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shughes's picture
ITF (Chang Hon) Karate connection

It's no secret that much of the ITF's patterns were heavily influnced by Karate kata, and in some cases, lifted wholesale with slight variations. Many have noted similarities between some patterns, but to my knowledge nobody has really dug into the details of how the various patterns relate to one another. This was my project over the summer, and I'm willing to share this with anyone who is interested.


I imagine that most Taekwon-Do practitioners are not interested in pattern applications, so much of this is presented as a study of the patterns' origins. My interest is primarily in finding applications, but finding the origins of sequences provided me with a larger pool of information to draw from, as well as a better understanding of the changes they went through and how that might influence their application. Though some links are a little tenuous, I thought it better to include them than not.

An interesting note: I've seen a lot of people say that the colored belt patterns draw from the Pinan series, and assume that the black belt patterns don't have any connection. I originally assumed the same, but I found evidence that suggests otherwise.

  • Dan Gun to Toi Gye progress through the Pinan series
  • with the exception of Joong Gun, which seems inspired by Jitte and other non-Pinan kata
  • Hwa Rang and Choong Moo, being the oldest patterns, draw from the entire Pinan series
  • Kwang Gae is inspired by Hangetsu/Seisan
  • Po Eun is obviously Naihanchi
  • Ge Baek seems inspired by Chinto/Gankaku
  • Yoo Sin contains a lot of Passai-Dai

It's true that many of the black belt patterns have little in common with Karate kata, and with the exception of Ul Ji, there's not much to say past Yoo Sin. However, my experience only takes me though Choi Yong, so any other observations are welcome.

I hope you find this information useful.