Judo illustrates how well-designed patterns can express both technical skills and the historical and cultural identity of the art and set standards for the art. However, Taekwondo authorities continue to think that “Through practicing Taekwondo poomse, we can apply the techniques of hand and foot and the changes of stance learned from the basic techniques adaptable to actual fighting” [World Taekwondo Federation Taekwondo Handbook (Seoul: 1992) p. 35].This belief that patterns are merely tools to aid in sparring training is probably not defensible. A better approach would be to use patterns to convey technical skills and the historical and cultural aspects of Taekwondo as is accomplished by Judo patterns.
Taekwondo has developed into a unique competition martial art style, substituting rapid, precise defensive footwork and kicking movements for the more rigid blocking and punching techniques of the past. Developing an official Taekwondo self-defense pattern of core techniques would furnish Taekwondo students with self-defense training within a Taekwondo context. Other patterns could preserve important technical skills, signify the historical aspects of Taekwondo development, or stress the Korean aspect for Taekwondo that is being diluted as Taekwondo enjoys increasing universal appeal. Patterns should not reiterate technical skills found in free sparring, where such skills are best practiced, but should furnish methods of practicing the dynamic movements of the martial art.
Having patterns that are unique to Taekwondo could provide a ready-made method to demonstrate Taekwondo to the public rather than the current method of ad-hoc demonstrations of "flashy" kicking techniques, which leaves the impression that Taekwondo is almost exclusively a kicking martial art with little depth into the broader aspects of self-defense. An example of how this has been done is the way Chojun Myagi developed patterns that made his style, Gojo-ryu karate, more understandable to the public.
As Taekwondo continues to evolve, major changes should be made to its patterns to reflect the direction of Taekwondo development, while maintaining a link to its past.