West Midlands Schools
of Tae Kwon-Do

Woo Nam

Number of Movements: 42 (Forty Two)
Ready Stance: Parallel Stance with an X-Back Hand

Pattern Meaning: Woo Nam is the pseudonym for the First President of the Republic of (South) Korea, Dr. Syngman Rhee (1948 – 1960), who approved Tae Kwon-Do as a Korean Martial Art. Designed to develop agility by focusing on advancing and retreating, General Choi created Woo Nam to honor President Rhee’s contribution to Tae Kwon-Do.

Note: Woo Nam was developed around the same time as Sam Il and is therefore among the first six ‘Chang Hon’ forms from the years 1955 – 1959. However the pattern was removed from the Tae Kwon-Do syllabus after a disputed election in April 1960 that sparked nationwide student protests against President Rhee’s rule that ultimately forced his resignation and exile, living out the rest of his life in Hawaii.

Woo Nam’s only known published pattern description was found in General Choi’s original Tae Kwon-Do teaching manual published in 1959. In July 2013, senior Tae Kwon-Do practitioners discovered that the “lost” pattern Woo Nam contained in the first book ever written on Tae Kwon-Do. This has led historians and Tae Kwon-Do leaders from around the world to translate and analyse the previously forgotten pattern, preserving it for future Tae Kwon-Do students worldwide.



1 Sitting stance, side front block – right foot
2 Change hands position
3 Right foot – left angle punch
4 Step with left foot towards C, walking stance, twin fist, vertical punch
5 Step right foot towards C, walking stance, back fist, side front strike, pullup left fist under right elbow
6 Perform right back fist, side rear strike to D, maintaining right walking stance while extending left hand to C
7 Perform left back fist, side rear strike to D maintaining left walking stance while extending right hand to C
8 Step to C with right foot performing walking stance obverse punch
9 Turn counter clockwise with right foot and slide to D and perform double forearm block in walking stance
10 perform low side kick to C with right foot
11 land right foot to C and perform walking stance obverse punch to C
12 drop left knee and hands to A
13 perform a high turning kick to C
14 punch to C with the right fist while kneeling with left knee, bridge left hand on the floor
15 step the right foot to D performing a right l-stance with left scooping block facing towards C
16 step the left foot to D performing a left l-stance and an reverse punch with the right fist towards C
17 step the left foot to C performing x-fist pressing block in walking stance
18 kick to C with the right knee, pull both hands to left hip
19 step the right foot to D performing knife hand side strike to C in l-stance
20 double step with the right foot towards C and perform front elbow strike while in left walking stance
21 pull the left foot to the right knee while pulling both fists to the right hip in one leg stance
22 perform a left side snap kick and a horizontal back fist to A
23 step the left foot to AC and perform an x-knife hand pressing block in l-stance
24 move the right foot to D and perform an open fist punch to C with the right hand in left walking stance
25 perform palm hooking block with the left hand to C
26 perform right front snap kick to C
27 step the right foot to C then turn counter clockwise pulling both fists to left hip while performing a walking stance towards D (29) form a sitting stance with the left foot and perform forearm w-shape block
28 step the left foot to D and perform a left forearm rising block towards D
29 shift to C and perform x-fist pressing block in right l-stance
30 step to D with right foot and perform right rising block in walking stance
31 step to D with left foot and perform obverse rising block in walking stance
32 step to D with right foot and perform an obverse rising block in walking stance
33 perform left front snap kick to D
34 step left foot D and perform a reverse punch to D in walking stance
35 perform an obverse punch and a reverse punch maintaining a left walking stance to D
36 pivot on the foot turning clockwise and perform elbow strike to D facing C in a left low stance
37 move the left foot to A and performing left low forearm block and then an obverse punch with right fist in l-stance
38 step with right foot A and perform right knife-hand low block in l-stance and then a left inner forearm block
39 turn to B while pivoting with the left foot and perform knife-hand guarding block in left l-stance
40 step to B with left foot and perform a straight fingertip thrust to B with the left hand in a left walking stance
END Bring the left foot back to a ready posture.

Disclaimer: Unfortunately, some previous published translations were not very careful to ensure all terminology was accurately translated into English, such as ‘Du Bal Idong’, literally “two-foot movement” now known as “sliding forward” or “shifting backward”. The first English translation made widely available after rediscovery in 2013 is likely to cause the most confusion going forward. This “lost in translation” version of Woo Nam was used by a number talented students including Master Derek Campbell for demonstrations at various competitions with videos made widely available. The inaccuracy of this translation is apparent even to those who cannot read Korean Hangul as the diagram directions presented as A, B, C and D do not always match those in the English translation, the foot diagrams do not match its description nor do counts #12 and #13 match photos 153 and 154 and the pattern does not return to the starting position.

Despite many efforts to ensure the accuracy of the translation presented in this video, some questions will likely always remain as the 1959 pattern description does not clearly explain a number of the movements (namely #3, #24, #29 and #37). My thesis details these and other issues extensively and will be made available no later than May 2016.

There are also clear editorial errors and omissions in Woo Nam’s original text, such as #28 and #37 presented as “2 “ and “ 7”, #21 and #26 not explicitly stating if the stances are left or right (though in context directionality is clear) as well as the omitted diagram direction on #29’s note. With these known issues, one should be careful to not interpret the text too literally.

Back to Top