Patterns - Introduction

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:

  1. The pattern should begin and end at exactly the same spot. This will indicate the performer's accuracy.
  2. Correct posture and facing must be maintained at all times.
  3. Muscles of the body should be either tensed or relaxed at the proper critical moments in the exercise.
  4. The exercise should be performed in a rhythmic movement with an absence of stiffness.
  5. Movement should be accelerated or decelerated accordingly.
  6. Each pattern should be perfected before moving to the next.
  7. Students should know the purpose of each movement.
  8. Students should perform each movement with realism.
  9. Attack and defence techniques should be equally distributed among right and left hands and feet.

The Reason for 24 Patterns

The reason for the 24 patterns has been explained by General Choi Hong Hi:


The four-directional movements

There are also two four-directional movements performed by the beginner: Saju Jirugi, the four-direction punch and Saju Makgi, the four-directional block.

10th Kup: White Belt

Saju Jirugi

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.

9th Kup: White Belt with Yellow Tag

Saju Makgi

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 Meaning and Routine for Each Pattern

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.

9th Kup: White Belt with Yellow Tag

Chon-Ji

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.

8th Kup: Yellow Belt

Dan-Gun

Dan-Gun (21 movements) is named after the holy Dan-Gun, the legendary founder of Korea in the year of 2,333 B.C.

7th Kup: Yellow Belt with Green Tag

Do-San

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.

6th Kup: Green Belt

Won-Hyo

Won-Hyo (28 movements) was the noted monk who introduced Buddhism to the Silla Dynasty in the year of 686 A.D.

5th Kup: Green Belt with Blue Tag

Yul-Gok

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".

4th Kup: Blue Belt

Joong-Gun

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).

3rd Kup: Blue Belt with Red Tag

Toi-Gye

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".

2nd Kup: Red Belt

Hwa-Rang

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.

1st Kup: Red Belt with Black Tag

Choong-Moo

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.

1st Dan: Black belt, first degree

Kwang-Gae

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

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

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.

2nd Dan: Black belt, second degree

Eui-Am

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

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

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.

 

Grading

Theory


Quick links to the four-directional movements


Quick links to colour belt (Kup) patterns


Quick links to the 1st Dan patterns


Quick links to the 2nd Dan patterns


(more black belt patterns coming soon ...)
link to old patterns list
with Korean ROLLOVER translations ...