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Understanding Kinesiological Stretching Techniques: Application of the Butterfly Stretch

We improve progress and evolve when we step out of our comfort zone. This applies to everything in life. Stretching techniques are no exception. If the old one is not getting you any further, it makes sense to try something new. Sometimes new is different, often too different for a comfortable transition.
For this reason when we bring new ideas to the table, we can also keep parts of the old ones, too.
Today we will do the same for people who spend years doing relaxed stretches. We will take a common stretching position called The Butterfly and apply a Kinesiological Stretching principle to it, called Target and Leverage.

We all know what butterfly stretch looks like, right?

Now we will use our Target and Leverage on it, to quickly get more flexible.
Are you ready?
This next part will explain how and why this technique works. If you want the insight, please read the next paragraph. If you just want to test the move, jump down and watch the video.
The Butterfly Stretch is aimed primarily at 4 muscles:
• Adductor Magnus
• Adductor Longus
• Adductor Brevis
• Pectineus
All 4 muscles below adduct (and butterfly calls for abducted position). They also rotate medially and the stretch in question rotates laterally.


Remember Kinesiological Stretching Techniques can only be applied if more than one action of the muscle is targeted, which is the case here.
Many other muscles are not fully participating. For example the Gluteus Medius and Minimus stretch at lateral rotation, but abducted hips shorten them. The Gracilis is also an adductor playing the same role as the 4 muscles targeted, but a flexed knee shortens this muscle.
So pushing the knees out is pitted against leaning forward. Either action can be chosen as the target. In this case bringing the knees as far apart from each other and into the floor is chosen at the Target. Rotating the hips is chosen as the Leverage.
In case you are new to this, what is the difference between Target and Leverage? Target progresses you into deeper into the stretch and leverage moves back and forth.

One of our KST teacher who likes paintball explained it through this story:
You and another guy want to close in on the target. One draws the fire, while the other runs back and forth between two areas of cover. He does not get closer to the target, he just forms a distraction. While the other guy runs closer, and hides behind a cover in a closer position to the target, each time his “diversion” partner runs back and forth.
The guy constantly running forward is the “Target” and the guy running between two points is the “Leverage”. The guy performing the Leverage is not progressing forward, but he is allowing the other one to progress.
So Target is the part of movement that keeps getting closer to the goal, while Leverage just moves back and forth.
Now with this example we can go on.

Let’s do the exercise
Sit with your back against the wall.
Place your hands on the knees.
Press the knees out to find your starting range.
Keep the knees apart. Your target is ready.
Now let’s move into the leverage. Inhale deeply. Hyperextend the spine. This hyper extension creates internal rotation in the hips. This is your leverage.
Exhale and return your back to the original position. As the back is returning, press further on the knees. The target must progress, at the same time leverage is returning.

Don’t wait for the leverage to return and press the knee then.

Think about it. When do you want to run toward the target. When the other guy is moving or when he is already back? When does the diversion work the best?

Another important point often misunderstood by people who been doing relaxed stretches forever: don’t hold the stretch!

Movement is Key!
Move each action (Target and Leverage). Do that several times and stop. Take a quick break and repeat again. Give the muscle a chance to adapt to what you are asking of it. Several attempts with fewer reps are better than one long attempt or set. And don’t hold the target after you got deep into it. Yes, it feels good to be deeper than ever before. But it’s not the best practice. Do it a few times and you will be able to hold that same position, but not without tension and without effort.

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Teep Push Front Kick Stronger Kick Using Supporting Leg Training

May people have asked how to develop the power in a push front kick. Push kick is usually a defensive weapon. However properly adjusted it can be to attack and/or set up other techniques. If used without acceleration, and especially to stop the incoming attack, it relies on “grounding”. This means the supporting leg must be in good position to push off the ground and into the target. Unfortunately this is a weak link in the chain. I use a very simple training technique to develop power, stability and grounding in the push front kick. Later this transfers to power of the kick.

An inflatable ball is placed on a chair or appropriate object to be at abdominal height. The kicking leg pushes into the ball. Most people will notice at first that they can’t push the ball in. With a little bit of adjusting, the position is found. Even the strongest fighters, had supporting leg SORE the next day. Even after few sets of doing this exercise. However the kick became more effortless and stronger.

Paul Zaichok IDAUTHOR: Paul Zaichik is the founder of the Elastic Steel method of Athletic conditioning. With an interest in Martial Arts from early childhood Paul during his Martial Art training realized that many advanced students could barely kick to the head level. He had begun to experiment in this area. As a result Paul transformed many Eastern European Stretching and Gymnastic techniques to meet the needs of the modern martial artists. More and more students were practicing Paul’s techniques, acquiring great strength and flexibility in return. As a certified Exercise and Nutrition instructor Paul has been able to develop over the years many effective techniques that became to be known as ElasticSteel.

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Long legal battle for Choi Jung Hwa ITF in Kazakhstan concluded

Recently in the Republic of Kazakhstan a court case has been resolved in regards to the legitimate use of logos and trademarks and the portrayal of services that may be confused with another traders name as relates to the ITF in that country.

