Coloured Belt Patterns - 4th Kup To 1st Dan
Yul Gok (38 Moves - Blue Belt - 4th Kup)
Yul Gok is the pseudonym of the great philosopher and scholar Yi I (1536 - 1584), nick named "The Confucius of Korea". The 38 movements refer to his birthplace on the 38 degrees latitude and the diagram represents the Chinese symbol for "scholar".
As a philosopher, Yi I is regarded second to only Toe Gye. He was an original political thinker and educator. His brush name, Yul Gok, means "Chestnut Valley". His mother was a very educated woman and skilled painter and poet. After his mother died, he went into the Diamond Mountains with thoughts of becoming a Buddhist. In 1556 he returned home and moved to Seoul, there he rejected his Buddhist teachings and took up Neo-Confucian philosophy, partly because it embraced political and social activity. Four years later at the age of 22, he stayed with Toe Gye for a short period at his retreat in Tosan.
He then entered into the goverment service and rose steadily up the ranks. In the last 4 years of his life he held the highest posts in the land. He proposed new policies in taxation, education and defence of the realm. He advised on maintaining a standing army of 100,000 men, but his advice was not heeded and 10 years later the Japanese invaded and faced virtually no opposition (the 1592 Imjin Wars).
Joong Gun (32 Moves - Blue Belt / Red Tag - 3rd Kup)
Joong Gun is named after the patriot Ahn Joong Gun, the man who assassinated Hiro-Bumi Ito, the first Japanese governor-general of Korea, known as the man who played the leading part in the Korea-Japan merger. The 32 movements of the pattern refer to Mr Ahn's age when he was executed in the Lui-Shung prison in 1910.
Ahn Joong Gun was trained from an early age in Chinese, horsemanship and archery. After the protectorate treaty was signed in 1905 (giving the Japanese almost ultimate control over the Korean government and people) Joong Gun fled Korea in disgust. Based in Vladivostok, he set up a volunteer army and fought his way back into Korea with sporadic guerrilla raids. On 26th October 1909, disguised as a Japanese, he made his way to the platform of the Harbin railway station where he shot and killed the Japanese Resident-General of Korea, Prince Hiro-Bumi Ito. He was immediately arrested and was imprisoned and tortured at the Lui-Shung (Port Arthur) prison. During his imprisonment, Joong Gun left his indelible mark on the wall of his prison cell with a simple line of calligraphy that showed his love for his country. It said "The best rivers and mountains".
Toi Gye (37 Moves - Red Belt - 2nd Kup)
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 degrees latitude and the diagram represents the Chinese symbol for "scholar".
Born in 1501, Yi Hwang was Korea's greatest philosopher, renowned as a genial, modest and amiable man. At the age of 34 he had passed the exams to enable him to hold a position in the civil service. This was held in high esteem, as this was not usually completed until a person was much older. He held 29 official posts in government. In 1594 he retired from public service, justifying his brush name Toi Gye which meant "returning to the valley".
In 1558 he wrote a short work titled Chasonhuak. This became very influential with the Japanese intellectuals after it's introduction to Japan in the 17th century. Even after 200 years later, his work was still popular amongst the Japanese and his influence can still be felt in modern Korea, China and Japan.
Hwa Rang (29 Moves - Red Belt / Black Tag - 1st Kup)
Hwa Rang is named after the Hwa Rang youth group, which originated in the Silla Dynasty in the early 7th century. The 29 movements of the pattern refer to the 29th infantry Division, commanded by General Choi Hong Hi in 1953, where Tae Kwon-Do was developed into maturity.
The 29th Infantry Division of the Republic Of Korea (ROK) army was created in 1953 by Major General Choi Hong Hi under orders by the ROK army Commander-In-Chief.
This was to be based on Cheju island in the town of Mosulp'o. The division was nicknamed the "Ick division" or the "fist division".
The division emblem was a clenched fist superimposed over the background of the Korean peninsular. This symbolised the smashing of the 38 degrees parallel, therefore reuniting the North and South; unifying Korea after the division of the country. General Choi set out and put in place officers who were teachers of the martial arts, who then instructed the soldiers in unarmed combat (initially Tang Soo Do, later Tae Kwon-Do) as well as their normal military training.
The Oh-Do Kwan was founded here. The name derives from a statement by Confucius "Oh-Do-Il-Kwan-Zi"; My principle is to master one thing.
Choong Moo (30 Moves - Black Belt 1st Dan)
Choong Moo was the name given to the great Admiral Ye Sun Sin of the Yi Dynasty. He was reputed to have invented the first armoured battleship, the Kobukson, in 1592.
This pattern ends with a left handed attack to symbolize his regrettable death, having had no chance to demonstrate his unrestrained potentiality, which was checked by his forced reservation of loyalty to the king.
In 1591 Yi Sun Sin, a high-ranking military official was promoted to Left Admiral of the Korean fleet. Realising that the likelihood of war with Japan was inevitable and that the key to the successful defence of Korea was the mastery of the southern seas, he set about building his fleet and training his men. The following year he developed the armoured battleship, the Kobukson; the legendary "turtle ships".
The Kobukson was a bout 30 meters long, carried up to 160 men and had a concave roof to protect the soldiers and oarsmen. This was covered by layers of iron plate, to provide protection against arrows and gunshot. Cannon was arranged to give all-round offensive ability, iron spikes covered the ship to prevent boarders and a dragon's head was installed at the front of the ship. This was to blow out plumes of smoke, which provided cover and instilled fear into their opponents.
Quickly establishing mastery of the seas and contributing greatly to the failure of the Japanese invasion in 1592, Yi Sun Sin became an enemy of a jealous rival, Won Kyun, the Right Admiral of the fleet.
When Yi Sun Sin was made Commander-In-Chief, Won Kyun seized the opportunity to accuse Yi Sun Sin of not acting upon an order that came from above.
Yi Sun Sin was summoned to the Royal Court, put on trial and was condemned to death. An influential member of the court managed to overturn this decision, but the Admiral was reduced to the rank of a common soldier.
In 1597 the 2nd Japanese invasion occurred and Won Kyun lost the Korean fleet and was captured and beheaded by the Japanese. Yi Sun Sin was reinstated as Admiral and once again succeeded in destroying the fleet that was re-supplying the Japanese troops, with a small fleet of turtle ships. In 1598 at the age of 53. Admiral Ye Sun Sin was killed in battle. His dying words were set to be: "Do not let the rest know that I am dead, for it will spoil the fight".
It was largely due to the successes of Admiral Yi that the Imjin wars ended in 1598 and the Japanese returned home, their commander, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, dead.
The name Choong Moo was given as a posthumous, honorific title to Yi Sun Sin, it means "Faithful Warrior".