Newton's Law, every force has as equal and opposite
force. When an automobile crashes into a wall with the
force of 2,000 pounds, the wall will return a force of
2,000 pounds; or forcing the end of the seesaw down with
a ton of weight will provide an upward force of the same
weight; if your opponent is rushing towards you at a
high speed, by the slightest blow at his head, the force
with which you strike his head would be that of his own
onslaught plus that of your blow.
The two forces combined;
his, which is large, and yours, which is small is quite
impressive. Another reaction force is your own. A punch
with the right fist is aided by pulling back the left
fist to the hip.
CONCENTRATION (Jip Joong)
By applying the impact force onto the
smallest target area, it will concentrate the force and therefore,
increase its effect. For example, the force of water coming out of a
water hose is greater if the orifice is smaller. Conversely, the weight
of a man spread out on snow shoes makes hardly any impression on the
snow. The blows in Taekwon-Do are often concentrated
onto the edge of the open palm or
to the crook of the fingers.
It is very important that you should not
unleash all your strength at the beginning but gradually, and
particularly at the point of contact with your opponent's body, the
force must be so concentrated as to give a knock-out blow. That is to
say, the shorter the time for the concentration, the greater will be the
power of the blow. The utmost concentration is required in order to
mobilize every muscle of the body onto the smallest target area
In conclusion, concentration is done in
two ways: one is to concentrate every muscle of the body, particularly
the bigger muscles around the hip and abdomen (which theoretically are
slower than the smaller muscles of other parts of the body) towards the
appropriate tool to be used at the proper time; the second way is to
concentrate such mobilized muscles onto the opponent's vital spot. This
is the reason why the hip and abdomen are jerked slightly before the
hands and feet in any action, whether it be attack or defense. Remember,
jerking can be executed in two ways: laterally and vertically.
EQUILIBRIUM (Kyun Hyung)
Balance is of utmost importance in any
type of athletics. In Taekwon-Do, it deserves special consideration. By
keeping the body always in equilibrium, that is, well balanced, a blow
is more effective and deadly. Conversely, the unbalanced one is easily
toppled. The stance should always be stable yet flexible, for both
offensive and defensive movements.
Equilibrium is classified into both
dynamic and static stability. They are so closely inter-related that the
maximum force can only be produced when the static stability is
To maintain good equilibrium, the center
of gravity of the stance must fall on a straight line midway between
both legs when the body weight is distributed equally on both legs, or
in the center of the foot if it is necessary to concentrate the bulk of
body weight on one foot. The center of gravity can be adjusted according
to body weight. Flexibility and knee spring are also important in
maintaining balance for both a quick attack and instant recovery. One
additional point; the heel of the rear foot should never be off the
ground at the point of impact. This is not only necessary for good
balance but also to produce maximum power at the point of impact.
BREATH CONTROL (Hohup Jojul)
Controlled breathing not only affects
one's stamina and speed but can also condition a body to receive a blow
and augment the power of a blow directed against an opponent. Through
practice, breath stopped in the state of exhaling at the critical moment
when a blow is landed against a pressure point on the body can prevent a
loss of consciousness and stifling pain. A sharp exhaling of breath at
the moment of impact and stopping the breath during the execution of a
movement tenses the abdomen to concentrate maximum effort on the
delivery of the motion, while a slow inhaling helps the preparation of
the next movement. An important rule to remember; Never inhale while
focusing a block or blow against an opponent. Not only will this impede
movement but it will also result in a loss of power.
Students should also practice disguised
breathing to conceal any outward signs of fatigue. An experienced
fighter will certainly press an attack when he realizes his opponent is
on the point of exhaustion. One breath is required for one movement with
the exception of a continuous motion.
Mathematically, the maximum kinetic
energy or force is obtained from maximum body weight and speed and it is
all important that the body weight be increased during the execution of
a blow. No doubt the maximum body weight is applied with the motion of
turning the hip. The large abdominal muscles are twisted to provide
additional body momentum. Thus the hip rotates in the same direction as
that of the attacking or blocking tool. Another way of increasing body
weight is the utilization of a springing action of the knee joint. This
is achieved by slightly raising the hip at the beginning of the motion
and lowering the hip at the moment of impact to drop the body weight
into the motion.
In summary, it is necessary to point out
that the principles of force outlined here hold just as true today in
our modern scientific and nuclear age as they did centuries ago.
I am sure that when you go through this
art, both in theory and in practice, you will find that the scientific
basis of the motions and the real power which comes out a small human
body cannot fail to impress you.
Speed is the most essential factor of
force or power. Scientifically, force equals mass multiplied by
acceleration (F = MA) or (P = MV2).
According to the theory of kinetic
energy, every object increases its weight as well as speed in a downward
movement. This very principle is applied to this particular art of
self-defense. For this reason, at the moment of impact, the position of
the hand normally becomes lower than the shoulder and the foot lower
than the hip while the body is in the air.
Reaction force, breathing control,
equilibrium, concentration, and relaxation of the muscles cannot be
ignored. However, these are the factors that contribute to the speed and
all these factors, together with flexible and rhythmic movements, must
be well coordinated to produce the maximum power in Taekwon-Do.
Text taken from
TAEKWON-DO Encyclopedia -- By General Choi Hong Hi
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