The meaning of Taekwon-do Patterns
Patterns or Tul
Patterns are various fundamental movements, most of which represent either attack or defense techniques, set to a fixed or logical sequence. There are a total of 24 TUL (patterns) in Taekwondo.
The student systematically deals with several imaginary opponents under various assumptions, using every available attacking and blocking tool from different directions. Thus, pattern practice enables the student to go through many fundamental movements in series, to develop sparring techniques, improve flexibility of movements, master body shifting, build muscles and breath control, develop fluid and smooth motions, and gain rhythmical movements.
Practicing patterns also enables a student to acquire certain special techniques that cannot be obtained from either fundamental exercises or sparring.
The Meaning of Patterns
Historic relevance of Taekwon-do patterns
The name of the pattern and the number of movements of each pattern symbolize either heroic figures in Korean history or instances relating to historical events.
|Chon Ji||19||Means literally the “Heaven and Earth”. In the Orient, it is interpreted as the creation of the world or the beginning of human history. Therefore it is the initial pattern that is learned and played by the beginner. This pattern consists of two similar parts; one to represent the Heaven and the other the Earth.|
|Dan Gun||21||Is named after the holy Dan Gun, legendary founder of Korea in 2333 B.C.|
|Do San||24||Is the pseudonym of the patriot Ahn Ch’ang-Ho (1876-1938 A.D.), who devoted his entire life to furthering the education of Korea and its independence movement.|
|Won Hyo||28||Was the noted monk who introduced Buddhism to the Silla Dynasty in 686 A.D.|
|Yul Gok||38||Is the pseudonym of the great philosopher and scholar Yi I (1536-1584 A.D.), nicknamed the “Confucius of Korea”. The 38 movements of this pattern refer to his birthplace on the 38th degree latitude and the diagram represents “scholar”.|
|Joong Gun||32||Is named after the patriot An 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. An’s age when he was executed in Lui Shung prison in 1910.|
|Toi Gye||37||Is the penname of the noted scholar Yi Hwang (16th century A.D.), an authority on Neo-Confucianism. The 37 movements of this pattern refer to his birthplace on the 37th degree latitude, and the diagram represents “scholar”.|
|Hwa Rang||29||Is named after the Hwa Rang youth group which originated in the Silla Dynasty about 1350 years ago. This group eventually became the actual driving force for the unification of the three Kingdoms of Korea. The 29 movements refer to the 29th Infantry Division where Taekwondo developed into maturity.|
|Choong Moo||30||Was the name given to the great Admiral Yi Sun Sin of the Yi Dynasty. He was reputed to have invented the first armoured battleship (kobukson) which was the precursor of the present day submarine in 1592 A.D. The reason why this pattern ends in a left hand attack is to symbolize his regrettable death having had no chance to show his unrestrained potential checked by the forced reservation of his loyalty to the king.|
|Kwang Gae||39||Is named after the famous Gwang Gae T’o Wang, the 19th king of the Koguryo Dynasty, who regained all of the lost territories including the greater part of Manchuria. The diagram represents the expansion and recovery of lost territory. The 39 movements refer to his reign of 39 years.|
|Po Eun||36||Is the pseudonym of a loyal subject, Chong Mong-Chu (1400 A.D.), 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 unerring loyalty to king and country towards the end of the Koryo Dynasty.|
|Ge Baek||44||Is named after the famous Gwang Gae T’o Wang, the 19th king of the Koguryo Dynasty, who regained all of the lost territories including the greater part of Manchuria. The diagram represents the expansion and recovery of lost territory. The 39 movements refer to his reign of 39 years.|
|Eui Am||45||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- ang||52||Is the pseudonym given to General Kim Duk Ryang who lived during the Yi 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||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. (This does not represent the belief system of our school’s instructor or many of our students.)|
|Sam Il||33||Denotes the historical date of the independence movement of Korea which began throughout the country on March 1, 1919. The 33 movements in the pattern stand for the 33 patriots who planned the movement.|
|Yoo Sin||68||Is named after General Kim Yoo Sin, commanding general during the Silla Dynasty, who unified the three separate kingdoms of Korea. The 68 movements refer to the last two figures of 668 A.D., the year Korea was united.|
|Choi Yong||46||Denotes the historical date of the independence movement of Korea which began throughout the country on March 1, 1919. The 33 movements in the pattern stand for the 33 patriots who planned the movement.|
|Yon Ge||49||Is named after a famous general during the Koguryo Dynasty, Yon Gae Somun. The 49 movements refer to the last two figures of 649 A.D., the year he forced the Dang Dynasty to quit Korea after destroying nearly 300,000 Chinese troops at Ansi Sung.|
|Ul Ji||42||Is named after general Ul-Ji Mun Kuk who successfully defended Korea against a Chinese invasion force of nearly one million soldiers led by Yang Je in 612 A.D. Ul-Ji employing hit and run guerilla tactics, was able to decimate a large percentage of the force. The diagram represents his surname. The 42 movements represents the aughor’s age when he designed the pattern.|
|Moon Moo||30||Honors the 30th king of the Silla Dynasty. His body was buried near Dae Wang Am (Great King’s Rock). According to his will, the body was placed in the sea “Where my soul shall forever defend my land against the Japanese.” It is said that the Sok Gul Am (Stone Cave) was built to guard his tomb. The Sok Gul Am is a fine example of the culture of the Silla Dynasty. The 61 movements in this pattern symbolize the last two figures of 661 A.D. when Moon Moo came to the throne.|
|So San||72||Is the pseudonym of the great monk Choi Hyung Ung, 1520-1604, during the Yi Dynasty. The 72 movements refer to his age when he organized a corps of monk soldiers with the assistance of his pupil Samung Dang. The monk soldiers helped repulse the Japanese pirates who overran most of the Korean peninsula in 1592.|
|Se Jong||24||Is named after the greatest Korean king, Se-Jong, who invented the Korean alphabet in 1443 A.D., and was also a noted meteorologist. The diagram represents the king, while the 24 movements refer to the 24 letters of the Korean alphabet.|
|Tong Il||denotes the resolution of the unification of Korea which has been divided since 1945. The diagram (|) symbolized the homogenous race.|