Olympic Taekwondo Lesson - Fighting Stance and Foot Work
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Taekwondo lesson by expert Jonathan Reff - Olympic Taekwondo Fighting Stance and Foot Work

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Hi! Jonathan, here at Somafit and again we are going over Olympic Taekwondo. These segments, kind of, go over and review footwork. Now there are few basic stances, basic footwork positions in Taekwondo that enable a person to then move on to more complicated, more advanced Sparring and more complicated footwork or combinations. Now, I am going to parallel you guys and give you a frontal view of my body as I am standing and would be considered Fighting Stance. Now, Fighting Stance is different for every person and it is a very personal stance. I am going to have my feet hip-width apart or a little wider than hip-width apart and I am going to come on to the balls of my feet. So, I have my heels slightly raised off up the floor. Now, my weight is going to be distributed 65:35, 60:40, more weight on the front leg than is on the back leg and I will explain why in a second. So, as I take that position with my heels just slightly off of the floor, my hands are going to come up. I am going to keep my hands up with fist clenched with my elbows tucked in. Now, the elbows are -- very important to keep the elbows tucked in; we do not want them wide. We want to tuck them in. They are going to protect my abdomen and stomach, ribs as well. Here, for example, even if I stood here and absorb the kick, my forearms really act as a guardrail to protect my ribcage and my stomach. So, it is very important to keep my elbows tucked in. Now, my face and my hands protect my upper body and my head, which is quite vulnerable or can be vulnerable to kicks to the head and knockout kicks. Again Taekwondo is a kicking art. The kicks are very, very powerful and the knockout power and they come very quickly and very deceptively. So it is very necessary to have your guard up there all times. Now, the areas of the head that I am going to be protecting will be my temples, the bridge of my nose and my chin and so, I am doing that with my hands, fist-clench, reason being that loose fingers will get broken if they are hit by a foot. So, I am here; I am going to bounce just softly, again with my heels off of the ground and what I am going to think about doing is going forward and back just slightly. Now, for this purpose, I am going to go ahead and rollup my pant leg. Now again, my feet are hip-width apart. I am on the balls of my feet; so my heels are just slightly off of the ground. Again, when I think about just gliding across the floor and I am doing, like an inch forward and back step and will number those one-two, one-two, one-two. Now, that is the very most basic kind of footwork combination that we will use, one we'll use in sparring. Now, to add on to that, there are few other techniques; one being a Junjin step, the Korean pronunciation, which would be a step forward. So as we step in Taekwondo, we are not going to step one foot at a time, rather we would step both feet at once; the reason being, it saves us time and again you are always, always thinking about, how am I going to attack my opponent or execute an attack on my opponent as quickly and as decisively and deceptively as I can. So here, as I am moving forward and forward, back and forth, I am going to then take a step forward, which is about six inches and again that does not have to be specifically six inches. I am just again imagining that I have somebody in front of me and I want to close that distance. So, again if I step back, I am here going forward and back, forward and back; I am going to take that Junjin step forward and if you notice, my feet do not move one-two, but they move one together and Junjin forward. Now, the reverse of that is called a Whojin step. Again, that is a Korean pronunciation and that is a backward step. So again, I am here, let us say, I Junjin forward, then let us say my opponent decides to attack and I want to trap him with something else and I Whojin back. Now the Whojin step changes things just slightly. What we are going to do for Whojin step, is we are going to take the left leg, in this case, which is my back leg and gently raise it off of the floor just, I would say, two inches maximum and furthermost for whatever steps you are doing, you want to think that your feet just kind of gliding along water or gliding along the base of the floor. So, am never raising my feet to too high, except when I am really at actually executing a kick. So again, in a Whojin step, I am going to take my left leg, my back leg just a few inches off of the ground. That is going to be like the trigger that pulls that barrel back so that the bullet can in-shoot actually in this direction back. So, again I am here back and forth, my foot comes up and I Whojin back. So, we have a basic Fighting Stance, we have a Junjin step forward and a Whojin step back. Now, to, moving along, adding on to that, you would have a step forward, which again now, I am going to come to face the camera. So you are my opponents, the viewers and I am here and let us say I need to really cover greater distance. What I am going to do then, I am envisioning like a balance beam or being like a balance beam and that is the distance or the wits that I am going to stay within. So, as I am here and I need to cover more distance forward, I am going to step forward. I am stepping back; so as I am stepping, I am not going to step circular. What I am going to do is I am going to step forward and allow my legs to brush, and I am here quickly. So, once again, I am here, I am relaxed to decide what I want to do; and I am forward. Now, I can add two to those to really cover distance and then that becomes more of a running step and so as you add to the running step, you can then proceed there with some kicks. Now, from there, we have a forward step; we as well have a reverse step, which is a backward step. Now that backward step can happen in two manners. One is a little more advanced than the other. Now, I could do a simple backward step while I am here. Let us say, you the viewer have stepped forward and engaged me. I am going to then again, just like I stepped forward, brush my legs back and step back. Again on the balls of my feet and I am back and back. Here I am again and back and back. Now, I am stepping back, in a sense, towards my right with my right leg. So, my right leg goes back towards my right and if I want to step back with my left leg towards my left. Now, I can also do 180 in the opposite direction, which becomes more of a circular technique by taking my right leg towards my left and turning towards my left. So, I am here relaxed and what I am going to do is I am taking my right leg and for a quick second, I am going to give you my back, but it is literally a quick second. Now that is where it becomes more advanced, lays in the fact that you do have to give your back for a quick second. So you want to be aware of that because you certainly do not want to give your back to an opponent for too long; it needs to be literally a fraction of a second. So, I am here, a step forward and step back and we can add two to that and I could step back and step back, step forward, step forward and with each more advanced, more complicated technique, it requires me to have a fair amount of balance, body awareness and center of gravity. I need to be really aware of my center as I turn back and turn back or turn back and turn back and if we had here a balance beam, I would be securely on that at all times. So, I am visualizing a small little lane and that is where my feet are going. So, regardless of whether I am here, I am Junjining or Whojining, I am stepping forward, stepping back, stepping back, stepping forward; there is a whole slew of combinations that can be utilized on the match in a tournament scenario. So that is footwork in a nutshell Taekwondo and we have covered very basic and a little bit more complicated footwork; I'd say more moderate footwork that can be used in sparring. What is coming up next is a Round Kick. Thanks very much.