Taekwondo encompasses an extensive variety of techniques from kicks, blocks, and strikes to intricate striking and kicking combinations combined with efficient footwork. The techniques described below are a few of the building blocks for exciting taekwondo action.
NOTE: MSMAP does not emphasize nor encourage fighting or using these techniques in any circumstances except during supervised training, tournaments, or for self-defense. Safety and health during training is emphasized at all times.
OVERVIEW. Taekwondo is easily recognized for the number of spectacular kicking techniques. Kicks are emphasized because legs are the longest limbs of the body and therefore maximize the distance between opponent and self.
TYPES: The basic kicks are front, roundhouse, side, back, and axe. From these basic kicks, participants then move on to doubles/triples/quadruples/more, hook, spin hook, lead leg, and kicks in multiple combinations. Targets are middle and high sections.
BENEFITS: Training for kicking improves balance, flexibility, coordination, speed, and power.
OVERVIEW. Often overlooked due to the exciting kicking techniques and intricate footwork (see below), taekwondo includes a variety of blocks as well. Blocks are the use of the arms to protect the head and body when a person cannot move out of the way.
TYPES. Basic blocks are down, middle (in-to-out, out-to-in), and upper, either closed fist or open hand.
BENEFITS. Blocking practice easily improves coordination as well as reaction speed. In addition, it develops the ability to protect the torso and head from injury.
OVERVIEW. Another often overlooked skill, striking is an important facet of taekwondo repetoire. Striking is the use of the hands against a target.
TYPES. Strikes, including punches, involve various parts of the hands: knuckles, edge (inside/outside), and fingers (for advanced participants).
BENEFITS. Striking develops coordination, control, and upper body strength.
OVERVIEW. Also called, “Steps,” footwork is the ability to move closer or farther away from a target quickly and efficiently. This is a required skill to kick and strike effectively especially against a moving target. Plus, footwork is the best kind of block: get out of the way!
TYPES. Footwork includes offensive motions (forward) and defensive motions (backwards) as well as to the sides and at various angles relative to the opponent. The four primary kicking and stepping motions are slide-in kick, swith kick, step-in kick, and running step.
BENEFITS. Training develops coordination, balance, quickness, and ability to react well to the motion of others.