West Midlands Schools
of Tae Kwon-Do

Pattern Information

What is a Pattern (Tul)?

A pattern is a set of fundamental movements, mainly defence and attack, set in a logical sequence to deal with one or more imaginary opponents. Patterns are also an indication of a student’s progress, a barometer in evaluating an individual’s technique.

The interpretation of a Pattern

The name of a pattern, the number of movements and the diagrammatic symbol of each pattern represents either heroic figures in Korean history or instances relating to historical events.

Why do we perfrom Patterns?

We practise patterns to improve our Tae Kwon-Do techniques, to develop sparring techniques, to improve flexibility of movement, master body shifting, develop muscles, improve balance and breathing control, develop fluid and smooth motions and to gain rhythmical movements. To master Tae Kwon-Do patterns students should try to imagine that they are fighting an imaginary opponent(s), this allows students to practice offensive and defensive techniques, which cannot be obtained from other forms of training. Tae Kwon-Do is an art, when first developed the only way to train was by performing patterns.

Why are there 24 Patterns?

The reason there are 24 (twenty four) patterns in Tae Kwon-Do is because the Founder, Major General Choi Hong Hi, 9th Dan 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 Tae Kwon-Do for mankind as a trace of man of the late 20th century.
The twenty-four patterns represent twenty four hours, one day or all of my life.”
Major General Choi Hong Hi, 9th Dan – Founder of Tae Kwon-Do

Why do we learn the meanings of Patterns?

We learn the meanings of patterns to draw inspiration from the people in the pattern who have dedicated and sacrificed themselves for what they believe is right. They have applied one or more of the tenants of Tae Kwon-Do and have fought for their own ideals. We should learn to show the same dedication in doing what we feel is right. The meanings also give us a brief description of the history of Korea.

Essential information about Patterns

The following points should be considered while performing patterns:

  1. Pattern should begin and end at exactly the same spot. This will indicate the performer’s accuracy.
  2. Correct posture and facing must be maintained at all times.
  3. Muscles of the body should be either tensed or relaxed at the proper critical moments in the exercise.
  4. The exercise should be performed in a rhythmic movement with an absence of stiffness.
  5. Movement should be accelerated or decelerated according to the instructions in this book.
  6. Each pattern should be perfected before moving to the next.
  7. Students should know the purpose of each movement.
  8. Students should perform each movement with realism.
  9. Attack and defence techniques should be equally distributed among right and left hands and feet.

All patterns listed are performed under the assumption the student is facing “D” (see pattern diagrams). There are a total of twenty four patterns in Tae Kwon-Do. The name of the pattern, the number of movements, and the diagrammatic symbol of each pattern symbolize either heroic figures in Korean history or instances relating to historical events. The interpretation of each pattern can be found on its specific page. Since each Pattern has a close relationship with the fundamental exercise, students should practice the patterns according to the following graduation to attain the maximum results with the least effort.

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