As I have explored indepth over many posts on this blog, the tradition we have with forms come straight from Karate/Quan Fa hybrid influence. Most original Taekwondo schools trace their lineage to maybe one of the most famous Karate pioneer; Gichin Funakoshi. Now much have been said about this man, and some worship him as a karate demi god, others critizise him and the brand of Karate he left (shotokan) as being to rigid, unrealistic etc. No matter what you think of him he did teach the founder of: Chung Do Kwan, Soong Moo Kwan, Yon Moo Kwan, Oh Do Kwan and greatly influenced the founder of Moo Duk Kwan.
Funakoshi taught the founders of 4 out of the great 6 schools that would go on to create both Kukkiwon Taekwondo, ITF Taekwon-Do, Tang Soo Do and Soo Bahk Do. Should we examine this Funakoshi guy and listen to what he had to say? YES WE SHOULD! And this time I will provide you with a short quote. Think about it, read it again and think some more because what he has to say is important and profound.
In all the styles mentioned above we practise forms or patterns and they are seen as the soul of the art. In Kukkiwon Textbook for instance it can be read that Poomse (forms) are Taekwondo(!) and that basic techniques training is only a means to perfect and reach Poomse. The tradition of forms we had came from Karate and as you have seen Gichin Funkoshi left his mark on what was to become most of the KMA scene. He said a lot of Kata/Hyung/Poomsae and Karate/Tang Soo but I have chosen just one for this post that I think speak volumes.
Gichin Funakoshi on martial forms:
"You may train for a long time, but if you merely move your hands and feet and jump up and down like a puppet, learning karate is not very different from learning a dance. You will never have reached the heart of the matter; you will have failed to grasp the quintessence of karate-do."As I wrote in the introduction please read the above quote once again and think a little and do it once more to be sure what you are reading:) I will not do the thinking for you:)