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Technical Vocabulary of ITF-Style Taekwon-Do

girls practice taekwondo kicks

Taekwondo Vocabulary (ITF-style)

A technical vocabulary is a vocabulary that lists the names of different techniques. The names of the techniques vary with different styles of Taekwondo. The nomenclature used below is as per the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) defined style of Taekwondo, also known as ITF-style Taekwondo.

girls taekwondo training


Other vocabularies:
Basic Vocabulary of Taekwondo
Technical Vocabulary of WTF-Style Taekwondo

The ITF-style Taekwondo follows a book titled, “Encyclopedia of Taekwondo” in 15 volumes, which was first published in 1983 and authored by Gen. Choi Hong Hi. In this book, the forms/patterns are known as “tul” and the style of tul is known as “Chang Hon”. Within the 15 volumes of this book, Choi defined 24 Chang Hon tul. Hence, the ITF-style Taekwondo is also known as Chang Hon-style Taekwondo.

In the ITF Taekwondo tradition there are two sub-styles:

1. The style of Taekwondo practised by the ITF before its 1973 split with the Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA) is sometimes called by ITF practitioners as “traditional Taekwondo”.

2. After the 1973 split, Gen. Choi Hong Hi continued to develop and refine the style, ultimately publishing his work in his 1983 Encyclopedia of Taekwondo. Among the refinements incorporated into this new sub-style is the “sine wave”; one of Choi Hong Hi’s later principles of Taekwondo stating that the body’s centre of gravity should be raised-and-lowered throughout a movement. Some ITF schools adopt the sine wave style, while others do not. However, essentially all ITF schools practice the 24 Chang Hon tul as detailed in the Encyclopedia.


“Tae” – jumping or flying – to kick or smash with the foot
“Kwon” – fist, chiefly to punch or destroy with the hand or fist
“Do” – an art or way, the right way built and paved by the saints and sages in the past

“Thus taken collectively “Taekwon-Do” indicates the mental training and the techniques of unarmed combat for self-defence as well as health, involving the skilled application of punches, kicks, blocks and dodges with bare hands and feet to the rapid destruction of the moving opponent or opponents.” – Gen. Choi Hong Hi (Vol-1, p.21)


“Taekwon-Do aims to achieve:
Courtesy – Ye Ui
Integrity – Yom Chi
Perseverance – In Nae
Self-Control – Guk Gi
Indomitable Spirit – Baekjul Boolgool” – Gen. Choi Hong Hi (Vol.1, p.14)


“The forceful and finer techniques of attack and defence are largely dependent on a correct stance since the stance is the starting point of every Taekwon-Do movement. Stability, agility, balance and flexibility are the controlling factors.

Basic principles for a proper stance are:
1. Keep the back straight, with few exceptions.
2. Relax the shoulders.
3. Tense the abdomen.
4. Maintain a correct facing. The stance may be full facing, half facing or side facing the opponent.
5. Maintain equilibrium.
6. Make use of the knee spring properly.” – Gen. Choi Hong Hi (Vol.2, p.135)

full facing stance (facing means facing the opponent) – jon sin sogi
half facing stance (facing means facing the opponent) – ban sin sogi
side facing stance (facing means facing the opponent) – chuk myon sogi

close stance – moa sogi (either full facing or side facing)
—full facing close stance – jon sin moa sogi
—side facing close stance – chuk myon moa sogi

parallel stance – narani sogi (either full facing or side facing)
—full facing parallel stance – jon sin narani sogi
—side facing parallel stance – chuk myon narani sogi

open stance – palja sogi (either full facing or side facing)
—inner open stance – an palja sogi
——full facing inner open stance – jon sin an palja sogi
——side facing inner open stance – chuk myon an palja sogi
—outer open stance – bakat palja sogi
——full facing outer open stance – jon sin bakat palja sogi
——side facing outer open stance – chuk myon bakat palja sogi

walking stance – gunnun sogi (either full facing or half facing)
—right walking stance – orun gunnun sogi
——full facing right walking stance – jon sin orun gunnun sogi
——half facing right walking stance – ban sin orun gunnun sogi
—left walking stance – wen gunnun sogi
——full facing left walking stance – jon sin wen gunnun sogi
——half facing left walking stance – ban sin wen gunnun sogi

