The TaeKwon-Do Tuls, or Patterns, are a series of Pre-Arranged, Choreographed Techniques, both attacking and defensive, against an imaginery opponent. Originally, there were only 4 Patterns developed specifically for TaeKwon-Do training. There were eventually 24 Patterns, one ‘for each hour of the day’.
The original Encyclopedia of TaeKwon-Do (Authored by General Choi Hong-Hi in 1960), described several Karate-Style ‘Patterns’ or ‘Kata’ for use by the Student in addition to these. Such exercises were intended to be practised by the Student both in Class and alone as a means of developoing power, coordination and skill . The Patterns increase in complexity, both in the Techniques employed and their Application. During the 1960’s, the number of Patterns increased to 20 and eventually to 24. Saju Jirugi, Saju Makgi and Saju Tulgi are described as “fundamental exercises” as opposed to actual Patterns per se but serve as an introduction for Beginners.
We encourage all Students to practice their patterns at home. As the students progress the patterns are longer and more difficult to learn and to remember unless practiced regularly.
There are a total of 24 patterns, representing 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. The following points should be considered while performing patterns:
- Patterns should begin and end at exactly the same spot.
- Correct posture and facing must be maintained at all times.
- Muscles of the body should be either tensed or relaxed at the proper critical moments.
- The exercise should be performed in a rhythmic movement with an absence of tension.
- Movement should be accelerated or decelerated according to the instructions in this book.
- Each pattern should be perfected before moving to the next.
- Students should know the application of each technique.
- Students should perform each movement with realism.
- Attack and defence techniques should be equally distributed among right and left hands and feet.
- All patterns listed are performed under the assumption the student is facing direction “D” (see the pattern diagrams).
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To revise basic stances, visit our Page on Stances by clicking HERE.
Chon-Ji Tul (Click HERE for further information on this pattern)
Literally means the “Heaven the Earth”. It is, in the Orient, interpreted as the creation of the world or the beginning of human history, therefore, it is the initial pattern played by the beginner. This pattern consists of two similar parts; one to represent the Heaven and the other the Earth.
Dan-Gun (Click HERE for further information on this pattern)
Named after the Holy Dan-Gun, the legendary founder of Korea in the year of 2,333 B.C.
Do-San (Click HERE for further information on this pattern)
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 (Click HERE for further information on this pattern)
The name given to the noted monk who introduced Buddhism as a missionery to the Silla Dynasty of Korea, in 686 A.D.
Yul-Gok (Click HERE for further information on this pattern)
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 38th latitude and the pattern diagram represents the Chinese character for “scholar”.
Joong-Gun (Click HERE for further information on this pattern)
Named after the patriot Ahn Joong-Gun who assassinated Hiro- Bumi Ito, the first Japanese governor-general of Korea, Ito was known as the man who played the leading part in the Japanese conquest of Korea. There are 32 movements in this pattern to represent his age when he was executed at Lui-Shung prison in 1910.
Toi-Gye (Click HERE for further information on this pattern)
The pen name of the noted scholar Yi Hwang (16th century), an authority on the philosophy of neo-Confucianism. The 37 movements of the pattern refer to his birthplace on 37th latitude. The pattern diagram, as with Yul-Gok, represents the Chinese character for “scholar”.
Hwa-Rang (Click HERE for further information on this pattern)
Named after the Hwa-Rang youth group which originated in the Silla Dynasty in the early 7th century. 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 modern Taekwon-Do developed into maturity.
Choong-Moo (Click HERE for further information on this pattern)
The name given to the great Admiral Yi Soon-Sin of the Yi Dynasty. He was reputed to have invented the first armored battleship (Kobukson) in 1592, which is said to be the precursor of the present day submarine. The reason for this pattern ending in a left hand attack is to symbolize regret at his early death and unfulfilled potential.
Kwang-Gae (Click HERE for further information on this pattern)
This pattern 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 (Click HERE for further information on this pattern)
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 (Click HERE for further information on this pattern)
This pattern is named after Ge-Baek, a great general in the Baek Je Dynasty (660 AD). The diagram represents his severe and strict military discipline.
Ko-Dang (Click HERE for further information on this pattern)
The Pseudonym of the patriot Cho Man Shik, who dedicated his life to the Korean Independence Movement and to the education of his people.
Eui-Am (Click HERE for further information on this pattern)
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.
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.
Sam-Il (Click HERE for further information on this pattern)
This pattern 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.
This pattern is named after General Kim Yoo Sin, a commanding general during the Silla Dynasty. The 68 movements refer to the last two figures of 668 A.D., the year Korea was united. The ready posture signifies a sword drawn on the right rather than left side, symbolizing Yoo Sin’s mistake of following his Kings’ orders to fight with foreign forces against his own nation.
This pattern is named after General Choi Yong, premier and commander in chief of the armed forces during the 14th century Koryo Dynasty. Choi Yong was greatly respected for his loyalty, patriotism, and humility. He was executed by his subordinate commanders headed by general Yi Sung Gae, who later became the first King of the Lee Dynasty.
This pattern is named after a famous general during the Koguryo Dynasty, Yon Gae Somoon. The 49 movements refer to the last two figures of 649 A.D., the year he forced the Tang Dynasty to leave Korea after destroying nearly 300,000 of their troops at Ansi Sung.
Moon-Moo honours 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.
This is named after general Ul-Ji Moon Dok who successfully defended Korea against a Tang’s 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 represent the author’s age when he designed the pattern.
The pseudonym of the great monk Choi Hyong Ung (1520-1604) during the Lee Dynasty. The 72 movements refer to his age when he organized a corps of monk soldiers with the assistance of his pupil Sa Myunh Dang. The monk soldiers helped repulse the Japanese pirates who overran most of the Korean peninsula in 1592.
This pattern is named after the greatest Korean King, Se-Jong, who invented the Korean alphabet in 1443, and was also a noted meteorologist. The digram represents the king, while the 24 movements refer to the 24 letters of the Korean alphabet.
This 24th and final pattern denotes the resolution of the unification of Korea which has been divided since 1945, with the diagram symbolizing the homogenous race.