It was claimed by the head of regional public organization “Kazakhstan National Federation of Traditional Taekwon-Do ITF (KNFTT)” Mr Abenov E.Zh (a member of GM Choi Jung Hwa’s organisation) that it was the official representative and member of the International Taekwon-Do Federation in Kazakhstan. It claimed this on the basis of a certificate of membership from the Headquarters of the ITF in Korea, which in turn holds its legitimacy on the basis of a certificate of registration of a trademark allegedly registered in the register of the Office of Intellectual Property of the Republic of Korea. It further asserted its rights on the basis of a letter from Master Trevor Nichols which stated that ‘the international federation of Taekwon-Do confirms that it officially recognizes the National federation of Taekwon-Do in Kazakhstan, the only organization with the right to represent the federation of Taekwon-Do in Kazakhstan; use the name and official logo of the International Taekwon-Do Federation ITF.

Abenov E Zh further claimed that since he was a member of the ITF since 1995 he is entitled to use the emblems etc. He further asserts that the emblem belongs to the International Taekwon-Do Federation since 1966 and has been used by almost all parties with consent of the federation including the Kazakhstan federation. In support of his claim says that “№01564 membership certificate confirms all the privileges of membership. Official recognition of the federation, including the right to use the emblem of the International Federation received 5 May 2013”.

In court however, the representative of the Federation of Taekwon-Do ITF central Asian Continent (KAT), Valitov NE, explained that KAT has the exclusive copyright to trademarks in the Republic of Kazakhstan since 2008. He explained that for others to legitimately use a trademark there must be appropriate permission given through the establishment of a licence agreement and its registration in the proper manner through the authorised body. The Kazakhstan National Federation of Traditional Taekwon-Do ITF violates the exclusive right of KAT to the trademark on the territory of Astana and Kazakhstan as a whole. This organization provides services in Taekwondo ITF, using the activity of their trademarks.

In support of the position of the KAT the president of the organisation provided the court with documents that demonstrate that trademarks are only valid in the country in which they are registered. Further, after requesting information from ITF HQ Korea he received letters from the Secretary General of the International Taekwon-Do Federation, Headquarters Korea that stated that they believed the certificate of registration provided as evidence by KNFTT was likely copied from their website and that they had only individual members and no groups registered in Kazakhstan.

Unauthorized and incomplete copy of Group Registration Certificate form ITF HQ Korea

Unauthorized and incomplete copy of Group Registration Certificate form ITF HQ Korea

It was pointed out that if the certificate were genuine it would show the group name, correct expiration date and the signature of the Secretary General. It had none of these features. It was concerning that another Taekwon-Do ITF organisation would “tamper” with the documents in order to gain some advantage.
Certificate of registration (Owner of the service mark right): Doctored copy of registration certificate

Certificate of registration (Owner of the service mark right): Doctored copy of registration certificate

In the other document regarding the registration of the trademark lodged with the register of the Office of Intellectual Property of the Republic of Korea, the Secretary General of ITF HQ Korea says that although this is their document the dates have been altered, and it has been provided by the ITF HQ based in the UK which has no current relationship with ITF HQ Korea. This document was provided without the knowledge of ITF HQ Korea and illegally.

A leading expert in intellectual property rights from the department of justice explained that the KNFTT had no right to use the trademark since it is registered for the public association “Federation of Taekwon-Do ITF central Asian Continent”. Indeed the registration of trademarks are only valid in the countries in which they are registered and as such the Korean registration has no standing in Kazakhstan and only the KAT (as the registration holder) may give permission for it to be used. Conversely this is also the case for ITF HQ Korea which entirely and legitimately holds the rights for the use of these logos and trademarks in South Korea.

The verdict:
After hearing the evidence from both parties the decision of the case was that the arguments of Representative and the Head of the KNFTT are found untenable and cannot be accepted into account, since their arguments are refuted by the protocol as an administrative offence on inspection of the evidence. The organisation was attempting to avoid responsibility provided by the existing regulation since the documents provided do not authorise the use of the trademark in the Republic of Kazakhstan, as the trademark is registered in the public register (No. 28172, No. 38344) for the KAT who has exclusive right to use the trademark.
Based on the foregoing that the NGO “Kazakhstan National Federation of Traditional Taekwon-Do ITF” illegally used a trademark registered for the public association “Federation of Taekwon-Do ITF Central Asian Continent”.

The Kazakhstan National Federation of Traditional Taekwon-Do was found to be in violation of Article 158 of the Republic of Kazakhstan Code of administrative violations and subject to penalty in the form of an administrative fine in the amount of 40 (forty) monthly calculation indices in the amount of 84,840 (eighty-four thousand eight hundred forty) tenge in state revenue, with confiscation of goods containing illegal reproduction of the trademark, banners, stored under the trust receipt by Abenova E.Zh.

During the hearing, the representatives of Abenov provided tampered documents to the judge from the office of TKD in Korea and from the son of General Choi. I sent a formal request during the trial, to son of Choi and the office of ITF HQ in Korea. I am very grateful to ITF HQ in Korea for their professionalism and the decency of the President and Secretary General. I got an answer in quick time outlining the full legal truth of the documents. The son of General Choi ignored my letter.
The information provided by ITF HQ Korea helped to make the decision in our favor. We have a lot of cases to identify violators of our exclusive rights to trademark of Taekwondo. We carry an active fight and prosecute the Republic of Kazakhstan laws. The legal system of our state is strong and true. The laws are on our side and it always pleases us. Many young instructors were educated and convinced by the lies and misinformation about the legal side of the case. We have proved our case Trademark – it is the individualization of its quality and name.

