Friday, June 22, 2012

Taekwondo Myths Debunked (Part 1)

This is a small list of myths spread about Taekwondo among people who do not practice it.

1. Taekwondo is scored simply on touching your opponent

This is completely untrue. Yes, some schools that want to promote safety do this, but as a whole it is not representative of the sport. "Slapping" your opponent's chest guard with your foot will not get you any points. The official rules set clearly states that "displacement" is needed, meaning you have to have moved your opponent through the force of your kick. However, this rule may change, as the rules regarding headkicks have already been altered dramatically.

2. Taekwondo is all kicks

While Olympic Taekwondo is primarily kicking-based, punching is a traditional aspect of Taekwondo. In Taekwondo forms, punches outnumber kicks in an overall ratio of more than 9 to 1. Various kinds of Taekwondo organizations, such as the ITF or smaller combat Taekwondo societies, allow punches to the face and body. Time and effort is put into conditioning the fists and hands for breaking, specifically of thick pieces of wood and concrete.

3. Taekwondo kicks are primarily spinning and jumping

Completely false. Jumping and spinning kicks leave you very open to attacks from behind, counters to the side, or plainly missing your opponent altogether. Even in the flashy higher levels of sparring, jumping kicks are almost nonexistent. The number one most used and most scoring kick in Taekwondo is the diagonal roundkick. Spinning and jumping techniques are practiced in Taekwondo as a show of control and acrobatic ability, as it is known that jumping techniques will often actually have less power than a ground-based technique due to hip rotation and energy transfer.

The next part will be about Taekwondo myths....that Taekwondo practitioners themselves believe!

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