The history of Taekwon-Do Patterns:


The Chang- Hon Pattern Set

Chon-Ji Through Choong-Moo


By Richard L. Mitchell












Report written by Gabriela Diego

Gaby Diego
Required for Red-Black Test

Kicks Martial Arts For Women


I must be honest and say that before I started to read this book I was expecting nothing but boredom. Let’s face it, who wants to find out what these “weird” names mean? Well, I was wrong…. again. Not only was it interesting, I think that every student should read this book, maybe a better option would be to give everyone the full story of the new form they are about to learn. I learned about why we do some of the things we do and why some of the forms are named after these extraordinary people that showed what it means to live thinking about the tenets.


Following is a brief summary of each of the forms.



Total movements: 19

Meaning: “Heaven and Earth”


This is the first form we learn. In Korean, “Chon” means “heaven” and “Ji” means “earth”. The combination of both of these words can be interpreted as the beginning, the creation of the universe, a starting point. And it is certainly a starting point for all the forms we are about to learn.


The meaning of Chon-Ji is translated in the movements we perform. There are two parts; the first one represents heaven and the second earth. It also introduces the student to the basic movements of a form needed to be successful learning the rest, therefore we can say that this is “the beginning” of our journey.


Chon-Ji is also the name of a crater lake on the Paektu Mountain, an extinct volcano that is said to have been the residence of Dan-Gun.


Lake Chon-ji





Total movements: 21

Meaning: “Dan-Gun was the legendary founder of Koreain the year 2333 B.C.”


The legend of Dan-Gun refers to the first Korean people that are believed to have come from what is know today as Manchuria, northern China and Mongolia. These people formed tribes that became known as ancient Korea. The most powerful of these tribes was the “Bear Totem family”. They gave most of the rules for the tribes, probably because of the part of the bear in the Legend of Dan-Gun.


This legend is based in the Korean trinity:


Legend says that Whan-Ung was given permission to start a mortal kingdom on earth. In 2333 B.C. he descended to earth with 3,000 spirits and declared himself the king of the Universe, and although he led his kingdom with the help of these spirits, he realized that he needed to become human in order to reign over a human kingdom.


One day he overheard a bear and a tiger who said “would that we might become men” and he said to them “here are 20 pieces of garlic and a stick of Artemisia for each of you. Eat them and retire from the sunlight for 21 days and you’ll become men”. Both did and the tiger because of his nature could not stay in all the time, but the bear did and was transformed into a perfect woman. Her first whish was to have a son. Whan-Ung granted the wish and she gave birth to Dan-Gun.


Years later, men of the nine tribes found Dan-Gun and made him their king. He introduced concepts like marriage, the art of cooking and house building, religious worship, etc. For 1,211 years he reigned until Ki-Ja (uncle of the Shang King of China) fled his country and migrated to occupy Koreawith 5,000 followers. Dan-Gun left his country and resumed his spirit form and disappeared from earth.


Modern Koreacelebrates October 3rd. as Kan-Gun Day in memory of the holy founder of Koreaand the South Korean government has established the year 2333 B.C. as the birth-date of Korea.







Total movements: 24

Meaning: “Do-San is the pseudonym of the Korean patriot An Chang-Ho”


An Chang-Ho played a very important role in the Independence of Korea. Between 1904 and 1945, Japanoccupied Koreaand their goal was to eradicate the Korean culture, literature, historical records and education. The oppressive climate forced some Koreans to leave their country. An Chang-Ho was one of them and he came to the USin 1903. Once here, he was still committed to freeing Koreaand he worked to create groups that supported the independence of the Korean people. The same was happening in other countries around the globe.


4 years later (1907), An Chang-Ho returned to Koreaand formed a secret independent group called “the Sinminhoe” that supported a youth group and a school. Their goal was to promote education, business and culture. A year later this group opened the Taesong Schoolto give young Koreans an education. At this time, this was extremely difficult because the Japanese were working to ban Korean children to attend school at all. They succeeded to pass an education act in 1911 and by 1914 all Korean schools were closed. At this point keeping the Korean culture became the task of some patriots that were outside Korea.


By the end of WWI, An-Chang-Ho returned to the USand formed the “Kungminhoe” (People’s Society) in Los Angeles. Him and other Korean exiled started to pressure the USpresident into speaking in behalf of the Korean autonomy and finally in 1918 one was sent to the peace talks in Paris.


In 1919, An Chang-Ho, Rhee Syngman and Kim Ku established a provisional government in exile inShanghai, they drafted a Democratic Constitution that established freedom of speech, press, religion and assembly, and in March 1st of 1919 this provisional government declared its independence from Japan. An Chang-Ho continued to work on behalf of his country even after the declaration of Independence.






