World Taekwondo Federation (WTF)

The Korean Tae Kwon Do Association began as the Korean Taekwondo Union which arose from the Soo Bakh Do Association and the Tae Soo Do Association, in 1961. In 1962, the Korean Amateur Sports Association acknowledged the Korean Tae Kwon Do Union and the name was changed to the Korean Tae Kwon Do Association (KTA) in 1965.

Through the KTA, Tae Kwon Do was established worldwide by the end of the sixties and in 1973, the World Tae Kwon Do Federation was formed as the world's central governing body. The WTF concentrated mainly on the palgwe forms but later abandoned the Palgwes and started concentrating on the Taegeuks. Slowly, the WTF's emphasis has turned to sparring, a reason why many people call WTF Tae Kwon Do a sport rather than a martial art. The KTA is still Korea's national governing body for Tae Kwon Do.
Meaning of Palgwe & Taegeuk Poomse
The WTF poomse patterns originate from the Chinese oracle I Ching. The I Ching has 64 hexagrams, a combination of two sets of three lines, closed or broken. The sets of three lines are called trigrams. The closed lines represent the Yang, the open lines Yin. In the Chinese language, the unity of Yin and Yang is called taich'i. In the Korean language, the unity is called T'ae-guk.

Taegeuk is the philosophical idea from which views on life and the universe are derived. It has no form, no ending, no beginning. Nevertheless, everything is embodied in and has for its origin Taegeuk. Depicted above in the center is a circle divided equally and locked in perfect balance representing the Taegeuk.

Derived from the Taegeuk are eight major philosophical concepts, each represented by a trigram. The eight trigrams together are called "Palgwe". These trigrams are arranged around the Taegeuk with its complimentary across from it.
  • Keon (heaven)/Gon (earth)
  • Tae (joyfulness)/Gan (mountain)
  • Ri (fire)/Gam (water)
  • Jin (thunder)/Seon (wind)
The palgwe are the basis of poomses or forms which follow the lines in a trigram and embody its respective principle.