Songahm is not just a pretty emblem/patch. The “Songahm Star” is the pattern that is formed on the ground if all 18 forms of the Songahm system are completed.
Developed by Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee between 1983 and 1990 (remember him from our discussion of the ATA?), the 18 Songahm forms of Taekwondo represent the fundamental curriculum to be followed by your instructor, or your Sabumnin.
Songahm is a gradual learning and skills progression process in which everything a student learns reinforces everything else. The forms contain all or nearly all of the techniques that students are expected to know at each rank, the one-step sparring segments complement the forms, and all of these patterns lead logically to the movements required for each succeeding rank.
Critical to the strengthening of the student’s development of mind and body, these 18 forms allow students to create a cumulative repertoire of skills and mindsets so that learning is gradual and as such is logically developed and remembered. By adhering to the process, all of the aspects of Taekwondo are addressed: honor, respect, dignity, self-esteem, self-control, personal strength, cooperation AND the physical skills of the Taekwondo method of martial arts.
Interesting fact: In a perfect Songahm Star, the distance from the center point of the star to the top point is nine feet (“feet” being the student’s foot length). The total distance from the top point to the bottom point equals 18 feet, representing the number of forms in the Songahm system.
We at Trautwein’s ATA, are proud of our adherence to Songahm principles – we feel that the system creates a lasting effect on the physical and mental well-being of our students.