Background and question

As is well known, ITF spelling of taekwon-do terminology is all over the place. In my experience, the following variants are the most prevalent:

  • Double consonants are rarely spelt as such.
  • Romanised ‘o’ can represent at least both 오 and 어, and I know of at least one instance of it representing 으 (그만 → goman (inexplicably)).
  • Romanised ‘u’ can represent at least both 으 and 어.
  • Voiced or unvoiced Romanised consonants give no clue to actual pronunciation.
  • Spacing is no indication of word delimitation.
  • Sometimes McCune–Reischauer Romanisation is used without the special characters, and sometimes Revised Romanisation; most often, the Romanisation represents American English phonology.

Now, to the question at hand. Using Naver, the closest I have been able to find reminiscent of yon moo son, is 연무, defined as such:

연무 演武
military exercise, practice of military[martial] arts, 연무하다 engage in military exercise, practice military[martial] arts

This appears to be heading in the right direction, but I have thus far not been able to figure out what the final part of the terminology could be. Given the problem of ssang letters usually not having been rendered as such in the ITF, the following options present themselves in order of likelihood:

  1. 손 – son
  2. 쏜 – sson
  3. 선 – seon
  4. 썬 – sseon
  5. 순 – sun
  6. 쑨 – ssun

I haven’t been able to get any hits with any of them, though. Thus my question: What is the correct Korean word (in hangeul) matching the bastardised Romanisation yon moo son for diagram?


Note 1:

In taekwon-do, a diagram means the lines plotting the directions in which a pattern is performed. If going left, right, back and forth, for instance, the diagram would be this:
Diagram for Cheon-ji teul

Note 2:

I would also like to suggest the tags taekwon-do (International Taekwon-Do Federation spelling convention) and taekwondo (World Taekwon-Do spelling convention) to be mutually interchangable.


Naver suggests 연무선 (演武線)

演 - practice

武 - military

線 - line

The use of this may be influenced by the use of the Japanese term Embusen in Karate. http://cheongnyongyu.com/2016/10/28/the-korean-term-for-floor-diagram/ suggests that this may be the case.

  • I didn’t get any hits on that on en.dict.naver, so thanks for that! Your interpretation and explanation makes this plausible. You wouldn’t happen to know how the Chinese would be pronounced, i.e. is yeonmuseon a true Korean word or a Sino-Korean word? Also, would you be able to provide a translation of the definition: 1. 체육 택견에서, 기본 자세를 연습할 때에 자리 이동 모양을 표시하는 도형. ‘一’ 자형, ‘ㅜ’ 자형, ‘十’ 자형, ‘工’ 자형, ‘士’ 자형 따위가 있다. The second word there, if I am not mistaken, is that a reference to taekgyeon the martial art?
    – Canned Man
    May 11 at 11:15
  • 1
    @CannedMan I would call any word that is based on Chinese characters such as this one 'Sino-Korean', but I'm afraid I don't know how a Chinese person would pronounce those characters. Top google hits for 演武線 suggest it's a word in primarily Japanese usage, as stated by the last link in my answer. Yes, the translation is something like "In the sport of Taekkyeon, a figure that shows the shape of a movement when practicing basic posture. There are ‘一’ shapes, ‘ㅜ’ shapes, ‘十’ shapes, ‘工’ shapes, and ‘士’ shapes."
    – topo morto
    May 11 at 21:48
  • Your translation is what nails the definition as correct for me, so it should be added to your answer. Thank you very much! Also, interesting to note that the word used for shape, is 형, which indeed is what patterns were called in the early days of taekwon-do; in the ITF, they are now called 틀 (one older fraction of the ITF still uses 형, though).
    – Canned Man
    May 12 at 11:57

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