Performing high, fast kicks is the goal of most new Taekwondo students, and, for many students, it continues to be a goal even after years of training. However, since the purpose a martial art is for the user to be victorious in combat, these high, fast kicks are counterproductive. Your adversary does not care how high or how fast you can kick; he or she only respects one thing—whether or not you can cause him or her incapacitating pain or injury. Therefore, the goal of any martial artist should be to perform accurate, devastating kicks that are capable of stopping an attack, or injuring or killing the attacker
Devastating kicks do not come from just kicking harder. Many times, I have seen students fail their breaking requirement during a rank testing because they cannot break the required number of boards using basic kicks. They perform a few practice kicks, which may appear technically perfect in form. Then, when they attempt the breaks, they try to perform the kicks in the same manner, only harder. Usually this means that they change the way the kick is performed so that its form is diminished. This method of kicking means that the power of the kick depends upon the power of the kicker’s leg muscles; possibly with the added momentum of a body shift, such as in using a sliding side kick. This method may work when breaking one or two boards, but it begins to fail as the number of boards increases. Larger, stronger people may make the method work for one or two more boards, but then the method begins to fail even them.
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