The art of Tae Kwon Do is comprised of the following major areas of practice:
POOMSE (pattern or form) is a choreographed demonstration of the various kicks, blocks and hand techniques of Tae Kwon Do which the student practices against an imaginary opponent or opponents. Observing a skilled practitioner is like watching ballet, since both are very graceful as well as calculated and controlled. Forms are used to develop concentration, balance, precision, reflex action, power, speed and agility.
GYOROOGI (sparring) is the practical application of various forms against an actual opponent. In this type of competition speed, skilled technique, precision and confidence are the deciding factors. Tae Kwon Do also exists as an international sport with competitors scoring points to protective chest and head gear.
KYUKPA (breaking) is done to practice and illustrate the formidable power, precision and great mental concentration developed through Tae Kwon Do training.Different materials, but most commonly pine boards, are broken; showing both internal and external strength derived from a confidence in one's ability to overcome normal limitations.
HO SHIN SOOL (self defense) is the study of how to use an attacker's strength or skill against him/her. The practitioner learns when, where and how to attack an assailant using "pressure points" (areas of the body that when pressed cause increased pain), grappling and joint locking techniques and throws.
MOOK SAHANG (meditation) can serve many purposes. The first is to clear the mind and allow the student to focus entirely on their Tae Kwon Do training. In order to gain the benefit of stress reduction that Tae Kwon Do provides, it is necessary to be able to temporarily forget about the "outside" world and concentrate exclusively on one’s practice. The second use of meditation is as a time for sports visualization. It has been scientifically proven that athletes can improve their performance by using mental training. This training involves an athlete visualizing their performance and doing mental practice of their athletic skills (i.e. shooting a foul shot, swinging a bat, performing a Tae Kwon Do technique). A third use of meditation is to take time to think about ones goals in Tae Kwon Do, and visualize achieving them.