Taekwondo competition may be compared to figure skating competition. Taekwondo free-sparring is similar to a figure skating free-style performance. Both are spectacular, very physical, and entertaining. Taekwondo patterns performance is similar to the figures of figure skating (which are no longer required in competition) where a skater is judged on how perfectly he or she can skate specific figures on the ice. In both, everyone does the same movements, movements are precise, mental concentration is more important than in sparring, and competition is relatively boring to watch.
Why 24 Patterns?
A human life may be considered as a day when compared to eternity. A day is 24 hours long, therefore, General Choi developed 24 patterns to represent each of the 24 hours of one day.
No First Attack
There is no first attack in Taekwondo. The tenets of Taekwondo demand that a student of Taekwondo never initiates an attack. Therefore, most patterns begin with a block.