The history of Taekwon-Do Patterns:
The Chang- Hon Pattern Set
Chon-Ji Through Choong-Moo
By Richard L. Mitchell
Report written by Gabriela
I must be honest and say that before I started to read this book I was expecting nothing but boredom. Let’s face it, who wants to find out what these “weird” names mean? Well, I was wrong…. again. Not only was it interesting, I think that every student should read this book, maybe a better option would be to give everyone the full story of the new form they are about to learn. I learned about why we do some of the things we do and why some of the forms are named after these extraordinary people that showed what it means to live thinking about the tenets.
Following is a brief summary of each of the forms.
Total movements: 19
Meaning: “Heaven and Earth”
This is the first form we learn. In Korean, “Chon” means “heaven” and “Ji” means “earth”. The combination of both of these words can be interpreted as the beginning, the creation of the universe, a starting point. And it is certainly a starting point for all the forms we are about to learn.
The meaning of Chon-Ji is translated in the movements we perform. There are two parts; the first one represents heaven and the second earth. It also introduces the student to the basic movements of a form needed to be successful learning the rest, therefore we can say that this is “the beginning” of our journey.
Chon-Ji is also the name
of a crater lake on the
Total movements: 21
Meaning: “Dan-Gun was
the legendary founder of
The legend of Dan-Gun
refers to the first Korean people that are believed to have come from what
is know today as Manchuria, northern China and Mongolia. These people formed
tribes that became known as ancient
This legend is based in the Korean trinity:
Legend says that Whan-Ung was given permission to start a mortal kingdom on earth. In 2333 B.C. he descended to earth with 3,000 spirits and declared himself the king of the Universe, and although he led his kingdom with the help of these spirits, he realized that he needed to become human in order to reign over a human kingdom.
One day he overheard a bear and a tiger who said “would that we might become men” and he said to them “here are 20 pieces of garlic and a stick of Artemisia for each of you. Eat them and retire from the sunlight for 21 days and you’ll become men”. Both did and the tiger because of his nature could not stay in all the time, but the bear did and was transformed into a perfect woman. Her first whish was to have a son. Whan-Ung granted the wish and she gave birth to Dan-Gun.
Years later, men of the
nine tribes found Dan-Gun and made him their king. He introduced concepts
like marriage, the art of cooking and house building, religious worship,
etc. For 1,211 years he reigned until Ki-Ja (uncle of the Shang King of China)
fled his country and migrated to occupy
Total movements: 24
Meaning: “Do-San is the pseudonym of the Korean patriot An Chang-Ho”
An Chang-Ho played a very
important role in the Independence of Korea. Between 1904 and 1945,
4 years later (1907),
An Chang-Ho returned to
By the end of WWI, An-Chang-Ho
returned to the
In 1919, An Chang-Ho,
Rhee Syngman and Kim Ku established a provisional government in exile in
Total movements: 28
Meaning: “Name of the
Buddhist monk who introduced Buddhism to the general population of the
Won-Hyo (616-686 A.D.)
was said to be wise from birth. He started his career at the age of 20 when
he entered the Buddhist priesthood. Buddhism had been introduced to the
The study of Buddhism
during the reign of King Pop-Hung required the ability to read and write
Chinese, but not many places were open to do this in Silla so Won-Hyo, like
other monks left to study in
Won-Hyo was also considered
the most prolific writer in all the Buddhist countries of his time. His works
include over 100 different kinds of literature. He was well known to the
general population and to the members of the royal family. He was often invited
to recite prayers, give sermons and conduct services at the royal court.
In 660 A.D. he was asked to come and live in the royal
Shortly after his son
was born; Won-Hyo left the palace and traveled. In 661 A.D. he experienced
a revelation in his Buddhist philosophy and developed the Chongto-Gyo (
Total movements: 38
Meaning: “Yul-Gok is the pseudonym of the great Korean philosopher and scholar Yi I (1536-1584)”
The 38 movements of this form represent the birthplace of Yi I on the 38thlatitude. Yi I had a very talented mother, she was a recognized painter. Her talent influenced his upbringing, he had the ability to write characters as soon as he could speak, and it is said to have composed an essay at the age of seven. At the age of 23, he entered a Buddhist monastery, right after his mother’s death he was there for a year and became well-versed in Buddhist teachings. After leaving the monastery he devoted his life to the study of Confucianism and became a philosopher.
Experience, education and practical intellectual activities were stressed in Yul-Gok’s school of thought. He also believed in sincerity, he felt that “a sincere man was a man that knew the realism of heaven”, he also said that “a house could not sustain harmony unless every family member was sincere”. He believed that a man must reflect deeply to find and correct his mistakes. And he emphasized the value of practical application. He believed that the reason for studying was to apply the knowledge we have gained.
