Patterns are an effective way to educate our body in self defense movements.
It’s essential to understand the necessity of a knowledge of theory and a training to apply it. THEORY and PRACTICE are reciprocal concepts, two sides of the same coin.
All movements executed without a scientific base not only reduce the power
looked for, but bring an unnecessary waste of energy without a practical utility.
The knowledge of theory without the support of practice is only a good intellectual exercise without utility in real self defense.
It is not a coincidence that all the Grand Masters in all Martial Arts have stated that without the right knowledge about patterns the absolute handling of the art is impossible.
Without the patterns’ handling and the principles that support it, all other targets are utopias.
Patterns were designed in accordance with the physical possibilities of the students and their progressive coordination.
Never try to develop a pattern from a more advanced level than yours. You will be surpassing fundamental steps developed to facilitate your evolution and not to delay it.
One pattern prepares for the next and facilitates the application of its movements in the sparring exercises.
It’s necessary to know the diagram of each pattern and it execution, however, the real importance is to apply the right biomechanics of the movements involved in each pattern.
An important detail to highlight is to not consider the pattern as just a requisite to apply in a test.
The movements involved in patterns were created to be applied in the real self defense, the most rigorous test.
The irony in the patterns’ training is that when you think you have improved them, what you really did was improve your own self. Patterns are not empty and stiff, they take us to look inside utilizing our outside.
It is commonly heard between practitioners «I don’t know why there’s so much obstinacy with the patterns, I can’t see its practical utility. In free sparring the technical dealing is different».
The question is, which kind of free sparring?
The sparring (free combat) that normally is done in training classes is sportive free sparring. In this specific modality only 6 or 7 techniques are used which will be executed with control and sent to specific areas, avoiding any kind of contact with vulnerable points to keep the physical integrity of the opponent and allowing that Taekwon-do can «also» be considered as a sport.
Taekwon-do was created as a martial art and its techniques were designed for self defense purposes.
Learning how to punch with the main knuckles is not only an Instructor obstinacy but the unique way to reach the target without personal damages.
Looking for a partial inclination of the outer forearm in the rising block is not a mere technical condition, but is the unique way to be effective with this defensive tool to protect the head against a downward attack against it.
The vertical alignment of the vertebral column not only will allow a better equilibrium, but will be the only way for fluidity in actual combat or to apply a sequence of different tools.
The height in the kicks is only important when they reach the height of the target, the exaggerated kick height sometimes shown in pictures or demonstrations is only exhibitionism without an effective application.
The actual self defense does not have a starting order, limits of the areas where it can be developed, no umpires and no rules.
To be efficient in that moment, any of the almost 3.200 techniques of Taekwon-do can be useful.
In an actual self defense situation, the unique possible champion is the one who solves the problem and the unique trophy is to stay alive.
Then, to learn the right use of the 980 movements included in the 24 patterns of Taekwon-do should become the goal of all serious practitioners who want to evolve.
If the patterns are thought as just a requisite to apply, they will have no practical utility to the people who think in that way.
However, if they are thought as a very important part in the self defense development, all effort invested and the knowledge acquired will be really appreciated.
Do you know some another way to incorporate the effective handling of the Taekwon-do techniques, its diversity and efficacy?
Senior Grand Master Ricardo Desimone