Tips for Better Taekwondo Forms & Patterns

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Tips for Better Taekwondo Forms & Patterns

Here are my personal tips on how to ace your Taekwondo forms. These are the tips that I have given my sons in order to get them ready for their belt tests.

  • Practice, practice & practice some more! I practice my forms every day for about 5 minutes before I go to work. Constant repetition is key.
  • Don't be forced to re-learn the "older" forms. Practice the forms that you learned from your earlier belt tests… not just the forms that you need for the next test. You will need to know these forms later and you don't want to have to re-learn everything again! Don't forget that you will need to know all eight WTF forms for your black belt test.
  • Don't goof off. You must do your Taekwondo forms with power and precision. Sloppy practice means sloppy tests. Practice like you were going to take the test today.
  • Work on your stances. This can be one of the hardest parts of mastering your forms. Visit our stance page for help on perfecting your Taekwondo stances.
  • Watch videos done by experts. Many of our Taekwondo forms videos will show you how a Korean Master performs these forms. These videos will show you the "correct" version of each form movement.
  • Have someone make a video of your forms. You can see if you are good as you think you are. :) I use the cheap video camera in order to video tape my boys and show them where they are messing up their forms.
  • Ask for help. If you have forgotten something, ask your Master or a fellow student (who knows what he/she is doing) for help. They will be more than willing to help. Beyond items such as kicking & punching, Taekwondo is also about things like camaraderie and friendship.
  • Concentrate on every element. To master Taekwondo forms, you need to focus on even the small things (i.e. the location of your hands during every movement).
  • This is not a dance. Visualize what you are doing to an imaginary opponent (i.e. grabbing their head or blocking a kick). Each movement has a meaning… so don't just go through the motions. Aim the kicks, punches and blocks at the appropriate spot on your imaginary opponent's body (i.e. their head or torso).
  • "Study" when you have a free moment. If you are on the bus, riding the train or just relaxing at home, read a form book in order to learn the steps for your next form. My favorite form book is Taekwondo: The State of the Art because it has detailed written and visual instructions on how to perform each Taekwondo WTF form.
  • Break things down into bite-sized bits. Don't get overwhelmed because the form seems like it has 600 moves. First, try to learn a quarter of the form. Stop and work on this small portion of the form. Then learn a half. Then three quarters and so on. It will seem more manageable.
  • Don't rush! Work on your timing. You need to be aware of the pace of each movement. Some are deliberately slow and others are fast.
  • Work on your endurance. You will be doing many forms during your black belt test (as well as many other events such as breaking and sparring). If you lack endurance, you will be worn out and make mistakes.
  • Don't panic if you forget something. Just keep going. Your "muscle memory" will often carry you through when your mind has forgotten the next move.
  • Freeze on the last movement. Don't return to the ready stance (Joon Bi stance) UNTIL you hear the Master or Judge saying "Baro".


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