Posts Tagged ‘taekwondo kicks’

The Secret to Taekwondo Kicking

October 26, 2011

TaeKwonDo TangSooDo HapKiDo KukSoolWon HwarangDo ChunKukDo TaekKyeon

Bruce Lee Learned Taekwondo Kicking From Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee

Taekwondo is one of the most systematic and scientific Korean traditional martial arts, and instills much more than physical self defense, kicking and punching skills. Some know it for the sport division featured in the Olympic games. However, the majority of men, women and children practice Taekwondo for a healthy, fun recreation and the amazing benefits of the traditional and cultural aspects of the art. It is a discipline that reveals a way of enhancing our spirit and life through correct training our body and mind.

Bruce Lee Kicks with Jhoon Rhee on a Beach

This trademark kicking style is featured in various Korean martial arts including Kuk Sool, Hwarang Do, Hapkido, Hanmudo, Yudo, Tang Soo Do, Choi Kwang Do, and major organizations such as the World TKD Federation (WTF), the International TaeKwon-Do Federation (ITF), the American Taekwondo Association (ATA), as well as many others.

John Nottingham Pulgueksa Temple Korea

The secret to advanced Taekwondo kicking is found in three essential components.

First, a foundation of correct form and proper mechanics must be built. This is developed through specialized drills and training routines that build strength, control and proper body movement. In Taekwondo, special emphasis is placed on core strength, hip and low back conditioning to enable the range of motion for proper kicking. The conditioning provides a harmony of strength, flexibility and timing. Together these form a potent combination that is the foundation for exotic, practical and powerful kicking techniques.

Flexibility drills such as dynamic stretch kicking, passive stretches and P.N.F. (resistance/contraction) stretching help improve range of motion, control and the ability to place kicks with pin point accuracy. The dynamic and plyometric kicking speed drills condition the muscles and nervous system to be explosive and lightning fast. This usually consists of breaking down the kicking mechanics into its sub movements, such as lifting the knee to chamber a kick. The drill would include starting from a sparring stance, chambering the knee as rapidly as possible for a set period of time – perhaps 30 seconds. It is followed by a rest cycle then repeated.

John Nottingham Flying Side Kick Punch

Another tool for developing advanced kicking is the variety of kicking paddle drills. A kicking paddle is a Taekwondo practicioners target used to simulate a moving human. The Taekwondoist has to anticipate and attack the target while in motion, adapting to ever changing distance and timing. They learn to point the knee, stay relaxed and adopt a highly versatile sparring stance to be able to change quickly and capitalize on opportunity.

The next secret to Taekwondo kicking is the use of the hip. In the above photo you can see Black Belt Anthony Miles of USA Martial Arts Phoenix speed breaking bricks with a spin side kick. The power in his kick comes from momentum, torque (from turning the hip) and great side kick mechanics (alignment). He does a great job of lining up his kick to drive through the bricks and concentrating his force in a small area.

To increase range of motion, a Taekwondo practicioner will strive to stay relaxed to enable efficient movement. Next, they will adopt a versatile stance and make use of their arms by swinging them to initiate faster adaptation, rotation, torque and mobility.

The advanced jumping and spinning kicks are developed by practicing a variety of jumping and spinning drills. The common trait of all great kickers is the willingness to practice consistently over time. Perhaps this is the greatest secret of great kicking.

One of the formulas many competitors use is to practice every kick they know ten times on each side for a session. Another classic method is to throw 1000 kicks a day. Of course, the best training protocol depends on your level, body, goals and guidance from a qualified teacher.

In Korea, most children practice Taekwondo kicking with a spirit of play. They accumulate a high volume of kicking repetitions in addition to regular Taekwondo class attendance. The demonstration teams also use friendly competition to encourage advancement and higher levels of difficulty and skill.

John Nottingham High Roundhouse Kick Korea Folk Village

More on Taekwondo and Advanced Kicking at this article.

For more information on taekwondo kicks, taekwondo, taekwondo kick, taekwondo flying kicks click here.

Taekwondo High Kicks Effective in Full Contact?

February 22, 2011

“It’s not what you do… it’s how you do it.”