Pavez Mamedov
Until 4 years ago Master Pavez Mamedov was a member of the ITF under GM Tran.
At the age of 44 he has spent many years practicing Judo and 25 years in the ITF. He is a winner of many national and international competitions in these sports. Master of Sports (8th dan) in judo, 7 dan by the ITF. He is a class A umpire. He continues to practice to this day. President of ITF Association. He is the head of a law firm and holds a Masters degree in Human Physiology, tourism, law, physical education and sport. post-graduate degree. He has been the author of many scientific articles.

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Taekwon-do exponents gain a place in the “Malaysian Book of Records” for board breaking

Malaysia celebrated her 2nd National Sport Day on the 8th October 2016.
It was an idea from the Minister of Youth to hold a day that the Nation could celebrate a healthy lifestyle through sport.

The day brings together all sport activities nationwide at their respective location thereby bringing the nation together to participate in the event.

At a National Level, it was held in Putrajaya, the Malaysian Administrative Capital, and was officiated by the Premier himself. ITFA (Malaysia), which is an affiliate member of ITF HQ Korea, was given the opportunity to represent TAEKWON-DO for the occasion.img-20161008-wa001-a

It was with great pride that ITFA(M) initiated and took on the historic task of putting ITFA (M) into the “Malaysian Book of Records” for the Largest Participation for a Board Breaking Demonstration that was “BLASTED OFF” (breaking of a board) by the Premier

As confident as ever, the Prime Minister of Malaysia took the FIRST STRIKE to thunderous applause and cheers from the over 50 thousand participants and crowd. Not to be outdone the Sport and Youth Minister also did his break which was then followed by the Minister of Federal Territories.coordinator2a

The TAEKWON-DO event stole the show with the Premier showing the way that lead to a thunderous breaking of boards amongst the participants following his lead. The National news that afternoon and later that evening caught the Prime Minister in action and it was on every Newspaper the next day.participant1a

In total more than 2016 people were recorded as participants in conjunction with the year, however, only 1600 pre-registered and so this number was officially recorded in the Malaysian Book of Records.

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The True Power of Taekwon-Do

My journey in the martial arts started when I was 13 in Marietta, GA when I joined a Shotokan Karate school. I studied up until I was 17 when I joined the U.S. Army. I earned my Cho 1st Dan in that art. I was introduced to Taekwon-do during my first stint in the Army. I earned my Yellow belt. I was deployed a lot during this time in the Army so I did not spend very much time learning TKD. I got out of regular Army and joined the Army National Guard moving to the home town of my wife, Bonners Ferry, ID in 1993. In 1994 a Taekwon-do school opened up and I joined the school. The instructor, my friend, let me help instruct the lower classes of children because of my Shotokan background and strong tournament experience. In 1997 I earned my 1st Dan and became a full assistant instructor. In 1998 the owner had to move and she sold her part of the school to our 5th Dan who was the other partner owner. He continued teaching Taekwon-do with my friend and me as the assistant instructors at his house. In 1999 I earned my 2nd Dan and my friend earned his 3rd Dan. In 2001 my friend went away to college, I took a job in Alaska, and our 5th Dan moved to Texas to help medical trauma studies there (he taught other doctors in trauma medicine). I practiced when I could but it was not steady during the time period of 2001-2010. I was deployed during this time to Iraq and Afghanistan with the U.S. Army. During my deployment to Afghanistan in my life took a drastic turn when I was injured due to a a suicide car bomb hitting the vehicle I was in while providing security for U.S. Ambassador Chris Dell on November 16, 2008.
ghowr-001-162aI was inpatient for six months, then they let me come back home to Bonners Ferry to continue my healing in August of 2009 mainly due to my wife becoming ill at the time. In 2010 I heard about another Taekwon-do school that had opened up while I was away overseas. My doctor was against me getting back into Taekwon-do because of my injuries, but I knew the TKD would help. I needed something; I was determined that I was not going to let disability become my life nor be on painkillers. I joined the school. The way I did my forms was different. In this I mean the school did not breathe as ITF does nor did it practice sine wave theory (hip rise level sink) of movements. I decided to return to ITF Chang Huhn patterns as my main form of personal practicing and improvement. In 2011, I recertified with the American Athletic Union Taekwon-do program. In 2012 I decided, despite my condition, despite what they doctors told me I could not do, and despite my rustiness, to go ahead and try a competition the North Idaho Karate Classic open invitation. Because of my age and years in martial arts and that there just were not enough competitors in my bracket; I was put into the master’s division; even though I am still only a 2nd Dan in Taekwon-do; wow! I did earn 3rd place in patterns and sparring. I did ITF pattern Kwang-Gae. I stayed with the school until fall 2012 when I had to have more surgeries and then I was medically discharged (retired) out of the Army in 2013. After the medial discharge I took a job in law enforcement and moved to a new town. I practiced very little Taekwon-do until January of 2016. Little did I know that in three short years I would be brought back to Taekwon-do in full.

