Developing a Relationship with Your Taekwondo Patterns

I've often been asked whether I get bored teaching the same s*** over and over again.

Last night I taught Tekki/Chulgi, Taekwondo Yul-gok, and Taekwondo Dan-gun.

I've practiced these Taekwondo patterns for around 20 years. Know what? I totally enjoyed the session. We mixed it up with some applications from the patterns, some drills, and of course the technique sequences. I also got to talk about what each pattern was urging us to accomplish. It's like a personality - the more you reflect on it, the more you understand it.

Teaching them is like introducing friends to each other. Each of your friends don't know the other, but you're the mediator and you think they'll get along fine. So you make the first introduction, then perhaps talk separately to each of them about the other, then let them develop their relationship themselves.

Good luck to developing your own martial relationship with your Taekwondo patterns.



Chulgi: Punching Across the Body
Toi-gye: Mountain Block

Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.


Bob Patterson said…
I'm two years removed from taekwondo and I still practice my forms. Given that my kung fu school appears to be headed south for the winter this is probably a good thing!

At some point I plan to blog about the TKD/karate forms vs. kung fu forms. However, I think I'm starting to understand what Bruce Lee meant when he was referring to a "classical mess".

Don't get me wrong - Northern Long Fist Mantis-style forms are long, intricate, and complicated. In fact, to perform one well takes a lot of skill and practice.

Still, based on observations I think that my old TKD school had some green and blue belts that could hold their own against some of our two and three year KF students.

Why? Because TKD spends less time practicing shorter forms and more time on live sparring!

There's something to be said for economy...

Colin Wee said…
Hey, Bob. Good hearing from you. You're going to post on TKD/karate forms and kung fu? You want to guest post here or be a contributor? :-)

You know what I think? I think Bruce Lee could have said anything and everyone would be lapping it up. Bruce was a fabulous martial artist - and he got that way from a strict system. IMO, all of our systems are merely teaching methodologies. How we use it to launch ourselves into the JKD statosphere is another thing altogether.

Keep me up to date, will ya? :-)


Anonymous said…
Thanks for a great and impeccably-timed post, Colin.

I've just started working on my first form, Chon Ji, and I find it helps me focus and understand what it is that I learned with the basic kicks, blocks and punches. To me, forms are the glue that holds all of the pieces I've learned to that point together and makes them meaningful.

I'm taking Tae Kwon Do with my son and daughter in a "family" class. There are a lot of higher-ranked teens and pre-teens in this class and I always hear them griping when they're asked to practice their forms. To me, it appears they don't understand the meaning of the forms and therefore miss the significance of them.

Forms are meant to teach us to perform our art without thought. Like "Master Yoda" said, "Do. Do not try." The tenants of Tae Kwon Do will guide your actions. Forms make it so you don't have to think about "doing".

Forms are a journey through time. Although Tae Kwon Do is only 55 years old, it is based on native and external arts much older. Those arts did things with and for a purpose based on the combat they'd be required to fight and the physical attributes indigenous to the people practicing those arts.

Forms are the ultimate lesson passed down from those that have gone before us. I thoroughly enjoy Chon Ji and can't wait to learn more.
Colin Wee said…

Welcome aboard and thanks for the response.

Once upon a long time ago, I was one of those senior students who didn't like forms practice. While I didn't gripe about it, I didn't approach it with very much enthusiasm. It wasn't fun. It wasn't practical. It didn't make sense.

Basically, I didn't give it much of a go, did I?

After practicing for more than 25 years, I look at forms and see a whole new world in front of me. If I had to depend on something that I think would save my life - cross my heart - I would think of one or two forms in particular which I'll fall and which I think will protect me ... much more so than hopping here and there in a facsimile of combat.

As for TKD being 55+ years old ... I think about Taekwondo as a new spoken 'accent' using grammar that, as you say, is drawn from older arts. There is a great deal of practical information through them which I believe forms an excellent teaching syllabus.

Good luck with your continued practise. Would love to hear your perspective. Have you checked out the other posts labelled 'beginner' or 'chon-ji' on the right menu pane? Thanks for dropping by.

Anonymous said…
Thanks, Colin. I appreciate the well wishes.

Come to think of it, you are 100% correct. Tae Kwon Do is indeed a new "dialect" of an older "language". Taekyon and Hwarang Do still live on but not like Tae Kwon Do, just as you can still find Olde English but it's not used nearly as much as before.

The external influence that helped create Tae Kwon Do, the Japanese occupation, infused the Korean culture with its way of doing things. Without that influence, Tae Kwon Do wouldn't exist. The occupation is what drove General Choi to create the art as a way to unify his people.

Also, thanks for pointing me to the additional posts. The reading, as always, should be informative and entertaining.

Keep up the good work. I enjoy your posts.

Michael :-)
Colin Wee said…
Thanks for the positive feedback and encouragement, Michael. Frankly, the information on the blog is pretty bland and boring - at least for people who are not interested in delving into their martial arts. I am confident, however, that you're going to enjoy 'peeling the layers' off the forms, and I hope you'll add your two cents worth to my growing collection. Colin

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