A Philosophical Look at Chon-Ji Teul -- Sanko Lewis
The first official pattern of ITF Taekwon-Do is Chon-Ji. The ITF Encyclopaedia defines the first Taekwon-Do pattern as follows:
Chon-Ji [천지/ 天地] means literally "the Heaven the Earth." It is, in the Orient, interpreted as the creation of the world or the beginning of human history, therefore, it is the initial pattern played by the beginner. This pattern consists of two similar parts; one to represent the Heaven and the other the Earth.
 will note that the pattern actually consists of three parts, not two; there are three additional punches at the end (movements 17, 18 and 19). This is actually consistent with another symbol from Korean philosophy known as the Sam Taegeuk [삼태극 / 三太極] (”triple grand ultimate”). The Sam Taegeuk (“sam” meaning three) is a three lobed Taegeuk; the extra yellow lobe representing humanity. The Sam Taegeuk reflects the Korean philosophy of Sam Jae, or Sam Yoso; meaning “Triple Essence,” or the three fundamental essences that defines the universe: heaven, earth, and human being.
Marc Tedeschi explains it in his book Taekwondo: Traditions, Philosophy, Technique as follows: “In this aspect of Korean philosophy, the mind and body are inseparable within a human being, a human being is inseparable from heaven and earth, and heaven and earth are inseparable from each other. Thus, heaven, earth, and human being are destined to exist in unity.”
Whether Chon-Ji Teul does refer to the Palgwae is speculative as the ITF Encyclopaedia does not directly refer to it. Regardless, it is clear that Chon-Ji Teul is full of deeper philosophical meaning worth exploring. As "the initial pattern played by the beginner," Chon-Ji sets the practitioner within a specific worldview. It is a worldview based on ancient Oriental and Korean philosophy. The Chinese Taijitu depicts a universe in balance and the Korean Taegeukdo shows Heaven and Earth in balance. The Sam Taegeuk depicts man in blance with Heaven and Earth. There is therefore a possible ascetic interpretation to Chon-Ji Teul: Through the study of Taekwon-Do a human being is to attain harmony with him or herself, and harmony with the universe. This journey towards harmony starts with the initial pattern in Taekwon-Do. This would imply that innate to Taekwon-Do is a quest for achieving harmony: harmony with onneself, harmony with other people, harmony with the Earth, and harmony with Heaven.
. Noting that the trigram is a symbol from oriental philosophy, the SA-ITF Constitution explains that the trigram represents the philosophical underpinning of Taekwon-Do, known as Moral Culture. In the logo the top bar of the trigram represent the “spiritual creation and heaven”, the middle bar represents the “human race” and the bottom bar represents the “physical creation and fauna and flaura”.
You can read a more comprehensive version of this post in Issue #18 of Totally Taekwon-Do Magazine, starting on p. 45.
 “Teul” is Korean word for pattern. Hyeon and pumsae are synonyms that are also sometimes used.
 The explanation of the meaning of the SA-ITF logo was primarily done by Boosabeomnim Chris van der Merwe during his involvement as the SA-ITF’s Director of Constitutional Affairs.
Choi Hong-Hi. ITF Taekwon-Do Encyclopaedia
Marc Tedeschi. Taekwondo: Traditions, Philosophy, Technique