6 Taekwondo Myths Debunked

taekwondoYou’ve seen the movies and seen what Taekwondo can do. You may believe that it’s all about the flying kicks and a bunch of the evil guys getting their comeuppances. But is all that true?

Here are a few Taekwondo Myths debunked:

The flying kick.

It certainly looks cool onscreen but outside of movieland, Taekwondo isn’t just about the flying kicks. In fact, flying kicks aren’t the go-to, dramatic move we believe it to be. In real life, jumping and spinning kicks aren’t all that popular because it’s pretty well-known that the attack is considerably weaker than ground-based kicks. That’s because when you’re in the air, your body deals with the hip rotation. There’s also your balance to consider so there’s less power behind the attack. Also, when you’re in the air, you’re vulnerable to attacks from all sides. It’s still a legitimate move, just not as powerful as you might think, given all the films you’ve seen. But hey, that’s movieland.

It’s all about the kicks.

Some people believe Taekwondo is all about the kicks. Of course, with the Olympic Taekwondo predominantly showing kick-based forms, that conclusion is easy to understand. However, that’s not reflective of the sport in real life. In Taekwondo, there are more punches than kicks. An article on Taekwondo USA Blog says the ratio of punches to kicks is 9:1. Wondering where those punches land? Punches to the face and body are actually allowed in some Taekwondo combat societies.

Touch-contact.

Believe the round ends when you successfully land a hit on your opponent? Nope. In real life Taekwondo, competitions allow for different levels of contact, from semi to full. While some schools practice ‘touch-contact’ practice to ensure the safety of its students, that’s not aligned with the techniques of this martial arts form. What is true for many Taekwondo communities that allow for heavy and full contact sparring is that, while all the techniques are performed with full intensity and speed, equipment ensures certain degrees of impact absorption. The forms are designed to deliver extensive damage to the body. So to avoid dealing a major injury to fellow students, practitioners tone the power a few notches down.

There are no sweeping moves.

Completely untrue. While some schools that tend to concentrate on competition sparring discourage or disallow the practice, a lot of other Taekwondo communities include sweeping in their practice. Senior students, in particular, use the practice in controlled sparring.

There are weapons and weapons training.

That’s not at all true. Taekwondo is a sport with no weapons. While some schools do involve weapons and weapons training, that’s already outside of Taekwondo. It’s often done to enhance student skills and deepen their understanding and knowledge of martial arts – though not all Taekwondo communities hold with that practice or believe it’s necessary.

Black belters are masters.

According to Jonathan Maberry of Fighting Arts, black belts only mean a student has mastered the basics. There’s still a long way to go, and a lot of training to undertake after that. At black belt your training now has just BEGUN.

So there you have it. In case you’re interested in giving it a try, then you’ve already got a few ideas on what to expect. Good luck!

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