In Taekwondo, kicking is the most important technique. They are prolific in variety and can defeat an opponent in a single strike. Kicks to the head score the most points. After the ritual bow, the combatant moves into his initial stance. From that position, he launches into an arsenal of forceful footwork. This martial artist can rapidly shift his weight, alternating legs performing in quick succession: a Spin Kick, a Straight Kick, a Jump Kick, a Jump Spin Kick, Double and Triple Kicks. Apparently, there are even fake kicks.
The foot is at its height of combative power in these knock-out moves. Depending on which kick he executes, the fighter uses various parts of his foot.
The Heel is used in the penetrating Side Kick. Its relative toughness is also suited to landing a punishing KO on the opponent’s head with the Axe Kick or the Hook Kick.
The Ball of the Foot, the area directly underneath the toes, is exposed when they are pulled back. This area is engaged in Frontal, Snapping Kicks and aimed at the opponent’s solar plexus, stomach or chin. The toes must be pulled back in Front Snapping Kicks or they could be broken on impact.
The Instep, at the top of the foot, is exposed when the toes are pointed forward. It is a useful surface for kicking the side of an opponent’s body or head. Turning Kicks or Roundhouses engage the instep.
The Edge of the foot is prepared for striking by turning the foot down so the sole lies horizontal to the leg. The outside edge can then be used as a striking surface in Side Kicks much like the heel. Due to the small surface area of the edge of the foot, a more painful kick can be inflicted with this slightly more advanced technique. The edge of the foot is often used to snap boards in displays of Taekwondo breaking.
The Sole of the foot provides a big surface area and is mostly used in Taekwondo to force the opponent backwards. In this way, Pushing Kicks are more of a defensive maneuver. Nevertheless, a well-timed pushing kick can knock the wind out of an attacker.
The Knee is banned for use in Taekwondo competitions for good reason. The knee is a formidable weapon and can knock an opponent out in a single, low-risk strike. Knee techniques may be taught in Taekwondo as part of self-defense. (1)
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Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)
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