L-stance – niunja sogi (always half facing)
—right L-stance – orun niunja sogi
——half facing right L-stance – ban sin orun niunja sogi
—left L-stance – wen niunja sogi
——half facing left L-stance – ban sin wen niunja sogi

fixed stance – gojung sogi (always half facing)
—right fixed stance – orun gojung sogi
——half facing right fixed stance – ban sin orun gojung sogi
—left fixed stance – wen gojung sogi
——half facing left fixed stance – ban sin wen gojung sogi

sitting stance – annun sogi (either full facing or side facing)
—full facing sitting stance – jon sin annun sogi
—side facing sitting stance – chuk myon annun sogi

diagonal stance – sasun sogi (either full facing or side facing)
—right diagonal stance – orun sasun sogi
——full facing right diagonal stance – jon sin orun sasun sogi
——side facing right diagonal stance – chuk myon orun sasun sogi
—left diagonal stance – wen sasun sogi
——full facing left diagonal stance – jon sin wen sasun sogi
——side facing left diagonal stance – chuk myon wen sasun sogi

crouched stance – oguryo sogi (either full facing or side facing)
—right crouched stance – orun oguryo sogi
——full facing right crouched stance – jon sin orun oguryo sogi
——side facing right crouched stance – chuk myon orun oguryo sogi
—left crouched stance – wen oguryo sogi
——full facing left crouched stance – jon sin wen oguryo sogi
——side facing left crouched stance – chuk myon wen oguryo sogi

X-stance – kyocha sogi (either full facing or half facing)
—right X-stance – orun kyocha sogi
——full facing right X-stance – jon sin orun kyocha sogi
——half facing right X-stance – ban sin orun kyocha sogi
—left X-stance – wen kyocha sogi
——full facing left X-stance – jon sin wen kyocha sogi
——half facing left X-stance – ban sin wen kyocha sogi

one-leg stance – waebal sogi (either full facing or side facing)
—right one-leg stance – orun waebal sogi
——full facing right one-leg stance – jon sin orun waebal sogi
——side facing right one-leg stance – chuk myon orun waebal sogi
—left one-leg stance – wen waebal sogi
——full facing left one-leg stance – jon sin wen waebal sogi
——side facing left one-leg stance – chuk myon wen waebal sogi

bending stance- guburyo sogi (either full facing or half facing)
—right bending stance – orun guburyo sogi
——full facing right bending stance – jon sin orun guburyo sogi
——half facing right bending stance – ban sin orun guburyo sogi
—left bending stance – wen guburyo sogi
——full facing left bending stance – jon sin wen guburyo sogi
——half facing left bending stance – ban sin wen guburyo sogi

vertical stance – soojik sogi (always half facing)
—right vertical stance – orun soojik sogi
——half facing right vertical stance – ban sin orun soojik sogi
—left vertical stance – wen soojik sogi
——half facing left vertical stance – ban sin wen soojik sogi

rear-foot stance – dwitbal sogi (always half facing)
—right rear-foot stance – orun dwitbal sogi
——half facing right rear-foot stance – ban sin orun dwitbal sogi
—left rear-foot stance – wen dwitbal sogi
——half facing left rear-foot stance – ban sin wen dwitbal sogi

low stance – nachuo sogi (either full facing or side facing)
—right low stance – orun nachuo sogi
——full facing right low stance – jon sin orun nachuo sogi
——side facing right low stance – chuk myon orun nachuo sogi
—left low stance – wen nachuo sogi
——full facing left low stance – jon sin wen nachuo sogi
——side facing left low stance – chuk myon wen nachuo sogi

ready stance – junbi sogi
—attention stance – charyot sogi
—bow posture – kyong ye jase
—parallel ready stance – narani junbi sogi
—open ready stance – palja junbi sogi
——inner open ready stance
——outer open ready stance
—sitting ready stance – annun junbi sogi
—close ready stance – moa junbi sogi
——close ready stance type A
——close ready stance type B
——close ready stance type C
—walking ready stance – gunnun junbi sogi
——right walking ready stance
——left walking ready stance
—bending ready stance – guburyo junbi sogi
——bending ready stance type A
———right bending ready stance type A
———left bending ready stance type A
——bending ready stance type B
———right bending ready stance type B
———left bending ready stance type B
—L-ready stance – niunja junbi sogi
—X-ready stance – kyocha junbi sogi


