The Chop

Tae Kwon Do features two types of hand strikes. On the one hand you have closed hand, or fist, attacks.

These attacks are usually intended as power strikes. One the other hand, you have the open hand strike, these are usually finger strikes or chops, and are usually used as a way to throw your opponent of guard, or a way to get in a quick strike.

One of the most used open hand strikes in existence is the chop. Unlike a karate chop, which is an up and down strike that starts above the head and travels straight down, the primary chop used in Tae Kwon Do is at an angle.chop taekwondo

While a up and down chop is practiced in Tae Kwon Do, the angle strike is usually used more.

The chop starts with the hand straight, fingers bent *very* slightly, and the thumb bent across the palm.

 As the hand is extended you should strike at a downward angle. The most effective target for this strike is the neck.

As with the punch, do not fully extend the arm as this can result in hyper extension. This strike may be used to break boards, however you must do so with caution, as your hand could be injured even if doing the strike effectively.

 Performing a solid break with a chop depends heavily on finding the right point to strike on the wood.

Be careful when executing a chop in a sparring match, as it is easy to strike with an unprotected part of the hand, which can cause injury to both you and your opponent.

 The downward chop is used in Tae Kwon Do in some cases, most often it is used for breaks that involve tougher materials than wood, such as cinder block.

Breaks of any material stronger than wood should only be performed by an experienced individual! As stated above, the angular chop is a great way to deliver a quick, strike, however it is possible to do some serious damage if directed at a point such as the neck or shoulder.

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