Essay Library

The Power of One

Mr Gregory Dyson

Taekwon-Do teaches us to use the maximum use of one's body mentally and physically through intensive training .You may have heard the expression "one technique to the correct vital spot is all you need to disable your opponent". I strongly believe in the above statement because it is essential for self defence when one's life is endanger. Through this essay I will reveal the secrets of the above statement, its meaning, and how we can best apply it.

Over the past ten years of my Taekwon-Do career, I have noticed that many students do more than the required techniques to disable an opponent during self defence, and one step sparring. I have also noticed students frequently attack the wrong vital spot, or attack the correct vital spot but use the wrong attacking tool; in either case this results in a poorly developed attack and a waste of energy. Students must become efficient with his or her techniques to avoid this waste of energy.

Each Taekwon-Do technique has its own individual purpose which was developed by General Choi to make the most efficient use of energy and present maximum power to a blow. There are hundreds of techniques which one must become familiar with and be able to adapt to any situation that one may encounter. Using these techniques to their full potential requires the correct attacking tool, choosing the correct vital spot, maintaining good balance through out the movement. and applying all aspects of the theory of power; this will result in a devastating outcome in which the opponent will be disabled from just one technique.

Our goal is to develop these techniques so that we can choose any one of them to efficiently disable an opponent to do this we must learn to use our Taekwon-Do patterns. Patterns hold the key to all the techniques needed to become proficient in self defence, one step sparring, and free sparring. I have noticed that when a student begins their self defence, all the techniques and stances that they have learned from their patterns are forgotten or ignored. Students must learn to take techniques from those patterns and adapt them to the situation at hand. In my view, patterns provide the knowledge and physical skills from which students learn and develop a technique to a high degree of proficiency before applying it on an opponent.

The student of Taekwon-Do must, over time, learn all the vital spots on the human body and also learn all the techniques that best work on that particular vital spot. For example it is no good doing a forefist punch to the neck artery, it will not have the desired effect of stopping or disabling the opponent as it dose not have the required concentration. A knife hand side strike to the neck artery on the other hand would disable with no problem at all providing one has used maximum power.

Listed below are some examples of vital spots and techniques which best suited for each other, and the pattern from which the technique is from.

Vital Spot Suited Technique Pattern
Skull Side fist downward strike Kwang-Gae
Temple Back fist side strike Do-San
Bridge of nose Knife hand side strike Dan-Gun
Eye ball Double finger thrust Choong-Jang
Mastrid High thrust with angle fingertip Tong-Il
Mandibula Twin fore knuckle Choong-Jang
Philtrum Long fist Yon-Gae
Jaw Turning punch Eui-Am
Point of chin Fore fist punch Dan-Gun
Lips High side front strike Choong-Jang
Angle of the mandible Cresent punch Eui-Am
Upper neck Reverse knife hand strike Choong-Moo
Adam's Apple Middle knuckle fist Yoo-Sin
Wind pipe High finger tip thrust Ge-Baek
Clavicle Knife hand downward strike Hwa-Rang
Thenar Self defence releases 7th kup syllabus
Radical artery Reverse knife hand side block against a vertical punch Jung-Gun
Back wrist artery Outer forearm high side block against a back fist Do-San
Wrist joing Knife hand guarding block against a punch Toi-gye
Shoulder joint Downward kick Juche
Nose Open fist punch Choong-Jang
Neck artery Knife hand inward strike Won-Hyo
Sternum High turning kick Hwa-Rang
Heart Front elbow strike Yul-Gok
Solar plexus Middle finger tip thrust Do-San
Spleen Upward punch Hwa-Rang
Liver Side elbow thrust Hwa-Rang
Epigastrium Side kick Joong-Gun
Umbilicus Back piercing kick Choong-Moo
Lower abdomen Upset finger tip thrust Toi-Gye
Pubic region Ground high turning kick Choong-Jang
Groin Low twisting kick Ge-Baek
Scrotum Low front snap kick Joon-Gun
Instep Stamping kick Choong-Jang
Occiput Reverse Hooking kick Juche
Cervix Back fist horizontal strike Juche
Upper back Reverse turning kick Eui-Am
Small of back Vertical punch So-San
Kidneys Upset punch Kwang-Gae
Coccyx Knee front snap kick Choong-Jang
Fossa Waving kick Yoo-Sin
Achilles tendon Low inward block with reverse knife hand against a side kick Eui-Am
Ankle joint Straight elbow downward thrust against a side kick Juche
Elbow joint Parallel block against knife hand side strike Juche
Armpit Middle knuckle fist upset punch Ge-Baek
Floating ribs U-shape punch Yoo-Sin
Knee joint Pressing kick Kwang-Gae
Inner thigh Low twisting kick Eui-Am
Tibia Fore fist pressing block against a front snap kick Po-Eun

