As well as performing patterns skillfully, it is important that a student understands why they are performing it, and that they learn a little about the history of the pattern. Examples of questions that may be asked are outlined below:
WHAT IS A PATTERN?
A pattern is a set of fundamental movements, mainly defense and attack, set in a logical sequence to deal with one or more imaginary opponents. Patterns are an indication of a student’s progress – a barometer in evaluating an individual’s technique.
WHY DO WE PERFORM PATTERNS?
We practice patterns to improve our Taekwondo techniques, to develop sparring techniques, to improve flexibility of movements, master body-shifting, develop muscles and balance, and control breathing. They also enable us to acquire techniques that cannot be obtained from other forms of training.
WHY ARE THERE 24 PATTERNS?
The reason for twenty-four patterns in Taekwondo is because the founder, Major General Choi Hong Hi, compared the life of a man with a day in the life of the earth and believed that some people should strive to bequeath a good spiritual legacy to coming generations and in doing so, gain immortality.
Therefore, if we can leave something behind for the welfare of mankind, maybe it will be the most important thing to happen in our lives, as the founder says:
Here I leave Taekwondo for mankind as a trace of a man of the late 20th Century. The twenty-four patterns represent twenty-four hours, one day or of my life.
Students may also be asked the meaning of the pattern that they have performed, or asked how many movements it is made up of. The meanings are below:
CHON-JI means literally the “Heaven and the Earth”. It is in the Orient interpreted as the creation of the world or the beginning of human history. Therefore it is the initial pattern played by the beginner. The pattern consists of two similar parts ? one to represent the Heaven and the other the Earth.
DAN GUN is named after the Holy Dan Gun, the legendary founder of Korea in the year 2333 BC.
DO SAN is the pseudonym of the patriot Ahn Ch’ang Ho (1876 – 1938) who devoted his life to furthering the education of Korea and its independent movement.
WON HYO was the noted monk who introduced Buddhism in the Silla dynasty in the year 686 AD.
YUL GOK was the pseudonym of a great philosopher and scholar Yi I (1536 – 1584 AD) nicknamed the Confucius of Korea. The 38 movements refer to his birthplace on 38 degrees latitude and the diagram represents the scholar.
JOONG GUN is named after the patriot An Joong-Gun who assassinated Hiro Bumi Ito, the Japanese governor general of Korea. Kown is the man who played the leading part in the Korea-Japan merger. There are thirty-two movements in this pattern to represent Mr. An’s age when he was executed in the Lui-Shung prison in 1910.
TOI-GYE is the penname of the noted scholar Yi Hwang (16th Century AD), an authority on neo-Confucianism. The 37 movements of the pattern refer to his birthplace on the 37degree latitude – the diagram represents the scholar.
HWA RANG is named after the Hwa Rang Youth Group, which originated in the Silla Dynasty about 600 AD. This group eventually became the actual driving force for the unification of the three kingdoms of Korea.
CHOONG-MOO was the given name of the great admiral Yi Sun-Sin of the Yi Dynasty. He was reputed to have invented the first armored battleship (Kobukson), which was the precursor of the present day submarine in 1592 AD. The reason why this pattern ends up with a left hand attack is to symbolize his regrettable death having no chance to show his unrestrained potentiality checked by the forced reservation of his loyalty to the king.
The TaeKwondo Oath
As a student of Taekwondo, I do solemnly pledge to abide by the rules and regulations of the Taekwondo Association, to Strive always to be modest, courteous and respectful to all members, in particular my seniors, to put the art into use only for self-defense or defense of the weak and never to abuse my knowledge of the art.
The Tenets of Taekwondo
There are five tenets that students should learn and understand.
- COURTESY: To be polite to one’s instructors, seniors and fellow students.
- INTEGRITY: To be honest with oneself. One must be able to define right and wrong.
- PERSEVERANCE: To achieve a goal, whether it is a higher grade or any technique, one must not stop trying, one must preserver.
- SELF-CONTROL: To lose one’s temper when performing techniques against an opponent can be very dangerous and shows lack of control. To be able to live, work ad train within one’s capability shows good self-control.
- INDOMITABLE SPIRIT: To show courage, when you and your principles are pitted against overwhelming odds.
A student may be asked to explain the meaning of the color of the belt that he/she is going for. The meanings are below:
- WHITE: Signifies innocence, as that of the beginning student who has no previous knowledge of Taekwondo.
- YELLOW: Signifies Earth, from which a plant sprouts and takes root as Taekwondo foundation is being laid.
- GREEN: Signifies the plant’s growth as Taekwondo skills begin to develop.
- BLUE: Signifies the Heaven towards which the plant matures into a towering tree as training in Tae Kwon Do progresses.
- RED: Signifies danger, cautioning the student to exercise control, and warning the opponent to stay away.
- Black: Opposite to white, therefore signifying the maturity and proficiency in Taekwondo and also indicated the wearer’s imperviousness to darkness and fear.