Monday, March 20, 2017

Patterns benefits & misconceptions

A very important aspect of our Taekwon-Do training is patterns. A coriographed set of techniques. At each new belt level new patterns are learnt.
There are proponents of many Fighting styles who see no use in patterns. This is understandable firstly if one does not understand that is part of the training and not the only training we do.
Patterns training under GM Choi in Canada 2015
Taekwon-Do ' s many aspects work in unison with each other in order to make a complete martial artist. Patterns and traditional floor exercises should be seen as the sharpening of the sword. One wouldn't go into battle with with a blunt sword. Each aspect helps, improves and strengthens all of the other aspects. If we never did partner work or self defence training where we utilise the techniques learnt in patterns, then I would understand that it would not be as effective. Also unfortunately there are many martial arts or copies of once effective martial arts which are mere shadows and bear little resemblance to combat effective techniques. Often due to over focus on looking good for competition. This reflects badly on true martial arts.
I am sure you might have heard the phrase. Fear not the man who has practiced a thousand techniques, but the man who has practiced one technique a thousand times. I am of the firm belief each technique is connected through the 9 training secrets of Taekwon-Do as emphasised by the late founder of Taekwon-Do General Choi Hong Hi. Each technique, even though very, very many all should follow the rules of thumb of the training secrets. Therefore each technique would be rendered effective. So focusing on the aspects of the training secrets over and over again is emphasised during patterns, even though the technique, heights or angles may change, the practice of the rules of thumb is being drilled. For instance one learns to drive in certain country. Those rules apply even when driving in a part of the country never visited before. This applies to each different technique and also when we cover Hosin Sul (Self defence verse any attacks). There are thousands of ways to be attacked so focusing on rules of thumb is very important.
Even the most basic technique becomes highly technical and needs allot of practice to fulfill all of the rules of thumb. Once the rules of thumb or training secrets are coming through on basic techniques it will also filter into the more advanced techniques.
It is human nature to focus more on finishing the pattern. Essentially it is or should be seen more as as a form of meditation. Focusing on each technique and the training secrets in each individual move, without thought of past or future, only the present. This takes allot of practice and is something we should all strive to get more in tuned with.
For instance I see patterns, even in competition slightly differently than most. I am more focused on the individual techniques and while it is very important to know a pattern, without forgetting a move, the training secrets concern me more. For instance a practitioner getting through techniques but punching with the hand angled slightly up, is a huge deal to me. My main focus is on would it work if ever needed for self defence or would one break their wrist and fingers. Remember the more powerful our techniques become the more damage one could do to themselves if performed incorrectly, not conditioned or incorrect breath and tension at the end of the technique which as well as generating more snappy, Jarring power also should protect the joint.
I will focus on these aspects in more detail over the next few weeks. Also including why we do some techniques one way in patterns and very differently in match fighting. They also seem to contradict eachother, such as the pulling of the reaction hand etc. So stay tuned....

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