What Exactly Is Barro In Taekwondo? (Full Guide)

In taekwondo, there are a lot of strange and unfamiliar words and phrases that you will hear. Unless you actually speak and understand Korean, you will probably have no idea what any of the words actually mean. 

What Exactly Is Barro In Taekwondo?

One word that causes a lot of confusion is ‘barro’ – what is it and what does it mean? 

Here, we are going to be taking a look at some of the terminology and commands in taekwondo so you can understand what your instructor and sparring partners are saying.

So, let’s start out with ‘barro’ to see what it means and what you should do when your instructor says ‘barro’ in taekwondo. 

What Is Baro In Taekwondo?

Baro is a command in taekwondo that your instructor will instruct you to do after you have completed a form or pattern.

It is pronounced ‘Ba-row’ but is actually spelt as ‘baro’ although some people may misspell it as ‘barro’. 

So, ‘barro’ is baro – a command that you will hear once you finish your pattern or form. When you hear the command, you need to turn around to face your instructor. 

Baro translates in Korean as ‘return’ as in ‘return to starting position’.

This is why when you hear the command, you stop and stand in your original position that you were in before you began your form or position.

So, you are literally ‘returning’ to your original stance. 

When your instructor shouts baro, you need to finish your form and face your instructor. It is likely that they will be giving you feedback or moving onto another form.

Your instructor can call baro no matter what form or position you are drilling so always be ready to hear this command and be ready to follow it. 

Baro Vs Kueman

The reason why baro causes so much confusion in taekwondo is because a lot of people often confuse baro with another similar command – keuman.

Although they sound very differently, both commands have very similar purposes but with a slight difference.

Due to this, many people mix them up and perform the baro command when their instructor calls out ‘keuman’ or ‘geuman’, and vice versa. 

So, what is the difference between baro and keuman? 

While both will stop you from continuing your form, they are both used in different circumstances.

Barro is the command to stop your form or position and face your instructor, while keuman is used as a way to stop you during sparring. 

Keuman translates to ‘stop’ or ‘end’ which is why your instructor may use it to stop you mid spar.

However, instead of turning to your instructor, you are supposed to hold your position.

Your instructor may command you specifically, or they can use keuman to stop a whole class while they are sparring. 

So, it’s easy to see why so many taekwondo students mix up these two commands.

Even some instructors use them interchangeably – so one instructor could use keuman or barro to stop a whole class during sparring!

Because of this, you shouldn’t be embarrassed if you mix up these two commands because even instructors will use them interchangeably!

It’s just important to remember that baro and keuman are both used to stop you or to signal that you need to end your form or position.

So, when you hear either of these commands, stop and turn to your instructor to await further instructions. 

What Exactly Is Barro In Taekwondo?

Baro Jireugi

In taekwondo, you may also hear the term ‘baro’ beyond commands given to you by your instructor. This is because it is also the name for a type of punch that you can use during sparring. 

The full name for this punch is baro jireugi and it refers to a type of reverse punch.

The punch uses the opposite arm to the leg that is put forward – so if you put your right leg forward, then your left hand would move first in a baro jireugi. 

Sometimes, your instructor or sparring partners may shorten the name of this reverse punch to just ‘baro’ which is why some students are left confused because they assume that they are saying a command when in reality, they are just talking about a type of punch.

So, it’s important to try and keep  the word in its context so you can tell the difference between your instructor telling you to stop and face them or when they want you to try a baro jireugi punch. 

Common Commands In Taekwondo

One of the things that a lot of taekwondo students struggle to wrap their heads around is the terminology and Korean words used during their classes.

So, while learning a new type of combat, you will also need to learn a lot of different commands – more than just baro! 

There is also ‘charyut’ which your instructor will use to get your attention, or they will also say ‘sijak’ which means to start or to begin.

This is a signal that you should begin your drills or sparring. Other important commands include kaesok (continue), maggi (block), kyungnet (bow), and chigi (punch or strike).

You need to know these commands or you risk making mistakes or being disrespectful to your instructor. 

So, there’s a lot of new Korean words and commands you will need to learn while learning taekwondo, meaning that baro is just the beginning! 


So, ‘barro’ refers to the taekwondo command ‘baro’ which is often used when your instructor wants you to finish your form or position and then turn to face them.

However, some instructors use it as a way to stop a whole class during sparring to get their attention. 

The command baro is sometimes used interchangeably with another command, keuman, which is why a lot of students can become confused.

Also, there is a type of reverse punch that is sometimes called a baro although its full name is baro jireugi. 

So, there’s lots of different meanings for the term ‘barro’ in taekwondo so check out the above definitions again so you know what to do whenever you hear the command ‘barro’ during your taekwondo classes. 

Christopher Anderson
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