Posts Tagged ‘Tang Soo Do’

Korean Martial Arts Trademark High Flying Kicks

December 1, 2010

Korean Martial Arts Trademark High Flying Kicks

TaeKwonDo TangSooDo HapKiDo KukSoolWon HwarangDo ChunKukDo TaekKyeon

Taekwondo Master John Nottingham Flying Side Kick Punch 1995

Taekwondo Pictures | Action Pictures | Flying Kicks | Jump Kicks

The flying side kick – punch photo above was taken by my student David Goron circa 1995 at a park in Mesa Arizona near my first retail storefront school called Academy of Asian Martial Arts. On the left is James Gann and on the right is David Bravo.

From Tang Soo Do, Hwarang Do, Kuk Sool Won, Hapkido, or the highly popularized Olympic Taekwondo, the Korean Martial Arts are well known for their high flying kicks.

Beginning A Martial Arts Journey
My journey in the martial arts started when I saw James Bond perform spy martial arts moves that seemed to have magical results – even on bigger men. It was refined, dignified, intelligent and quite impressive to the eyes of a little boy.

This was my first introduction to Japanese Jujitsu (traditional art of locks, throws, strikes and pins). Later I would see Bruce Lee performing his own Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do, a composite American freestyle hybrid system rooted in Wing Chun, fencing and boxing (the beginnings of modern MMA). From the start, I loved the kicks.

Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do
While growing up my bigger brothers and I often wrestled (rough housing) with one another and Dad which provided me with a foundation without knowing it. But it was my first martial art that introduced me to Korean style martial arts kicking in an art called Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do (Soo Bahk Do). Today, some schools retain that branch name while many have simply gone under the banner of Taekwondo.

Advanced Black Belt Kicking
As I continued to study I had the privilege of practicing several branches of Hapkido, Hwarang Do, and several of the classical Kwans (Chung Do Kwan, Ji Do Kwan, Song Moo Kwan). In 1945 the Korean Martial Arts styles officially registered with the Korean government as various KWANS. Each has its similarities and yet beautiful differences that I came to appreciate and respect.

Is This Kicking Practical?
I observed that the kicking was not only spectacular, but it could be very practical. It made sense for smaller people because the legs give a reach advantage, are preconditioned, and generate as much as 3 or more times power than the arms.

It struck me as interesting that every-time I heard someone criticize high kicks or “fancy kicking”, it was a person who: A. Could not do it or B. Had yet to square off with a kicker who had functional kicking skill.

Kicking Criticism
Since I had the opportunity to have been booted in the head by so many skilled kickers, it seemed an arrogant and ignorant statement. Every technique has it’s strengths and weaknesses, so why was advanced kicking the target of so much criticism?

Practical Self Defense Application and Much More
Of course, self defense practical application is not the only measure and reason for practice of the art. Nor are the arts comprised only of kicking. Kicking is a fantastic way of building and maintaining flexibility, health, burning calories, expressing an aesthetically pleasing art, reducing stress and developing a respectable skill. Those are just some of the many benefits, but certainly not all. To my way of thinking, it is just one way to help develop the mind, body and spirit – and a fun one at that.

It sure beats the stair-master, starvation diets and the treadmill.

John Nottingham
6th Degree Black Belt
USA Martial Arts Chief Instructor

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November 14, 2010

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Taekwondo in Phoenix Arizona

August 13, 2010

Taekwondo Martial Arts of Korea in Phoenix

Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and combat sport. Taekwondo is the national sport of South Korea. It is also regarded as the world’s most popular martial art in terms of number of practitioners, and sparring, or kyeorugi, is an official Olympic sporting event. In Korean hanja, tae means feet or kicking; kwon means hands or striking; and do means art, path, way, or method. Hence, taekwondo is loosely translated as the way of the foot and fist.

Taekwondo’s popularity has resulted in the varied evolution of the martial art into several domains: as with many other arts, it combines combat techniques, self-defense, sport, exercise, meditation and philosophy.

