Basic Taekwondo Kick a Misnomer

Date: January 22, 2012Author: Colin WeeCategories: Featured,TaekwondoTags: Self Defense, sparring, TaekwondoSkip to commentsThe basic Taekwondo kick is a misnomer. It is an undervalued short range powerful technique. Let’s talk about the basic kick in terms of the front kick and the roundhouse kick.A front kick is done on a vertical lane where the roundhouse kick is done on a horizontal plane. It is a short range kick and thus ‘compresses’ the body, generating power because the upper body and the lower body come closer together. The roundhouse kick does the same but rotated 90 degrees.The long range version of these kicks seem to be valued more because they are techniques done to keep an opponent at bay – essential for beginners dealing with the pressure of a dynamic opponent. Long range techniques require expansion of the body – meaning both the upper body and lower body travel further away from each other in contrast to short range kicks. In this case, both the long range and roundhouse kicks generate power in a pendulum swing – using the upper body as a counter weight and the hip as a fulcrum.The vertical and horizontal plane are explored in order to establish the outer parameters for these two kicks. Each slice between zero and ninety degrees are legitimate kicks. If you talk about short range and long range techniques too, the articulation of the hip also allows for a 90 degree variance in angle of entry.Two exercises that allow a practitioner to more fully explore this are 1) exercises to challenge the practitioner to land the technique and 2) exercises the challenge the practitioner to be aware of the flight path of the technique.Landing the technique through obstacles and weaseling the foot through three dimensional space forces the practitioner to rotate the hip on the vertical and horizontal and extend it sufficiently for it to land on small targets on the opponent’s body. Understanding the flight path of a kick allows you to take advantage of blind spots from the opponent’s point of view (e.g. under arms, behind shoulders, or under outstretched legs.)I urge all practitioners not to devalue the short range kick – it is a devastating part of your arsenal and has to be the cornerstone on which all kicks are based.