Speed is very important for powerful techniques

You probably know that speed is very important for powerful techniques. A small increase in speed leads to a surprisingly large increase in power. Last night we did an experiment to see how fast a side kick needs to be to break an unsupported board using slow motion video. Usually a board breaks partly because of the resistance of the holders, so if there’s no holder you need to kick much faster.

Your foot needs to travel from the ground to the ready position for your side kick (knee bent and pulled up, foot pulled across), then out to a locked position. For an 80kg person kicking, to break an unsupported board this all needs to take place in approximately three tenths of a second!

To improve your speed, you need to stretch more and improve your flexibility. You also need to practice your technique so that you can instinctively deliver the technique perfectly in such a short timeframe.

Remember that all your instructors were white belts once! Keep coming to training and you’ll be able to pull off impressive techniques like this as well.

Practice everything!

There’s always the temptation when practising a martial art to just practice with the students and techniques you know. Sometimes we can get caught up in practising our technique and form so much that we forget what our art is designed for. Last night at Moreland was an awesome session where we went through how some of your basic techniques can be used in self defence, as well as some more advanced techniques from patterns. Remember that although good technique is hugely important, it’s no good unless you know when and how to apply it.

Keep practising so that your techniques are as well-executed as possible, and if you don’t know what a technique is used for ask your Instructor!

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Source: ACTIONTKD Melbourne

Front Snap Kick

The front snap kick will be one of the very first techniques you learn in Tae Kwon-Do and will be one you practice and improve constantly throughout your training. It is delivered with the ball of the foot, pushing explosively into a target. The correct position is with the foot pointed and the toes pulled back so that the ball of the foot contacts the target. In this way, all of the force is concentrated into a smaller area.

On your front snap kick, make sure that you pull your knee up in front so that you can explode outwards and push directly into a target. A common mistake, especially when first learning this technique, is to kick in such a way that your foot travels out and up in an arc, rather than directly into a target – most of the force is going upwards, rather than into the target. Trying this out a couple of times on a kicking bag will quickly show you why kicking upwards has less of an effect than kicking in – you will glance off the bag instead of delivering a strong kick.

Having a strong and fast front snap kick is incredibly useful both in and out of the gym. It can be used in a self defence situation if somebody is approaching you – drop away, then kick hard towards the solar plexus, ribs, knee or groin. In the gym, it will be one of your most frequently used techniques in sparring.

To improve your kick, do plenty of squats to improve your leg strength and practice pointing your foot so that you strike with the ball of the foot.

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Source: ACTIONTKD Melbourne