Taekwondo is known for its leg attacks. Taekwondo fighters are known for their kicking expertise. If you are to ever to become proficient at Taekwondo, you must master the kicking techniques.
Korea historically has been known for its great handiwork and culture. Hands were seen as a source of livelihood and for creating beautiful objects, and, as such, they were considered impractical for fighting. As a result, kicking was developed to protect hands from damage and a possible loss of income.
Korea is a very mountainous country. Traditionally, its people have traveled by walking. Walking over mountains and steep terrain for long periods greatly increases muscular strength in the legs. Additionally, the heavy shoes used for walking made effective weapons.
Koreans traditionally practiced games and activities requiring a great deal of skill. Historically, Taekkyon (precursor to Taekwondo) contests were played with kicking the head earning the highest number points—a tradition still used in modern Taekwondo free-sparring.
Koreans realized that the legs, being longer and stronger than the arms, make better striking weapons than the arms.
Most people fear kicks and feel they are the most dangerous techniques in Taekwondo. Kicks are powerful, but punches are the most dangerous techniques. In professional karate, there are minimum kicking requirements. If kicks are so deadly, why must professional fighters be forced to kick. To encourage more kicking in Taekwondo sparring competition, more points are awarded for kicks and jump kicks.
Kicks vs. Punches
- Kicks are slower than punches, so they are easier to block.
- Kicks are more powerful than punches.
- Kicks have further to travel to their target than punches so kicks are easier to block.
- Kicks use more energy than punches, so more punches may be thrown for the same amount of energy.
- Punching is a natural instinct for humans, kicking must be learned.
- To kick, you must stand on one leg, which makes you less stable.
Other leg attacks
The shins have long thick bones used to support our body weight so they make excellent weapons. Some martial arts, such as Muay Thai, specialize in using shin kicks.
The knees are pointed so they make excellant weapons when used to attack the aooponent's thigh muscles. Kill the roots and the tree will die.
Turtle Press. (2002). [Online], Available: http://www.turtlepress.com/library.asp [2002, October 21].