If patterns are intensively studied instead of merely practiced, they become the catalyst that keeps people in Taekwondo. Certain lines from the "Karate Code," an ancient poem, apply to patterns: "If the eye is to see all directions, in kata, look at all aspects. If the ear is to listen in all directions, listen to what others say as well as what a kata is saying. If the body must be able to change directions at all times, the elements within kata must apply to this principle. When you apply these principles in learning, you keep finding more to learn."
Learning patterns helps helps you determine whether your moves are offensive or defensive. For instance, blocks can be very aggressive, and in some patterns, blocks are used to break bones. Most pattern techniques are understood by logical analysis. Remember, fighting concepts can be hidden, but most are simple.
Sport Taekwondo fighters use patterns to sharpen their skills for competition. However, practitioners committed to learning the art of Taekwondo rather than the sport can learn much by analyzing patterns. True, there are no trophies or competitions for analyzing patterns, because they are done strictly for self-improvement. In addition, tournament competition cannot determine how much a pattern teaches you. Patterns designed for competition are not necessarily the patterns academically studied. At tournaments, not even traditional patterns are done for intrinsic qualities. There is not anything wrong with studying Taekwondo for competition. Sport Taekwondo has many good qualities. However, there is a lot to be said for being a part of the history given to us from fighting legends of the past. They send us many messages in patterns, which provide Taekwondo with the quality of being a pathway, not just a pastime.