You’re doing your pattern wrong!

There are hundreds of books, pamphlets, articles on how to perform patterns, over the last 30 years you have seen many coming out with alternatives to techniques in patters as well.  One of the first in the USA to teach different perspectives to patterns that I learned from was George Dillman, along with Jim Corn in the early to mid 80s.

Nearly every instructor worth his/her salt will teach as many perspectives as possible while still teaching the traditions as passed to them from their instructor(s).  The whole point of patterns is two fold today.  In the past it had really one purpose but today its two.  In the past the purpose of patterns was to learn defensive and offensive techniques for the purpose of self defense.  Today there is the added part of tournament play.  And yes I mean PLAY!

I can’t tell you how many times (and I have been guilty myself, but for different gen5reasons) we have seen that video that we all think is crap because the person doing the pattern is doing it different.  Sometimes, different is good, but we tend to degrade them based on tournament play techniques!  This is especially true of those in the ITF.  I see all the time where they say this person or that person isn’t doing Taekwon-Do of General Choi, the ITF etc.  What many may not know especially those who have been involved with Taekwon-Do only the last 20 years or so, is that what Taekwon-Do was in 2002, he may have likely changed certain aspects of it if he were alive today….just like how some others have changed certain aspects since General Choi’s passing, including his own son, Choi, Jung-hwa and his ITF with renaming patterns, added ki-aps and changing some techniques.

So many today are so hooked on “sine wave this, sine wave that” and while the notion of Sine Wave does manifest itself naturally, and even other martial arts practice it, especially American Kenpo (Marriage of Gravity), it is way over emphasized especially in a self defense situation!  So when you practice your patterns you need to do them two ways!   One for tournament play and one for it’s original intended purpose…SELF DEFENSE!

Now, yes, I think all this tournament play is fine, there is nothing wrong with it, however, if you are truly doing the martial arts for self defense, then we must make sure we insist on doing the patterns the right way….the original intended methods as well as the play stuff.  If you use the techniques that most teach for tournament play and then try them in a self defense situation you or students stand to learn a life lesson that not everything they learn works!

The excessive bouncing down with sine wave and the over emphasize of this audible breath is a very dangerous president to set when learning patterns for their original intent of self-defense.  Of course the bouncing is a visual que and will telegraph your techniques especially if the person you are trying to use techniques against has had any time fighting for real (and not just play).  And of course, if you hear someone making all this “hissing” sound with each technique is also a give away and will let your opponent know exactly the time of technique.

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