Taekwondo as evolved through the years. At its inception, it was a combination of styles and it gradually gained it own individuality. Early competition kicks were basic linear kicks. Spinning and aerial kicks were considered flashy and ineffective. Modern training techniques, starting children at younger ages, and individual superstars have changed many sports, such a Pele in soccer. Taekwondo also evolved as younger practitioners became bored with traditional kicks and began experimenting with new kicks. Young people are no longer accepting traditional ways as being the best, they are questioning old techniques and developing new ones.
Traditional Taekwondo kicks
Traditional Taekwondo kicks are singular, linear, and powerful, with the emphasis on power. Modern kicking techniques use combinations kicks that drive the opponent back with basic kicks and then finish with a jump or jump-spinning kicks. Linear kicks are relatively easy to deflect or avoid and leave the kick exposed to counterattacks. Kicking emphasis has shifted from sheer muscle power to kinetic efficiency, where kicks take advantage of the laws of kinetics and physics.
Traditional Taekwondo patterns use exaggerated low stances. Such low stances hamper quick movements and limit height when jumping. To attempt a spin kick from a low stance, a large weight shift must be made, which telegraphs the intent of the kicker. When attempting a jumping kick from a low stance, the wide base of the stance limits the amount of force that may be applied to the jump. Using a more upright stance permits quick movement needed for spin kicks and allows the legs to propel the body upward enough to perform jump kicks.
Traditional Taekwondo fighting stance were relatively stationary. Through the years, Taekwondo has adopted the continuous movement used by other fighting arts such as boxing. These changes involved quick shifts of foot positions and stances. Quick footwork is now used to change ranges and confuse opponents. The use of rapid combinations can create openings that permit the use of jump and spin kicks. Also, protective equipment, especially chest protectors, has become lighter and less restrictive, making it easier to jump and spin quickly through a greater range of motion.
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