Advanced Kicking Functionalized and On Display
MMA, UFC, K-1, Muay Thai Kickboxing

o Footwork
o Set ups
o Changing high low, low high
o Integrating with punches, elbows and fakes

Anthony Pettis Rebound off Cage Kick in WEC Championship

Respect to anyone who masters their art and does the tough work to functionalise their techniques.

“It’s one thing to be able to fight, it is another thing to be able to do it with style.”

Time tested wisdom. One of the greatest fighting strategies of all time is to do the unexpected. “Respect tradition but do not be bound by it”.

Why Parents Often Prefer Taekwondo for Their Children’s Martial Art and Self Defense Training?

February 16, 2011

Why Do So Many Parents Make Taekwondo Their Choice of Martial Art for Children?

o Is it for the self defense?
o Is it for Children’s self-esteem?
o Is it for the life skills of respect and discipline?
o It may be one or all of these things because parents are discovering the power of Taekwondo for raising great kids!

Taekwondo is by far the worlds most popular martial art for children, especially in the USA. It is Korea’s national sport, an official Olympic Sport as well as a cultural tradition of Asia with lessons of wisdom for daily life.

Taekwondo = Happy, Healthy, Confident Children

In addition to the many health and fitness benefits, many parents prefer Taekwondo because of its track record for keeping kids interested (and higher success rate for producing Black Belts.) This is due to its more rapidly advancing belt rank system. Taekwondo is typically one of the faster arts to earn a Black Belt due to its streamlined curriculum and emphasis on attitude, character and respect. This proven goal setting success system really helps keep children with shorter attention spans motivated and feeling rewarded and successful. This means that parents don’t have to struggle so much to get them to go to Taekwondo class.

Tenets of Taekwondo
Modesty, Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self Control, Indomitable Spirit

These Taekwondo philosophy life skills go a long way in helping children succeed in school, other sports, developing the discipline do learn musical instruments and being accepted into colleges, universities and earning scholarships.


In most Taekwondo schools (Dojang/CheYuKwan), attitude is far more important than the kicks and punches. The advanced training begins at Black Belt – once the student has demonstrated that they are serious about being disciplined, dedicated and prepared for the responsibility that comes with such powerful self defense skills.

Couple this reputation along with the health benefits of building strong, flexible bodies as well as having a positive outlet for energy and you have a solid argument for Taekwondo over soccer, football and other sports that often leave children sitting on the bench.

These are just a few of the reasons that more and more parents are choosing to give their children a head start in school and life by enrolling them in authentic traditional Taekwondo schools.

USA Martial Arts

Read more on How To Do Taekwondo Phoenix

Taekwondo Kicks & Advanced Martial Arts Kicking

February 12, 2011

Taekwondo High Flying Jump Kicks
One of the more misunderstood aspects of martial arts are advanced aerial kicks. Although most advanced kicking is associated with Taekwondo, you can find them in most of the Korean martial arts as well as Wushu (Kung Fu) and modern artistic expressions such as competitive freestyle XMA or Extreme Martial Arts.

Those Who Can – Do
Those Who Can Kick – KICK! Those Who Can’t Kick – Criticise
The degree in which advanced kicking is emphasized in any given school is usually a function of the instructors ability, talent or propensity for this advanced skill set.

Tang Soo Do Kickboxing American Freestyle
My initial foundation in kicking was heavily influenced by the American expression of practical power kicking, much like moderate to full contact kickboxing. I learned a hybrid system of Tang Soo Do (Moo Duk Kwan) and a Korean temple art that resembles Chinese Gung Fu. One of the Masters who often conducted our belt tests was “Bad Brad” Hefton’s (blood and guts era of kickboxing) teacher so the influence was apparent. Although we did lots of multiple kicks, spins and double kicks, we didn’t have much aerial kicking other than flying side kicks.

Olympic Taekwondo Kicking
As Olympic Taekwondo grew and my first teacher supported its inclusion into the Olympic games and internationally recognized sport, our kicking began to modernize and morph. The “half crescent kick” became an AXE KICK. Our traditional horizontal round kick, which was more akin to a Muay Thai Kick or Shotokan roundhouse kick, was expanded into using angles and a deceptively clever and efficient single point of reference for the knee while turning the hip at the top. For those with a Bill “Superfoot” Wallace seminar under your belt, you would recognize the reference point deception strategy. The footwork, blocking, evasion, foot position (top of the foot for round kick) and dynamic movement training was an expansion of our previous training.

