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Taekwon-Do ITF School

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Home page > About Taekwon-do > Theory of Power

Theory of Power (him ui wolli)

Taekwon-Do training leads to the development of reaction force, concentration, equilibrium, breath control and speed - these are the factors forming great physical power.

Reaction force (bandong ryok)

Every force has an equal and opposite force. 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.

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. 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.

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 defence.

Equilibrium (kyun hyung)

By keeping the body always in equilibrium, that is, well balanced, a blow is more effective and deadly.

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 maintained through dynamic stability.

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. Flexibility and knee spring are also important in maintaining balance for both a quick attack and instant recovery.

The heel of the rear foot should never be off the ground 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 stifle pain.

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.

Mass (zilyang)

Mathematically, the maximum kinetic energy or force is obtained from maximum body weight and speed. No doubt the maximum body weight is applied with the motion of turning the hip.

Speed (sokdo)

Speed is the most essential factor of force or power. Scientifically, force equals mass multiplied by acceleration (P = MV2). Every object increases its weight as well as speed in a downward movement. 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.