Taekwondo is a Korean martial art that specializes in fast kicking techniques like head-height kicks, jumping kicks and spinning kicks. At the end of World War II, a new martial arts school was formed, Kwan each school has their own unique styles. These schools opened in Seoul and were established by Korean martial artist it was even used in the South Korean military. In 1955 the leaders of the Kwan unified their styles calling it Tae27th myanmar southeast asian games_2013_12_18_andrew jk tan_14 Soo Do which meant  hanja 跆 tae “to stomp, trample”, 手 su “hand” and 道 do “way, discipline.”

Taekwondo has a more narrow and taller stance to emphasize the fast kicks. Speed and agility help gain more powerful kicks as speed is more important than size. ITF-Style taekwondo has a theory on how to produce power.

The Theory of Power

  • Reaction Force – the principle that as the striking limb is brought forward, other parts of the body should be brought backward in order to provide more power to the striking limb. As an example, if the right leg is brought forward in a roundhouse kick, the right arm is brought backward to provide the reaction force.
  • Concentration – the principle of bringing as many muscles as possible to bear on a strike, concentrating the area of impact into as small an area as possible.
  • Equilibrium – maintaining a correct center-of-balance throughout a technique.
  • Breath Control – the idea that during a strike one should exhale, with the exhalation concluding at the moment of impact.
  • Mass – the principle of bringing as much of the body to bear on a strike as possible; again using the turning kick as an example, the idea would be to rotate the hip as well as the leg during the kick in order to take advantage of the hip’s additional mass in terms of providing power to the kick.
  • Speed – as previously noted, the speed of execution of a technique in taekwondo is deemed to be even more important than mass in terms of providing power.

duc-dang-taekwondo-jumping-front-kick.jpgThere are a number of taekwondo styles but the three main differences are the patterns in which the styles are practiced, the differences in the sparring and the martial arts philosophy. A dobok, which is the uniform students where is often white with black or others color belts around the waist. Colors are for special teams or higher level instructors. So are you ready to get your dobok and join a dojang which is the training hall for taekwondo students in Korea?

~XO, Niki

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