Taekwondo is known for its footwork. Using footwork is the easiest way to avoid an attack and to set up for making an attack. However, some use footwork in an attempt to impress others instead of for a useful purpose.
While sparring, most students are concerned about which technique to use, but few consider the importance of footwork. Without proper footwork, you may never have an opportunity to use a technique (either offensive or defensive). Therefore, footwork is an integral part of every sparring technique.
According to Newton's laws of motion, an object at rest tends to remain at rest and an object in motion tends to remain in motion. If you fight from a stationary stance, you must overcome inertia to attack or avoid. If you are already moving, you need only to redirect your inertia. If you stand still, you will get hit; while, if you move, you may get hit. The mobility furnished by footwork, give you an opportunity to attack and it helps you avoid an attack.
It is difficult to judge the location of an object in space if you are stationary. However, if you are moving around, it is much easier to judge an objects location. If you are stationary and directly in front of an opponent's guard, it is difficult to judge how close the opponent's lead fist is to you. However, if you are moving, it is easy to judge its location. Proper footwork keeps you moving so you may detect the range to the weapons of an opponent.
You cannot effectively use your hands or feet to block or attack until your feet have put you into position from which you can do so. Good footwork allows you to hit from any angle and to follow up your initial attack with more powerful finishing blows. Footwork allows you to get in and attack, and then get out. Footwork allows you to evade rather than block and to attack from angles rather than just straight in. Footwork allows you increase or decrease the range between you and your opponent quickly while maintaining your stability.
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