The ITF Pattern Moves That Have Changed Over Time (and/or are most contested)

It's not a conundrum or a chicken/egg thing at all. The question goes to the very root of what the purpose of a form is. Originally, forms were designed as a collection of tactical responses (like a pin. counter grab, step and strike combo) to a variety of common attacks such as chokes, wrist grabs, and punches. These types of attacks already existed. The response was created to deal with them. The combinations did not exist in a void for their own sake; they had a specific purpose. In this light, the way a form looks was not that important.

Many TKD poomsae are based on Shotokan kata adapted from Okinawan kata. During this journey thru time and geography some of the techniques have evolved so they no longer reflect their original purpose. The forms have been repurposed as a vehicle to showcase the techniques themselves for development of physical skill and competition. Here, the look of the form is more important than discussed above.

Yes, kicks or punches can still be used to fight, but in terms of kata, they are done out of context, losing sight of what the form was originally designed for. This "problem" is not unique to TKD. Japanese and even Okinawan styles struggle with the question, "What is the real meaning of this technique or combo?"

Now, such problems and questions are moot if the form has been designed specifically to practice techniques for their own sake, striving for the best posture, power and speed. (Or has evolved to become this.) This may be seen as a new class of forms. Some schools may have forms for just this purpose, which is fine. But, in this case, trying to correlate a specific series of moves to a wrist grab escape, for example, may be more problematic.

It all comes down to what facets of poomsae/kata a school or style wishes to emphasize: Appearance, execution, purpose, principles, health, etc. Stressing one may cause a trade-off with another in some cases. The important thing is to do it the best one can and find personal benefit from it. That's the real purpose of MA.
I think I agree? What is paramount is How the form is taught. This is always the basis for how a form is done by the student.
Too often, what is going on in a student's head while doing a form (poomsae/kata) is never discussed, and this leads to real problems. It can, in fact, render the form rather useless.
I know that's what the modern books say; however, if you step closer to your opponent you will be too close to use a side kick. My instructor demonstrated that one day in class. You're already within punching distance to do the right middle punch. For your opponent to grab your wrist, you have to be within arm's reach. (I'm assuming it's not a giant that is grabbing you.) That means you're generally too close for side kick to begin with, but to make matters worse, the next move pivots and moves in even closer.
The other day I noticed something which makes it difficult to do 11 & 12 which is the grabbing fist and pulling while kicking. In olden days we put our left foot next to our right foot for #11 which put us too close to kick. The encyclopedia and current practice has a foot diagram that shows the left foot is not brought to the right but only to a point where the feet are about shoulder width apart or maybe even a little wider. (Text doe not specify distance but only states "pull left foot toward" - not "to" which allows for variation as needed) . Keeping the left foot further away from the adversary gives needed distance for the right kick.

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