There are 24 patterns in Tae kwon-do, ranging from 19 move patterns to 72 move patterns. The initial patterns are very symmetrical & most combinations or movements are repeated with both sides of the body, in opposite directions. These first few patterns are reasonably basic & introduce the novice student to the most common stances, blocking techniques, strikes & kicks. The Tul (sometimes known as Hyung) gradually increase in complexity providing the student with a comprehensive tool to help develop his or her martial skills. These obviously include the overall improvement of those individual techniques that are contained within the patterns, but perhaps not so obvious, the patterns also help to improve the students balance, co-ordination, fine motor control of the body’s muscles, concentration, control of the breath & control of the movement of the body.
The Reason for 24 Patterns The words of General Choi Hong Hi.
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 travellers who pass by the eternal years of an aeon 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 Tae kwon‐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.
Points to considered when performing patterns.
Patterns should begin and end at exactly the same spot. This will indicate the performer’s accuracy.
Correct posture and facing should 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 the instructions in the Encyclopaedia.
Each pattern should be perfected before moving to the next.
Students should know the purpose of each movement.
Students should perform each movement with realism.
Attack and defence techniques should be equally distributed among right and left hands and feet.
The diagrams give an approximate indication of the space needed when executing patterns so each student can be aware of where others will be in the Do‐Jang. The grey indicate the starting position for each pattern.