About Tae kwon-Do
In Korean, tae (태, 跆) means “to strike or break with foot”; kwon (권, 拳) means “to strike or break with fist”; and do (도, 道) means “way”, “method”, or “path”. Thus, taekwondo may be loosely translated as “the way of the hand and the foot.” The name taekwondo is also written as taekwon-do, tae kwon-do, or tae kwon do by various organizations, based on historical, philosophical, or political reasons.
One of the best resources you can have for technical information is the “Theory Handbook for Students” available from your instructor.
There are over 3,200 techniques involved in the art of Tae Kwon Do. “A little knowledge can be dangerous”. No student can become proficient in Tae Kwon Do without the proper teaching and guidance of a qualified instructor. These pages act only as a guide towards your training in Tae Kwon Do.
The Reason for 24 Patterns
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. 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.
General Choi, Hong Hi (Founder of Taekwon-Do)
Essential Information about Patterns
The following points should be considered while performing patterns:
- Pattern should begin and end at exactly the same spot. This will indicate the performer’s accuracy.
- 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 the instructions in this book.
- 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.
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 Taekwon-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 will be found on its specific page.