Theory of Patterns:
The ancient law in the Orient was similar to the law of Hamurabi, "an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth," and was rigorously enforced even if death was caused accidentally. In this type of environment, and since the present system of free sparring did not exist, it was impossible for a student of the martial arts to practice or test his individual skill of attack and defense against actual moving opponents. Individual advancement was hindered until an imaginative practitioner created the first patterns. Patterns are various fundamental movements, most of which represent either attack or defense techniques, set to a fixed and logical sequence.
The student systematically deals with several imaginary opponents under various assumptions, using every available attacking and blocking tool from different directions. Thus pattern practice enables the student to go through the fundamental movements in series, to develop sparring techniques, improve flexibility of movements, master body shifting, build muscles and breath control, develop fluid and smooth motions, and gain rhythmical movements.
It also enables a student to acquire certain special techniques which cannot obtained from either fundamental exercises or sparring. In short, a pattern can compared to unit tactics or a word, if fundamental movement is an individual soldier’s training or alphabet. Accordingly, patterns are a ledger of every movement, a series of sparring, power tests, feats and characteristic beauty. Though sparring may indicate that an opponent is more or less advanced, patterns are a more critical barometer in evaluating an individuals technique.The following points should be considered while performing patterns:
- Pattern should begin and end at exactly the same spot.
- Correct posture and facing must be maintained at all times.
- Muscles of the body should be either tensed or relaxed at the proper critical moments in the exercise.
- The exercise should be performed in a rhythmic movement with an absence of stiffness.
- Movement should be accelerated or decelerated according to set instructions.
- Each pattern should be perfected before moving to the next.
- Students should know the meaning of each technique.
- Students should perform each movement with realism.
- Attack and defense techniques should be equally distributed among right and left and between hands and feet.
The Interpretation of Patterns:
The name of the pattern, the number of movements, and the diagrammatic symbol of each pattern symbolizes either heroic figures in Korean history or instances relating to historical events.
CHON-JI (19): 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. This pattern consists of two similar parts; one to represent the Heaven and the other the Earth.
DAN-GUN (21): is named after the holy Dan-Gun, the legendary founder of Korea in the year 2333 B.C.
DO-SAN (24): is the pseudonym of the patriot Ahn Chang-Ho (1876-1938). The 24 movements represent his entire life which he devoted to furthering the education of Korea and its independent movement.
WON-HYO (28): was the noted monk who introduced Buddhism to the Silla Dynasty in the year 686 A.D.
YUL-GUK (38): is the pseudonym of the great philosopher and scholar Yi I (1536-1584) nicknamed the "Confucius of Korea". The 38 movements of this pattern refer to his birthplace on the 38 degrees latitude and the diagram represents "scholar.
JOONG-GUN (32): is named after the patriot Ahn Joong-Gun who assassinated Hiro-Bumi Ito, the first Japanese governor-general of Korea, known as the man who played the leading part in the Korea-Japan merger. There are 32 movements In this pattern to represent Mr. Ahn`s age when he was executed in the Lul-Shung prison in 1910.
TOI-GYE (37): is the pen name of the noted scholar Yi Hwang (16th century), an authority on neo-Confucianism. The 37 movements in this pattern refer to his birthplace on the 37 degrees latitude, the diagram represents "scholar.
HWA-RANG (29): is named after the Hwa-Rang youth group which originated in the Silla Dynasty in the early 7th century. The 29 movements refer to the 29th Infantry Division, where Taekwon-Do developed into maturity.
CHOONG-MOO (30): was the name given to the great Admiral Yi Soon-Sin of the Yi Dynasty. He was reputed to have built the first armored battleship (Kobukson) in 1592, which is said to be the precursor of the present day submarine. The reason why this pattern ends 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.