Differences between political time and ordinary

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Differences between political time and ordinary

Tae Kwon Do is largely based on Shotokan Karate. When Karate was first introduced to Japan by Funakoshi, it had very few high kicks. As high kicks became more prevalent in Karate decades later, some Karateka turned to Tae Kwon Do to perfect these kicks.

So both styles have been influenced each other to some degree, yet they have a very different flavour and sadly often a lot of rivalry. So I thought I would have an unbiased look at what the differences are, and what has influenced them to become so different.

This is not intended to be an attack on either system. Instead, I hope it will give people of either style a better appreciation of where the other style is coming from. I also have to point out that as there are many styles of Karate and Tae Kwon Do and that my Karate observations will be mainly from a Shotokan and the older traditional Karate styles perspective.

Tae Kwon Do has been through a number of incarnations starting with a form that was quite close to Karate, through to a much more Olympic sport oriented version.

Questions & Answers

These observation are intended to be of a general nature. So having established that, what actually drives the differences? I would say that the main driving factor is that Karate is primarily focuses on hand techniques with legs as backup, whereas Tae Kwon Do is primarily a kicking style with hands as backup.

This leads to a number of other changes as the styles gear themselves up for their favoured techniques. The first thing is the stance. The Karate stance is generally lower.

Differences between political time and ordinary

This is very sensible for a puncher. Tae Kwon Do fighters often like to kick of the front leg. To do this properly you need a full hip rotation.

This in turn means that you feet when viewed from the front are about shoulder width apart and the weight distributed fairly evenly between the feet.

If however, your favoured technique is a leading leg kick, you are more likely to fight with your feet in line and most of weight on your back leg, allowing that front leg to come up very easily. The first time I sparred with my brother in law who is a 2nd Tae Kwon Do, we took up our fighting stances and squared up to each other.

However, it got me thinking. He had been taught that standing side on makes you a smaller target. Many Tae Kwon Do techniques are aimed high at the head and if you train for hitting the head, then the torso is a much bigger target side on or front on. Punching is also effected.

In Karate, the punch is powered by the hips with the shoulders relaxed and low. In Tae Kwon Do, the punch is also primarily powered by the hips. However, when feet are in line for front leg kickingit is not so easy to get the hip round.

Also with the legs almost straight not spring loaded the hip rotation is not so easy to drive forward. Therefore Tae Kwon Do compensates by committing the shoulders slightly more than a Karateka does.

The arms are also held differently in the fighting stance. The arms provide a defensive barrier keeping the opponent at bay and allowing time for the hands to cover the both the head and body. The leading hand usually points towards the opponents head, ready to extend the moment the opponent come to close and also guards his own head.

The rear hand is usually about stomach height ready to take a powerful finishing blow and also covers the lower torso. Tae Kwon Do fighters on the other hand expect to engage with their legs first.Colin Wiltshire is a Research Fellow in the politics of service delivery at the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia (SSGM) Program, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at The Australian National University.

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