Skip to content

Student Manual

You Are Here: Explanation of Patterns

Explanation of Patterns

Originally, there were 24 patterns in TaeKwonDo. This reason for this was explained by General Choi founder of modern Taekwon-Do.

\” 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 – this way, they gain 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 Tae Kwon Do for mankind as a trace of a man of the late 20th Century. The 24 patterns represent 24 hours, one day, or all my life.\” 

General Choi Hong Hi


( All the patterns in this manual shall assume you are facing the examiners table at ‘D’. )


Patterns are various fundamental movements most of which represent either attack or defense techniques set to a fixed logical sequence. In patterns the student 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 and gain rhythmical movements.

It also enables the student to acquire certain techniques or sparring. In short a pattern can be compared with a unit tactic or a word if fundamental movement is in a soldiers training or alphabet. Accordingly pattern the ledger of every movement, is a series of sparring, power tests, feats and characteristic beauty. Though sparring may indicate that an opponent is more or less advanced, patterns are a more critical barometer in evaluating an individual\’s technique.


The following points should be considered while performing patterns:


  1. Patterns 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 according to the instructions in this book.
  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 defense techniques should be equally distributed among right and left hands and feet.

There are a total of twenty-four patterns in Taekwon-Do. The name of the pattern, the number of movements, and the diagrammatic symbol of each pattern symbolize either heroic figures in Korean history or instances relating to historical events.


Click on film icon for the video of your pattern

CHON-JI – 19 Movements – White Belt – Yellow Belt
Literally translated means “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 practised by the beginner. It consists of two similar parts, one representing Heaven and the other Earth.

DAN-GUN – 21 Movements – Yellow Belt – Green Tag
Is named after the Holy Dan Gun, the legendary founder of Korea in the year 2333 BC.

DO-SAN – 24 Movements – Green Belt

DO-SAN is the pseudonym of the patriot Ahn Chang-Ho (1878-1938) The 24 movements represent his entire life which he devoted to furthering the education of Korea and its independence movement

WON-HYO – 28 Movements – Blue Tag

WON-HYO was the noted monk who introduced Buddhism to the Silla Dynasty in the year 686.

YUL-GOK – 38 Movements – Blue Belt

YUL-GOK is the pseudonym of a great philosopher and scholar Yi l (1536-1584) nicknamed the “Confucius of Korea” The 38 movements of this pattern refer to his birthplace on 38th degree latitude and the diagram represents “scholar”.

JOON-GUN – 32 Movements – Red Tag

JOONG-GUN 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 – Red Belt

TOI-GYE 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 37th degree latitude, the diagram represents “scholar”.

HWA-RANG – 29 Movements – Black Tag

Hwa rang 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 Tae Kwon- do developed into maturity.

CHOONG – MOO – 30 Movements – Black Belt

Choong moo was the given name to the great admiral Yi Sun Sin of the Yi Dynasty. He was reputed to have invented the first armoured battleship (kobuksun), which was the precursor of the present day submarine, in 1592 A.D. 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 his king.

For more advanced patterns and references – please use our Patterns Tab

in the Student Area Above.