Many color belts, and even some black belts, think that pattern training is a waste of time because it is not practical in sparring. Since sparring is exciting to perform and to watch, it has become a major part of today's Taekwondo training. Because of this concentration on sparring, many students look at sparring as a method of self-defense. Since sparring is basically a long-range method of fighting, many students forget that self-defense is usually a close-range, hand-to-hand situation.
Key to freedom
Are you locked into the belief that pattern practice is useless in modern Taekwondo training? If so, you need a key to free you from this prison of thought that restricts your growth in Taekwondo. However, to quote Eric Hoffer, "When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate one another."
Some think patterns are restrictive; that they inhibit free expression. However, rather than being restrictive, they are actually liberating. Patterns keep your basics honed as you sharpen your other skills. Patterns keep you practicing your basics, while you seek your own sparring, self-defense, or breaking style.
Some people are not creative and are happy with repeating what works. I once had an in-law who could duplicate famous oil paintings so well that they looked like the originals. Although she was a talented painter, she was not an artist. She could duplicate, but not create. However, she was happy, and so were her customers. She would be happy with repeating traditional patterns. Other people get bored with repetition and want to experiment. For them, patterns keep them based in the fundamentals while they try new things.
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