A question is often asked, "What is the application of this move?" That's a good question, but if that's the only question we ask about forms, we're missing something extremely important.
A more thoughtful question is, "What are the patterns for?" Sometimes the answer is given, "They're traditional". That's true, but not that helpful, General Choi gave us the 24 patterns, but "tradition" does not answer the question of "why". Taekwon-Do is an extremely practical martial art, drawing on prior martial arts but refined by science and usefulness. It is concerned with defending oneself or others, so the idea of pattern movements being arbitrary (and ultimately unimportant) seems entirely at odds with the history and purpose of Taekwon-Do.
You can see where my questions lead. However, books on patterns do not answer these questions. Authors describe legitimate applications for individual moves but when you put all those applications together, there is no consistency or logic to what the opponent is doing. In some cases authors offer a wild explosion of explanations for individual move applications (often some very dubious applications and often changing the move greatly to make that application work) . Clearly they do not address the "why" of the pattern; in fact they never seem to look for it.
I want to know why the pattern moves are in the order they are. Am I wrong? Let's consider the following description of patterns:
Patterns are various fundamental movements, most of which represent either attack or defense techniques, set to a fixed and logical sequence.
The student systematically deals with several imaginary opponents under various assumptions, using every available attacking and blocking tool from different directions. Thus pattern practice enables the student to go through many fundamental movements in series, to develop sparring techniques, improve flexibility of movements, master body shifting, build muscles and breath control, develop fluid and smooth motions, and gain rhythmical movements.
- Movements are mostly attack or defense techniques.
- Movements are in a logical sequence.
- Forms are dealing with multiple imaginary opponents.
- There are assumptions to what the opponents are doing.
- Forms perfect techniques that cannot be done as exercises or even sparring.
- Move 26 is a Snap Kick to an kneeling opponent's philtrum.
- Move 27 is a High Thrust to a standing opponent's eyes.