What is a Pattern?

A pattern is a set of fundamental movements set in a logical sequence against one or more imaginary opponents. Patterns are an indication of a student's progress - a barometer in evaluating technique.  As such they form the central core of TaekwonDo.  The execution of each movement requires the correct application of the Theory of Power.

Interpretation of a Pattern

The name, number of movements and the symbol of each pattern represents either heroic figures in Korean history or instances relating to historical events.

Why do we perform Patterns?

To improve and understand techniques, to develop sparring techniques, to improve flexibility of movement, master body shifting, develop muscles, improve balance and breathing control, develop fluid and smooth motion.

Why are there 24 Patterns?

The reason there are 24 patterns is because the Founder, General Choi, compared the life of a man with a day in the life of the earth and believed that people should strive to leave a good spiritual legacy to coming generations. Therefore, if we can leave something behind for the welfare of mankind, maybe it will be the most important thing to happen in our lives, as the founder says:

"Here I leave Tae Kwon-Do for mankind as a trace of man of the late 20th century. The twenty-four patterns represent twenty four hours, one day or all of my life."

Why do we learn the meanings of Patterns?

We learn the meanings of patterns to draw inspiration from the people in the pattern who have dedicated or sacrificed themselves for what they believe is right. They have applied one or more of the tenants of TaekwonDo. We should try to show the same dedication in doing what we feel is right. The meanings also give us a brief description of the history of Korea.

The majority of the patterns (except Yul-Gok, Ul-Ji and Tong-Il) start with a defensive move, which emphasises TaekwonDo's defensive nature.

The following points should be considered while performing patterns:

  • The Pattern should begin and end at exactly the same spot. This will indicate accuracy.
  • Correct posture and facing must be maintained at all times.
  • Muscles should be either tensed or relaxed at the proper critical moments.
  • The Pattern should be performed in a rhythmic movement with an absence of stiffness.
  • The Pattern should not be rushed
  • Movement should be accelerated or decelerated at the correct moment.
  • 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.

Try to understand each movement in the pattern – not just which move to perform next.


24 Patterns