These patterns will guide you through the coloured belt grades, although which patterns you learn will depend on the set used by your club. Kukkiwon style Taekwondo (World Taekwondo Federation) uses the Taegeuk forms for coloured belts, however this wasn't always the case and the Palgwae forms used to be the forms taught to coloured belt students. Withink the Taegeuk patterns Tae refers to bigness and Geuk refers to eternity, which leads Taegeuk to then represent that which is the essence of everything, it has no beginning and no end.
Further to the great amount of history behind the Taegeuk patterns and their creation, the trigrams around them are also said to represent Yin and Yang. With the closed lines representing Yang and the open lines meaning Yin, this refers to the Taoist principle "the unity of opposites" for example Yang could be dark and Yin could be light. They are opposite but exist to balance each other out. Taegeuk is also the name of the red and blue circle on the South Korean flag.
Applying the principle of Yin and Yang to these patterns shows that each pattern is opposite as are the trigrams and meaning of the patterns as explained below.
Ultimately the meaning behind each pattern whether it is Palgwae or Taegeuk represents the idea a student should focus on when performing that pattern For example when performing Yuk Jang you may want to think about how the pattern flows compared to Chil Jang which represents mountain. As you progress through the grades in Taekwondo it is important to understand the principles and history behind what you are doing.
Poomse was created as a way of learning the application of moves in through attacking and defending against imaginary attackers. Next time you perform patterns think about what that move is actually doing. Where is this punch going? What am I blocking? When you develop an understanding of why you are doing what you are doing it will improve your practice in Taekwondo.