This volume of books (there's 3 in the set) covers 19 of the 24 patterns of ITF Taekwon-do. It
should cover 20 patterns but 'Kodang Tul' was replaced many years ago, so is no longer
relevant except maybe from a historical view point. The word 'Hyung' was the old term for
describing patterns, what you now know as 'Tul`.

The first book covers patterns Chon-Ji to Toi-Gye & the second covers Hwa Rang to some of the black belt patterns. Each volume has over 600 photographs of the various movements contained within the patterns, taking the reader step by step through each pattern. Each photo is accompanied by some text describing the movement pictured. Each pattern is also given its meaning (in English & Korean), its diagram & a short description of what each pattern sets out to achieve.

Also in the book are some pictures & descriptions of basic moves & stances, showing basic blocks, strikes & kicks. A biography of Master Cho, an interesting feature concerning patterns & their history, some good diagrams showing some of the vital spots on the body & the obligatory Master Cho action pictures.

On the plus side, with the exception of General Choi's Encyclopedia, no other book covers the patterns in this much detail. However, the books were published in 1984, meaning that they have not been updated since & because Taekwon-do is continually going through developments, it means a few of the moves are wrong & have to be corrected by the reader. This is not to much of a hardship however & is easily done by simply crossing out & writing in the new stance or whatever is correct next to the picture (which is usually very similar looking anyway as a lot of changes are only minor).

For coloured belts the first volume is a must. It should be used as a reference guide & not a learning tool as nothing is a substitute for class training. When a pattern is learnt its easy to update the photo's as mentioned earlier, for future reference.

For black belts things are a bit more complicated. The reason being that because they are fifteen years old, the black belt patterns are printed in the wrong order (some pattern orders were swapped & changed some years ago). And pattern 'Kodang' (volume 3) was
never replaced in these book, with pattern 'Choong Jang' as it was in the ITF system. Also, the 3 volume set only covers 19 of the 24 patterns, so there could be a problem if you need to refer to them when your taking your 6th degree ! (Ha Ha)

On the plus side, these books are comprehensive in detail, easy to follow, have clear pictures with descriptions, a few added extras & they cover all the coloured belt patterns in the right order & nearly correctly. On the down side a few movements are slightly outdated & need to be amended.

All in all a recommended purchase.
Book Reviews: Complete Taekwon-do Hyung, Volume 1 & 2 (Master Hee Il Cho)
by Stuart Anslow III

Book Reviews: Complete Taekwon-do Hyung, Volume 1 & 2 (Master Hee Il Cho)