|Don't Knock Short Range Kicks|
When our gang journeyed from Perth down to Dunsborough last year, we looked at traditional stances, movement, blocking and striking. This time, I'd like our focus to be on Taekwondo's kicks.
And while we talk about kicks, I'm not talking about the strikes we do with our legs ... but rather the strikes we do with our bodies that end up with our leg or foot then hitting the target. This is the problem that I most often observe while working with beginners or intermediate students - the tactic in question is boiled down to a technique, which is further reduced to the last part of the striking limb. (You must read Slagging MMA Kicks.)
|A popular 'Sport-based Kick Everyone is Doing' - and not doing as well as they could be, I may add.|
It is a luxury to be able to have a person in front of you teach you martial arts. What you can't get from a book or a video is the general movement or dynamic of the rest of the human body. Let us do a technique, and I'll show you how my body moves first before that kick is ever raised off the floor. Let me convince you how important it is for you to use your core muscles - aside from your want to look good. We need to take your body mass, set it in motion, accelerate it, and transmit this power through the end limb and inject it into the opponent. Once I break it down, then let us do it smoothly and transition smoothly to deliver your payload into the opponent.
There will always be discussion as to what is the most powerful kick. But certainly we can improve the effectiveness of each tool we have in our arsenal in order to get the best of that technique when you require it as a tactical option. To do so, we must understand the kinematics of our body - how we compress, how we expand, how we swing, and how we whip (see Power Generation in Roundhouse Kick Videos). Without such mental or physical insight, you'd have to develop a far stronger limb with greater muscle mass to create the same amount of power. This goes for both hand strikes and leg strikes.
To train the end technique and to coax some effectiveness out of it, we should look at varying the type of drills or training tools that we use. Vary the power, so that you may gain accuracy by targeting it carefully. Use power shields interchangeably with the human body so that you may accurately gauge targets while referencing the silhouette of the body (see Training Aids that Wreck Combat Technique). Vary the angle of entries in order to navigate three dimensional space and bypass obstacles in your way.
I look forward to talking more about this.
Principal, Joong Do Kwan (Perth)
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