Taekwondo patterns are also known as forms, teul, tul, poomse, poomsae, hyeong, hyung, etc. In Karate, this technique is known as kata. Taekwondo patterns are used to practice techniques (i.e. kicking combinations) as well as for improving strength & conditioning, balance, focus/concentration, etc. For additional benefits, you should read our section on the Benefits of Forms Below, Patterns & Kata.
To master Taekwondo patterns, martial arts students should try to imagine that they are fighting an imaginary opponent. This allows students to practice “offensive” and “defensive” techniques (i.e. strike the imaginary opponent’s neck at the correct height and angle) versus just going through the motions in order to pass a belt test.
- Solo practice. The ability to practice martial arts techniques without a partner.
- Ability to practice dangerous techniques without injuring a partner (i.e. practicing to break an elbow joint).
- Teaches students how to use a variety of techniques (i.e. kicks, strikes and blocks) in different combinations.
- Reinforces the knowledge of basic techniques and stances via repetition.
- Muscle memory of different self-defense techniques due to repetition.
- Balance training.
- Improved fitness & conditioning.
- Bunkai (Karate kata training with a partner) reinforces the lessons learned in solo kata and shows how kata techniques are applied against a “real” opponent.
- Safe practice of weapon-based training (as you are striking an imaginary opponent).
- Honors the ancient traditions of a martial arts since kata has been taught for centuries.
- Slow kata can be used a form of “moving meditation” or “dynamic mediation”.
- According to USA Taekwondo, benefits include “You don’t get kicked in the face. You don’t have to make weight. People are nice to each other. Families can take part. Older people can compete”.