The Poomsae series is intended to glean lessons from the meaning of each form. My school studies the palgwe forms so that’s what I will use for each post. Descriptions are taken from the book “Complete Taekwondo Poomsae” by Dr. Kyu Hyung Lee and Dr. Sang H. Kim.
Palgwe Sah Jang means thunder, “undeniable power and dignity.” According to the authors the powerful movements should be performed seamlessly “just as thunder follows lightning.” Like a BOSS.
I LOVE this form. It’s beautiful, dramatic, and creative. A spinning back fist? A double block framing your face in a lovely crescent moon? That cool lunge thing where you pretend you’re being grabbed by an attacker?? Sign me UP! I would smile all the way through if I knew my instructors wouldn’t yell at me.
This is the first form that started to feel like an imaginary fight and the first one that got me in the habit of, as an actor would say, looking for my “motivation.” The student begins to ask the “why” behind the strike or block. It’s the thinking fighter’s form.
After months of the frustrating simplicity of palgwe sam jang, now it’s time to have some fun. With that fun, though, comes the responsibility of that seamless and powerful performance. Are you still flopping around with loose fists and no focus? Are you ready for the challenge that this form offers you? Are you confident enough to give this form the awful beauty it deserves?
It’s time to step up your game with this form, and it requires a belief that you can’t be shaken from your place of power. Each taekwondo form is not only a test of the student’s skill but a mirror of their confidence. What do your actions say about your confidence? Would I see questions if I looked into your eyes or would I see answers? Are you a walking apology for your existence or do you leave thunder and lightning in your wake?
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