Creating Your Own Poomsae Is Frustrating

Posted: August 19, 2017 in Taekwondo
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Creating Your Own Poomsae Is Frustrating

        When you become a instructor or a master of your martial art and have done it for over 20 years you have the ability to figure out concepts and ideas in fighting techniques With that you begin to understand poomsae very well. You can play with basic motions and get creative. The standard poomsae can get boring since you do them almost every day and have for decades. You may want to create your own form for yourself, or something for your advanced students for your to pass on favorite techniques.

I believe that if you are developing a creative poomsae it should be masterful in movements, have real life self defense applications you can teach, move in a pattern, and flow together well, and lastly, look great. Making a poomsae this way can be incredibly frustrating.

When you begin to put together motions of self defense each new step you create can be difficult to put together in order to flow well. You can spend hours thinking hard which side of the body should move first, which foot should move, what technique goes where. It could take forever! You want it to be perfect, not mediocre or silly. Only put together movements you know have combat application that you can explain to our advanced students. Beginner forms are so easy to make for white bets, but if you want a really great form you need to make it very technical. You also have to give it a great name that matches your style and what you do and it it cannot be corny. It has to be good. I have seen so many corny poomsae that people have created with very hokey stories or philosophies that reek of fake sentimentality and emotions just to sound deep. I really cannot stand it. I think a form should have a combat philosophy more than others. Some people want the shape of your form to be a special shape, but others do not think it is important as much as the moves itself. Many poomsae are in the shape of images on the I-ching or in Taoism or Buddhism. For me it is not as important as much as the way the self defense movements flow.

I am in the process of making a form that represents my martial arts philosophy with great self defense concepts. It may take me years, and i may never satisfy my desire until I die but this is a project I plan to keep doing. Maybe one day it will click and a light bulb will come on for each new move until finally my pattern is complete and I can demonstrate it. After I create it I might want to change it again anyway! I don’t know. But developing this poomsae is  war in myself and makes me frustrated and angry at times, and then happy and satisfied at others. It is a mental task as much as physical. When I am tired or have free time I can slowly work on my poomsae and put the pieces together. I expect this to take me years probably. I think a good poomsae for a master form could last maybe at or under 3 minutes, but not much longer. And it should at least be 1 minute.

To make Taekwondo great your form should have function over flash. I am not a fan of the new poomsae the Asian Pacific Taekwondo Union introduced to the WTF. They are too flashy and overly complicated with moves that are difficult for people who do not do gymnastics and much of those flashy kicks serve no purpose but to look impressive.  I really think a lot of Karate Kata looks great and has very deep concepts such as joint locks and grappling motions, not only strikes and blocks. A lot of them are only understood when you reach a high level. Forms in martial arts originally contained hidden movements as well that were only understood to the student and teacher and not the the average person who would interpret it as a flashy dance-like move.

If you plan to create your own poomsae do it right and make is great. Good luck to you!

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Comments
  1. Nice to see that you’re writing again 🙂 interesting topic too. I’ve never tried making a poomsae in the kind of depth that you are suggesting here myself, but I have made a few different ones over the years to serve as mnemonic devices to sum up new syllabus material or to sum up new knowledge gained during seminar or training camps.

    I wrote a post detailing my process on one of these that you might find interesting (or not :-P) 🙂 I hope all is well with you, your studies and your training:-)

    Link to my post: http://jungdokwan-taekwondo.blogspot.gr/2013/04/creating-your-own-poomsae.html?m=0

    Within that post there’s also a link to a post to one made by Dan Djurdjevic on creating forms.

    • White Dragon says:

      Thanks man! I have been bust or had writer’s block lately or just don’t have anything to say much. But if things come up I will.

      I am making my own poomsae and it will take awhile. I just want to put in some favorite techniques and use some that are not in the official poomsae but still taught by the Kukkiwon syllabus or traditional Taekwondo. Once I make the form, or a version of it I will show you on a video and hopefully have someone to demonstrate the self defense techniques on. It will be cool. I think my poomsae will be about 2 minutes long at most. But there is some tension and breathing parts that cause it to slow up.

      I will check out your post! Thanks for checking up on me!

  2. Martin says:

    Agreed

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