Pattern Speed

Discussion in 'Taekwondo Patterns' started by Gnarlie, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Hi, I have a question for practitioners of all kinds of Taekwondo, but especially those who practice the Chang Hon Forms, Chon-Ji, Dan Gun, Do-San, Won Hyo, etc…

    How fast do you run your forms when the whole class does them together? I have been learning these forms for quite some time now, and I'm aware that typically they are run with a little more pace than the Kukkiwon Poomsae.

    If any of you could provide a link to a video that is representative of your typical class speed, I would appreciate it very much. Alternatively, work out the Beats Per Minute with this:

    The Kukki Poomsae are typically around 40-45 BPM with some tolerance. The ITF vids seem to be closer to 55 or so, but some individuals I've met run their forms much faster, up to 70BPM. Is there a lot of leeway from club to club?
  2. michael mckenna

    michael mckenna Active Member

    well as most do we start off slow then when we getter better we do them as fast as you should in a real confrontation the end of one technique is the beginning of another so as soon as you have performed your technique you go straight onto the other in constant motion unless there is a specific part of were you are ment to go slower like near the end of joong gun if you look that pattern up you will know what i mean. as long as you are doing it accurate you should do it fast as if someone is actually attacking you. its cool to hear someone from non chan hon style is interested in learning them. i wouldnt mind learning a few kukkiwon patterns
  3. michael mckenna

    michael mckenna Active Member

    also as you have probably guessed each federation, club, instructor, and student does it at different speeds that they feel comfortable with
  4. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Thank you Michael. So are you saying the upper speed limit is determined by how quickly they can be done and still be tidy?

    I ask because I recently watched two people from the same club perform some Chang Hon forms together, and one was slower but precise, the other (to my KKW influenced tastes) very fast, to the point of the techniques being incomplete or even off target. Interestingly, the slower of the two said afterwards that they wished to be as fast as the other. Personally, I much preferred slower and accurate.

    Should there ideally be no 'stop' phase between motions then?
  5. Finlay

    Finlay Active Member

    if you look up Jarosaw Suska on youtube he will give you a good idea of the speed of the patterns
    Timothy Cooper likes this.
  6. Chris J

    Chris J Active Member

    Patterns are essentially designed to demonstrate the full power of each technique. Because the pattern is a demonstration of technique without a partner a pace can be set that allows full power to be shown. With the exception of certain techniques designed to be performed in slow motion, all others are designed to be done as if being used for attack or defense. Pausing at the completion of each movement shows the examiner that you have finished the movement correctly. This pause also aids preparation to remain balanced and execute the next movement correctly. There is no real set pace, so there is no necessity to count the bpm. If you're too slow the instructor will tell you to speed up, as well, going too fast will cause short-cuts in your technique and the instructor will advise you to slow down.
  7. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    So his seem quite slow, with breaks between movements...
  8. michael mckenna

    michael mckenna Active Member

    well in GTF style we have only a few stop phase between motion most of it is continued motion as was done by our found grand master park jung tae and is now done by the whole of the GTF
  9. michael mckenna

    michael mckenna Active Member

  10. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Thank you all.

    Clear enough - I asked this question because I watched someone recently and it was pretty clear to me that the techniques were not being fully completed before moving on to the next, and that speed was leading to a lack of accuracy and balance.

    Is it fair to say do it as fast as is practical without sacrificing power, completion of motion and balance? I guess this would mean slow for beginners and faster for more experienced people.
    Chris J likes this.
  11. canadiankyosa

    canadiankyosa Active Member

    I notice most arts people rush through and do not finish a stance/technique before moving on. Being a KSW student, I see it in 99.9% of their members. In outside styles, I see things like that, too, because at a tournament, that is one of the criteria we judge on when the form is not one of ours. I cannot think of any video of tkd forms where they do them as flowing techniques. They are always static, like a 1 one thousand count between each move instead of ours where a block and punch, for instance, are done without pause. Is that typical of tkd?
    Gnarlie likes this.
  12. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    I think the wait time is typical, certainly for KKW forms.

