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Finlay's picture
Things to consider when dealing with ITF forms (patterns)

While looking at the IFT form and trying to crack them, i have come up against a few obsticles. I am sure thsat many other have come across issues that are particular to these forms. i have put together a wee list i would be interested to know if people have come across the same things


1. Tick tock

most forms are done constantly in the same speed/method of movement, this is very good and individualising the movements and hiding the combinations and applications. i find it useful to take the forms and flow through the movements paying particular attention to ease of transition between techniques.


2. out of order

kind of linked on the the first point but anyway, when general choi developed the forms he broken up the kata that he had learnt and the put them back in a different order, this means that some application that are present in karate are not in TKD or may only have partial chunks in them.


3. what happens after 1st degree

up to an including 1st degree,there are 12 patterns, that is a huge amount of information to work with and most of the patterns have a strong base in karate kata, however after 1st degree the patterns get further away from the source and in my experience become less applicable. there fore the only reason to learn these forms is for grading promotions


4. sine wave

again linked ot the first point, not all techniques are suitable for the sine wave, and even the sine wave itself is not really all that useful


5. variations

it seems like all movements have an open hand and closed hand variation, i am not convinced that it is all applicable, part of me thinks that some movements were changed just to be different



anyway that's were i am at the momment, if you have anything to add or change i would be very interested in reading

Tau's picture

If you haven't read it already get Stuart Anslows book on applications of the patterns. Also one of his three books that show the patterns entirely but not the applications. They contain a detailed description of the history of the history of the patterns. I say just one as the information is in all three in exactly the same format. It's useful and interesting but not needed three times (and when I got them the books were expensive).

Long story cut short. For a while I was doing Karate and Taekwondo simultaneously. Because of how the timing and movement differs so much I found that doing either negatively impacted on the other. I dropped Karate as it was a tertiary activity anyway. Having got TKD 1st Dan I went back to Karate in order to better understand the TKD patterns. Then I realised the fallacy; if I was studying Karate in order to understand TKD then why not just study Karate? I haven't trained in TKD since before Christmas. Whereas I miss training with some of my friends there, I don't miss the training at all. I still regularly do Karate kata.

Finlay's picture

i think it is a good point why study karate to understand TKD. i got to 1st degree and then becasue of a few reasons couldn't really study anymore. i also didn't really miss the techniques, only the phyisical acitivy and the intentsity of the training which it took me a long time ot find again.

since leaving TKD i have studied a few different arts which is what led me to the list in the OP, now i have slighty altered the way that i practice my forms, won;t win any medal but makes me feel better about the pattern practice

Black Tiger
Black Tiger's picture

Yeah I have isues with the ITF Forms too. but predominantly the Sinewave.

I would love to get a BB in TKD just because I think originally "before" the changes this was an awesome style and its used by the Korean armed forces so it must be good for something.

I seem to get from mosty TKD'ists that the forms are just for grading and can't believe how many Instructors are "sold" on this "Sinewave" but can't truly explain how it works correctly as it if it was that perfect, why then is it not part of the Self defence system or the display teams hardly use it at all. Then you get Choi Kwang Do which well youtube/google it.

Finlay's picture

an awful lot of TKD teacher have thier grading competition syllabus and then the self defense syllabus which has no relation to each other.