With the gradual lifting of COVID-19 public health restrictions in Western Australia, First Tae Kwon Do training has continued through the autumn and into winter. While ‘Tae Kwon Do’ is nowadays a very broad term, like ‘Karate’ or ‘Kung Fu,’ most people associate this Korean martial art with kicking techniques—particularly the World Taekwondo system seen in the Summer Olympic Games. First Tae Kwon Do is an older system with much more of a focus on hand striking techniques. In the pictures below, we see basic punching exercises using hand-held canvas bags.
Taken at recent black belt grading examinations in Perth, we see a Junior Black Belt candidate in flying side kick action to break a pine board. This is a technique that demands total commitment; there is no going back once the candidate nears the three crouched members.
At the same event, a lady instructor being tested for 2nd Dan executed a knife-hand strike through six roof tiles. This technique requires commitment, strength, and precision for the forearm and hand to successfully break the tiles. In the background are Master Vernon Low (the Examiner; seated at the left) and Chief Instructor John O’Brien (standing at the right), who had travelled from South Australia for the gradings.
The same instructor also executed a spinning heel kick as part of her kick breaking sequence. I shot this photograph just a fraction of a second before impact.
Another 2nd Dan candidate executed a high jumping front snap kick as part of his kick breaking sequence. At the right edge of the image, we have one instructor (holding the board) sitting on the shoulders of another instructor, so that the board is higher off the ground than normal. Note the motion blur on the candidate’s right foot, which is moving faster than his left foot.
Coloured belt members also undertook their grading examinations over the same weekend. I captured a range of action, as shown below. While it is well and good to focus on an individual subject, as in the first two photographs, it is also helpful to make images with a bit more context to them, such as the last three photographs.
Overall, it was a very successful grading weekend for First Tae Kwon Do Western Australia. Congratulations to the many members who were promoted.