Taekwondo: Korean Art of Defending Yourself and Your Loved Ones
Taekwondo is a Korean martial art, characterized by its emphasis on head-height kicks, jumping and spinning kicks, and fast kicking techniques. The name Taekwondo means the way of the foot and fist. Various martial artists combined the elements of Karate and Chinese martial arts with traditional Korean martial arts traditions in the 1940s and 1950s. Taekwondo, usually was thought by most people as just a way of fighting and as being a brutal sport. People consider it brutal because of the kicks, punches, throws, and arm and wrist locks as they usually are not open minded enough to see the way it benefits people especially children. Although a majority of it includes fighting, taekwondo also helps a person with self-confidence, self-defence and discipline.
The eye is the organ of sight and is shaped as a slightly irregular hollow sphere. Various structures in the eye enable it to translate light into recognizable images. Among these are the cornea, the lens, and the retina. When the opponent image light rays reflect off and enter the eyes through the cornea, you can then see that image. The cornea bends, or refracts, the rays that pass through the round hole of the pupil. The iris opens and closes, making the pupil bigger or smaller. This regulates the amount of light passing through. The light rays then pass through the lens, which changes shape, so it can further bend the rays and focus them on the retina. The retina, which sits at the back of the eye is a thin layer of tissue that contains millions of tiny light-sensing nerve cells. These nerve cells are called rods and cones because of their distinct shapes. Cones are concentrated in the centre of the retina, in an area called the macula. When there is bright light, cones provide clear, sharp central vision and detect colours and fine details. Rods are located outside the macula and extend all the way to the outer edge of the retina. They provide peripheral or side vision. Rods also allow the eyes to detect motion and help us see in dim light and at night. These cells in the retina convert the light into electrical impulses. The optic nerve sends these impulses to the brain, which produces an image.
The ear is one of the sensory organs that help us to hear. An interesting point to note is that the ear not only helps in hearing but also helps us to maintain the balance and equilibrium of our body. Without the ear, we would not be able to balance our body with respect to the gravitational pull of the earth. The inner ear is the part that helps us to balance our body. The inner ear is involved in both the functions of hearing and balancing. Two structures of the inner ear help to maintain balance and equilibrium. The three semi-circular canals that are interconnected and positioned at right angles to each other just like a gyroscope. The vestibule has the saccule and utricle that connects the semi-circular canals to the cochlea. The semi-circular canals and the vestibule of the inner ear together help to maintain the balance and equilibrium of the body. Extreme vibrations can rapture the eardrum and ossicles causing hearing loss. Therefore, protective gears should be wear during a sparring.
In terms of sparring, it is divided into one-step sparring and free sparring. One-step sparring consists of two partners exercising pre-arranged, attack and counterattack techniques. Each belt level has three, one-step sparring techniques they are responsible for learning. One-step sparring is the first step to free sparring. Practicing one-step sparring requires a high level of concentration and cooperation on the part of both people. The attacker must perform each attack with proper execution and consistent timing. The defender must react to the attack and counter attack without hesitation. Techniques should be practiced extensively to a point where they develop a sub-motor pattern that reacts out of instinct, without having to stop and think. In free sparring, only light-to-medium contact is made. Protective gear is worn in accordance with World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) standards. Only yellow belts and above are eligible to participate in contact free sparring. Hand and foot techniques are executed according to World Taekwondo Federation rules in order to score points against your opponent. Although students are attacking and defending with great speed and power, the emphasis is on controlled techniques, skills application and safety. Each sparring round is formally begun and ended with a bow of mutual respect.
In the mechanism of side kicking, the first step is the athlete stands in the L-stance forearm guarding block and the right foot forward. Both feet should be slightly pointed inwards and the toes of the foot at the front should be lined up with the heel of the back foot. Both knees are slightly bent. The term ‘starting posture’ comprises information on the stance and the place where the attempted attack starts. The athlete moves the back foot forward in the direction of the intended impact. The hands are held up in a guard. When the feet have touched the ground, the ankle joint tenses and the athlete energetically pushes the right foot off the ground. As a result of the right foot take-off the force pushes the foot upwards. Further movement is facilitated by the muscles of the lower limb taking control over the movement. Thus, the knee and hip joints are extended (J Hum Kinet, 2011)
In the comparison of athlete versus the non-athletes, non-athletes tend to get an injury faster than athletes as their muscles durability and flexibility is not trained. Furthermore, it takes more time for the injury to heal for non-athletic person. Most athletes, have a special recovery sessions. That is how they are much stronger in the case of muscles durability. Athletic types have better overall health and has less percentage to develop certain diseases such as type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. Regular exercise boosts your immune system and lowers the risk of serious health conditions such as cancer and heart disease. Physical activity can also maintain cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
People who are in good shape physically have greater aerobic capacity, meaning their lungs and heart are able to provide more oxygen to muscles. They have also learned how to breathe properly during exercise through training and coaching. Oxygen diffusion rate of athletic person is higher because of their lung capacity such as the rib cage enlargement and diaphragm contractions, which decreases the pressure in lungs thus increase rate of diffusion. They also do the proper warm up exercises before competing. As long as there is enough oxygen, the body will not generate lactic acid to get the energy it needs. Athletes also know how to pace themselves and not sprint more often than necessary. Frequent sprinting will result in lactic acid build up.
Every person wants to feel safe. Every person wants to be able to protect him or herself and loved ones. For this reason, many people turn to martial arts. Taekwondo offers a person all the tools and techniques needed to adequately protect themselves if needed. In addition to blocking, kicking and striking techniques, students will learn grabs, throws, and techniques to free themselves from an attacker
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