In Taekwondo participants are usually required to learn patterns, or poomse in Korean. These patterns usually consist of a mixture of blocks, strikes and kicking techniques in the form of attacking and defensive movements. Each pattern has a different meaning and symbolism, which gives each form individuality and character. The techniques found in patterns get progressively more difficult as you move through them, and normally a new pattern is learnt at each grade.
Taekwondo patterns were originally created as a way of practising Taekwondo techniques without requiring a partner due to the often dangerous nature of some techniques. The original patterns have been changed many times and within the WTF style the Taegeuk patterns are currently used. Patterns are used to develop techniques as well as balance, power and control which makes them an important aspect of training. Further to this patterns can be performed competitively and there are many high level competitions for patterns.