Rotation is used in Taekwondo techniques to generate force and increase the power of techniques. Without rotation, techniques would have to rely solely on the power generated by the muscles. This power alone is significantly less than that generated by muscles with the additional forces created by rotation. See Force for more information on rotational forces.
- Base. The base is the sole of a single supporting foot or an imaginary line drawn between two supporting feet.
- Vertical Axis. The vertical axis is an imaginary line drawn down the center of the body through the head, neck, and torso and through the center point of the base.
Rotation is used several different ways while performing Taekwondo techniques
- Punch Rotation. This involves rotating the fist during a punch. See Twist for more information on punch rotation.
- Body Rotation. Spinning techniques, such as the spin hook kick or spin back fist, involve body rotation about the vertical axis. This spinning motion is used to generate more power or to change the direction or angle of an attack. See Spinning for more information.
- Shoulder Rotation. Shoulders rotate on a plane perpendicular, are nearly so, to the vertical axis. They usually rotate in tandem with the hips, staying parallel to them. When using hip snap, the shoulders stay locked to the motion of the hips. Sometimes, near the end of a rotation, the shoulders may continue to rotate after the hips are stopped or when they reach their limit of rotation, such as with a spinning back fist. Shoulder rotation adds to the speed of arm techniques, as well as increasing the overall rotational speed of the body. Shoulders may also rotate by rolling over in an inward motion to add more muscles power to an arm technique.
- Hip Rotation. Most every sport stresses the importance of using the hips for power. Weight lifters are told to get their hips under the weight. Golfers and batters are told to rotate their hips. Since the hips are at about the center of the body's mass, they are important for ant movements of the body's mass and for maintaining overall stability. All martial arts speak about the importance of the "tanden" the center of balance (mass) of the body, the point from which ki supposedly emanates.
Power in Taekwondo techniques comes from many sources, muscles, mass, speed, stability, etc. However, if the hips are not used along with these things, none of their power may be fully transferred into a technique. One indicator of a martial artist who has finally "got it" is one who uses the hips in every attack, block, or body movement.
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