Taekwondo Theory Of
Power (Him Ui Wolli)
The average person uses
only 10 to 20 percent of his potential. Taekwondo training will help
students to use all of their potential power.
The six steps to
creating maximum power in taekwondo techniques are:
Reaction Force (Bandong
Concentration (Jip Joong)
Power is created by
applying the impact force onto the smallest target area. This concentrates
the force and increases its effect.
It is important not to
unleash all your strength at the beginning but gradually, and then
concentrate the force at the point of contact with your opponent's body to
give a knock-out blow.
Hyung) or balance
A blow is more
effective by keeping the body in equilibrium, that is, well balanced.
An unbalanced person is
Stances should always
be stable yet flexible, for both attacks and blocks.
To maintain good
balance, the centre of gravity of the stance must fall on a straight line
midway between both legs when the body weight is distributed equally on both
legs, or in the centre of the foot if it is necessary to concentrate the
bulk of body weight on one foot.
Flexibility and knee
spring are also important in maintaining balance for both a quick attack and
Finally the heel of the
rear foot should never be off the ground at the point of impact. This is not
only necessary for good balance but also to produce maximum power at the
point of impact.
Breath Control (Hohup
can increase the power of a blow. A sharp exhaling (kihap!) of breath at
the moment of impact tenses the abdomen to concentrate maximum power, while
a slow inhaling helps the preparation of the next movement.
One breath is required
for one movement with the exception of a continuous motion.
Speed is the most
essential factor in taekwondo power.
concentration, balance and breath control, plus relaxation of the muscles
all contribute to speed. Relaxation is very important in creating speed.
All these factors,
together with flexible and rhythmic movements, must be well coordinated to
produce the maximum power in Taekwondo.
Maximum power is
obtained from using maximum body weight and speed. Body weight should be
used during the execution of a blow. Maximum body weight is applied through
turning the hip, rotating the hip in the same direction as the attacking or
The sine wave uses a
downward motion of the whole body to generate maximum power, by using a
springing action of the knee joint. You do this by slightly raising the hip
at the beginning of the motion and lowering the hip at the moment of impact
to drop the body weight into the motion.
THEORY OF POWER - (Him Ui Wolli)
The beginning student may ask; “Where does one obtain the power to create
the devastating results attributed to Taekwon-Do?” This power is attributed
to the utilization of a person’s full potential through the mathematical
application of Taekwon-Do techniques. The average person uses only 10 to 20
percent of his potential. Anyone, regardless of size, age, or sex who can
condition himself to use 100 percent of his potential can also perform the
same destructive techniques.
Though training will certainly result in a superb level of physical fitness,
it will not necessarily result in the acquisition of extraordinary stamina
or superhuman strength. More important, Taekwon-Do training will result in
obtaining a high level of reaction force, concentration, equilibrium, breath
control and speed; these are the factors that will result in a high degree
of physical power.
REACTION FORCE (Bandong Ryok)
According to Newton’s Law, every force has an equal and opposite force. When
an automobile crashes into a wall with the force of 2,000 pounds, the wall
will return a force of 2,000 pounds; or forcing the end of the seesaw down
with a ton of weight will provide an upward force of the same weight; if
your opponent is rushing towards you at a high speed, by the slightest blow
at his head,
the force with which you strike his head would be that of his own onslaught
plus that of your blow.
The two forces combined; his, which is large, and yours, which is small is
quite impressive. Another reaction force is your own. A punch with the right
fist is aided by pulling back the left fist to the hip.
CONCENTRATION (Jip Joong)
By applying the impact force onto the smallest target area, it will
concentrate the force and therefore, increase its effect. For example, the
force of water coming out of a water hose is greater if the orifice is
smaller. Conversely, the weight of a man spread out on snow shoes makes
hardly any impression on the snow. The blows in Taekwon-Do are often
concentrated onto the edge of the open palm or to the crook of the fingers.
