Before modern methods of sparring were established, patterns (hyung) were developed as a means to practice the various techniques of Taekwon Do without the need of a training partner. More specifically though, they are a set of attack and defence techniques that are played out against hypothetical opponents in prescribed situations. They constitute an essential role in the student's development and the art cannot be mastered without perfecting them.
Because we train according to the original art as it was created by General Choi Hong Hi, Real Taekwon Do observes the Chang Hon school of patterns (Chang Hon means 'Blue Cottage' and is General Choi's pseudonym). This school was inspired by two much older schools that originated in Japan and Okinawa many hundreds of years ago. The Sho-Rim school is characterised by very fast movements and best suits the more agile student; while the Sho-Rei school favours heavier students by focussing on slower but more powerful techniques. As a result, the Chang Hon school caters to students of all weights and sizes by blending these contrasting styles.
In addition, the patterns also have a symbolic depth insofar as they represent either a historical figure or concept. An explanation of each pattern's significance can be found on the right, along with a video tutorial that takes you through the steps of each pattern in extensive detail. Just click on the pattern you wish to study and the footage will open on a separate page.