To move, one must break balance. A step is merely a controlled fall. Just before the stepping foot strikes the floor, the body is falling forward. If the stepping foot slips or is knocked away, the body falls. Two components of movement are speed and accuracy.
- Speed. Every Taekwondo student wants to move quickly, either to avoid an attack or to attack first. To move the body, muscles must contract. Since the speed of movement is directly proportional to the force that produced the movement, the stronger the muscles are, the quicker the movement. So to increase speed, develop more muscle strength. Strength is increased by subjecting muscles to more forcible contractions than they normally are subject to. This is done by quickly contracting the muscles against light resistance for many repetitions (which strengthens existing muscle) or slowly contracting the muscles against heavy resistance for only a few repetitions (which builds more muscle). Strength may also be increased by either quickly or slowly contracting the muscles while keeping them tightly tensed, this is called dynamic tension.
- Accuracy. You must not only move quickly, you must also be able to move to exactly the position desired. To move accurately, you must keep your eyes open and the opponent in view and compute the exact direction and distance to the point you wish to move to. If you can detect the opponent's initial movement as soon as possible, you will have more time to compute and move. Fatigue will reduce accuracy as well as speed, so the more physically fit you are, the better your accuracy and speed.
Ways to use these natural laws
- Low, long stances are better for delivering powerful techniques.
- Higher, shorter stances are better for moving quickly.
- Use a forward stance if you want to go forward.
- Use a back stance to back up or want to keep the feet close to the opponent and the body out of range.
- Use an evenly balanced stance to be prepared to move in any direction.
- If you are losing your balance while kicking, bend your base knee and keep the base foot flat and the body as erect as possible.
- If you are being pushed or knocked off balance, bend the knees, lower the center of mass, and make sure the hips and shoulders are in line.
- When stepping, try to make the body go forward rather than up and down. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.