SYLLABUS

Students learn the following, among others, on the way to Black Belt.

PATTERNS
A pattern is a set of fundamental movements, mainly defence and attack, in a logical sequence, to deal with one or more imaginary opponents. Patterns help to develop sparring techniques, improve movement, co-ordination, master body shifting, direction changing, develop muscles, balance, breath control and the use and application of new stances and techniques. Many of these techniques cannot be obtained from other forms of training. There are 24 patterns to match the number of hours in a day, where a day represents the whole life of a person; most patterns are named after figures in Korean mythology or history.
To perform a pattern, a student must begin and end on the same spot, to show accuracy, and have correct posture and facing at all times. Their muscles need to be tensed and relaxed at proper critical moments in the exercise. The pattern needs to be performed with rhythmic movement, not stiffly, with acceleration and deceleration at appropriate times. A student should know the purpose of each movement, and perform each one with realism. Each pattern needs to be perfected before moving on.


LINEWORK
In line work students move forwards or backwards, performing and repeating a set of moves which may be taken from a pattern, or put together in a combination ( hands or legs or both ).


PADWORK
Students use hand - held pads as targets for their hand and foot techniques.

3 STEP SPARRING
These are basic beginner techniques. Students can practice techniques safely, while judging focus, distance and timing. A students also learns & develops correct facing, forearm conditioning, correct blocks and stances and counter attacks.

3 STEP SEMI - FREE SPARRING
This is a development of 3 step sparring, where the student can use kicks as well. The attacker carries out three attacks; the defender performs three blocks or evasions and then counter - attacks. This type of sparring should not be hurried - one needs good reaction force and quick, smart moves - it is a good way to learn the true art of sparring.

2 STEP SPARRING
These are more advanced techniques than 3 step, for the intermediate student. The same focus, timing and distance skills are needed as before, but the attacks are more varied, so the attacker can try different combinations.

ONE STEP SPARRING
This is between free sparring and pre-arranged set sparring. It is the most realistic of the set sparring, since the defender cannot see the attack, and so must have fast reflexes. At and above black belt level, a student can use take downs, arm locks, joint breaking techniques, etc.


ONE - FOR - ONE SPARRING
This is useful for stamina training. As soon as one technique is over, the other one starts. Techniques should be crisp and well executed.


FREE SPARRING
Free sparring involves the unprogrammed exchange of techniques between two partners. Each person is expected to control the impact of their techniques at all times. Full, approved safety equipment must be worn - this is there to guard against accidents. Free sparring is carried out with courtesy, and often in club sparring you are encouraged to provide openings and acknowledge an effective technique.


DESTRUCTION
Tae Kwon do has always tested the effectiveness of many of its techniques by destruction or 'breaking'. The aim of destruction is to test a student's technique, accuracy and power, as well as mental attitude. In order to carry out destruction, you need to be over 16 and have achieved Black Belt status. The objects to be broken are usually one or more breakable plastic boards or pieces of wood, hand-held or mounted in a special frame called a 'horse'. More adventurous people have used breeze blocks, bricks etc!

KOREAN TERMINOLOGY & TAE KWON DO HISTORY
Students need knowledge of the origins of Tae Kwon Do, as well as Korean terms as relating to the martial art. Knowing the terminology, you can train in any club in the world and still understand what to do!

OTHER
There is also time devoted to general & specific fitness exercises, stretching, etc.
Occasionally higher grades may be required to assist lower grades.