Thursday, August 27, 2009

I kicked a board!

I've been doing Tae Kwon Do now for a little under six months, as a part of keeping (or getting) fit, staying active and sharing an interested with my partner. In fact, I've got a grading for my second belt (yellow with two white stripes) coming up in three weeks.

Last night at training, the instructor gave a few of the yellow belts the opportunity to break a board. I got a chance to do a front kick, as a speed break. Talk about a rush! :)

The front kick seems to be my bread and butter for non contact sparing, at the moment. It doesn't require alot of flexibility, or much upper body movement, as opposed to a round house or side kick. You can slip forward, go into a jumping front kick, and even quickly change feet on the spot to keep the opposition on their toes. So for me, the front kick isnt something I can mess up too badly, in front of my instructor and the rest of the class.

My first attempt failed to break the board, but I did kick it out of the instructors hands and it went quite vertical into the ceiling, before landing on the ground with a loud clack. And I knew why it failed. I landed the kick with the padding beside the ball of the foot, instead of the actual ball of the foot. I was still feeling pretty good about the kick. It had power, just slightly misdirected.

My second attempt nailed it. The foot snapped forward and back, and the broken part of the board went straight up, super fast. It was probably the nature of the kick, but it just didnt hurt at all.

I'll be looking forward to the next chance I get to break a board. The next board breaking kick I will need to do for a grading is a side kick, which should be about 6 months and 3 weeks away.

Other board breaking kicks I'll need to do are running side kicks, spinning back kicks, down spinning kicks and hook kicks. The down spinning kick looks like the most challenging, since the board is place vertically on the ground, and you need to spin and get your foot down low in the spin to hook your heel into the board and break it. The spinning back kick demonstrated last night didnt look all that easy, either.