    I think it is actually something that's always been part of TKD and other modern martial arts. With older martial arts I reckon it crept in over time through people not fully understanding the forms. In my view one of the issues with using a static sequence of end positions as an aide memoire is that it puts the focus on the end positions rather than on the movement between them.

    Then you get people saying things like 'long front stance is unrealistic, especially when it's narrow', when that stance represents a snapshot of the extremity of motion that one moves THROUGH in a particular sequence, and it's actually the weight movement leading up to that extremity of motion that is important.

    But, because we stored the information in a sequence of mental images, the images became the art.

    I enjoy practicing patterns in this flowing way, still ensuring the correct extremes are reached. Gives different perspective and helps to understand how the motions can be applied.
    Oerjan likes this.

    RTKDCMB Active Member

    The patterns, when not performed by numbers, should be performed at the maximum speed that they can be performed with good technique. If the pattern is performed with poor technique then it defeats the purpose of doing the pattern in the first place. It doesn't matter if one student performs the pattern slower than another student as long as it is done correctly. If the entire class is performing the pattern and keeping together then it should be performed at the maximum speed, with good technique, of the slowest student. People often get too caught up in performing patterns with speed, timing and rhythm that they sometimes forget that patterns are also composed of separate individual techniques. That is my view anyway.
    Rugratzz, Finlay and Gnarlie like this.
  14. Mark 42

    Mark 42 Member

    Our instructor often tells the younger ones "It's not a race".
    I'm sure he would like me to go a little faster - and I'm starting to do a better job of keeping up.
    But I'm still quite slow, unless I make a point of trying to go fast - sadly, sometimes I still have
    to stop for half a second to remember the next move. Everyone has different natural abilities.
    I work harder than most of the younger students, and still look far more awkward than they do.
    But I haven't quit.
    John Hulslander likes this.
  15. Spykakos

    Spykakos New Member

    My instructor always tells us to make robotic moves when it comes to speed. And for music lovers like myself, he tells us that, that time is in 4/4.
  16. John Hulslander

    John Hulslander Active Member

    I have never EVER seen someone win a tournament or grade tops in their exam because they performed their form the quickest.

    IMO they should be performed at a speed with which one can perform the techniques as proscribed, in balance, and with proper focus.

    Sometimes you move slowly, and sometimes quickly.
    Rugratzz and Gnarlie like this.
  17. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    I think that is the most sensible thing anyone has ever said on this forum. I completely agree, and so does the Taekwondo textbook and every Korean instructor I have ever worked with. Somehow it only seems to be us westerners that want to speed things up. I'm not sure why.
  18. Matt

    Matt Member

    Patterns are meant to have a certain speed, but when in a class room setting it is best to let the students keep pace with the highest rank on the floor. That way the group can stay as one, and no one goes ahead or gets left behind. Also for tournaments you don't want your students to rush because then they don't set stances and often finish first looking sloppy. In side by side patterns this is even worse because you might finish before the other competitor does, leaving the judges more time to watch your competition.
  19. canadiankyosa

    canadiankyosa Active Member

    For us, forms are not done at the speed of the highest rank on the floor. We have the shortest and the tallest meet in the middle for speed due to taller being slower than shorter. Depending on the direction and if there is anyone to see, the person follows the person on the left, right, or in front of them. Kihaps are used as the indicator on staying in unison.
  20. Matt

    Matt Member

    That is not always true thought. Some taller people do a faster pattern then shorter people. And why wouldn't they follow the highest rank. The highest rank has the most time and experience with the patterns so they should know a good tempo for the whole class to follow. As for the kihaps, kihaps are only used in some places, and in ITF patterns they have 2 per pattern at the color belt level, so they are not the best method. Regular breathing as a group work the best.
    canadiankyosa likes this.

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