“The part or surface through which the shock or power is transmitted to the opponent’s body is called the attacking tool and any part or surface which intercepts or repulses the attack is called the blocking tool. […] They are divided into hand parts, foot parts and miscellaneous parts. Remember that unlike other tools, they cannot be obtained easily but can only be gained through ceaseless training under the anvil of firm individual resolution.” – Gen. Choi Hong Hi (Vol.2, p.50)

hand parts – sang bansin
foot parts – ha bansin
miscellaneous parts – gita boowi

Hand Parts – Sang Bansin

—fist – joomuk
——forefist – ap joomuk
——backfist – dung joomuk
——sidefist – yop joomuk
——underfist – mit joomuk
——longfist – ghin joomuk
——knuckle fist – songarak joomuk
———middle knuckle fist – joongji joomuk
———fore-knuckle fist – inji joomuk
———thumb knuckle fist – umji joomuk
——open fist – pyun joomuk

—hand – son
——bear hand – gomson
——backhand – sondung
——arc hand – bandal son
——knife-hand – sonkal
———knife-hand – sonkal
———reverse knife-hand – sonkal dung
———base of knife-hand – sonkal batang

—palm – sonbadak

—thumb – umji
——thumb ridge – umji batang

—forefinger – han sonkarak
—finger pincers – jipge son
—press finger – jiap
—finger belly – songarak badak
—fingertips – sonkut
——flat fingertip – opun sonkut
——straight fingertip – sun sonkut
——upset fingertip – dwijibun sonkut
——angle fingertip – homi sonkut
——double fingertip – doo sonkarak

—elbow – palkup
——front elbow – ap palkup
——side elbow – yop palkup
——straight elbow – sun palkup
——high elbow – nopun palkup
——upper elbow – wi palkup
——back elbow – dwit palkup

—forearm – palmok
——inner forearm – anpalmok
——outer forearm – bakatpalmok
——under forearm – mitpalmok
——back forearm – dungpalmok

—bow wrist – sonmok dung

Foot Parts – Ha Bansin

—knee – moorup
—foot – bal
——ball of the foot – apkumchi
——back sole – dwitkumchi
——side sole – yop bal badak
——back heel – dwichook
——footsword – balkal
———reverse footsword – balkal dung
——instep – baldung
———side instep – yop baldung
——toes – balkut

Miscellaneous Parts – Gita Boowi

—head – mori
——forehead – ima
——occiput – hudoo
—shoulder – euhke
—chest – gasum
—abdomen – bokboo
—extremities – pal gwa dari
—shin – jong kwaeng-i
—tibia – kyong gol
——inner tibia – an kyong gol
——outer tibia – bakat kyong gol
——back tibia – dwit kyong gol
—inner ankle joint – an balmok gwanjol
—outer ankle joint – bakat balmok gwanjol
—toe edge – balgarak nal


“Vital spot in Taekwon-Do is defined as any sensitive or breakable area on the body vulnerable to an attack. It is essential that a student of Taekwon-Do has a knowledge of the different spots so that he can use the proper attacking or blocking tool. Indiscriminate attack is to be condemned as it is inefficient and wasteful of energy.” – Gen. Choi Hong Hi (Vol.2, p.88)

section of the body – mom dungboon
—high section – nopun boobun
—middle section – kaundye boobun
—low section – najun boobun

