TaeKwonDo

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Finger Strike

We have been talking a lot about open hand versus closed hand strikes, however now I want to talk about one of the most effective strikes in the skilled Tae Kwon Do combatant’s arsenal.

FINGER STRIKE Chops, punches, back fists and other hand strike all serve a very similar purpose: Injuring your opponent, but today’s technique could very well end a fight without much fighting if done correctly.

 The strike is called the finger strike, and revolves around striking the opponent with an open hand with fingers straight, and then striking with the tips of the fingers.

The strike starts from a hands raised ready position, and is done very quickly with an extension of the arm and a final position of arm extended and palm down.

 The reason this strike can be so potent is because of it’s precision.

 You can deliver an eye strike or a throat strike very quickly, and these can be painful and damaging enough to end a fight without much effort.

Honing the finger strike is important as if poorly executed you will hit in an unintended area, which may very well put you in a dangerous position.

Performing a break with the finger strike is highly inadvisable, as this can lead to serious damage to the hand and fingers. Highly trained and skilled individuals may be capable of breaking a board with the finger strike, however it is only due to years of training.

The finger strike is also not very useful in sparring as it’s usefulness lies in the precision it offers, and in sparring you will be wearing protection over the hands which will ruin that precision that the finger strike offers.

Another reason that the strike is not useful in a sparring match is that you will usually use it to attempt to injure an actual opponent greatly, and this should not be your goal when sparring.

Using the finger strike in the right situation, after much practice and repetition, can lead to a damaging strike that may end the fight before it is really finished.

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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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TaeKwonDoe Punch

In TaeKwonDoe you will use both you’re hands and you’re feet to deliver blows to you’re opponent. Kicks are more common as they offer a longer reach, which will allow you to stay further away from you’re opponent when striking, which in turn will give you more control over the fight.

 tae-kwon-do punch taekwondoe taekwondo

There are, however, many situations where a strike from the hand will be the best technique for the situation.

There are many strikes which you can deliver using the hand, ranging from backhands to chops, but one of the most common, and easiest to execute, is the TaeKwonDoe punch.

You use a punch when the range is such that you do not have sufficient room for a kick, but also when you see an opening in you’re opponent’s defenses.

The TaeKwonDoe punch can deliver a staggering blow if thrown correctly, but can also set you up for combos with more punches, other closed hand techniques, or even a kick.

Throwing a Tae Kwon Do punch is different from throwing a Karate punch.

In a Karate punch the goal is to do as much damage as possible in one strike, so the punch is thrown with full extension in the arm.

In Tae Kwon Do, the punch is designed to avoid hyper extending the arm, so it is thrown differently.

 You start with you’re hand in a fist at you’re hip, palm facing up and thumb outside the fist. You then begin extension, and rotate the arm so that you’re knuckles face downward.

 You should stop the extension in you’re arm before you extend it fully, as such you’re arm will be bent very slightly.

When breaking with a TaeKwonDoe punch, it is important to hit the board with the knuckles, as you can injure you’re hand if you strike with the fingers.

 Finally, when striking in combat with a sparring partner, you do not need to go through the entire motion as it may not be effective considering that you do not need power as much in sparring.

 When striking an opponent in practical situations however, you should attempt to execute the full technique.

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