Most importantly though: STAY CLEAR OF YOUTUBE! I once had a very clever student who learned his forms on his own in the hollidays. He would grade before summer and learn himself the new form in the hollidays, and he would grade before christmas and learn a new form in the christmas hollidays. As long as he used the time up to a grading to perfect the form and to listen to me I was completly OK with that. But then Youtube came...
After a holliday the student had "learned" Taegeuk Chil Jang. It was awfull.. Usually he would study the books of my teacher to learn his forms and my teachers books show the Poomsae the way Kukkiwon teaches its Poomsae. However this time he had used Youtube as it was easier to follow along with a high ranking Master. You would believe that a high ranking master knew Taegeuk Chil Jang? No not really. I had to watch my self as the student first did not want to take my "version" of Taegeuk Chil Jang as I was only a mere 1st Dan and the "Youtube" Master was a whopping 7th Dan.
Well this "Master" had done heavy modifications to all the Taegeuk forms. He had erased "Ap Seogi" (Short front walking stance) in the first three Taegeuk Poomsae (Depriving his students the lessons Ap Seogi can give) and he had likewise changed techniques here and there, added some, and removed others, added quite a few kicks too.
I directed him to some official videos from the Kukkiwon (9th Dan trumps 7th Dan every time:-p ) and then he understood how the form was supposed to be performed (according to our Dojang that follow Kukkiwon standard). Youtube is a great resource if people allready almost know the form they are looking for. Parents not knowing what they are looking for and searching youtube for Taekwondo 1st form can find any number of things... First of all some schools use different form sets alltoghether. Searching for Taekwondo 1st form you might get Taegeuk Il (1) Jang but you are just as likely to get something completly else.
The above video shows what another of my younger students proudly presented as Taegeuk Il Jang. Her parents had gone on youtube searched for Taekwondo first form and got this. In his school this is the first form, but we do not practise this form in our school. How are the parents to see the difference?? After all the instructor on this video wears the excact same outfit with the V-neck and everything.. I spendt weeks trying to "unlearn" this masters way of walking in long stance (The half moon steps as I call them are not the way Kukkiwon teaches it today, nor is the distance between the legs or many other things he teaches. Do not get me wrong I am not critizising this man, as I am sure he is quite good in his schools way of moving, it is just different to what we are teaching. For the reccord this is an old form that often goes by the name Gibon Hyung or Kicho Hyung. It is pretty much the form series Gichin Funakoshi invented in the 1920s-30s in Japan under a different name.
There are however great videos of the "correct" form that we do teach on youtube. It is just that I do not reccomend people using youtube because there are also a lot of people who uploads heavily modified forms, or what in our school would be considered "bad" forms. If you first teach your body to move the "wrong" way (for us) then it will be more difficult and hard work than just waiting a little longer and getting it right the first time.