My 16 yr. daughter from another relationship had run into some trouble in fall of 2015. She had become a victim to various crimes that involved physical, mental, emotional, and sexual abuse at the hands of cruel adults and as a result of trying to cope she became addicted to drugs. It was decided that she come and live with me and my wife to help her. When she arrived, she was a broken girl. While working and supporting her during her recovery she mentioned that she wanted me to teach her martial arts so that she, as a young woman, would not be taken advantage of (used) so easily ever again. I started training her in January of 2016. In April of 2016 we came to a point where I asked her if she wanted to learn the full art of Taekwon-do and not just self-defense. She did. I thought for a while and decided to go back to true ITF Taekwon-do. I knew that ITF Taekwon-do as General Choi Hong Hi created it could possibly become the pillar in her life she needed to aid in her recovery and continued success. She agreed to learn Taekwon-do and it is here that she has found healing and strength. She discovered the Tenants, the Student Oath, and Moral Culture of Taekwon-do. She discovered that it was these things that truly give Taekwon-do its power. dscn1592a
Now more than ever I understand what General Choi Hong Hi meant when he described his vision and deeper meaning of what Taekwon-do should be in the world we live in. I now understand and witness the true power of Taekwon-do in my daughter every day. It is not revealed through her ability in performing front snap kicks, turning kicks, punches, or even her patterns; which she does well. No, I see it when she smiles and has a look of dignity again after all she has been through.

My daughter shared with her health teacher at high school she was learning Taekwon-do to help with her healing and recovery process. The teacher asked if I would teach her children Taekwon-do to help boost their confidence and build self-esteem since it has shown so much positive results in my daughter. So, here I am back with and teaching Taekwon-do. Our goal is to open a Taekwon-do school in a couple of years to help spread the martial art that has become a very happy, crucial, spiritual, and healthy part of my family’s life; ITF Taekwon-do.

AUTHOR: Lawrence Jefferson II

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Flying Side Kick

Flying Side Kick is a fancy looking kick, which in most peoples’ minds is reserved for the movies, demonstration and breaking. However from a power point of view, it combines two monsters:
• One is a the strongest muscles in the body, the compound leg extensors. Same muscles that helps one squat and dead lift heavy weights.
• That not being enough Flying Side Kick also pack the full weight of the body, being accelerated into the target.

From a practicality point of view it’s not as easy to land as a Jab or Back Fist. And yet the kick had been landed in the ring and on the street. If the two steps are removed the Flying Side Kick becomes a rear leg side kick with a hop. Done properly still a very powerful kick.
So now let’s take a look at the Kinesiological Analysis of the kick.

Phase One: Take Off
There are various schools of thoughts on how the chamber should be raised.
• Some styles and individual practitioners come up with vertical shin.
• Others add rotation at the take off.
We will analyze a vertical lower leg:
The chamber comes up similar to the front kick and the rest of the body resembles a basketball layup.
On the kicking leg: the hip flexors assisted by the adductors flex the hip. Hamstrings flex the knee. Tibialis Anterior dorsi flexes the foot to expose the heel as the point of impact.
In the supporting leg: the Quadriceps extends the knee, Gluteus Maximus assisted by the Hamstrings extend the hip. Gluteus Medius and Minimus stabilize the hip. Calf completes the push off.

Spinal Extensors and Quadratus Lumborum are primary core stabilizers, especially if the torso is not completely vertical prior to take off.
Even at this stage, where flexibility does not seem to be a large factor. Allowing the muscles to lengthen properly will boost the take off.
In the right leg Quadriceps Vastii (Three Short Heads of the Quadriceps) lengthen to all the knee to flex. Gluteus Maximus, Adductor Magnus Ischial Fibers and Adductor Longus stretch allows the knee to gain its maximum height. Calf, especially Soleus flexibility, permits the heel to be exposed as the point of impact.
In the left leg Hip Flexors and Adductors Lengthen to allow for full hip extension. Tibialis Anterior allow the foot to point.
Phase Two: Impact
“You watch too many movies” maybe the right phrase used here.
Not always, but rather frequently the kick extended prior to impact. This looks great as the audience get to see how a fully extended kick looks like.

However in practicality it’s like extending a punch straight at the elbow and trying to push someone with it. The leg must not be straight at the point of impact.
• More biomechanics at the upcoming articles. Right now let’s take a look at the muscles involved in delivering the force of the kick to the target.
Muscles Involved
At the full extension the kicking leg is medially rotated and abducted. Three muscles carry out these two actions:
1. Gluteus Medius
2. Gluteus Minimus
3. Tensor Fascia Latae.
The impact however falls on the shoulders of two giants:

1. Quadriceps
2. Gluteus Maximus.
The Former extends the knee and later extends the hip. Tibialis Anterior makes sure the proper point of impact slams into the target.
The supporting leg is characteristically flexed at the knee, abducted and externally rotated at the hip. There many variations to this position.
• Some kickers have their legs just slightly bent during Flying Side Kick
• Others lift the heel as high as the abdomen.
The main point of folding the other leg, is prevent the foot from touching the floor, before the kick does it job. After all the force must be transferred, while the fighter is airborne. The left leg position resembling a “half-butterfly” is Sartorius favorite. Other muscles assist at the hip and knee.

A complete lateral flexion calls for contraction of all the core muscles on the right side. Right Obliques, Right Side of the Rectus Abdominis, Right Quadratus Lumborum and Spinal Extensors hip to pull the Iliac Crest and Floating Ribs together. Psoas Major and Minor also assist.
While the non-kicking leg flexibility can make a kicker look good, it’s the core and kicking leg flexibility that really counts.
• In the left leg the adductors and pectineus are the primary muscles that get stretched, providing that the heel comes up to the groin or abdomen.
• The right adductors and pectineous also lengthen to allow abduction. They are not at full stretch however, due to medial rotation of the side kick.
• A lesser mentioned muscle called Quadratus Femoris, is both and adductor and an external rotator. It is completely elongated during the kick.
• Of course Calf is stretched to allow dorsi flexion.
• In the core all the muscles on the left side of the body are expanded, to allow flexion to the right.