Illinois and Wisconsin State Taekwondo Training for Nationals
When training for Nationals, qualifying individuals were invited to go to State Team TKD training. This was my first exposure to actual “coaching” for performance, rather than the traditional style hard-core training classes in the Dojang (Korean Martial Arts School).

Olympic Taekwondo Kicking Training
I had the opportunity to compete in an international competition at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs Colorado. While there, I got to train with the USA National Taekwondo Team (and be cannon fodder for their explosive fast kicking.) The speed drills, pad drills, footwork, scoring strategy and workout intensity was a major departure from what I had known.

Learn From Advanced Taekwondo Kicking from a Video?
At that time I also started performing more demonstrations and wanted to integrate more advanced jumping kicks into my arsenal. I was able to pick up a video by NASKA Freestyle National Champion Stuart Quan. I followed his step by step tips for developing a jump split front kick and have been doing it ever since. Videos can be a great supplement to a hard working martial artists training. I still believe you need to be in a good school, have a qualified coach and someone who can do the skill you want. I would later use it in a film (which is so low budget and cheesy it shall remain nameless) for a slow motion action fight scene.

John Nottingham Pulgueksa Temple Korea

Scissor Kicks, Split Kicks, Triple Kicks, Flying Spinning Kicking
Later I would have the privilege of studying Hapkido and then when I moved to Arizona the complex art of Hwarang Do. In Hwarang Do I was fortunate to have a teacher with a rare depth of technical skill. He had the developmental exercises to help me build the strength and control to throw more advanced kicks, then make them functional. It really enhanced what I knew from my Taekwondo kicking arsenal.

WTF TaeKwonDo ITF Tae Kwon Do ATA Taekwondo Jhoon Rhee American Freestyle TKD
I was fortunate to have studied and practiced several traditional as well as modern expressions of Taekwondo as well as other arts. Teaching the World Taekwondo Federation, International Taekwondo Federation/Jhoon Rhee system gave me new insights on how each taught kicking. While core principles remain the same, it was beneficial to see the different development tools and methodologies. More than the system, the instructor was the defining factor in my experience.

Here is an interesting story about my advanced kicking Hwarangdo teacher…
One day My Hwarang Do teacher Master Corona and I were in Karate Mart, a local martial arts supply shop in Arizona. The guy behind the counter was a typical beginner student passing himself off as a knowledgeable guru with his rhetoric. Master Corona, a friendly but reserved Master, was cordial without saying much. The Karate Mart guy took it upon himself to educate us on how high kicks dont work.

“Those fancy high kicks don’t work. That stuff will just get you killed.”

On and on he babbled, revealing how little he really knew. Typical talk for those who have never put on the sparring gear and went toe to toe with a truly skilled kicker. My mind flashed to the Police officers I knew who cited examples of using high kicks on duty.

I was trying to hold back a snicker and just looked down at the ground. I knew that if I caught Master Corona’s eye, I might chuckle out loud. After a while I couldn’t take it anymore and I asked what style he studied, with whom he trained and for how long.

Practical Is As Practical Does
Just because it is a popular notion, doesn’t make it right.
It’s hard to argue with results. A fellow Master Instructor I know has a newspaper article posted on the wall of his school from when he disarmed an armed bank robber with a round kick to the head. The fact is that for most people, a high kick is out of the question. However, for a guy who has practiced for years and is a skilled kicker, it was the right tool for the job.

Nice to know it and not need it, than need it and not know it.

Nothing Wrong With Having an Opinion – You Just Have To Consider The Source
Typical of an inexperienced boastful beginner, the Karate store clerk danced around his martial arts qualifications explaining he bounced from style to style and teacher to teacher. (I predict he probably went on to invent his own style after gaining such mastery of all martial arts.) Unwittingly, he was revealing his martial arts immaturity and lack of real-life quality experience.

Ah but for the grace of God, there go I. (It’s always uncomfortable to see a bit of your younger self in someone else.) While I was never to that degree of ignorant and arrogant, I certainly had my moments of stupidity when I was a young teen in the martial arts.

