Taeguk in the World Taekwondo Federation are in relation to a set of poomsae that were developed to guide in the training of Taekwondo. Poomsae, or form, is a detailed pattern of defence and attack movements and techniques. The word Taeguk relates to the concept of yin and yang. Students of WTF Kukkiwon must learn these forms in order to advance to progress through the belts. There are eight Taeguks, each one similar to the previous one, but each time with more advanced techniques to display the students' competency of the techniques learned. Each Taeguk is represented in WTF Taekwondo by trigrams similar to those found in the four corners of the South Korean flag.
In order to acheive a black belt, the student must display all Taegeuks consecutively. Each black belt degree (Dan) also has its own form, required for grading. The first degree form for the WTF is called Koryo.
Taeguk 1 Jang
The first pattern (8th kup) signifies the heaven and light. There are eight kwaes which are divination signs. Keon (heaven and Yang) is symbolic of the beginning of everything created within the universe. This pattern or taeguk consists of simple movements and basic walking actions so that the individual can be free from distraction or complication. This allows for a clear mental state hence promoting the free flow of the techniques. The basics are practised here so that more complicated techniques are developed later. It includes ‘arae makki’, ‘momtong makki’, ‘momtong jireugi’, and ‘ap chagi’.
Taeguk 2 Jang
The second taeguk focuses on another one of the eight divination signs. The sign of Tae is displayed in this pattern. Tae has a meaning of joyfulness. It also represents the different states of matter i.e. firm versus soft. The individual can fully appreciate this when their mind (inner) is firm or strong whilst the external (outer) physical approach appears soft. This allows virtue to come to the surface. The student learns to execute techniques with force but in a gentle manner. A new focus within this taeguk is ‘olgul makki’. There is also increased use of ‘ap chagi’.