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Pattern Guidelines

Patterns are a series of movements, both attack and defence, against an imaginary opponent and make use of the techniques taught to the Taekwon-Do student.

Pattern practice enables the student to go through many 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.

When performing any pattern, there are a number of important points that should be remembered:

  1. Each pattern should begin and end at exactly the same spot.
  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 moments.
  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 the encyclopedia.
  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.

Black Belt Patterns

Kwang-Gae / Gwang-Gae (39 movements)
Kwang-Gae is named after the famous Kwang-Gae-Toh-Wang, the 19th King of the Koguryo Dynasty, who regained all the lost territories including the greater part of Manchuria. The diagram represents the expansion and recovery of lost territory. The 39 movements refer to the first two figures of 391 A. D., the year he came to the throne.

Po-Eun (36 movements)
Po-Eun is the pseudonym of a loyal subject Chong Mong-Chu (1400) who was a famous poet and whose poem "I would not serve a second master though I might be crucified a hundred times" is known to every Korean. He was also a pioneer in the field of physics. The diagram represents his unerring loyalty to the king and country towards the end of the Koryo Dynasty.

Gae-Baek / Gye-Baek (44 movements)
Gae-Baek is named after Gae-Baek, a great general in the Baek Je Dynasty (660 AD). The diagram represents his severe and strict military discipline.

Eui-Am (45 movements)
Eui-Am is the pseudonym of Son Byong Hi, leader of the Korean independence movement on March 1, 1919. The 45 movements refer to his age when he changed the name of Dong Hak (Oriental culture) to Chondo Kyo (Heavenly way religion) in 1905. The diagram represents his Indomitable Spirit, displayed while dedicating himself to the prosperity of his nation.

Choong-Jang / Chung-Jang (52 movements)
Choong-Jang is the pseudonym given to General Kim Duk Ryang who lived during the Lee Dynasty, 14th century. This pattern ends with a left-hand attack to symbolize the tragedy of his death at 27 in prison before he was able to reach full maturity.

Juche (45 movements)
Juche is a philosophical idea that man is the master of everything and decides everything. In other words, the idea that man is the master of the world and his own destiny. It is said that this idea was rooted in Baekdu Mountain which symbolizes the spirit of the Korean people. The diagram represents Baekdu mountain.

Ko-Dang / Go-Dang (39 movements)
Ko-Dang is the pseudonym of the patriot Cho Man Shik, who dedicated his life to the Korean Independence Movement and to the education of his people. The 45 movements represent the last two figures of 1945, the year Korea was liberated from Japanese occupation.

Sam-Il (33 movements)
Sam-Il denotes the historical date of the independence movement of Korea which began throughout the country on March 1, 1919. The 33 movements in the pattern stand for the 33 patriots who planned the movement.

Yoo-Sin (68 movements)
Yoo-Sin is named after General Kim Yoo Sin, a commanding general during the Silla Dynasty. The 68 movements refer to the last two figures of 668 A.D., the year Korea was united. The ready posture signifies a sword drawn on the right rather than left side, symbolizing Yoo-Sin's mistake of following his Kings' orders to fight with foreign forces against his own nation.

Choi-Yong (46 movements)
Choi-Yong is named after General Choi Yong, premier and commander in chief of the armed forces during the 14th century Koryo Dynasty. Choi Yong was greatly respected for his loyalty, patriotism, and humility. He was executed by his subordinate commanders headed by General Yi Sung Gae, who later became the first King of the Lee Dynasty.

Yong-Gae (49 movements)
Yong-Gae is named after a famous general during the Koguryo Dynasty, Yon Gae Somoon. The 49 movements refer to the last two figures of 649 A.D., the year he forced the Tang Dynasty to quit Korea after destroying nearly 300,000 of their troops at Ansi Sung.

Ul-Ji (42 movements)
Ul-Ji named after general Ul-Ji Moon Dok who successfully defended Korea against a Tang's invasion force of nearly one million soldiers led by Yang Je in 612 A.D., Ul-Ji employing hit and run guerilla tactics, was able to decimate a large percentage of the force. The diagram represents his surname. The 42 movements represent the author's age when he designed the pattern.

