their anger take over their actions, they will be placing their fellow students in danger.

Always remember to think before reacting. Aggression is an integral part of your training but you must be able to control it and use it accordingly for the correct situation.

  • Treat all fellow TKD members with respect - without regard of gender, race, religion, potential, sexual orientation, political beliefs or socio-economic status.

When wearing your dobok you are a member of the Australian School of Taekwondo. We come together under the same roof, wear the same white uniforms and have the same goal…to further our knowledge of the Art and keep improving.

You are more than welcome to have your own beliefs but refrain from judging your fellow students. What you do and how you think in your own time is up to you and you need to be respected for your beliefs also.

  • Respect the talent, ability and development of your fellow students – We all start our journeys at different stages of our lives. From a junior to a senior, your development will differ than those around you and this needs to be respected.

Be humble in your abilities. It is easy to judge your fellow students but that is not the Taekwon-Do way. It is your Instructors job to judge and the students job to listen and stay focused on their own development.

Remember that no one will ever know how a person is feeling, there is only one person that can truly judge you and that is yourself.

  • Conduct yourself honourably at all times - Consider your language, temper and body language.

There is more to the Art than kicking and punching. These are just tools that you have at your disposal but it is important that the person storing/carrying these tools is strong, focused, smart and honourable.

To have honour is to be a good human that is admired and therefore respected by others.

Carry yourself in a high regard as TKD student. Even if you do not believe that you are this person in your everyday life, you get given the chance to believe you are that person when wearing your dobok.

Stand tall and speak with confidence and use language that is appropriate for all ages. Show maturity when dealing with your emotions and you will walk out of your class feeling amazing.

  • Abide by the rules of examinations (gradings) and competitions (tournaments) and respect the decisions of the instructors/officials in charge.

At times you may not agree with certain feedback or scores handed down by your Instructor, a referee, a senior student or a high ranking black belt/Instructor from another club.

It is important to respect rules and feedback. We all have our own opinions that needs to be respected but the people in the higher ranking roles have earnt their way to their positions and are highly qualified to pass on their feedback. Take criticism in a positive manner and you will find that this will benefit you greatly.

  • We require all students to wear their full ITF style uniform to competitions and gradings. For normal classes students are welcome to substitute their training jacket for their white astkd training shirt.

Uniforms should include all of the appropriate badges, screen printing and embroidery.

Uniforms should only be worn to Taekwon-Do events and students should change or wear a jacket over their uniform when they finish.

If you are senior student, you should not be walking around in a full uniform outside of a Taekwon-Do class or event. It is preferred that juniors do not but this is the parents responsibility to enforce this rule. TKD is a martial art and not a side show, our uniform needs to be respected as you will be judged by the general community if seen walking around in your full uniform.

Footwear should not be worn when training without the approval of the instructor in charge.

Female students are welcome to wear an appropriate crop t-shirt or support top under their uniform. All under garments should be white.

  • · Harassment – We do not tolerate harassment of any kind. If you feel harassed please speak to your instructor and or contact Chief Instructor Tom in person or privately.

With so many forms of harassment in our lives, if you feel like a fellow student is affecting your growth you must be brave and speak out. The easiest option will be to stay quiet, bottle it up inside and just deal with it in your own way. The difficult option is to speak out as you may feel embarrassed, or you may feel the issue is not even worth bringing up.

Your self happiness is the most important aspect of life. If you need to speak, never feel ashamed to do so. Your peers and Chief Instructor will help and try to understand and fix any issues that you don’t need in your life.

You can reach out to Chief Instructor by email, text or phone 7 days a week and all communication will be kept confidential.

  • Authority - If something happens at training please refer the issue to your instructor immediately or at your earliest convenience. You should not handle any situation that you are not qualified or comfortable to deal with. This includes any issues of misbehaviour or injury.

In TKD there is a chain of command that needs to be respected but this does not make any ranking student more important than another.

No one likes to be told off or made to feel like they are being targeted. It is your Instructors mission to help you to grow and at times there can be some feedback that will come as a shock. When receiving punishment or feedback, it is important to understand that this is positive in your journey to achieve your goals. You learn more from your mistakes than your triumphs so feedback (even if its harsh) should show that your Instructor or seniors are investing in you and just helping you learn your lessons.

  • Working with Children - All instructors are required to maintain their Blue Card issued by the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardians.

When working with or around children a student must show some maturity for the situation. Think about your body language, how you speak, how you are being viewed and always try to place yourself in their shoes.

A child will always look up to their seniors so they will try to emulate your actions and beliefs. When around children take a mentoring approach as your role is to not suddenly become a teacher but just to respect that a child will copy you.

Children are very fragile, especially physically. A teen or adult must understand that their growing or fully grown body is strong and childrens are still growing. When partnering up with children you must avoid targets like the head and watch the strength of your blocks and attacks.

A good rule is to let the Children blossom. Let them attack at you and express their young actions. If a child asks a question that is relevant to TKD or life, answer and encourage them to want to grow and learn.

From experience I have seen many a child become frail and reserved after training with Teenage and Adult peers. It only takes one bad experience and they will go back into their shell. Always show excitement and encourage younger students to try hard and enjoy winning and failing.

  • Electronic and social media - Facebook, twitter, email and all other social networking/electronic media tools have made life so much more connected.

As your time on these social networking sites is your own we have only one guideline we ask you to remember.

When posting about your TKD journey, Taekwon-Do in general, the Australian School of Taekwon-Do and its Instructors/students, please remember that you are responsible for what you write, who you send it to.

Please also keep in mind that if you are “friends” with younger students online we would also encourage you to consider your language or subject when posting for all to see.

You are welcome to talk to and friend any other students from other TKD clubs but always respect your club, fellow students and instructor.

If you love your TKD and club, I highly recommend that you help to promote it and be active in posting and expressing it. Remember you are in charge of your actions both in person and online so once you write it you cant take it back.

Our recommendation is if you don’t have something nice to say, say nothing.