Total movements: 28

Meaning: “Name of the Buddhist monk who introduced Buddhism to the general population of the kingdom of Silla


Won-Hyo (616-686 A.D.) was said to be wise from birth. He started his career at the age of 20 when he entered the Buddhist priesthood. Buddhism had been introduced to the kingdom of Sillabetween 417 and 457 A.D., but it was mainly confined to the royal family and rejected by the people. In 528 A.D., the King (Pop-Hung) issued a royal mandate that granted freedom of Buddhist belief; this happened right after a Buddhist monk named Ichadon was executed. At this point Buddhism was accepted by the people.


The study of Buddhism during the reign of King Pop-Hung required the ability to read and write Chinese, but not many places were open to do this in Silla so Won-Hyo, like other monks left to study in Chinain 650 A.D. In his travels, however, he was mistaken as a spy and barely escaped captivity to return to Silla. There’s no other record that he tried to travel to Chinaagain to study. Such study wasn’t needed because he was wise from birth, so he became the only monk of his time who did not study in China. Won-Hyo was the most influential monk of the 7th century; he introduced two of the five main sects in the Korean peninsula but he worked to obtain unity within the five sects and reduce their rivalries.


Won-Hyo was also considered the most prolific writer in all the Buddhist countries of his time. His works include over 100 different kinds of literature. He was well known to the general population and to the members of the royal family. He was often invited to recite prayers, give sermons and conduct services at the royal court. In 660 A.D. he was asked to come and live in the royal palace of Yosokwhere he met and married the princess Kwa and had a son: Sol-Chong.


Shortly after his son was born; Won-Hyo left the palace and traveled. In 661 A.D. he experienced a revelation in his Buddhist philosophy and developed the Chongto-Gyo (Pure Land) sect. His belief was that one could obtain salvation by simply praying. This fundamental change made religion accessible to all people, especially to the lower classes. Won-Hyo’s contribution to the culture and national awareness of SIlla helped the unification of Korea.






Total movements: 38

Meaning: “Yul-Gok is the pseudonym of the great Korean philosopher and scholar Yi I (1536-1584)”


The 38 movements of this form represent the birthplace of Yi I on the 38thlatitude. Yi I had a very talented mother, she was a recognized painter. Her talent influenced his upbringing, he had the ability to write characters as soon as he could speak, and it is said to have composed an essay at the age of seven. At the age of 23, he entered a Buddhist monastery, right after his mother’s death he was there for a year and became well-versed in Buddhist teachings. After leaving the monastery he devoted his life to the study of Confucianism and became a philosopher.


Experience, education and practical intellectual activities were stressed in Yul-Gok’s school of thought. He also believed in sincerity, he felt that “a sincere man was a man that knew the realism of heaven”, he also said that “a house could not sustain harmony unless every family member was sincere”. He believed that a man must reflect deeply to find and correct his mistakes. And he emphasized the value of practical application. He believed that the reason for studying was to apply the knowledge we have gained.


Throughout his life, he was concerned for the improvement of the individual as well as for the society as a whole. He was involved in government affairs and helped establish a way to make sure the opinion of the common people was heard by the government. He was convinced that when this doesn’t happen, morality crumbles and penal systems render ineffective. He worked to get different reforms, some became reality and others didn’t. But one thing remained constant, and that was his lifelong dedication to Confucianism and theory of government.








Total movements: 32

Meaning: “An Joon-Gun was a Korean patriot (1879-1910). The 32 movements represent the age when he was executed by the Japanese military government occupying Koreain 1910”


An Joon-Gun was a great Korean patriot; his love for his country was his driving force. He was born in 1879 and became an educator. He established his own school called the Sam-Heung (Three Success). The situation in Koreawas extremely difficult because of the Japanese occupation and their goal to take over Koreaand create an empire that would include Manchuriaand China.


The long occupation of the Japanese in Koreaincluded a plan to takeover the Korean government and one of Japan’s statesmen was named the first Japanese resident general of Korea, his name was Hirobumi Ito. Under him, things got worse and the Korean people were irritated, small guerilla groups started to form and violence pervaded the people. An Joon-Gun went into self-exile in southern Manchuriaand formed a guerilla of approximately 300 men. They conducted sporadic raids across the Manchurian border into northern Korea.


