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Golf Thoughts

The enjoyment of looking over my lawn from the Grandpa's rocking chair just spurs me to pick up my golf drivers and swing at the green grass through those glass panes. The next thing will be the pick up of my hybrid golf clubs to swing over the roadside drain from my lawn, as if I am swinging over those ponds and manage the ball just for par.

It is these visualizations of golf playing that kept me focusing on the real driving range to always gain that easy position near the holes. Honestly, I have no records of hole-in-one. Yet I have very good parking near the holes to finish below par. Practice does make perfect as I can manage very well to park near the holes in any directions, be it to the left, the right, ahead or just before the holes.

The zest that refreshes me every time I hold those clubs makes me one player to be in contact with golf for long hours. Onlookers may give that occasional look of curiosity especially when they pass my place twice and still see me holding the same club at the same position and swinging the same way. Golf certainly is a big passion and once you take hold of it, you never want to let it go, except for a while, when you end back at Grandpa's rocking chair and relax.

Countering long distance kicking technique

If you watch this video which is the final match of the Taekwondo World Championship 2011 Batam Category for Males. You might notice the players used this current popular style of lifting their leg and extending to reach out the opponent this style can be seen in quite a few matches such as in the female matches. The idea is to approach the opponent with the kick but since it is not fully extended it tends to cause some uncertainty and the final aim of the kick is to push on the opponent then reach for the face. Kicking the head now is at least 3 points. 

When you use this technique it also seems that it is more difficult for the opponent to counter since your leg serves as a defensive style and block your body also. When at the right timing, the player can extend the kick fully and reach the face. How do we then counter this kind long distance kick? There are actually several ways to do so and one of them is shown in this match.

Watch how the World Champion score his points some of them clearly countering this technique. There can be seemingly two parts to this counter technique one which is to have a stable posture or stance that enables one to counter readily with a kick such as turning kick. When the player try to reach you with his leg hanging and approaching, aim for the moment when he extended his leg fully then go for the shot with a direct switch or turning kick. When the kick is extended also note that the kick is not able to reach you yet you are at the distance whereby you are able to perform the counter kick. This is the time as the opponent's leg is still in the air and one can go for the score. The counter player also needs to confirm that the opponent is not going to continue with another kick before he should go for the score.

The distance game in Taekwondo

In Taekwondo, knowing your distance is really important. It is at this point you will know when you should do the right techniques at the situation. Based on this, we will also be able to know what kind of techniques we should train and re-discover the ability we can achieve besides polishing up our basic skills.

One illustration that can be mentioned is the technique of one step stretching backthrust. The purpose of doing the one step is to actually feint the opponent and extend the backthrust almost immediately with more stretch so that you can cover more distance and you should know how far you can cover to reach the target also. If you do not know your own distance, it is pretty much understood that you may not get your target.

By now, you will also see that knowing your distance is not adequate but also your opponent's distance. This is something more subjective as your opponent may surprise you with great stretching ability. In a short time this is where the challenge is which is to know how your opponent work his/her distance quickly. The interesting point to know here however is also that actually knowing your distance really well can also mean you understand your opponent's distance too.

Commencing Taekwondo training

It is time. To start training again to sharpen up those techniques and postures. Before commencing training, it is always good to warm up with footwork as mentioned before. While beginning with the slow jog, follow by stretching, footwork and some kicking in the air do it all at your own pace with the correct breathing techniques. Keep your pace, remember the every single moves and breathe with them.

It has often been for some including myself before who will tend to kick all out right at the beginning. It is fine but we need to ensure our body is warmed up. I have remember times where I did not managed to have proper warm up and later on needed to rest more than I could train.

Start with kicking lightly first and feel that the muscle can handle more, but do not be too relax. We need to prepare our mind for the training. Continue to kick faster and harder when the muscle is warmed up and more ready for the training. Once in the condition where the body is ready, keep bouncing, maintain the tempo, add some movement or footwork and kick at best every time. Breathe in nicely at all times and drink water during break time to keep the body with adequate fluids to continue. Stretch whenever necessary during break time to keep the body condition at its optimum.

The internal energy "Ki" in Taekwondo

Much have been emphasized on the techniques of Taekwondo. There is however one aspect of Taekwondo that is behind or rather blend with these techniques mentioned. The "ki" which is the internal energy, often seen in martial art "Kung fu" films that with this energy they called it as "Qi" when summoned emits great strength, it is the same in a way when practising Taekwondo, we should also uses this "ki".

This is why we shout when we kick. Every time when we shout and kick, we train up our "ki". It does affects the strength of the kick. The energy emitted is much more when combined together with our body movement that is the hip power. It has to be focus, very focus on the target and when we kicked out, the shout will help channeled the energy from our body or to be specific our abdomen area and emits out via our kicking technique.

There are various ways of shouting and training of the "ki" in Taekwondo. These can posted later on. Of course, "ki" is not only channeled via shout but also without shout but requires the correct breathing. It is thus not necessary to shout but shouting does gives not only the explosion but more that affects the sport of Taekwondo. The Taekwondo "ki" is something important that we should consider when practising and training.

Ready. Not be ready for Taekwondo.

Sometimes people will be saying. "be ready". But time will come when you want to be ready, you are one step slower. Ready is faster. By saying it one can already discern which is faster. The mentality of one person when training and in sparring is really important and we do not really need an expert to tell us. We can find it out ourselves. The purpose of training hard sometimes is to discover who we really are and what we really want.

Every training has to be a self-discovery of what we are doing and when we spar there is not much to think about, we are just ready. Go for it.

When commencing training, the state of mind is important. Ready. That is faster.

Taekwondo footwork training as warm up

Whenever I reach the training ground or "Dojan" early, there is one thing that I would do to facilitate the training later. That is to do some footwork training. Footwork to me is always an important factor in sparring. Yes, we can kick fast, with strength and accuracy but the footwork is the "launch pad" to a kicking technique. How we move to get our distance, catch our opponent and to dodge an attack or counter-attack is all about our footwork we do.

The more nimble and quick our footwork is, the faster we can actually become. Footwork training make us agile and our opponent to move with us. Taekwondo is an individual game. It is also a game with your opponent. It is how we want the opponent to move which is another level of the game. Speed is key. But controlling the game gives us a greater advantage as we do not need to be as fast to score a point.

In the other perspective of course, with speed we can be able to react faster in the game thus less easy to be "moved" by the opponent. Even this speed we are talking about is the fruit of a good Taekwondo footwork training. To begin mastering our footwork, it is perhaps time to start moving around as warm up. Besides the benefit for training to be fast, it does works as a good warm up without being too intensive before the training begins.