skull – dae sin moon
temple – gwanja nori
bridge of the nose – migan
eyeball – angoo
mastrid – hoo-i-boo
mandibula – tok gwanjol
philtrum – injoong
jaw – yop tok
point of the chin – mit tok
lips – ipsul
angle of the mandible – wit tok
upper neck – witmok
adam’s apple – gyol hoo
windpipe – soom tong
clavicle – swe gol
thenar – umjigoo
radical artery – maekbak sonmok dongmaek
back wrist artery – dung sonmok dongmaek
wrist joint – sonmok gwanjol
shoulder joint – eukke gwanjol
nose – kotdung
neck artery – mok dongmaek
sternum – hyung gol
heart – shim jang
solar plexus – myong chi
spleen – bi jang
liver – gan jang
epigastrium – sang bokboo
umbilicus – baekkob
lower abdomen – ha bokboo
pubic region – chiboo
groin – sataguni
scrotum – nang shim
instep – baldung
occiput – hoodoo
cervix – gyong boo
upper back – gyon gap
small of the back – gyong chu
kidney – kongpat
coccyx – migol
fossa – ogum
Achilles tendon – dwichuk himjool
ankle joint – balmok gwanjol
elbow joint – palgup gwanjol
armpit – gyodurang
floating ribs – nuk gol
knee joint – murup gwanjol
inner thigh – anjok hobok dari
tibia – kyong gol


“1. All movement should be designed to produce maximum power in accordance with scientific formulas and the principle of kinetic energy.
2. The principles behind the techniques should be so clear that even those ignorant of Taekwon-Do will be able to distinguish correct from incorrect movement.
3. The distance and angle of each movement should be exactly defined in order to achieve more efficient attack and defense.
4. The purpose and method of each movement should be clear and simple, in order to facilitate the teaching and learning process.
5. Rational teaching methods should be developed so that the benefits of Taekwon-Do can be enjoyed by everyone, young and old, men and women.
6. Correct breathing methods should be devised, enhancing the speed of each movement and reducing fatigue.
7. Attack should be possible against any vital spot on the body and it should be possible to defend against all varieties of attack.
8. Each attacking tool should be clearly defined and soundly based on the structure of the human body.
9. Each movement should be easy to execute, enabling the student to enjoy Taekewon-Do as a sport and recreation.
10. Special consideration should be paid to promoting good health and preventing injuries.
11. Each movement should be harmonious and rhythmical so that Taekwon-Do is aesthetically pleasing.
12. Each movement in a pattern must express the personality and spiritual character of the person it is named after.

Adherence to these basic principles is what makes Taekwon-Do a martial art, an aesthetic art, a science and sport.” – Gen. Choi Hong Hi (Vol-1, pp.42-43)


Attack Techniques – Gong Gyokgi
Defence Techniques – Bang Eau Gi
Ground Hand Techniques – Noowoo Son Gisool

Attack Techniques – Gong Gyokgi

—high attack – nopunde gong gyok
—middle attack – kaunde gong gyok
—low attack – najunde gong gyok

“A punch is used primarily to cause an internal hemorrhage rather than surface damage by twisting the attacking tool. A thrusting motion, however, is delivered with an intention to cut through the vital spot with less twisting of the attacking tool. A striking motion is used to destroy or break the bone or muscles of vital spots with the least twist of the attacking tool. […]

The basic principles are:
1. Jerk the hip and abdomen throughout the action, slowly at the beginning and sharply at the moment of impact. The hip is jerked slightly before the action in order to concentrate the larger muscles of the hip and abdomen together with the smaller muscles of the four extremities against the target simultaneously.
2. Completely twist the attacking tool, with few exceptions, in order to use full acceleration.
3. Tense the abdomen at the moment of impact by exhaling sharply.
4. The moment the attacking tool reaches the target, pull it back to allow it to be ready for the next action while preventing a grab by the opponent.
5. The attacking tool usually will form a triangle with the shoulders at the moment of impact when attacking the opponent in front.
6. Hold the breath while attacking or blocking.” – Gen. Choi Hong Hi (Vol-3, p.17)