Part Three: Recovery and Landing
If a martial artist wants to keep doing this kick, he must learn how to land. Two actions are combined here.
1. Pulling the leg back from the kick
2. Absorbing the force of landing.
Not everyone lands the same way.
• Some kickers land with a front kick chamber
• Others with abducted and medially rotated side kick chamber.
• Due to a frequent attempt to utilize Glutes in the kick, many kickers land sideways and even turned away from the target.
We will analyze a landing with the kicking leg medially rotated and landing leg laterally rotated.

• Tensor Fascial Latae is at great mechanical advantage, when the hip if flexed and medially rotated.
• Gluteus Medius and Minimus favor the medial rotation.
• Pectineus and adductors want to help, but be completely or partially negated by abduction, if the is on the side as opposed to being in front.
• Other hip flexors favor the lateral rotation, so they will be negated with increased internal rotation of the femur.
On the landing leg, the Quadriceps and Calf will absorb the brunt of impact.
• Medial and Lateral Rotators will work to stabilize the hip.
• If the torso falls slightly forward, Gluteus Maximus and Hamstrings will fire to keep it in check. This usually happen with very internally rotated kicking leg.
On the other hand if the kicking leg recovers into front kick position, the torso may fall back slightly(shoulder behind the hips) and hip flexors combined with adductors will keep it in check.
Muscles of the core will mimic the position of the torso and fire in chain with the lower body.
For example:
• Spinal extensors and quadratus lumborum will contract with glutes and hamstrings if shoulder move in front of the hips.
• If the shoulder moves too much back, abdominals and obliques will activate.
• Right sided core muscles will contract, if the right hip is raised and an attempt is made to keep the torso vertical.

Paul Zaichok IDAUTHOR: Paul Zaichik is the founder of the Elastic Steel method of Athletic conditioning. With an interest in Martial Arts from early childhood Paul during his Martial Art training realized that many advanced students could barely kick to the head level. He had begun to experiment in this area. As a result Paul transformed many Eastern European Stretching and Gymnastic techniques to meet the needs of the modern martial artists. More and more students were practicing Paul’s techniques, acquiring great strength and flexibility in return. As a certified Exercise and Nutrition instructor Paul has been able to develop over the years many effective techniques that became to be known as ElasticSteel.

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Anatomy of the Twisting Kick

Twist Kick, is called Bituro Chagi in Korean Martial Arts. Has lately been used by many non-Korean martial arts styles including various Kungfu, Karate and Mixed Styles.

The twist kick lands it’s effectiveness to surprise. It’s attack comes from an unexpected direction from the opposite side of the round house. If performed as a stationary kick, it derives it’s power mainly from the extension of the knee and thus strength of the quadriceps. Biomechanics of the kick, make the hip action a rather difficult accelerator. In other words the pelvic momentum is rather difficult to generate, in order to transfer it into the knee. It’s possibly, but more challenging than the roundhouse kick or front kick for example. Using full mass of the body, as opposed to just the pelvic whip, is a much more effective method of generating force. However that is a biomechanic model of the kick and we will leave it to the next article. Today’s article focuses on the kinesiological model of the kick. In this article we will discuss the muscles that contact and lengthen to make the correct Twist Kick possible. There are 3 phases to the kick. Phase one and phase three are similar.

Phase One – Chambering the Kick or Folding of the Kick
The kicking hip and knee flexes. There are some stylistic as well as individual variations in this face. Some styles and/or practitioners will lift the knee with a vertical shin. Others will already begin the turnout at the hip. Some will face the opponent squared, other will turn partially. The kicking foot may already expose the ball of the foot or instep, or the sticking point may form as the foot moves toward the target.

In general all the hip flexors will participate in lifting the knee straight up. Rectus Femoris will be negated by contraction of the hamstrings to flex the knee.

If the hip will already turnout at the folding of the kick, muscle behavior will change. Sartorius who favors the lateral rotation will take on greater role. Muscles that favor the medial rotation, will take on a lesser role. Those are all adductors, and Tensor Fascial Latae. They will still participate, but to a lesser degree. Two deep and powerful hip flexors: Psoas and Illiacus, favor the flexion of the hip and medial rotation, will contract full force.

Quadriceps Vastii (3 Short Heads of Quadriceps) will stretch in preparation for a kick, as they are the deliverer of the force. Gluteus Maximus, Ischial Fibers of Adductor Magnus and Piriformis will lengthen as well.
In the standing leg quadriceps will contract to keep the partially flexed knee from collapsing. Calf will contract as the knee moves over the toes. The center of gravity will shift left, over the left foot. This will activate the gluteal group to check the adduction of the supporting leg. Gluteus Maximus will also work to stop further hip flexion. If the torso leans back, the hip flexor and anterior core muscles will fire. Unless the right hip flexors are very strong, chances are the posterior pelvic till will be initiated to lift the kicking leg higher.

