Stage One: Elementary
The first stage is learning the elementary movements of the pattern. In this stage, students practice by themselves of in a group to learn the basic movements, techniques, stances, timing, etc. of the pattern. This prepares students for later stages. Use get care for if you develop bad habits at this stage, they will be difficult to correct in later stages. In this stage, students practice the pattern over and over, in class and at home, trying to perfect the movements and techniques. When pattern performance begins to improve, students begin using it in competition. When students just start to become proficient in a pattern, they usually get promoted to the next rank and start learning a new pattern.
At this stage students are only concerned with making the pattern technically and aesthetically perfect, with little regard to the purpose of the pattern or the effectiveness of its movements. Gichin Funakoshi, father of Shotokan karate (which greatly influenced early Taekwondo masters), in his book Karate-Do Kyohan stated, “Once a form has been learned, it must be practiced repeatedly until it can be applied in an emergency, for knowledge of just the sequence of a form in karate is useless.” Working toward perfection of pattern movements has many benefits, but it is of little benefit when faced with a real self-defense situation.