IntroThe pattern is named after the famous Gwanggaeto the Great (374–413 CE) who was a great conqueror and 19th king of the Koryo Dynasty. He was also known Kwang-Gae-Toh-Wang and Yeongnak Taewang (Supreme King Yeongnak) meaning he was on equal standing as an empire with the imperial dynasties in China.
Pattern historyGwanggaeto the Great is one of two rulers of Korea whose names are appended with the title "the Great", with the other being Sejong the Great of Joseon, who created Hangul the Korean alphabet, to promote literacy among the common people, and made great advances in science. Gwanggaeto's accomplishments are recorded on the Gwanggaeto Stele, erected in 414 at the supposed site of his tomb in Ji'an along present-day China-North Korea border.
Under Gwanggaeto, Koryo became a powerful empire and one of the great powers in East Asia. Gwanggaeto made enormous advances and conquests into Western Manchuria, Inner Mongolia and the Han River valley in central Korea to control over two-thirds of the Korean peninsula.
In 396. Gwanggaeto defeated Baekje, the then most powerful of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, capturing the capital city of Wiryeseong in present-day Seoul. In 399, Silla, the southeastern kingdom of Korea, sought aid from Koryo due to incursions by Baekje troops. Gwanggaeto dispatched 50,000 expeditionary troops and secured Silla as a de facto protectorate. He went on to subdue the other Korean kingdoms and achieved a loose unification of the Korean peninsula under Koryo.
Gwanggaeto died of an unknown illness in 413 at the age of 39. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Jiangsu, who ruled Koryo for 79 years until the age of 98, the longest reign in East Asian history.
Koreans regard Gwanggaeto as one of the greatest heroes in Korean history and a symbol of Korean nationalism.
Pattern movementsNumber of movements: 39
The 39 movements represent the first two numbers of 391 CE, the year when Gwanggaeto came to the throne.
Diagram of movements
The diagram represents Gwanggaeto's territorial expansion and recovery of lost territories.
Pattern performanceThere are numerous videos and explanations of the pattern movements available on the internet that show how to perform the pattern in the way preferred by your instructor, school, or organization. The following is an example of the ITF way to perform the pattern.