Balance in Taekwondo is one of the most important things, especially when you are kicking in Taekwondo competition or training.
But so many people don’t know they’re off balance, and if they do recognise it, they don’t know how to correct it.
When training people and working on their kicking technique, one of the first things I notice is their balance. You may be asking how it’s possible to see if someone is off balance or not – it’s actually very easy to see.
When you look at someone kick, notice where they land. If their foot is in a straight line with where they started to kick to where they were kicking to, then it’s in line.
If the foot goes off that straight line, then they’re off balance.
You will see people who kick, and they have to touch the foot they just kicked with on the ground, and then quickly move it left or right in order to get their balance back. This is a definite indication that they don’t have proper balance when they’re kicking.
So, how can I tell if I have proper balance?
There is a simple test that I give athletes I train…
Just get on a straight line. If you’re on Taekwondo mats, it’s easy as you’ll be able to follow the line of the mats. If you’re in a sports hall, just follow the lines on the floor.
If you are at home, and don’t have any lines anywhere, find some masking tape and put it on the floor. It’s ok, as it will come off easily when you’re done.
Once you have your line, get in your kicking stance as you would if you were sparring. Your feet should be on the line, more or less. Your feet won’t be in a line directly with the line you’re on, but they should be relatively close.
Then, kick as you would normally. Pick the easiest kick to do first, usually a turning kick. Kick with your back leg/foot, and when you land, it should be in a direct line with where you started from. If you’re off in any way, you’ll see the difference with the line you’re on.
There are very few reasons why you are off balance and in the next article in this series, I’ll go through what the main reason is, and what you can do keep your balance in all your kicks. This will make you more efficient in sparring and competition and will also make your kicking much faster.
So try this balance test now and see if your kicks are in line. Start with a standard turning kick from your back leg, then test a skip-in turning kick , then maybe a head shot… Try out a 180 or 360 and see where your feet land. See where your back kick lands too.
Test all your kicks and let me know where your feet are in relation to the line. You may be astonished at how far they may be off the line. Then in the next article I’ll show you how to correct the balance problem so you can improve your kicking speed.
Let me know how you get on with this test on the comments box as I really want to know how it was for you. 🙂