The Taekwon-Do student must condition their body and weaponry (attacking tools) to a very high standard. Without this type of conditioning we become vulnerable as the techniques we deploy on an opponent will not have the desired effect of stopping or disabling, and may cause injury to one's self. I relate conditioning to a knife for example a blunt knife is useless for cutting, but sharpen that same knife and it becomes an efficient cutting tool. Similarly, our attacking tools must become "sharp" in order to achieve an efficient one technique blow. I have listed some methods below that will help the student achieve the appropriate level of conditioning for attacking tools.

  1. Pad work = Hitting the pads with different attacking tools trains the mind and body to hitting an objecting with accuracy.
  2. Press ups = Are good for strengthening the shoulder joints, elbow joints and wrist joints; this also can be done on fingers and knuckles but only on the first two knuckles.
  3. Squats = Are good for strengthening the leg joints, muscles and hips.
  4. Stretching = Is a must as we need to be flexible so that we can execute techniques efficiently and quickly.
  5. Performing techniques in slow motion = This is very effective for building up the muscle memory in all techniques.
  6. Repetition = By doing techniques over and over they become programmed into the mind for automatic use.

In this essay I have covered:

  • energy efficiency in techniques.
  • how patterns are used to gain the techniques we need for self defence, one step sparring and free sparring.
  • why you need to know the correct vital spots and attacking tools.
  • knowing what technique best suits that vital spot and the pattern that it is from.
  • conditioning the body and attacking tools and some methods which can be used.

All the above aspects are essential to obtain the necessary destructive techniques to disable an opponent from just one blow. However, there is one more aspect to cover and with out it all of the above requirements are insufficient. This concerns the theory of power which is essential for making everything that I have explained so far come together. For example I have given students the bow and arrow, but now they require the tuition for releasing the arrow (the theory of power) to obtain maximum distance.

There are six elements to the theory of power which one must learn to enable you to bring everything together for that one technique blow.

1. Speed

Speed is the most essential factor of force or power. Scientifically, from Isaac Newton's basic equation, force equals mass times acceleration (F = ma). According to the theory of kinetic energy every object (attacking tool) increases its weight as well as speed in a downward movement (sine wave).

2. Mass

Mathematically, the maximum kinetic energy or force is obtained from maximum body weight and speed. The body weight is applied with the motion by the turning of the hips as the large abdominal muscles are twisting to provide additional body momentum to the smaller muscles which aid the attacking tool.

3. Concentration

Applying the attacking tool to the smallest target area 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 outlet is smaller.

4. Equilibrium

Balance is of utmost importance in any type of athletics. By keeping the body always in equilibrium, or well balanced, a blow is more effective and deadly. Conversely the unbalanced opponent is one that is easily toppled. To maintain good equilibrium, the centre of gravity of the stance must fall on a straight line.

5. Reaction Force

According to Newton's law every action has an equal and opposite reaction. When a car crashes into a wall with the force of 2000 pounds, the wall will return a force of 2000 pounds. For example, reaction force from a punch with the right fist is shown in Taekwon-Do by pulling back the left fist to the hip.

6. Breath Control

Controlled breathing not only aids one's stamina and speed but can also condition a body to receive a blow, and enhance the power of a blow directed against an opponent. 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.

Now you have the bow the arrow and the procedure to fire the arrow all is left is to apply it. Like Bruce Lee once said "knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do." Great words from a man who knew how important it is to have that one technique blow. Also for something to think about which I once heard from my instructor (Mr Ian Campbell) is that we only tie our belt around our waist once as a symbol of that one technique to disable. Through out this essay I have covered a range of topics all relating to that one technique blow and why it is important to the Taekwon-Do practitioner. Also to the reader of this essay I hope you have learnt or picked up something that you can take away and use in your training or just remember this "one technique to the correct vital spot is all you need to disable your opponent."

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