I am a 65 year old man who has found out the most TKD classes are geared to younger folks. I have no instructor but practice the patterns because they are good exercise as well as a good memory tool. I really enjoy doing them and hope I am improving my performance. So you are my only hope to resolve this issue
I am confused about the function of the moves 32, 34, 35, and 36, which are called either scoop blocks or Walking Stance Forearm Circular Block. One technique to do it is to bend down on the back leg like you are blocking a kick and redirecting the kick. Another technique is I have seen is to just scoop it with the blocking hand.
Is the function of this move to block a low kick or to block a punch? Do you need to bend down on the back leg to perform it correctly?
Modern TKD has become a moneymaking business, and the money is in getting as many children in training as possible, and then doing everything you can to keep them training and spending more money. Adult classes are just a necessity to give some of the parents something to do and to satisfy the few students who have now grown into adults.
You have the right idea about using pattern training for fitness. People tend to train in, and spend money on, the latest exercise fad; when performing TKD patterns already offers them everything they need. Patterns may be performed quickly for endurance, very powerfully for strength, or slowly for flexibility. I’m 66 and still use bag training and patterns to keep fit, it works.
There are three main styles of TKD: traditional ITF, modern ITF, and Olympic WTF. The traditional ITF and modern ITF styles use the Changhon pattern set (which includes Toy-gye), while the WTF uses a different pattern set. There are other TKD pattern sets but the ITF and WTF ones are the most prevalent.
As to your question about Toi-gye:
Scooping block. A deflecting block is where the blocking palm move in a “U” shape motion, downward and then upward, under the attacking arm or leg, lifting it up until the attacking fist moves over your head or the attacking leg moves so high it unbalances the attacker.
Circular block. A deflecting block is where the blocking arm moves in a circular path and pushes the attacking arm or leg to the side so the attack misses your body.
Traditional ITF circular block method. Gen. Choi , in his 1965 first edition book Taekwon-do, The Art of Self-Defense, states that the Toi-gye movement as using a middle section circular block, which he describes as an inner forearm block that first moves in a circular path and ends with fist at shoulder height. There is no springing of the knees, only a snap of the hips.
Modern ITF circular block method. At some point, with Choi’s blessing, the ITF came up with the knee spring/sine wave concept. Choi’s Encyclopedia of Taekwondo, shows the Toi-gye movement being used with knee spring. In the knee spring, each movement is preceded by an exaggerated bending of the knees and then springing upward into the technique, which, when the user is moving along a line, causes the body to move up and down in a sine wave movement. They also exaggerate the circular movement of the block. The two movements make the block impractical against a middle section punch and make it more of a block against a low section kick.
My opinion is that that the knee spring/sine wave concept is useless. In the old days, we specifically trained students that, when moving across the floor in stances, the belt knot should move along a straight line and not up and down as it does in the sine wave. It’s wasted movement and slows response time. It an attacker attacks at the start of you downward movement, you will be slower in responding to the attack. When you see modern ITF fighters in the ring, they do not use it, so why teach it
Keep kicking. As long as you are kicking the bag you are not kicking the bucket.