It is very important that you should not unleash all your strength at the
beginning but gradually, and particularly at the point of contact with your
opponent’s body, the force must be so concentrated as to give a knock-out
blow. That is to say, the shorter the time for the concentration, the
greater will be the power of the blow. The utmost concentration is required
in order to mobilize every muscle of the body onto the smallest target area
In conclusion, concentration is done in two ways: one is to concentrate
every muscle of the body, particularly the bigger muscles around the hip and
abdomen (which theoretically are slower than the smaller muscles of other
parts of the body) towards the appropriate tool to be used at the proper
time; the second way is to concentrate such mobilized muscles onto the
opponent’s vital spot. This is the reason why the hip and abdomen are jerked
slightly before the hands and feet in any action, whether it be attack or
defence. Remember, jerking can be executed in two ways: laterally and
EQUILIBRIUM (Kyun Hyung)
Balance is of utmost importance in any type of athletics. In Taekwon-Do, it
deserves special consideration. By keeping the body always in equilibrium,
that is, well balanced, a blow is more effective and deadly. Conversely, the
unbalanced one is easily toppled. The stance should always be stable yet
flexible, for both offensive and defensive movements.
Equilibrium is classified into both dynamic and static stability. They are
so closely inter-related that the maximum force can only be produced when
the static stability is maintained through dynamic stability.
To maintain good equilibrium, the centre of gravity of the stance must fall
on a straight line midway between both legs when the body weight is
distributed equally on both legs, or in the centre of the foot if it is
necessary to concentrate the bulk of body weight on one foot. The centre of
gravity can be adjusted according to body weight. Flexibility and knee
spring are also important in maintaining balance for both a quick attack and
instant recovery. One additional point; the heel of the rear foot should
never be off the ground at the point of impact. This is not only necessary
for good balance but also to produce maximum power at the point of impact.
BREATH CONTROL (Hohup Jojul)
Controlled breathing not only affects one’s stamina and speed but can also
condition a body to receive a blow and augment the power of a blow directed
against an opponent. Through practice, breath stopped in the state of
exhaling at the critical moment when a blow is landed against a pressure
point on the body can prevent a loss of consciousness and stifle pain. A
sharp exhaling of breath at the moment of impact and stopping the breath
during the execution of a movement tense the abdomen to concentrate maximum
effort on the delivery of the motion, while a slow inhaling helps the
preparation of the next movement. An important rule to remember; Never
inhale while focusing a block or blow against an opponent. Not only will
this impede movement but it will also result in a loss of power.
Students should also practice disguised breathing to conceal any outward
signs of fatigue. An experienced fighter will certainly press an attack when
he realizes his opponent is on the point of exhaustion. One breath is
required for one movement with the exception of a continuous motion.
Mathematically, the maximum kinetic energy or force is obtained from maximum
body weight and speed and it is all important that the body weight be
increased during the execution of a blow. No doubt the maximum body weight
is applied with the motion of turning the hip. The large abdominal muscles
are twisted to provide additional body momentum. Thus the hip rotates in the
same direction as that of the attacking or blocking tool as in figure F.
Another way of increasing body weight is the utilization of a springing
action of the knee joint. This is achieved by slightly raising the hip at
the beginning of the motion and lowering the hip at the moment of impact to
drop the body weight into the motion.
In summarizing, it is necessary to point out that the principles of force
outlined here hold just as true today in our modern scientific and nuclear
age as they did centuries ago.
I am sure that when you go through this art, both in theory and in practice,
you will find that the scientific basis of the motions and the real power
which comes out a small human body cannot fail to impress you.
Speed is the most essential factor of force or power. Scientifically, force
equals mass multiplied by acceleration (F = MA) or (P = MV2).
According to the theory of kinetic energy, every object increases its weight
as well as speed in a downward movement. This very principle is applied to
this particular art of self-defence. For this reason, at the moment of
impact, the position of the hand normally becomes lower than the shoulder
and the foot lower than the hip while the body is in the air.
Reaction force, breath, control, equilibrium, concentration, and relaxation
of the muscles cannot be ignored. However, these are the factors that
contribute to the speed and all these factors, together with flexible and
rhythmic movements, must be well coordinated to produce the maximum power in