IntroThings to consider while performing patterns.
- Know the meaning and purpose of each movement.
- Know the distinctive features of the pattern.
- Perform each movement with realism.
- Perform movements with precision and accuracy.
- Perform the pattern rhythmically, smoothly, and powerfully but move with without stiffness.
- Perform techniques with power and control.
- Show spirit and positive attitude.
- Always maintain correct posture and facing and perform all movements with rapid facing and correct posture.
- Accelerate or decelerate movements at the proper points.
- For patterns that end where you started, start and end each at exactly the same spot on the floor. This shows that all stances and movements were performed properly and that you were aware of this throughout the performance.
- Perform all movements at the speeds and rhythms required by the pattern being performed.
- Head and eyes should turn to face the opponent before your body turns.
- Concentration should be reflected in your body tension, facial expressions, and eyes.
- Do not "wind" techniques unless your style of martial art requires it. "Winding" is a term used to describe the motion of raising the rear heel as you step forward and then dropping it as you execute a hand technique, such as when performing a forward stepping reverse punch. Winding is a superfluous, wasted movement.
The correct motion is to hold the punch until the front foot just touches the floor and then fire it as the body mass shift to the front foot, thus adding the mass of the body to the punch. When "winding" front foot touches, weight is shifted, rear heel lifts, and then heel drops as the punch is fired. Some think this looks good when performing patterns, but it is not taekwondo and it does not increase power. Punching forward while dropping the body backward is counterproductive. We perform as we practice. If you practice patterns this way, when under the stress of fighting, your body will perform this way and you will get your butt kicked.
- Tense or relax muscles at proper points within the pattern. Move like a wave that gracefully moves toward shore and then explodes onto the beach.
- Do not just "walk" through the pattern, perform as if you were a warrior in mortal combat.
- Use correct foot and hand shape for each technique.
- Use wide stances with proper foot placement. When you lose concentration, stances get narrower and foot position waivers.
- Do not hold your breath. Use breathing that is in rhythm with each movement.
- Powerfully kiai at the proper points.
- Ignore a mistake; it is too late to do anything about it so just continue as though it never happened. You know when you slipped up but if you act as if it never happened, there is a chance that no one else noticed it.
- The singer and musician Sting once said about music, "Great music's as much about the space between the notes as it is about the notes themselves." A great pattern is as much about the space between the movements as it is about the movements themselves.