Lately, I've been trying to find the meaning of a lot of the various techniques in the Taekwondo forms. I think some of those threads are still here. But I thought I'd take a step back and try to look at the forms themselves. Whether it's Taegeuks, Palgwes, the KKW black belt forms, or (from what I can tell) the ITF or ATA Taekwondo forms, they all seem to have a very similar style. You can correct me if I'm wrong about ATA or ITF, as I haven't trained those, but from what I can tell, all of these feature precise stances and movements, with little room for improvisation. Mimicry is key, as you must mimic the form to have the proper stance and technique. The forms are slow-paced, with a pause between each movement to show your balance and control with the move. But, for the most part, each move is an explosion of speed and power. Now, I can't speak for the ITF or ATA patterns here, but I know with the Palgwe or Taegeuk forms, they increase in complexity as you go higher in belt. In a lot of cases, what you end up learning are motions that don't really make sense in the context they're described, or don't have an apparent practical motion. I've gone over my thoughts on the double-knife-hand block and asked questions about augmented blocks in other threads. The crane stance diamond low-block in Keumgang is another. It's been brought up in threads in the general section that forms can have various purposes. In some cases, it can be to teach the techniques and concepts, but in other cases it can be for conditioning or for aesthetics. Another thing that gets mentioned in a lot of these threads is the mind-body connection (particularly with regard to some of the flashier Kung Fu form styles). Some people have expressed that the forms should teach general movements that can be applied in different ways when you move onto the next step of sparring or partner drills. So with all this in mind, I ask...what is the purpose of a Taekwondo form? Is it... To teach individual techniques to use when fighting To condition the body for flexibility and balance To teach general concepts of fighting To work on the mind/body connection To be aesthetically pleasing Something else?