Taekwon-do patterns – speed of execution

Taekwon-do patterns /tul/ are executed with different speed from competitors at tournaments and the question is: What is the right speed?

legacy21

Figure 1

The speed of execution is not written in Taekwon-do encyclopedia, but gen. Choi create legacy CD with video clips of all patterns performed by international instructors and world champions. Phap, Zibby, Mike, Noemi, Rua, Clint and Denis at figure 1 are selected by gen. Choi because he accepts their performances are “accurate” as speed.

Measuring the execution time of pattern from video clips / table 1/ starts from the beginning of first movement to the name at the end. Time for normal movement Tno is measured from the focus of current technique to focus of next technique. Pause Tp is time when body is standing still after focus of technique.

Pattern

Movement

Time*

Tno*

Tp*

Calculated Tno

% Pause

Performer

Chon-Ji

19

31,67

1,67

0,27

1,67

16%

Phap

Dan-Gun

21

34,00

1,60

0,33

1,62

21%

Zibby

Do-San

24

37,33

1,60

0,27

1,56

17%

Mike

Won-Hyo

28

42,47

1,47

0,27

1,52

18%

Noemi

Yul-Gok

38

47,07

1,27

0,20

1,24

16%

Rua

Joong-Gun

32

50,67

1,40

0,27

1,58

19%

Phap

Toi-Gye

37

52,93

1,40

0,33

1,43

24%

Clint

Hwa-Rang

29

44,40

1,47

0,27

1,53

18%

Phap

Choong-Moo

30

43,40

1,40

0,20

1,45

14%

Denis

Average

 

 

1,47

0,27

1,51

18%

*Measured from   video clip in seconds

Table 1

To calculate Tno must divide time of execution to movements. In Chon-Ji calculated time for movement Tno=31.67/19=1.67 sec. is equal to measured time for normal motion. Ratio %Pause is equal to Tp/Tno or 16% in Chon-Ji. The average time of normal motion is 1.47 seconds and average time of pause is 0.27 seconds or 18% of normal motion.

In Chon-Ji there are only normal motions but when patterns have other type of motions we need to recalculate total number of movements. For recalculation we accept Kn=Tp/Tno=20%.

movme2ENWe know different motions in Taekwon-do and how they perform /figure 2/. Normal motion have two parts – movement with full sine wave and pause to next technique. Time to execute normal motion Tno is sum of time to execute movement Tm and time of pause Tp:

  • Tno=Tm+Tp

Continuous motion is without pause between techniques:

  • Tco=2*Tm+Tp

Fast motion is without pause and half sine wave for second technique:

  • Tfa=Tm+Tm/2+Tp

Connecting motion execute two techniques in time of one normal motion:

  • Tcg=Tno

For slow motion we calculate:

  • Tsl=2*Tm+Tp

Formula for recalculation movements Rmo in patterns is:

  • Rmo= (1 – Kn)*(Normal + Continuous + Fast/2 + Slow*2) + Kn*(Normal + Slow)
Pattern

Movements

Normal

Fast

Slow

Connecting

Continuous

Recalculation

Chon-Ji

19

19

19,0

Dan-Gun

21

20

1

20,8

Do-San

24

22

2

22,8

Won-Hyo

28

28

28,0

Yul-Gok

38

32

4

2

33,6

Joong-Gun

32

27

2

3

33,2

Toi-Gye

37

33

3

1

39,2

Hwa-Rang

29

28

1

28,4

Choong-Moo

30

29

1

29,4

Table 2 

The pattern Yul-Gok takes 12% less time to execute because there are 4 fast and 2 connecting motions. Toi-Gye takes 6% more time to execute because there are 3 slow motions.

Pattern

Movements

Rmo**

Tp*/Tno*

Tno*

Calculated Tno

Time*

Chon-Ji

19

19,00

0,16

1,67

1,67

31,67

Dan-Gun

21

20,79

0,21

1,60

1,64

34,00

Do-San

24

22,83

0,17

1,60

1,64

37,33

Won-Hyo

28

28,00

0,18

1,47

1,52

42,47

Yul-Gok

38

33,68

0,16

1,27

1,40

47,07

Joong-Gun

32

33,24

0,19

1,40

1,52

50,67

Toi-Gye

37

39,05

0,24

1,40

1,36

52,93

Hwa-Rang

29

28,41

0,18

1,47

1,56

44,40

Choong-Moo

30

29,43

0,14

1,40

1,47

43,40

Average

0,18

1,47

1,53

* Measured from video clip in seconds

** Calculated   with Kn=Tp/Tno for each pattern

Table 3

In Table 3 average calculated Tno = 1,53 sec. and ranged within 10%. Difference between calculated and measured Tno is less than 5%. Deviations are result from:

  • Patterns are performed by different performers.
  • There are different steps that are not accounted.
  • Low-resolution video clip and the relatively small number of frames per second.

We can accept rounded result of time for normal motion Tno=1,5 sec. for real…

… and recalculate time for pattern simply by multiplying recalculated movements by Tno. Results are shown on table 4.

Pattern

Calculated time

Time*

Difference

Performer

Chon-Ji

28,5

31,7

111%

Phap

Dan-Gun

31,2

34,0

109%

Zibby

Do-San

34,2

37,3

109%

Mike

Won-Hyo

42

42,5

101%

Noemi

Yul-Gok

50,4

47,1

93%

Rua

Joong-Gun

49,8

50,7

102%

Phap

Toi-Gye

58,8

52,9

90%

Clint

Hwa-Rang

42,6

44,4

104%

Phap

Choong-Moo

44,1

43,4

98%

Denis

* Measured from video clip in seconds

 Table 4

In Table 4 there are results based on “retro” performers from 90’s. If compare results with “modern” champion for example Suska there are interesting results in Table 5.

Performer

Pattern

Time*

Tp*

Tno*

Noemi

Won-Hyo

42,5

0,27

1,47

Suska

Won-Hyo

55,3

0,40

1,67

Difference

130%

150%

114%

* Measured from video clip in seconds

Table 5

Noemi perform pattern Won-Hyo very close to calculated time. Suska perform pattern Won-Hyo 30% slower. He makes 50% longer pause between techniques, but execute normal motion only 14% slower:

  • In modern day’s pattern are performed slowly.
  • New champions make longer pause.
  • Too much time are spend for steps and preparation to execute sine wave that starts with “unnaturally” low squat.

There are questions about how to interpret these differences:

  • If the pattern is a fight with an imaginary opponent whether he would wait?
  • Does longer pause change “natural motion” of patterns?
  • Which is more important when performing the pattern – applicability or aesthetics?
  • Why is heard that the forms in Taekwon-do are “ballet”?

The answers to these questions should be given by instructors developing Taekwon-Do. They are the people who should have the answers to these and many other questions. For the practitioners remains to learn and actively seek answers to all the questions that interest them.

Boris Atanasov

Original article in Bulgarian published in 2011