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Good question. I like students who ask why rather than just doing something for no logical reason.
I have some original Taekwondo reference books. Here is what they say about Yul-Kok:
- Hi, Choi Hong. (1965). Taekwondo: The Art of Self-Defense. Seoul: Daeha Publication Company. The first edition of the Hi’s first book. Hi says to extend the arm but he gives no reason why to do so. During the transition from movement 3 to 4, Hi does not say to leave the punch extended but he also does not say to retract it. He says to transition by moving the left foot to the right foot with no return to chunbi.
- Rhee, Jhoon. (1971). Won-Hyo and Yul-Kok of Tae Kwon Do Hyung. Los Angeles, California: Ohara Publications. Rhee is known as the Father of American Taekwondo. Rhee says to extend the arm in a slow middle punch. During the transition from movement 3 to 4, Rhee shows the left punch kept extended as the feet are brought together with no return to chunbi
- Haun, B. S. (1975). Taekwondo, Singapore: Russ International. Haun says to extend the arm but he gives no reason why to do so. During the transition from movements 3 to 4, he shows the left punch remaining extended as the left foot moves beside the right foot with no return to chunbi.
- Too, Jimmy. (1975). The Techniques of Taekwondo. Singapore: Bushido Publishers. Too says to extend the arm but he gives no reason why to do so. During the transition from movement 3 to 4, Too does not say whether to leave the left punch extended or not and he does he show what the transition stance should be.
Patterns have many uses, they:
- Act as an reference to help preserve techniques.
- Help students learn to perform perfect stances.
- Help students move between stances while performing techniques.
- Teach focus.
- Present the artistic side of a martial art. For this reason, some movements serve no useful purpose other than to make the pattern look better, to highlight the precise performance of a technique, to help the student move more gracefully during movements, to help set up for the next movement so the movements will flow more artistically, to give a follow-up technique more power by the chambering the opposite hand, or sometimes a movement is used just because the author thought the movement was cool. I have never heard of any movement in a Taekwondo pattern being used to measure the opponent, and, even if a technique was used for this purpose, it would not be done in slow motion.
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