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General Terminology

Dojang: Place where one trains/gymnasium
Kwan: School
Dobok: Uniform
Dhee: Belt
Hogoo: Chest Guard used in sparring
Kee Yahp: Yell
Kook Gee: Flag
Kam Sa Ham Nee Da: Thank You
Chon ma ne yo: You’re Welcome
Ahn nyong hah say yo: Greetings/Hello
Kwanjangnim: Head of organization/school owner
Sabumnim: Master
Kyosanim: Teacher
Dan: Black belt rank/degree (1st Dan, 2nd Dan, etc.)
Gup: Grade/color belt


Charyot: Attention (stance)
Kyong-ye: Bow
Choon Bee: Ready (stance)
Shee Jak: Begin/Start
Bahro: Return (to starting position)
Gu Mahn: Hold/Stop
Kalyeo: Break/Stop
Kae Sok: Continue/Resume
Shee-Yoh: At Ease/Rest
Bahl Ba-kwah: Switch your stance
Dwee ro dora: About face/Turn Around
Dobok Dahn-jung: Fix your uniform
Dhee Dahn-jung: Fix your belt
Sun bay nim kay: Face your senior student
Hai San: Class Dismissed
Jonglee: Line Up

Disciplines of Taekwondo

Poomsae: patterns/forms
Kyoruggi: sparring
Hosinsool: self defense
Kyeok-pa: breaking


Ahp: Front
Yop: Side
Dwee: Back
Dolryo: Round
Ahre: Low
Naryeo: Downward
Wen: Left
O-Ruen: Right


Mahggi: Block
Chi-gi: Strike
Twi: Jumping
Sogi: Stance
Cha-gi: Kick


Eolgul: Face   
Momtong: Body
Joomock: Fist
Palkoop: Elbow      


Eolgul Mahggi: Rising Block/High Block
Momtong Mahggi: Middle (body) Block
Ahre Mahggi: Down/Lower (leg) Block
Sohn-nahl Mahggi: Knife-hand Block


Chi-gi: Forward Punch
Eolgul Chi-gi: High/Face Punch
Momtong Chi-gi: Middle Punch
Ahre Chi-gi: Low Punch
Me-Joomock Chi-gi: Hammer Fist Strike
Dung-Joomock Chi-gi: Back Fist Strike
Palkoop Chi-gi: Elbow Strike
Sohn-Nahl Chi-gi: Knife Hand Strike


Cha-gi: Kick
Ahp Cha-gi: Front Snap Kick
Yop Cha-gi: Side Kick
Dolryo Cha-gi: Roundhouse Kick
Naryeo Cha-gi: Axe Kick
Dwee Cha-gi: Back Kick
Huryo Cha-gi: Hook Kick
Mirro Cha-gi: Push Kick


Sogi: Stance
Ahp Sogi: Walking Stance
Ahp Koobee: Long/Front Stance
Dwee Koobee: Back Stance
Bom Sogi: Tiger Stance
Joochoom Sogi: Horseback Riding Stance
Charyot Sogi: Attention Stance
Choonbee Sogi: Ready Stance


Hanna: one
Dool: two
Set: three
Net: Four
Dasot: Five
Yasot: Six
Ilgop: Seven
Yadool: Eight
Ahope: Nine
Yool: Ten
Samool: Twenty
Sarun: Thirty
Counting after ten:
  • 11 is yool-hanna
  • 12 is dool-hanna and so on
  • 21 is samool-hanna
  • 22 is samool-dool and so on
  • 31 is sarun-hanna
  • 32 is sarun-dool and so on.

Ordinal Numbers

Il: first
Ee: second
Sam: third
Sa: fouth
Oh: fifth
Yook: sixth
Chil: seventh
Pul: eight
Goo: ninth
Sip: tenth
The ordinal numbers are used to name the 8 color belt forms (poomsae).
For example, the first form taught to color belts is Il Jang. The second is Ee Jang and so on.

Sparring Terminology

Chung: Blue
Hong: Red
To call the contestants to the ring, the referee extends the index fingers of both hands and spreads her arms outward and down toward each competitors’ starting marks. She calls Chung first and Hong second.

Cha-ryot: Attention
The referee calls the contestants to attention by saying Cha-ryot. At the same time, he lifts both hands to face height with palms facing toward each other.

Kyong-ye: Bow
The referee then has the contestants bow to each other. As she says Kyong-ye. She lowers her palms to chest height with finger tips of both hands almost touching.

Choon bi: Ready
Stepping into a front stance, the referee drops his right hand between the chests of the competitors with a downward knife hand and calls Choon bi. The competitors enter ready stance by assuming fighting stances.

Si jak: Begin
The referee pulls back her front foot and brings both hands quickly together in front of her body with her palms facing each other. At the same time, she says Si jak.

Kalyeo: Break
Gu-mahn: Stop
To stop the match for any reason, the referee again drops his right hand between the competitors into a downward knife hand position while he says Kalyeo or Gu-mahm.
Kae-sok: Continue
To resume the match, the referee swiftly removes her hand from between the competitors, stopping her hand beside her ear as she says Kae-sok.

Chung kyong-go:
 Blue ½ Point Penalty
Hong kyong-go:
 Red ½ Point Penalty
Chung gam-jeum:
 Blue Full Point Deduction
Hong gam-jeum:
 Red Full Point Deduction
If a competitor commits a penalty, the referee temporarily stops the match by saying Kalyeo or Gu-mahn. The competitors stop. The referee brings his right hand to his left shoulder, straightens his arm, & points his index finger at the offending competitor. He gestures to indicate the specific illegal and says Chung or Hong kyon-go. The competitor should then acknowledge the penalty with a Kyong-ye. For more severe infractions, the referee follows the same procedures except the competitor is given a gam-jeum.

Chung sung: Blue Wins
Hong sung: Red Wins
If blue is the winner, the referee extends her right arm up at a 45 degree angle with her palm up in a knife hand position and says Chung sung. If red is the winner, she does the same, but with her left arm, and says Hong sung.

Acknowledgement: Much of this sparring terminology information is based upon the text found in “Appendix B: Referee Signals” from the book Taekwondo (Third Edition) by Yeon Hee Park, Yeon Hwan Park, and Jon Gerrard.