What role does body hardening exercises play in Taekwondo?

During Taekwondo sessions, I often let my students land kicks or hand strikes on my body with increasing force. While it's not yet full power, the strikes are approaching it, and have been described by other blackbelts as 'old school' (ala Uechi Ryu Karate's Hojo Undo). What benefits arise from getting struck like this? Aside from increasing tolerance to pain or body hardening (which I don't really believe in or promote), why would we do this? In sparring, at full speed, does this help? Typically not. Full speed taekwondo or karate attacks to body most often land without the receiver able to totally prepare themselves for the strike. However, accepting strikes to the body during practice teaches a major lesson - and that is that the effective range and location of the impact for most kicks have a very limited ' range of effectiveness. For instance, if I can move my body one or two inches away or rotating around the strike, most kicks will be absorbed or deflected without me having to shift my whole body weight away or toward the kicking leg. You will not however be able to play with this nicely unless you get your partner to commit and land very hard strikes or kicks on your body. You need to feel the pressure, synchronize your timing, and modify/collapse your body structure in order to nullify the force of the kick or strike. Cheers, Colin

Taekwondo Sparring Posts
Cross Style Comparison: Body Hardening

External Links
Hojo Undo Quotes
Shaolin Monks v Maori Warrior
How Hard Should You Beat Your Body?
Fighting Gear
Sanchin Shime
Are You Tough Enough?
Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.


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