—punching techniques – jirugi
——walking stance obverse punch – gunnun so baro jirugi
——L-stance obverse punch – niunja so baro jirugi
——rear foot stance reverse punch – dwitbal so bandae jirugi
——vertical stance punch – soojik so jirugi
——X-stance punch – kyocha so jirugi
——vertical punch – sewo jirugi
——side punch – yop jirugi
——side front punch – yobap jirugi
——side vertical punch – yop sewo jirugi
——upward punch – ollyo jirugi
——upset punch – dwijibo jirugi
——U-shape punch – digutja jirugi
——downward punch – naeryo jirugi
——crescent punch – bandal jirugi
——turning punch – dollyo jirugi
——angle punch – giokja jirugi
——knuckle fist punch – songarak joomuk jirugi
——horizontal punch – soopyong jirugi

—thrusting techniques – tulgi
——downward thrust – naeryo tulgi
——side thrust – yop tulgi
——side front thrust – yobap tulgi
——horizontal thrust – soopyong tulgi

—cross-cut – ghutgi

—striking techniques – taerigi
——inward strike – anuro taerigi
——downward strike – naeryo taerigi
——outward strike – bakuro taerigi
——side strike – yop taerigi
——horizontal strike – soopyong taerigi
——front strike – ap taerigi
——crescent strike – bandal taerigi
——side back strike – yopdwi taerigi
——side front strike – yobap taerigi

—flying hand techniques – twimyo soogi

—dodging attacks – pihamyo gong gyok

Defence Techniques – Bang Eau Gi

—high block – nopunde makgi
—middle block – kaunde makgi
—low block – najunde makgi
—inward block – anuro makgi
—outward block – bakuro makgi
—front block – ap makgi
—side block – yop makgi
—side front block – yobap makgi
—double forearm block – doo palmok makgi
—waist block – hori makgi
—checking block – mochau makgi
—outside block – bakat makgi
—inside block – anmakgi
—rising block – chookyo makgi
—upward block – ollyo makgi
—downward block – naeryo makgi
—pressing block – noollo makgi
—hooking block – golcho makgi
—wedging block – hechyo makgi
—grasping block – butjaba makgi
—parallel block – narani makgi
—pushing block – miro makgi
—luring block – yuin makgi
—scooping block – duro makgi
—guarding block – daebi makgi
—twin forearm block – sang palmok makgi
—twin knife-hand block – sang sonkal makgi
—double arc-hand block – doo bandalson makgi
—circular block – dollimyo makgi
—nine (9)-shape block – gutja makgi
—U-shape block – mongdung-i makgi
—U-shape grasp – mong dung-i japgi
—W-shape block – san makgi
—horizontal block – soopyong makgi
—dodging – pihagi

Ground Hand Techniques – Noowoo Son Gisool

“Any technique executed from lying down position is defined as a ground technique, and is used at a close range.” – Gen. Choi Hong Hi (Vol-3, p.323)

—ground punch – noowo jirugi
——vertical punch
——forefist punch
——fore-knuckle fist punch
——middle-knuckle fist punch

—ground downward strike – noowo naeryo taerigi
——back fist ground downward strike
——back hand ground downward strike
——side fist ground downward strike
——knife-hand ground downward strike
——reverse knife-hand ground downward strike
——under fist ground downward strike
——arc-hand ground downward strike

—ground inward strike – noowo anuro taerigi
——knife-hand ground inward strike
——reverse knife-hand ground inward strike
——under fist ground inward strike

—ground thrust – noowo tulgi
——flat fingertip ground thrust
——double finger ground thrust
——forefinger ground thrust
——angle fingertip ground thrust
——thumb ground thrust

—ground cross-cut – noowo ghutgi
——inwardly flat fingertip ground cross cut
——outwardly flat fingertip ground cross cut

—holding – bachigi
——holding for grabbing
——holding for twisting
——holding for breaking

—checking – momchugi
——X-fist checking
——X-knife-hand checking
——straight forearm checking
——straight knife-hand checking

—covering – karioogi
——twin back hand covering
——horizontal double arm covering
——double back hand covering
——X-hand covering


Attack Techniques – Gong Gyok Gi
Defence Techniques – Bang Eau-Gi
Ground Foot Techniques – Noowo Bal Gisool