Throughout his life, he was concerned for the improvement of the individual as well as for the society as a whole. He was involved in government affairs and helped establish a way to make sure the opinion of the common people was heard by the government. He was convinced that when this doesn’t happen, morality crumbles and penal systems render ineffective. He worked to get different reforms, some became reality and others didn’t. But one thing remained constant, and that was his lifelong dedication to Confucianism and theory of government.
Total movements: 32
Meaning: “An Joon-Gun
was a Korean patriot (1879-1910). The 32 movements represent the age when
he was executed by the Japanese military government occupying
An Joon-Gun was a great
Korean patriot; his love for his country was his driving force. He was born
in 1879 and became an educator. He established his own school called the
Sam-Heung (Three Success). The situation in
The long occupation of
the Japanese in
In the middle of this
situation An Joon-Gun set out to prepare for the assassination of Hirobumi-Ito,
he knew that he would never escape alive but planned everything so when the
general arrived at the train station to meet with Russian representatives
he would be there to kill him. And at on
Mr. An’s love for his
country was forever captured in the calligraphy he wrote in his cell prior
to his execution. It simply said: “The
Total movements: 37
Meaning: “Toi-Gye is the pseudonym of the Korean philosopher Yi Wang (1501-1570)”
The 37 movements represent
his birthplace on the 37th latitude in
Perfecting oneself through
the building of good moral character, learning and reflection was stressed
in the practice of the “li” school of thought supported by Toi-Gye. His teachings
became widely accepted to scholars and government officials as well. He took
advantage of this influence when he became the head of a private school called
“Tosan Sowon”. Toi-Gye’s teachings had a great impact on
Total movements: 29
Meaning: “Named after the Hwarang youth group that originated in the Silla Dynasty”
The Hwarang movement is
considered the most influential driving force in the unification of the three
The Hwarang was established by King Chin Hung (in 540 A.D) who was a devoted Buddhist and loved elegance and physical beauty. The selection of the Hwarang was made from handsome, virtuous men of good families.
They learned the five cardinal principles of human relations:
- Kindness – Justice – Courtesy – Intelligence – Faith
The three scholarships:
- Royal tutor - Royal instructor - Royal teacher
And the six ways of service:
- Holy minister - Good minister - Loyal minister - Wise minister - Virtuous minister - Honest minister
The education of the Hwarang was supported by the king and lasted 10 years. For hundreds of years, they were taught in social etiquette, music, songs, patriotic behavior, martial arts and Buddhist faith and hand to hand combat as well. This was based on the principles of the Buddhist philosophy Um-Yang and included a blending of hard and soft, linear and circular techniques. They intensified this art and rename it Tae-Kyon. The rank of Hwarang meant that one had achieved the position of a teacher of the martial arts and commanded 500 to 5,000 students.
There are many stories
that talk about the spirit and moral essence of the Hwarang, this spirit
was present in all of the kingdoms of
Total movements: 30
Meaning: “Honorary title of Admiral Yi Sun-Sin (1545-1598)”
Yi Sun-Sin was reputed to be the inventor of the first armored battleship in 1592, which is said to be the precursor of the submarine. He was a master naval tactician; his skill helped defeat of the Japanese in 1592 and 1598.
His most famous invention was the Kobukson, or turtle-boat. This was the best warship of its time.This was a galley ship decked over with iron plates to protect the soldiers and rowing seamen. It was so named because the curvature of the iron plates covering the top decks resembled a turtle's shell. The ship was 110 feet long and 28 feet wide with a lower deck for cabins and supplies, a middle deck for oarsmen, and an upper deck for marines and cannons. Most of the timber was four inches thick, giving the ship protection from arrows and musket balls. It had a large iron ram in the shape of a turtle's head with an open mouth from which smoke, arrows, and missiles were discharged. Another such opening in the back and six more on either side were for the same purpose. The armored shell was fitted with iron spikes and knives that were covered over with straw or grass to impale unwanted boarders
One of Yi Sun-Sin's greatest qualities was his drive to serve his king and Korea in any way he could, when almost everyone in Korean politics and military service was forced to side with one of the two powerful Korean political parties of the time, he chose neither and was only loyal to his king and country
I think that his story is the one that has had the most meaning for me. I can relate to it because of his dedication to the development of a new boat that would help his country. It is very hard to create something that lasts for generations and generations and I think that his solution was one that inspires great things.