In the middle of this situation An Joon-Gun set out to prepare for the assassination of Hirobumi-Ito, he knew that he would never escape alive but planned everything so when the general arrived at the train station to meet with Russian representatives he would be there to kill him. And at 9:00 amon October 26, 1909, he did. Joon-Gun was captured and tortured for 5 months before his execution on March 26th, 1910.


Mr. An’s love for his country was forever captured in the calligraphy he wrote in his cell prior to his execution. It simply said: “The Best Riversand Mountains” implying that his country was the most beautiful on earth.






Total movements: 37

Meaning: “Toi-Gye is the pseudonym of the Korean philosopher Yi Wang (1501-1570)”


The 37 movements represent his birthplace on the 37th latitude in Korea. He was born in 1501 and he was held in high esteem for his intelligence, during his youth he acquired the pen name of Toi-Gye which means “returning stream”. He devoted his life primarily to his academic studies and his legacy was his philosophical teachings. His writings influenced neo-Confucianism.


Perfecting oneself through the building of good moral character, learning and reflection was stressed in the practice of the “li” school of thought supported by Toi-Gye. His teachings became widely accepted to scholars and government officials as well. He took advantage of this influence when he became the head of a private school called “Tosan Sowon”. Toi-Gye’s teachings had a great impact on Koreaduring the years that followed his death, and is still being felt in the 20thcentury in China,Koreaand Japan.





Total movements: 29

Meaning: “Named after the Hwarang youth group that originated in the Silla Dynasty”


The Hwarang movement is considered the most influential driving force in the unification of the three kingdoms of Korea. The 29 movements of this pattern refer to the 29th Infantry Division where Taekwon-Do was developed into a mature martial art. The Hwarang were leaders of the military bands of the Silla Dynasty. Each Hwarang group consisted of hundreds or thousands of members. From the leaders of each group were chosen government officials, military leaders, field generals and even kings who served Silla. Silla was the smallest of the three kingdoms and were in constant threat of military attacks from their neighbors (Paekche and Koguro).


The Hwarang was established by King Chin Hung (in 540 A.D) who was a devoted Buddhist and loved elegance and physical beauty. The selection of the Hwarang was made from handsome, virtuous men of good families.


They learned the five cardinal principles of human relations:

- Kindness – Justice – Courtesy – Intelligence – Faith


The three scholarships:

- Royal tutor - Royal instructor - Royal teacher


And the six ways of service:

- Holy minister - Good minister - Loyal minister - Wise minister - Virtuous minister - Honest minister


The education of the Hwarang was supported by the king and lasted 10 years. For hundreds of years, they were taught in social etiquette, music, songs, patriotic behavior, martial arts and Buddhist faith and hand to hand combat as well. This was based on the principles of the Buddhist philosophy Um-Yang and included a blending of hard and soft, linear and circular techniques. They intensified this art and rename it Tae-Kyon. The rank of Hwarang meant that one had achieved the position of a teacher of the martial arts and commanded 500 to 5,000 students.


There are many stories that talk about the spirit and moral essence of the Hwarang, this spirit was present in all of the kingdoms of Koreaand was essential to the success of Silla as a nation as well as the unification of the three kingdoms of Korea.

Choong mo


Total movements: 30

Meaning: “Honorary title of Admiral Yi Sun-Sin (1545-1598)”


Yi Sun-Sin was reputed to be the inventor of the first armored battleship in 1592, which is said to be the precursor of the submarine. He was a master naval tactician; his skill helped defeat of the Japanese in 1592 and 1598.

His most famous invention was the Kobukson, or turtle-boat. This was the best warship of its time.
This was a galley ship decked over with iron plates to protect the soldiers and rowing seamen. It was so named because the curvature of the iron plates covering the top decks resembled a turtle's shell. The ship was 110 feet long and 28 feet wide with a lower deck for cabins and supplies, a middle deck for oarsmen, and an upper deck for marines and cannons. Most of the timber was four inches thick, giving the ship protection from arrows and musket balls. It had a large iron ram in the shape of a turtle's head with an open mouth from which smoke, arrows, and missiles were discharged. Another such opening in the back and six more on either side were for the same purpose. The armored shell was fitted with iron spikes and knives that were covered over with straw or grass to impale unwanted boarders



One of Yi Sun-Sin's greatest qualities was his drive to serve his king and Korea in any way he could, when almost everyone in Korean politics and military service was forced to side with one of the two powerful Korean political parties of the time, he chose neither and was only loyal to his king and country


I think that his story is the one that has had the most meaning for me. I can relate to it because of his dedication to the development of a new boat that would help his country. It is very hard to create something that lasts for generations and generations and I think that his solution was one that inspires great things.