Patterns serve several purposes
Patterns force students to practice techniques that are not normally used. Some techniques are obscure and not normally used in sparring or self-defense, but they help students understand body movement and add to the repertoire of techniques. Some techniques are still effective even though they are not pertinent to modern competition sparring.
Patterns are a history storehouse. They provide a history lesson of the development of a martial art and are a storehouse of decades of the martial art's knowledge.
Patterns provide a way to compete for students who do not compete in sparring. Some people do not enjoy sparring. some consider it too violent, and others, due to injury, physical disabilities, or advanced age find it difficult to compete in sparring. Patterns competition provides them with a way to display their skills.
Patterns allow students to express their artistic abilities. Although patterns have many rules and set movements, their is still room for the martial artist to insert some personal artistic expression.
Patterns may be effectively performed either individually or in a group. Patterns allow for individual or team competition.
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