As the Karate store clerk babbled on he went back to the kicks again. Master Corona and I were meandering around the store just taking in what he was saying, reserving any comment. Finally, Master Corona piped up and said,

“So what your saying is that you don’t know how to kick or know anyone who really does.”

I stared at the Karate store clerk curious as to his response. Stunned, he paused for a moment then sputtered, “Well, I duno…uh I guess not.” After a moment he asked, “Who are you?”
I spoke up and said, that’s Master Ken Corona from the Hwarang Do school over by ASU. The clerks cheeks turned a bit red and said, “Ohhhhh, I’ve heard of you. People say you’re really good.” Master Corona just smiled and then graciously invited him in to train sometime. Of course, we never saw the young man. Too bad, he could have experienced advanced kicking first hand.

The fact is, advanced kicks are just like any other skill. One’s ability to effectively use them is a matter of how much they have functionalised those skills to be used at the right time with the right opportunity. As I learned in the Army, surprise is still the greatest war and fighting tactic of all time.

Now, many years later, it is only once in a great while that we get to see the grace, beauty and power of an advanced kicker. While lesser known to most US MMA fight fans, PRIDE and K1 featured amazing kickers (as well as a sense of honor and some modesty from time to time.) High kicking knock out artists like Mirko Crocop slammed people in the head and neck with his sledge hammer-like legs. In recent events the larger MMA viewing public has seen the advanced sweeps of Karate Master Lyoto “The Dragon” Machita.

UFC MMA fans also witnessed the amazing Anderson “The Spider” Silva crush people with his devastating kicking and striking. (Remember when the experts touted that grapplers ruled the earth just a few short years ago?)
Check out Anthony Pettis KO kick. He’s using a classic Korean style rebound kick off the cage at WEC in Arizona.
Old School Kickers
For those of us fortunate enough to know the era of Benny “The Jet” Urquidez, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Pete “Sugar Foot” Cunningham, Ramon “Diamond” Dekkers and others, it is refreshing to finally see more variety in kicking gain recognition. I’m optimistic that the viewing public will expand its thinking about martial arts, the various styles and recognize the amazing beauty, strengths and benefits that each style offers.

Freestyle Martial Arts, Extreme Martial Arts Tricking, Parkour, Freerunning
One of the top innovators and better known stars of tricking is Mr. Steve Terada. Check out the amazing level of skill and creativity he demonstrates.

Master Mike Chat XMA – The Stuff You See In Movies!

For those interested in Hollywood Chop Socky style action, or bringing younger students an appealing way to train, this is the system that launched Talor Lautners award winning performance skills. I can tell you from personal experience that Master Chat is an outstanding martial artist, talented coach, and taught me a great deal. It’s visionaries like these that will shape the future of performance martial arts.

It’s one thing to see someone with functional kicks used effectively to knock people out. It’s another thing altogether to see them do it with style.

Kicking is Fun!
Perhaps more and more people will develop an appreciation and respect for advanced skills and the artistic expressions as well. They are no less amazing and bring a richness and depth to martial arts practice. After all, it really is much more than just kicks and punches.

USA Martial Arts Phoenix
Phoenix Martial Arts

Self Esteem Martial Arts Summer Camp in Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Phoenix Arizona

April 27, 2010

John Nottingham's USA Martial Arts Scottsdale | Paradise Valley | Phoenix | Arizona


Award-Winning Group & Private Training Programs

Students and enthusiasts of Martial Arts have many reasons for their interest in the Martial Arts. Some are drawn to the physical fitness lifestyle and amazing weight-loss aspects of training. Others seek to add confidence, discipline, and self control to their lives. Some wish to belong to a proud tradition that dates back thousands of years and learn about other cultures. While still others are concerned about practical safety and realistic self-defense. Whether you are interested in our programs for mental or physical well being, USA Martial Arts offers a number of programs that will fit your developmental needs and your busy schedule as well. You’ll amaze your friends and yourself with what you will learn at our school.

