As continuous sparring developed, it became clear that some of the older ways of executing techniques were not useful or efficient, just as Kano had discovered while studying Jujitsu. The traditional snapping roundhouse kick was relatively weak, but sport Taekwondo used the turning of the hips and full body rotation to make it a very powerful kick. The traditional way of blocking the kick to close distance for a final punch or kick was not effective against the new powerful roundhouse kick. The difference in mass and power between the kicking leg and the blocking arm simply became too great. It was found it was better to evade in response to a kick, rather than intercepting the kick with a block.
The development of the axe kick emphasized this even more. In Taekwondo textbooks published prior to about 1970, you cannot find mention of the axe kick; it is a recent development. It is difficult, if not impossible, to block the kick, so you must evade it or risk either a broken arm or a concussion.
Sport roundhouse kicking techniques also dictate which portion of the foot makes contact with its target. Instead of striking with the ball of the foot as do traditionalists, sport practitioners kick with the instep since it has greater range. However, it has less penetration reach and cannot strike as powerfully as the ball without injury. Other kicks, such as the spin side kick, have also changed regarding striking surface. The traditional kicker's heel is what makes first contact, but sport fighters prefer to strike with the bottom or ball of the foot.
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