There are 24 patterns in ITF Taekwon-Do, which form an integral part of the art. They 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.
When performing any pattern, there a a number of important points that should be remembered:
The reason for the 24 patterns has been explained by 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 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
There are also two four-directional movements performed by the beginner: Saju Jirugi, the four-direction punch and Saju Makgi, the four-directional block.
Saju-Jirugi (7 movements) no meaning.
Four directional punch to be carried out both clockwise and anticlockwise. The instructions below are for the anticlockwise direction.
Saju-Makgi (8 movements) no meaning.
Four directional block to be carried out both clockwise and anticlockwise. The instructions below are for the anticlockwise direction.
The name of the pattern, the number of movements, and the diagrammatic symbol of each pattern symbolise either heroic figures in Korean history or instances relating to historical events. Below are the names of the first 9 patterns for the Kups (grades). The remaining 15 patterns are part of the requirements to progress to the Dan grades (details of these patterns will be added to this website in the near future).
Click on the name of the pattern below to see a diagam, and full step-by-step guide to performing the pattern.
Chon-Ji (19 movements) means literally the heaven and earth.
It is in the Orient interpreted as the creation of the world or the beginning of human history and is therefore the initial pattern played by the beginner. This pattern consists of two similar parts, one to represent heaven and the other, earth.
Dan-Gun (21 movements) is named after the holy Dan-Gun, the legendary founder of Korea in the year of 2,333 B.C.
Do-San (24 movements) is the pseudonym of the patriot Ahn Chang-Ho (1876-1938). The 24 movements represent his entire life which he devoted to furthering the education of Korea and its independence movement.
Won-Hyo (28 movements) was the noted monk who introduced Buddhism to the Silla Dynasty in the year of 686 A.D.
Yul-Gok (38 movements) is the pseudonym of a great philosopher and scholar Yi I (1536-1584) nicknamed the "Confucius of Korea".
The 38 movements of this pattern refer to his birthplace on 38 latitude and the diagram represents "scholar".
Joong-Gun (32 movements) is named after the patriot Ahn Joong-Gun who assassinated Hiro-Bumi Ito, 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 in a Lui-Shung prison (1910).
Toi-Gye (37 movements) is the pen name of the noted scholar Yi Hwang (16th century), an authority on neo Confucianism. The 37 movements of the pattern refer to his birthplace on 37 latitude, the diagram represents " scholar".
Hwa-Rang (29 movements)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) was the name given to the great Admiral Yi Soon-Sin of the Lee Dynasty. He was reputed to have invented the first armoured battleship (Kobukson) in 1592, which is said to be the precursor of the present day submarine. The reason why 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.
Kwang-Gae (39 movements) 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) 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 loyalty to the king and country towards the end of the Koryo Dynasty.
Ge-Baek (44 movements) is named after Ge-Baek, a great general in the Baek Je Dynasty (660 AD). The diagram represents his severe and strict military discipline.
Eui-Am (45 movements) 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 (52 movements) 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) 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.