Phase Two
Phase Two can be looked at as a demonstration of form or power and reach. From the form point of view, the knee extends. From the power and reach point of view the pelvis is shifted and torso leans away. This allows the kick to travel the furthest, both toward the target and into the target, as not to be pulled back too early.
The extension of the knee is carried out by the quadriceps as mentioned earlier. While this is a strong muscle, it’s contracting force alone is not enough to generate significant damage. To do that, the quads must be a last link in a well executed force generating chain. If the kick is slowed down various hip flexors and adductor will work to hold the hip in the right position.

Sartorius will be negated partially by the extension of the knee, as it is a flexor of the knee. All adductors will assist by “won’t be happy” by lateral rotation. In addition Gracilis will be partially negated by knee extension. Distal attachment or Sartorius and even Gracilis is particularly vulnerable to injury, if the kick is not properly prepared. Due to the tendency to rotate out at knee and not at the hip, most kickers will rely heavily on insertions of these muscles and medial hamstrings to decelerate the kick. This happens because the just named muscles will not only prevent the knee hyper extension, but also hyper lateral rotation. Having flexible medial rotators of the hip and strong flexors/lateral rotators will protect from this type of injury. Later being the Psoas and Illiacus.

The muscles working on the supporting leg are virtually the same as for phase one. Of course core and flexors and adductors may engage more, with an attempt to either reach further with the kick or if the hamstrings are not flexible enough and pelvis must tilt to compensate.

Finally the muscles lengthening on the kicking leg will still be the same with an addition of the hamstrings. Later will be stretched due to extended knee. Tibialis anterior will be stretched to plantar flex the ankle, if the point of impact is the instep. Flexor of the toes will lengthen if the ball of the foot is the point of impact.

Want to master a twist kick? There is a special program for it. Get it here:

Paul Zaichok IDAUTHOR: Paul Zaichik is the founder of the Elastic Steel method of Athletic conditioning. With an interest in Martial Arts from early childhood Paul during his Martial Art training realized that many advanced students could barely kick to the head level. He had begun to experiment in this area. As a result Paul transformed many Eastern European Stretching and Gymnastic techniques to meet the needs of the modern martial artists. More and more students were practicing Paul’s techniques, acquiring great strength and flexibility in return. As a certified Exercise and Nutrition instructor Paul has been able to develop over the years many effective techniques that became to be known as ElasticSteel.

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Anatomy of the Axe kick

Today we are going to learn the kinesiology of an Axe kick. This kick can be thrown with a rear leg or the front leg. The Axe kick comes down on the target in it’s basic form. While looks like a simple kick, it has many variations. It can come from inside out or outside. Thrown at angles, with open or square hips. Some styles prefer a specific variation of the kick, as do individual practitioners. Flexibility of the kicker, height, preferred fighting distance, other techniques in the arsenal are some of the factors which will decide, how your Axe is thrown.
In this article a rear, right leg Axe kick is analyzed, front a Orthodox Stance.

Phase One – Preparation for the Kick.
The legs are bent and the center of gravity drops. The Quadriceps are primary muscles that take the pressure. Rear leg Calf is activated. The torso rotate to the left. Right external and left internal Obliques perform this rotation. Right Gluteus Maximus, assisted by the Quads, Hamstrings and Calf push the body forward.

As the mass of the body is thrust forward, rear Hip Flexors and Adductors lengthen. Right internal and left external Obliques stretch due to rotation. This rotation will be used to lunch the right hip forward.

Phase Two – Approaching the Target
Right leg is raised over the target. Left hip is turned out. The torso can either be sideways or squared to the target. Right Hip Flexors and Adductors flex the hip, while the Auadriceps keep the knee extended. Slightly flexed supporting leg calls for the tension in Quadriceps and Calf. Gluteal Group may also fire, especially if the pelvis is tilted laterally to allow the right side of the pelvis to rise.

Right Hamstrings will bear the brunt of the stretch. While Gluteus Maximus and Extensors Part of the Adductor Magnus will also lengthen. Depending on the torso position, other muscles may also lengthen. For example Piriformis stretches if the torso is squared to the kicking leg or other Adductors, besides Magnus if the kicking leg is on the side of the body. Adductors of the standing leg will be stretched, and even more so if the femur is turned out.

Phase Three – Striking The Target
Hamstrings will be the primary muscle to execute the kick. It works both as the extensor of the hip and as the flexor of the knee or at least as the stabilizer of the knee against hyper extension. Adductor Magnus and Even Adductor Longus are also well positioned to drive the leg down. Gluteus Maximus however is not in the best position. While it’s a very powerful extensor of the hip, at such high degree of flexion, it’s not a major player. There is a way to improve power in the kick and perhaps recruit more muscles in their primary ranges. To do this, one must lean back during the last phase of the kick. This puts muscles into more advantageous positions to pull and at the same time drives the center of gravity forward. This also increases the reach of the kick.

Leaning back engages the flexors of the core. Obliques, Rectus Abdominis and Psoas Minor. At the same time the Hip flexors and upper Adductors of the supporting leg get engaged. The amount of participation in relation to each other (Hip Flexors vs Adductors) will depend on the degree of the supporting leg turn out. More turn out will involve the Adductors more. Less turnout will involve the Hip Flexors more.

