A pattern is a set of fundamental offensive and defensive movements against an imaginary opponent. Patterns are used to teach and rehearse techniques. They align mind and body by forcing a high degree of concentration when visualising the moves and counters in a live environment.

With daily repetition, patterns become a form of anaerobic meditation, in much the same way as the Tai Chi forms.

There are 24 patterns leading up to 6th Dan. The alignment with a 24 hour daily cycle is intended to remind students of their continued attention to martial arts.

Key points about pattern training:

  1. Patterns begin and end at exactly the same spot. This is a test of accuracy

  2. Posture and facing must be correct at all times

  3. Students should be conscious of when muscles should be tensed or relaxed at the proper points in the exercise

  4. The pattern should be performed with a rhythmic movement and an absence of stiffness

  5. Movements should be accelerated or decelerated according to instructions

  6. Each pattern should be perfected before moving on

  7. Students should know and visualise the purpose of each movement. As learning unfolds, new meanings and applications for the moves will be revealed

  8. Moves should be performed with realism and energy

  9. Techniques are evenly distributed between left and right hands and feet.

9th Gup Sagi Charugi, Sagi Makei

Technically, these are exercises, not patterns

8th Gup Chon-Ji (19 movements)

What does Chin-Ji mean? Heaven and Earth

7th Gup Dan-Gun (21 movements)

Who was Dan-Gun? Legendary founder of Korea in the year 2333 B.C.

6th Gup Do-San (24 movements)

What is Do-San? Pen name (pseudonym) of Ahn Ch'ang Ho (1876-1938), a Korean patriot who devoted his life to furthering education in Korea.

The 24 movements symbolise his total dedication.

5th Gup Won Hyo (28 movements)

A noted monk who spread Buddhism in Korea during the Silla Dynasty (686 A.D.)

4th Gup Yul Gok (38 movements)

What is Yul Gok? Pen name of Yi I (1536-1584), Philosopher and scholar who was nicknamed Confucious of Korea. The 38 moves refer to his birthplace on the 38th parallel.

3rd Gup Joong-Gun (32 movements)

Who was Joong-Gun? A Korean patriot who assassinated the first Japanese Governor-General of Korea. The 32 moves refer to his age when he was executed in 1910.

2nd Gup Toi-Gye (37 movements)

What is Toi-Gye? Pen name of Yi Hwang, a noted scholar and an authority on Neo-Confucianism. The 37 moves refer to his birthplace on the 37th parallel.

1st Gup Hwa-Rang (29 movements)

What was the Hwa-Rang? The youth group which originated in the Silla Dynasty and became a main force in the unification of the three Kingdoms of Korea. The 29 moves refer to the Army's 29th Division where Tai Kwan Do was developed.

1st Dan Choong-Moo (30 movements)

What is Choong-Moo? The given name of Admiral Yi Sun-Sin, who invented the first armored battleship in 1592 A.D.

2nd Dan Kwang-Gae (39 movements)

Who was Kwang-Gae? The 19th King of the Korguryo Dynasty. He recovered all the lost territories including the greater part of Manchuria. The foot diagram represents the expansion and recovery of the lost territory.

2nd Dan Po-Eun (36 movements)

What is Po-Eun? The fictitious name of Chong Mong-Chu, a famous poet and pioneer in the field of physics. The foot diagram represents his loyalty to his King and country.

2nd Dan Ge-Baek (44 movements)

Who was Ge-Baek? A great general in the Paekche Dynasty (600 A.D.). The foot diagram represents his severe and strict military discipline.