Attack Techniques – Gong Gyok Gi

—high kick – nopunde chagi
—middle kick – kaunde chagi
—low kick – najunde chagi
—piercing kick – cha jirugi
—side piercing kick – yopcha jirugi
—back piercing kick – dwitcha jirugi
—back pushing kick – dwitcha milgi
—side thrusting kick – yopcha tulgi
—side pushing kick – yopcha milgi
—smashing kick – cha busigi
—front snap kick – apcha busigi
—side front snap kick – yobap cha busigi
—back snap kick – dwitcha busigi
—stamping kick – cha bapgi
—turning kick – dollyo chagi
—side turning kick – yop dollyo chagi
—downward kick – naeryo chagi
—pick-shape kick – gok-kaeng-i chagi
—upward kick – ollyo chagi
—reverse turning kick – bandae dollyo chagi
—reverse hooking kick – bandae dollyo goro chagi
—twisting kick – bitro chagi
—vertical kick – sewo chagi
—pressing kick – noollo chagi
—sweeping kick – suroh chagi
—grasping kick – butjapgo chagi
—straight kick – jigeau chagi
—punching kick – jirumyo chagi
—counter kick – bada chagi
—foot tackling – bal golgi
—skip kick – duro gamyo chagi
—two direction kick – sangbang chagi
—consecutive kick – yonsok chagi
—direction of kick – chan bang hyang
—flying kick – twimyo chagi
—mid-air kick – twio dolmyo chagi
—overhead kick – twio nomo chagi
—flying scissor-shape kick – twimyo kawil chagi
—flying trapezoid punching kick – twimyo jirumyo chagi
—flying U-shape punching side kick – twio digutja jirumyo yop chagi
—flying double kick – twimyo l-jung chagi
—flying triple kick – twimyo samjung chagi
—flying consecutive kick – twimyo yonsok chagi
—flying combination kick – twimyo honap chagi

Defence Techniques – Bang Eau-Gi

—rising kick – cha olligi
—crescent kick – bandal chagi
—waving kick – doro chagi
—checking kick – cha munchugi
—hooking kick – golcho chagi
—dodging – phihagi
—foot shifting – jajun bal
—stepping – omgyo didigi
—sliding – mikulgi
—turning – dolgi
—jumping – twigi
—body dropping – mom nachugi
—foot lifting – bal dulgi

Ground Foot Techniques – Noowo Bal Gisool

—ground front snap kick – noowo apcha busigi
—ground side piercing kick – noowo yopcha jirugi
—ground side thrusting kick – noowo yopcha tulgi
—ground downward kick – noowo naeryo chagi
—ground turning kick – noowo dollyo chagi
—ground vertical kick – noowo sewo chagi
—ground twisting kick – noowo bituro chagi
—ground front checking kick – noowo apcha momchugi
—ground crescent kick – noowo bandal chagi
—ground hooking kick – noowo golcho chagi
—ground leg crossing – noowo dari kogi
—ground knee bending – noowo moorup guburigi
—ground dodging – noowo pihagi


“Patterns are various fundamental movements, most of which represent either attack or defense techniques, set to a fixed and logical sequence.” – Gen. Choi Hong Hi (Vol-1, p.154)

There are 24 patterns which are named as follows:

1. Chon-Ji
2. Dan-Gun
3. Do-San
4. Won-Hyo
5. Yul-Gok
6. Joong-Gun
7. Toi-Gye
8. Hwa-Rang
9. Choong-Moo
10. Kwang-Gae
11. Po-Eun
12. Ge-Baek
13. Eui-Am
14. Choong-Jang
15. Juche
16. Sam-Il
17. Yoo-Sin
18. Choi-Yong
19. Yon-Gae
20. Ul-Ji
21. Moon-Moo
22. So-San
23. Se-Jong
24. Tong-Il


Choi, Hong Hi (1983). Encyclopedia of Taekwon-Do, Complete 15 Volume Set. International Taekwon-Do Federation. Available at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008UAO292 [Accessed on 18 Sep 2021]



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