Taekwondo is an Olympic Sport

There are two main styles of Taekwondo: World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), which is practised at the Olympics; and International Taekwondo Federation (ITF), which was founded by General Choi Hong Hi, the father of Taekwondo. Although there are great doctrinal and technical differences among the two taekwondo styles and organizations, the art in general emphasizes kicks thrown from a mobile stance, employing the leg’s greater reach and power (compared to the arm). Circular motions that generate power are of central importance. Taekwondo training generally includes a system of blocks, punches, and open-handed strikes and may also include various take-downs or sweeps, throws, and joint locks.

A Tae Kwon Do student typically wears a uniform (dobok), often white but sometimes black or other colors, with a belt (tti) tied around the waist. The belt indicates the student’s rank. The school or place where instruction is given is called the dojang.

Tae Kwon Do is famed for its use of kicking techniques,especially which distinguishes it from martial arts such as karate or southern styles of kung fu. The rationale is that the leg is the longest and strongest weapon a martial artist has, and kicks thus have the greatest potential to execute powerful strikes without successful retaliation.

Tae Kwon Do as a sport and exercise is popular with people of both sexes and of many ages. Physically, Tae Kwon Do develops strength, speed, balance, flexibility, and stamina. An example of the union of mental and physical discipline is the breaking of boards, which requires both physical mastery of the technique and the concentration to focus one’s strength.

Other Martial Art Types and Techniques

Karate (Japanese, “empty hand”), martial art of unarmed self-defense in which directed or focused blows of the hands and feet, accompanied by special breathing and shouts, are dealt from poised positions. More than a method of combat, karate emphasizes self-discipline, positive attitude, and high moral purpose. It is taught professionally at different levels, and under different Asian names, as a self-defense skill, a competitive sport, and a free-style exercise.

Kung fu (Chinese boxing) is, with karate, the most popularly known of all the martial arts. It employs kicks, strikes, throws, body turns, dodges, holds, crouches and starts, leaps and falls, hand springs and somersaults. These movements include more techniques involving the open hand, such as claws and rips, than those used in karate.

Taekwondo is a type of fighting system that originated in Korea and that employs kicking, punching, and various evasive techniques. Most famous for its kicks, Tae Kwon Do incorporates jumping and kicking into characteristic maneuvers called “flying kicks.” Taekwondo spread worldwide from Korea in the 1960s and the first World Tae Kwon Do Championship took place in Seoul, South Korea, in 1973.

Jujitsu or jiujitsu (from Japanese Ju, for “gentle”), uses holds, chokes, throws, trips, joint locks, kicks, and atemi (strikes to vital body areas). The techniques are gentle only in the sense that they are directed toward deflecting or controlling an attack; however, they can maim or kill.

Judo is a popular wrestling form developed from jujitsu in 1882 by Jigoro Kano, a Japanese educator. Like jujitsu, it attempts to turn an attacker’s force to one’s own advantage. Techniques include throwing and grappling. Judo was first included in the Olympic Games in 1964.

Aikido was, like judo, derived from jujitsu within the last century. In aikido, an attack is avoided with flowing, circular movements. The opponent can then be brought to the ground with painful, immobilizing joint locks.

Tai chi chuan, more popularly referred to as tai chi, is an ancient Chinese exercise and fighting system, still practiced in China and elsewhere in the world, mainly for its health benefits. It employs slow, graceful movements that are stylized renditions of original arm and foot blows.

Kendo, or Japanese fencing, is a sport derived from ancient sword fighting, now using bamboo swords.

Martial Arts Belt Levels

In many forms of the martial arts, practitioners wear colored belts to denote rank. A white belt indicates a novice; a black belt signifies proficiency at various levels. For example, first degree black belt, signifies the first level of black belt; fifth degree black belt, usually signifies a master.

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