When practising the taekwondo patterns, where the pattern begins is where it should end – on the same spot. It is necessary to have the correct posture with the body being firm or relaxed in a rhythmical movement depending on the position of the pattern. Every movement should be done in the right momentum making sure that you do not move on to the next pattern without perfecting the current one. These patterns require realism every time you practice to ensure that there are no distractions of the body or mind at any given time. It is necessary to distribute techniques on both hands and legs.
These features of taekwondo patterns allow the student to become swift and rigid at the same time. Discipline is paramount if you want to learn all the patterns and complete them successfully. The international taekwondo federation has set different colour belts that people are awarded when they display their capabilities to execute these patterns. For beginners, they must first learn the preparatory exercises which include the four direction blocks, punch, and thrust. After they get familiar, they are then introduced to the patterns step-by-step from the first one to the last. This ensures professionalism among students.
List of Taekwondo Patterns
- There are twenty-four patterns involved.
- Each pattern has to be mastered before moving on to the next one.
According to the international taekwondo federation, the twenty-four patterns include the following; Hwa-Rang, Chon-Ji, Dan-Gun, Do-San, Yul-Gok, Joong-Gun, Won-Hyo, Toi-Gye and many others. These techniques are internationally recognized and those who practice have to portray high levels of discipline. All these patterns have to be followed strictly without omitting, skipping or mixing them. The patterns help in gaining useful skills such as concentration, strength, and tactics. For you to pass the tests to acquire a belt, it is important to imagine an imaginary opponent so that you can display your offensive and defensive techniques flawlessly without forgetting any style.
According to the Korean history of taekwondo, the number of patterns was chosen by one General by the name Choi Hong Hi, representing the number of hours in a day marking special days or people that made the history of Korea. He named each example (apart from Chon-Ji) of notable individuals in Korean history as a token of the importance of respect and appreciation for individuals who have accomplished incredible things. Additionally, for specific examples, the status of the graph and the total number of developments referring to the example are enormous. These patterns play a key role in shaping the taekwondo martial art today.
ITF Taekwondo Patterns
The International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) is an internationally recognized body that regulates the issuance of taekwondo patterns. The schools offer belt tests to the students that determine the level of mastery that each individual must pass in order to gain the next belt. Each pattern has its number of movements that must be followed sequentially to obtain the maximum points. All patterns are performed according to the encyclopedia of taekwondo by General Choi. It has all the required patterns and pictures that display the applications. Students of taekwondo refer to this book for learning and understanding of the patterns.
- The ITF sets rules to be adhered to during sparring.
- Failure to follow the rules leads to loss of points or disqualification.
During sparring in taekwondo, there are certain rules set by ITF that must be adhered to. The hand to head attack is allowed and points are awarded due to punch and kicks to the body and head. For a punch to the body or head, a single pint is awarded. When a kick is made to the body and head, two and three points are awarded respectively. This competition is done in a squared area measuring ten-by-ten. However, in non-competitive sparring, a circular area is used. Competitors must use taekwondo techniques using the patterns required for each sparring.
To avoid severe injuries, full-force blows and kicks are not allowed in a sparring competition. Knockouts are illegal and lead to direct disqualification. Competitors are required to wear appropriate and approved head guards, hand and foot protective gear. Other illegal taekwondo sparring techniques include heavy contact, fallen opponent attacks, kicks below belt and holding. The sparing is done in two minutes. Every stance must be well executed to gain maximum points. Appropriate use of taekwondo patterns increases points to the attacker’s advantage. The discipline of the highest order must be maintained to avoid negative points awarding by the ITF.
ITF Taekwondo patterns in competition
- These patterns are judged on the basis of technicality, power, and rhythm.
- Every criterion is awarded five points.
Technical content refers to the student being able to display the correct pattern without omitting any steps. The techniques are displayed according to the appropriate direction and height. In expressing the kicking and blocking techniques, it is necessary to use appropriate tools while in proper positions. Correct stances, weight distribution, posture, and facing are critical in Taekwondo. Where you start is where you should finish your pattern. Every stance should be performed at the appropriate time ensuring stability in every movement. To prevent rumbling and loss of balance, bodyweight should be appropriately balanced and momentum maintained. When all these are displayed, five points are awarded.
Display of power is another criterion for judging. Sine wave needs to be appropriately applied. Reaction arm and large muscles should be used while body weight is balanced. The speed of each movement is critical while maintaining timely breath and strength for each movement. The last criteria is the rhythm. In this case, the timing of every stance according to the set recommendation should be perfected. Irregular patterns and delayed pauses indicate a weakness in your rhythm and should be eliminated. From the start to finish, the sequence should be continuous and rhythmical. Both power and rhythm are awarded five points each.
- There are, in total, twenty-four Taekwondo patterns.
- ITF regulates and awards belts to students for their understanding of the patterns.
There are twenty-four Taekwondo patterns as set by General Choi Hong Hi. These patterns are named after people or events that are of historical significance to the Korean people. The patterns are regulated by the International Taekwondo Federation responsible for testing the understanding of the stances. Successful display of the patterns is awarded a belt depending on the level involved. To achieve the belt, the student must display power, technical content, and rhythm. It is important to imagine a virtual opponent so that all the offensive and defensive techniques can be displayed effectively. Taekwondo is a fine art and requires discipline to perfect it.