Moon-Moo (61 movements)
Moon-Moo honours the 30th King of the Silla Dynasty. His body was buried near Dae Wang Am (Great King's Rock). According to his will, the body was placed in the sea "where my soul shall forever defend my land against the Japanese." It is said that the Sok Gul Am (Stone cave) was built to guard his tomb. The Sok Gul Am is a fine example of the culture of the Silla Dynasty. The 61 movements in this pattern symbolize the last two figures of 661 A. D. when Moon Moo came to the throne.

So-San (72 movements)
So-San is the pseudonym of the great monk Choi Hyong Ung (1520-1604) during the Lee Dynasty. The 72 movements refer to his age when he organized a corps of monk soldiers with the assistance of his pupil Sa Myunh Dang. The monk soldiers helped repulse the Japanese pirates who overran most of the Korean peninsula in 1592.

Se-Jong (24 movements)
Se-Jong is named after the greatest Korean King, Se-Jong, who invented the Korean alphabet in 1443, and was also a noted meteorologist. The digram represents the king, while the 24 movements refer to the 24 letters of the Korean alphabet.

Tong-Il (56 movements)
Tong-Il denotes the resolution of the unification of Korea which has been divided since 1945. The diagram symbolizes the homogenous race.


Colored Belt Patterns

Chon-ji (19 movements)
Chon-ji means literally "the Heaven 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 movements)
Dan-Gun is named after the holy Dan-Gun, the legendary founder of Korea in the year of 2,333 B.C.

Do-San (24 movements)
Do-San is a pseudonym of the patriot Ahn Chang-ho. The 24 movements represent his entire life, which he devoted to furthering education in Korea and the Korean independence movement.

Won-Hyo (28 movements)
It is named after the noted monk Won-hyo who introduced Buddhism to the Silla Dynasty in the year 686 AD.

Yul-Gok (38 movements)
Yul-Gok is a pseudonym of a great philosopher and scholar Yi I nicknamed the "Confucius of Korea". The 38 movements of this pattern refer to his birthplace on 38-degree latitude and the diagram of the pattern represents scholar.

Joong-Geun (32 movements)
Joong-Geun is named after the patriot Ahn Joong-Geun who assassinated Hirobumi Itō, 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 at Lui-Shung Prison in 1910.

Toi-Gye (37 movements)
Toi-Gye is the pen name of the noted scholar Yi Hwang (16 century AD), an authority on neo- Confucianism. The 37 movements of the pattern refer to his birthplace on 37-degree latitude, the diagram represents "scholar".

Hwa-Rang (29 movements)
Hwa-RangG 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 movements)
Choong-Moo was the name given to the great Admiral Yi Sun-sin of the Yi Dynasty. He was reputed to have invented the first armored battleship (kobukson) in 1592, which is said to be the precursor the present day submarine. The reason 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.

Why 24 Patterns?

In Chang Hon Taekwon-do, there are 24 patterns. Like most things related to Taekwon-do, there are reasons for such a specific number, as explained by General Choi in his Encyclopedia of Taekwon-Do:

"The life of a human being, perhaps 100 years, can be considered as a day when compared with eternity. Therefore, we mortals are no more than simple travelers who pass by the eternal years of an eon in a day. It is evident that no one can live more than a limited amount of time. Nevertheless, most people foolishly enslave themselves to materialism as if they could live for thousands of years. And some people strive to bequeath a good spiritual legacy for coming generations, in this way, gaining immortality. Obviously, the spirit is perpetual while material is not. Therefore, what we can do to leave behind something for the welfare of mankind is, perhaps, the most important thing in our lives. Here I leave Taekwon-Do for mankind as a trace of man of the late 20th century. The 24 patterns represent 24 hours, one day, or all my life."

If there are only 24 patterns, why are there more than 24 described?

Although there are exactly 24 official patterns, you will see other patterns and excercises that - while not formally part of the set of 24 - are useful to learn and practice. For example, in some schools the pattern Ko-dang was formally dropped as and official patterns and replaced with the pattern Juche.



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