The Five Tenets of Tae Kwon Do
Be polite to everyone. You must always be courteous to your instructors, seniors and fellow students.
Be honest with yourself. You must be able to define the difference between right and wrong.
To achieve a goal. Whether a higher grade or a new technique, you should never stop trying.
Always be in control of your actions. You must be able to live, work and train within your capabilities.
To show courage when you and your principles are pitted against overwhelming odds. You should do your utmost to never give up.
What is a pattern?
A pattern is a set of fundamental movements, mainly defence and attack, set in a logical sequence to deal with one or more imaginary opponents. Patterns are an indication of a student’s progress, a barometer in evaluating an individual’s technique.
Why do we perform patterns?
We practice patterns to improve our Tae Kwon‐Do techniques, to develop sparring techniques, to improve flexibility of movement, master body shifting, and to develop muscles, balance and breath control. They also enable us to acquire techniques which cannot be obtained from other forms of training.
Why are there twenty‐four patterns?
The reason for twenty‐four patterns in Tae Kwon‐Do is because the founder, Major General Choi Hong Hi, compared the life of a man with a day in the life of the earth and believed that some people should strive to bequeath a good spiritual legacy to forthcoming generations and in doing so gain immortality. 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 said:
“Here I leave Tae Kwon‐Do for mankind,
As a trace of a man of the late 20th Century.
The twenty‐four patterns represent twenty‐four hours,
One day or all of my life.”
The following points should be considered when performing patterns:
• Patterns should begin and end on 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 tensed or relaxed at the proper critical moments in the pattern.
• Each movement should be accelerated or decelerated according to instructions.
• Students should perform each movement with realism.
• Students should know the purpose of each movement.
• A pattern should be performed in a rhythmic movement with the absence of stiffness.
• Each pattern should be perfected before moving onto the next.
The Belt Colours and Their Meanings
Signifies innocence, as that of the beginning student who has no previous knowledge of Tae Kwon-Do.
Signifies earth, from which a plant sprouts root as the Tae Kwon-Do foundation is being laid.
Signifies the plant's growth, as Tae Kwon-Do skills begin to develop.
Signifies heaven, toward which the plant matures into a towering tree as training in Tae Kwon-Do progresses.
Signifies danger, cautioning the student to exercise control and warning the opponent to stay away.
Opposite to white, therefore signifying maturity and proficiency in Tae Kwon-Do. Also indicates the wearer's imperviousness to darkness and fear
10th Kup (White Belt)
Sajo Jirugi No 1 (15 Movements)
Sajo Jirugi No 2 (15 Movements)
Sajo-Jirugi is not actually a pattern: this is an exercise which is performed in place of a pattern for the initial 10th kup to 9th kup grading. There are two official variations of this exercise, both of which are performed at the grading.
9th Kup (Yellow Tag)
Chon-Ji Tul (19 Movements)
Chon-Ji literally means "the heaven and the earth". It is interpreted, in the Orient, as the creation of the world or the beginning of human history. It is therefore the initial pattern learned by the beginner. The pattern consists of two similar parts - one to represent heaven and the other the earth.
8th Kup (Yellow Belt)
Dan-Gun Tul (21 Movements)
Dan-Gun is named after the Holy Dan-Gun, the legendary founder of Korea in the year 2333BC.
7th Kup (Green Tag)
Do-San Tul (24 Movements)
Do-San is the pseudonym of the patriot Ahn Ch'ang-Ho (1876-1938) who devoted his life to furthering the education of Korea and its independence movement.
6th Kup (Green Belt)
Won-Hyo Tul (28 Movements)
Won-Hyo was the noted Monk who introduced Buddhism to the Silla Dynasty in the year 686 A.D.
5th Kup (Blue Tag)
Yul-Gok Tul (38 Movements)
Yul-Gok is the pseudonym of the great philosopher and scholar Yi I (1536-1584 AD) nicknamed the 'Confucius of Korea'. The movements of this pattern refer to his birthplace on the 38th degree latitude and the diagram represents 'scholar'.
4th Kup (Blue Belt)
Joong-Gun Tul (32 Movements)
Joong-Gun is named after the patriot An Joong-gun who assassinated Hiro Bumi Ito, the first Japanese governor-general of Korea. There are 32 movements in this pattern to represent Mr An's age when he was executed in Lui-Shung prison in 1910.
3rd Kup (Red Tag)
Toi-Gye Tul (37 Movements)
Toi-Gye is the pen name of the noted scholar Yi Hwang (16th century AD) who was an authority on neo-Confucianism. The 37 movements of this pattern refer to his birthplace on the 37th degree of latitude and the diagram represents 'scholar'.
2nd Kup (Red Belt)
Hwa-Rang Tul (29 Movements)
Hwa-Rang is named after the Hwa-Rang youth group, which originated in the Silla Dynasty about 600 AD. This group eventually became the actual driving force for the unification of the three Kingsdoms of Korea. The 29 movements refer to the 29th Infantry Division, where Tae Kwon-Do developed into maturity.
1st Kup (Black Tag)
Choong-Moo Tul (30 Movements)
Choong-Moo was the name given to the great Admiral Yi Sun-Sin of the Yi Dynasty who was reputed to have invested the first armoured battleship (Kobukson) which was the precursor of the present day submarine, in 1592AD. The reason why this pattern ends with a left hand attack is to symbolise his regrettable death having had no chance to show his unrestrained potentiality, checked by the forced reservation of his loyalty to the King.