The Most Powerful Kick in Tae Kwon Do

Article by Al Case

I learned this type of kick some forty years ago in Kwon Bup Korean Karate. This was the forerunner of Choi Hong Hai’s Tae Kwon Do, and the unfortunate truth is that these kicks aren’t practiced anymore. Why, I don’t know, because this type of kick is the hardest kick, the fastest kick I have ever seen.

I call this move, no matter what type of technique you do it with, the pop kick. Whether you do a wheel, a side, or a snap, the basic principle remains the same. You replace the right foot with the left foot, and place the right foot on the target…this all has to happen at the same time.

By same time I mean that the right foot and the left foot begin motion at the same time, and the left foot hits the ground at the same time the right foot hits the target. By doing it in this fashion the whole body compacts at the same time, then the whole body expands at the same time. This causes a very pure explosion in the tan tien, which is a point a couple of inches below the navel, which is the energy generator for the body.

In addition to the purity of explosion you will feel in the energy center, which will tend to concentrate energy in the kick, you will experience a sudden weight on your standing leg at the same moment you experience weight in the leg you are kicking with. This sudden weight tends to make the explosion of energy very precise, even as it increases the violence. This will really increase the energy of your technique.

If you are executing this move with a snap kick, make sure you get the knee high up so that the foot comes in straight, and doesn’t slide up the body of the target. If you are doing a side kick, make sure you commit the hips so that the weight really goes into the target. If you are doing a wheel kick, make sure you get the hips up high enough so that the kick arcs in horizontally

The fourth type of kick would be a spin pop to the rear, and utilizes the side kick. You would practice all four kicks against a wall, learning how to contract the legs simultaneously, and explode the legs outward to impact at the same time. You don’t have to hit the wall with power, use power on a bag, control will actually give you more power anyway.

We used to have all kinds of entry moves for these tricks. We would slap the attacker’s lead hand as we angled our stance, and the we would do it subtle, and then be in the kick before the target knew what we were doing. A little practice and the explosion would get finer and more pure and more full of energy.

Make sure you use this technique in a variety of stances, and you will have a much larger arsenal of martial arts weapons. This is a great technique to practice, and it is born of the successful merger of karate power and TKD kicks. Japanese martial arts or Korean martial arts, this is the hardest kick, and the fastest kick, and perhaps the most effective leg technique I know.

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