6

When performing a poomsae, you should finish on the same spot where you started. Poomsaes are designed to be symmetric, and this should happen naturally if all the steps are done correctly and with exactly the same length.

That is the theory. But for the Taegeuk Il Jang, practiced by 8th Gup grades, this seems harder than it should, and you will usually end significantly behind the starting position.

The Taekwondo Wikia describes this problem, and even adds a graphical explanation, so it seems to be a known problem:

Assuming one performs the poomsae with consistent stance lengths, by the time one finishes the form, one is somewhat behind the starting spot. Specifically, if all your stances are "perfect" you will finish 4.5 apseogi-widths behind the starting spot. The problem is exacerbated if your apseogi-widths are too wide, which is a common mistake.

enter image description here

The solution is perform the sideways ap seogui with the feet close to an imaginary line, not too spread apart, and to compensate the error by performing the two final ap kubi steps, going back to the starting position, a bit shorter than usual.

Is this some kind of "design flaw" of the pattern, or is this just an execution flaw, in the the steps and turns are not being properly done?

4

There are several poomsae with exception to the start and stop on the same spot: Keumgang and Jitae are also exceptions as defined here, in WT(f) Poomsae competition rules:

Poomsae Competition Rules Interpretation

See page 22, bullet 7 for the exception. The competition allows to take a .1 point deduction whenever any of the foot postures or hand movements is not performed as explained in the score guidelines handbook, and, this book says there must be no more than one foot allowance (from start/stop position) with keumgang and jitae as exceptions.

I have always found that starting and stopping on the same spot for TG1 form was not possible, if you perform the techniques properly. But this is a basic form, and there cannot be any expectation of a beginner to execute this line perfectly for any form, so, my guess is that such is not the focal part of this form at this level. With more advanced forms, there is the expectation of that discipline.

Nobody seriously competes with this form anyway, which is why it's not listed in the WT guide for poomsae competition.

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