I'm working on my 2nd Dan patterns, which in ITF TKD are named for famous people, places, or groups in Korean history. The pattern's total number of moves usually has a connection to the person it is named for, but I have been told that sometimes the number is selected only because it returns the student to the starting spot. I have been unable to find a reason for the Choong-Jang pattern... it is not his age at his death or the latitude coordinates for his birthplace, and I haven't been able to find any military connection (he was a general). My instructor likes to quiz me on the history, so I've been scrambling trying to find an answer. If anyone could point me to a resource I would be very appreciative.
I also could not find anything resembling the number 52, no matter how contrived. Deck of cards? Twice two more hours in a day to get things done? Weeks in a year, representing incarceration? Latitude coordinates? I think that's all very far-reaching.
I think maybe the esteemed Gen Choi left us a mystery whose sole purpose was to get us to research a concept he never intended to formally define, thus ensuring a student actually does some sort of research, and that any answer, however contrived, would be a correct one. If your research concludes that the Admiral spent 2 years in prison while at age 26, you have thus shown your research into his age and his imprisonment. Who's to say your supposition is incorrect, if your data relies on facts you discovered?
Methinks this is a puzzle. Perhaps, an alt-fact designed to get you to pound the books? Choi is perhaps laughing in his grave.
In ITF patterns, there are some that specifically relate the number of moves to something (for example, age at death or birth place on a certain parallel/latitude). Hwa Rang, for instance, has 29 moves because General Choi commanded the 29th Infantry division; Kwang Gae, a first degree pattern, has 39 moves because 3 and 9 are the first two digits in 391, the year Kwang Gae succeeded to the throne.
I'm trying to make two points here:
- The patterns where the number of moves is significant specifically give you the reason for the significance.
- In some cases, the significance of the number is rather tenuous (Kwang Gae was 39 when he died, for instance).
As other answers have said, there is no immediately obvious reason why Choong Jang has 52 movements. If you get asked why, you can always answer with:
I've tried to find out why, but haven't found anything.
Don't forget, you could always ask your instructor!