There are numerous seminars, YouTube videos, books, etc. breaking down the "correct" way to perform different tae kwon do poomsae in great detail.

I've been curious as to where all this material comes from in the first place. Is there an actual, "official" standards document somewhere describing this, or has this just been passed along from one instructor to another?

  • If you're talking competition, there are several documents for various groups. Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 20:12
  • @SeanDuggan Really? Those could be interesting... out of curiosity, do you know if the Kukkiwan publishes one too? Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 20:47
  • Which organizations published the other ones? Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 20:48

2 Answers 2


These are official videos. There are also coach's documents available you can get from TeamUSA, or from your country's Olympic site. The coach's document specifies competition-specific details, such as timing, height of kicks, placement of feet, and other nuances that are completely irrelevant when you need the forms for advancement or local competitions.

The coach's document is updated periodically, if I get a chance to find it, I'll update my answer. But this should get you going.

You are right to ask for official references, there are some people out there with some very strange ideas about what's going on in poomsae, even by high ranking instructors.

This set is produced by Kukkiwon, and features none other than Dr Lee Kyu-Hyung, and there should be no other source you should get your instructor from.

This set DOES come from a DVD set, and I do not know of its legality to be on YouTube, though they've been up for a few years.

BTW, there are some videos out there with these same videos, and they contain English subtitles. You may find them helpful when you get to the instruction parts. However, you can figure things out a little bit just by watching, even if you can't understand Korean.

EDIT: This is the coach's document I mentioned, and comes directly from World Taekwondo.

WT Poomsae Competition Rules & Interpretation (March 19, 2014)

If this document gets stale, you might be able to find a link here.

Taeguek Il Jang

Taeguek Ee Jang

Taeguek Sam Jang

Taeguek Sa Jang

Taeguek Oh Jang

Taeguek Yuk Jang

Taeguek Chil Jang

Taeguek Pal Jang










  • BTW, you did say "poomsae", and the only organization I know of that uses poomsae is WTF / Kukkiwon, so, that is the style I provided. These do not apply to any ITF or other Taekwondo organizations.
    – Andrew Jay
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 13:47
  • The GM Lee Kyu-Hyung videos were actually a WT/Dartfish production and were widely discounted as being inaccurate. Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 22:13
  • Actually, just clicked the link - you're referring to a different set ALSO featuring GM Lee. However, the official set are the Kukkiwon ones (with GM Kang, Ik-pil, GM Lee, Chong-kwan etc in it). Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 22:14
  • Wait a sec... former president of Kukkiwon; holds a phd in phys ed; former head of the Korean National Taekwondo Demonstration Team for 32 years; head of olympic taekwondo demo team; team manager for first WT poomsae competition; former head of korean national children's taekwondo demo team; former head of korean national taekwondo demo team... and professor of Taekwondo Studies and Kyemyeng University. And he co-authored the official Kukkiwon textbook and several other books. And the videos he produced are discredited as inaccurate??
    – Andrew Jay
    Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 15:51

The problem is, if there was a written standard it would likely be in Korean. Also, these poomsae tend to have minor tweaks over time. The closest you can get to a written standard is either the Official Kukkiwon Textbook published by Osung Publishing, or the Master Instructor Course Textbook obtained by attending the Kukkiwon's Master Instructor Course. Those are as definitively official as you get. The courses are well worth attending and I have blog posts (google for the links) with diaries of my experiences on them.

Personally, I would say the best books on poomsae are Grandmaster Kang, Ik-pil's "Explanation of Taekwondo poomsae", full of little tips and details (and GM Kang is one of the demonstrators in the official DVDs).

If I can be of any more help, please let me know - I'm a 3rd and 2nd Class Kukkiwon-certified International Master and a 3rd Class Kukkiwon-certified Poom/Dan Examiner (and KKW 6th Dan)

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