Paul Zaichok IDAUTHOR: Paul Zaichik is the founder of the Elastic Steel method of Athletic conditioning. With an interest in Martial Arts from early childhood Paul during his Martial Art training realized that many advanced students could barely kick to the head level. He had begun to experiment in this area. As a result Paul transformed many Eastern European Stretching and Gymnastic techniques to meet the needs of the modern martial artists. More and more students were practicing Paul’s techniques, acquiring great strength and flexibility in return. As a certified Exercise and Nutrition instructor Paul has been able to develop over the years many effective techniques that became to be known as ElasticSteel.

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Bulking To Build Muscles: Know The Dos And Don’ts

In order to turn knowledge into wisdom, we need to apply the knowledge first. Without the application of your knowledge, you can never gain wisdom. This holds true even in the world of muscle-building. You may read beauty magazines, fitness books, and blogs; however, the acquired information from these resources is nothing, if not applied. Therefore, be wise and apply well resourced knowledge while building muscles.

And in this article, I will be revealing all the information that I have pertaining to bulking up to build muscles, and you need to promise yourself that you will apply this knowledge in your day to day life. Let’s begin with what you for sure need to know about bulking to building muscles.

Bulking To Build Muscles: Here Is What You Need To Know!
a) If you think eating more will help you to increase your ability to gain muscles, think again! It won’t. After you reach the final benchmark, your muscles are not going to speed up even when you consume more food. In reality, your body can’t build more muscles in a limited time frame.

b) If you are pondering over the idea of Bulking – is it good or bad? Don’t worry; you are not the only one. And, unfortunately, the answer isn’t so black and white. The truth is, if you are planning to gain muscles, you have to be ready for bulking too.

c) It is not necessary to appreciate bulking in order to grow muscles. In other words, don’t use bulking as a cover up for eating unhealthy junk food. To grow big, you have to eat. But you won’t be growing enough if you rely on harmful junk food. Instead, consume enough calories and nutrients to help your muscles grow in a substantial proportion.
Know The Bulking Dos and Don’ts To Build Muscles Without Piling On Body Fat!

1. Know how much calories your body needs
Firstly, know how many calories you need by doing the math using a BMR calculator, then make a conscious decision of exceeding your calorie intake by consuming the right foods such as eggs and milk. The key objective here is to consume more than you can burn, and convert those excess calories to muscles with the help of right training.
Regardless of how rapid or slow your metabolic rate is, you need to consume more calories than you can burn.
2. Follow strategic cheat meals
If you fancy growing big then follow the rule: eat nutritious foods 80% of the time and eat anything else for the remaining 20%. Ideally this will work, if you take a disciplined protein-rich breakfast, which includes omelet cooked in virgin-oil along with fresh vegetables and turkey on the side. However, once a week, you can go easy with your breakfast by having pancakes or bacon for your morning breakfast.
3. Know your muscle building supplements well
The fitness industry is inundated with plenty of muscle-building supplements and all claiming to be the best supplement for bodybuilding. It is, however, in your best interest to know and identify the most effective and reliable bodybuilding supplement. Ideally, your health supplement should cover up for nutrients that your body lacks despite eating nutrition-rich meals. With each dose, the supplement should provide you with nutrients that your body lacks. For instance, an HGH Energizer supplement provides you all those nutrients you are deficient in.
Secondly, the health supplement should be safe to consume. The company should be reputed and reliable, and should be well known for its supplements.
4. Eat Your Vegetables
Meat is ridiculously expensive these days and is also not eco-friendly. So, why bother with meat when we have such great vegetarian options available in front of us. Green leafy vegetables provide all the nutrients that your body needs for muscle-building. Many successful trainers are vegetarians and they consume pulses and legumes on a daily basis. Look for tropical fruits and berries too!

1. Eat More Junk Food
Of course, if you aren’t consuming enough food, the muscle growth will freeze, but in no way does it mean that you start consuming more of food for the muscles to grow. This, perhaps, is one of the commonest mistakes made by trainers who are trying to build a muscular physique. Eating too much food, especially, junk in the hope of stimulating more muscle growth is a ridiculous idea as it won’t produce positive results.
Our bodies have limited capacities, and the muscles you can build also depends on your body’s capacity to synthesize new muscle tissues from ingested proteins. Therefore, stop thinking and avoid eating too much of junk food.
2. Eat Less Food
Once you are done reading the above tip, don’t conclude that you should start eating like a bird. In order to build muscles, you must eat more calories than you burn every day. The point here is to consume the right amount of food. Talk to a qualified muscle-building expert and know the estimates of what your calorie intake should be depending on your body weight. Know how much calories will support the optimal growth of your muscles.
Remember the calorie intake should allow you to gain at least two to four pounds per month. If you aren’t already gaining that much weight then increase your calorie intake, until you reach that rate of growth.
3. Ignore High-Intensity Training
Remember we will be consuming more calories, which means our training intensities should be higher too in order to convert those excess calories into stronger and leaner muscles. Lifting heavy weights and performing compound moves will help you to create a seamless stimulus needed for muscle synthesis. But, of course, don’t forget to bike occasionally as that will help your body to keep the fat low.
It is advisable to make use of the technology and wear an activity tracker that will monitor your heart rate to keep a track of your calories while you peform your workouts.
4. Forget To Take It Easy!
To have a goal of becoming a vehement muscle-builder is credible, but learn to take it easy. Having a plan of performing strenuous supersets will take longer to build muscles. Instead, it is advisable to follow a balanced and more controlled plan that involves rest and slow sets.
You can try this rest set with bicep curls: lift your five or ten-rep at a tempo two seconds up and four seconds down. Remember to rest in between for 15 to 20 seconds. Now lift again for two seconds up and four seconds down. Repeat the set once more with the same counts. Make sure you take rest.
Final Words!
Having the right expectations will take you a long way ahead in muscle-building. Don’t expect quick results as building muscles take longer than you think. Every time you carry an unrealistic goal, you are heading for disappointments and failures.
Don’t fall for marketing gimmicks used to sell shakes and supplements. You cannot transform your physique without putting efforts and time. In muscle-building, there is science that you need to fully understand before you actually start seeing results.
Muscle-building is a lifestyle, and not a temporary way of living!