Tiny Tigers & Little Dragons

The Tiny Tigers and Little Dragons pre-school program is specifically designed for 4 to 6 year olds. The emphasis is on developing attention span, following directions, respect and coordination. The students progress towards learning skills in three general areas. Those areas are Life, Safety and Martial Arts. When the Little Dragon earns their Little Dragon black belt they enter into a transition into the Basic Program.
Basic Program

The Basic Discovery Program offers awesome benefits and a dynamic curriculum for the new Martial Artist in pursuit of BLACK BELT EXCELLENCE. This program is designed to develop fitness, life skills, and personal development to name a few areas of growth as you develop a foundation in Martial Arts Training to take you to black belt.
In the Basic Program the new student can focus on learning the foundation of martial arts blocks, kicks, and strikes. The new student will learn some self defense skill without any contact sparring. This way the student can safely practice his or her skills without pressure. When the program is not challenging enough that it is time to look into upgrading to new challenges.

Black Belt Training Program

The Black Belt Training Program opens up a whole new world for your growth as a Martial Artist. By fully utilizing the Black Belt Club privileges of membership, you will accelerate your learning, strengthen the personal development attributes inherent in training, and most of all, move you into the inner circle of our school. The USA Martial Arts Black Belt Club is an exciting program that has a powerful impact on the lives of its practitioners. However, that impact is in direct proportion to the level of personal commitment the student makes to earn a Black Belt.

The USA Martial Arts Leadership Program is designed for the students that want to take their training to the highest level, beyond the requirement of the Black Belt Training!
In addition to all of what the Black Belt Club Program offers, students will be trained on how to make themselves into a leader of champions. Leadership members are introduced to the top leadership training systems. Leadership students get a monthly seminar besides there martial arts classes.

Kickin’ After School Program

Our Kickin’ After School Program is designed as a Safe, Fun and Educational program for 1st throught 8th Graders. Here are just some of the program benefits: Pick up from school, Safe and secure, Trained Staff, Make New Friends, Convenient, Affordable, Daily Martial Arts Classes, Improve Self Esteem, Family Discounts Available.

Kickin’ Summer Camp

Our Kickin’ Camp is a Fun, Safe, High Energy environment for your child this summer. Some of the Kickin’ Camp benefits: Martial arts instruction, Arts and Crafts, Weekly Field Trips, Make New Friends, Affordable, Outside activities, and much more.

Special Programs

Throughout the year, USA Martial Arts Academy conducts special programs which last focus on a specific style, weapon or art. Some of the current special programs is our Chux program, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) program, Martial “Arts” creative kids program. Call the school today for times, dates and more details.

Special Events

USA Martial Arts is known for its extensive program in teaching the Best of many Arts to develop each student into the best Martial Artist. Each year, USA Martial Art’s hosts Seminars with such well known Champions and Masters as UFC Champ Dan “The Beast” Severn, Master Van Patten, Master Nottingham, Grand Master Na, and Weapons Training Programs designed by Master Williams. Join us for an upcomming seminar and take your Martial Arts to the next level!

Unstoppable Confidence from Legendary Self Defense Skills

How can you learn more in less time? The USA Martial Arts curriculum incorporates a combination of techniques and principles from a variety of Martial Arts styles, including some of the more commonly known; Taekwondo, Muay Thai Kick Boxing, Jiu Jitsu, Hwarang Do, Hapkido, Krav Maga, practical and exotic Weaponry, Jeet Kune Do concepts and others. It is also taught with a much more personalized approach that incorporates our unique teaching technology. Our staff offers over 100 years of combined experience and it shows in our students.
In addition our students learn a “street – smart” practical self-defense method that gives USA Martial Arts students the advantage they need to confidently protect themselves in virtually any situation.

Our approach teaches students to outsmart an opponent and use strategies to gain the upper-hand, often using unconventional tactics that work even for the “underdog”. Some of these unique aspects include advanced threat assessment skills to predict, prevent, deter violence, powerful personal protection planning, and unique skills like using weapons of opportunity to manage potentially dangerous situations.

FREE Kung Fu Kids Classes – Fully Sponsored safety, self-esteem building, fun, fitness curriculum as a community service to introduce USA Martial Arts to the community. Absolutely no obligation. Guaranteed to positively impact your child’s life.

We accept competitors coupons and match Groupon deals.

Register now at
Saturdays 10:30am at Tatum & Greenway USA Martial Arts PV