Nick Wilson is a fitness coach and health writer. Her passion is to encourage others to rediscover their lifestyle and get inspired for organic living. He occasionally blogs about how to use supplements and shares info about how to use supplements properly.

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General Choi recognition in Muju Taekwondowon – success or disappointment?

This Saturday the 3rd of September, a portrait of the late General Choi Hong Hi will be unveiled at a ceremony to recognize the “Greats in Taekwondo History” at the Taekwondowon in Muju. Finally it would appear that the effort and position of the founder of Taekwon-Do who designed the Art and put Taekwon-Do onto the World map has been recognized by South Koreans. However, one must ask the question whether it is a real success or a half-hearted acknowledgment?

Today a delegation from ITF HQ Korea that included President Master Oh Chang Jin, Secretary General Dr Zibby Kruk and the online reporter for Moosin magazine traveled to Muju to review the preparation for the ceremony and the recognition being given to General Choi. They conferred with Taekwondowon Secretary General Prof. Jung Heon Kim and discussed the preparation for the event.

Meeting between the Secretary General of Taekwondowon Prof. Jung Heon Kim and Secretary General of ITF HQ Korea Dr Zibby Kruk

Meeting between the Secretary General of Taekwondowon Prof. Jung Heon Kim and Secretary General of ITF HQ Korea Dr Zibby Kruk

It has been a long process in achieving the nomination of General Choi Hong Hi for a position in the “Greats in Taekwondo History” taking 3 meetings of the Nomination Committee to come to the final decision. The ceremony will be held on “Taekwondo Day” which is the anniversary of the decision to accept Taekwondo as an official sport in Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The actual celebration will be a quiet affair that has not been promoted widely and is only for members of the families of the nominees and invited guests. Later that evening there will be a demonstration of Taekwondo and will also include some cultural performances and a celebratory meal of Korean cuisine in the presence of members of the Ministry of Korean Culture, Sport and Tourism.
ITF HQ Korea President Mast. Oh Chang Jin and Secretary General Dr Zibby Kruk at the General Choi portrait at Taekwondowon

ITF HQ Korea President Mast. Oh Chang Jin and Secretary General Dr Zibby Kruk at the General Choi portrait at Taekwondowon

When the ITF HQ Korea delegation were presented to the portrait of General Choi they were distressed to see that there was no distinction between the founder, General Choi, and other contributors to the development of the Art, some of whom were his students. Not only was this a feature but also the description under his portrait merely stated the following:
• “Named Taekwondo in 1955
• Founded O Do Kwan and contributed to the vitalization of Taekwondo in the Korean military
• Worked as the president of the Korea Taesudo Association (current KTA) and established the International Taekwondo Federation, thereby contributing to the spread of Taekwondo around the world”

The President Oh Chang Jin said that the International Taekwon-Do Federation of Korea HQ feels embarrassed that the former I.T.F. President, General Choi Hong Hi, has only been attributed as the person who named Taekwon-Do but is not recognized as its founder. President Oh also emphasized that about 40 million members of the ITF all over the world will be disappointed with this minimal recognition. They have been following General Choi faithfully without doubt that he is the founder of Taekwon-Do. Master Oh stated that there is a vast amount of evidence showing that General Chi Hong Hi not only proposed the name of Taekwon-Do but he designed the 24 patterns which symbolize the philosophical 24 hours of human life. He also published the first encyclopedia of Taekwon-Do where all techniques and philosophy were presented and tirelessly promoted the art of Taekwon-Do throughout his life as well as Korean culture, history and made Korea synonymous with the word Taekwon-Do.

Description under General Choi Hong Hi portrait in Taekwondowon

Description under General Choi Hong Hi portrait in Taekwondowon

It is very sad then, that despite General Choi being recognized outside of his homeland as a great man and the founder of Taekwon-Do, neither of the Koreas have treated him with the respect he deserves. Indeed on his headstone in North Korea where only his style of Taekwon-Do is practiced he was only proclaimed as the president and not the founder.
Placement of Genera Choi Hong Hi portrait in Taekwondowon

Placement of Genera Choi Hong Hi portrait in Taekwondowon

Given this half-hearted recognition one may question the merit of this acknowledgment and indeed it may have been better had General Choi Hong Hi not be introduced at all rather than announcing him as the founder of O Do Kwan or the person who only named Taekwon-Do.

ITF HQ Korea will make representations to the South Korean Government to clarify the fact that the former President Choi Hong Hi is not being recognized as the founder of Taekwon-Do and is going to appeal to the Government through our membership.

Additionally, ITF HQ Korea already is advanced in a scheme to build a World Taekwon-Do Center that was prepared in 2005, and will open it to many international visitors and members for competitions, seminars, and international events. In this Center General Choi will be rightly recognized as the Founder of Taekwon-Do.

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