1. Main Training
Engaging the core is fundamental for added power in a variety of taekwondo kicks, from more basic round house kicks to more advanced back hook kicks. Note that for taekwondo, the reference to “core” extends not only to the abdomen and lower back, but also to the quadriceps.
Practicing a shortened version of round house kicks by performing knee strikes (without kicking) is an effective way to assess and improve core strength for round house kicks. Lead with the knees when pushing off the floor. Practice in sets of two (right/left) so that you can isolate improving core engagement (rather than momentum, which sets in naturally after 3 or more kicks). If you have a partner you can also practice by striking target-mitts with your knees.
2. Additional Support for Power Roundhouse Kick
Developing strong quadriceps for explosive power is also important and can be achieved by practicing squats in your daily routine. However, rather than performing routine squats and burning out energy, perform meditative squats as part of your overall growth as a martial artist, connecting body, mind and spirit (Jung Choong, Ki Jaang, Shin Myung). Keep feet a little more than shoulder-width apart, slightly grabbing the floor with your toes. Squat slowly, inhaling on the way down, pausing slightly at 90 degrees, and exhaling on the way back up. Keep your spine vertical and your palms together in front of chest, with elbows down and shoulders relaxed. Focus on heat sensation in your palms and on your Dahnjun pushing out and pulling in with each inhale and exhale.
<Refer to Master Yoo’s training guide ->Oct. 21st 2015>
3. Finishing Training
Chuk Ki is a method to prepare for energy accumulation. Place your feet a little more than shoulder width apart. Bend your knees just to the point where your knees touch your pants. Place your palms together (as in the meditative squats described above). With your back straight (tailbone in), release all tension in your upper body. Relax your upper body, starting from your face, neck, trapezius muscles, shoulders, upper back between the shoulder blades, upper chest, lower chest, solar plexus, and down to your lower belly. Breathe comfortably through your nose only and focus on the Dahnjun sensation (pressure, warmth).
— Written by Ji Do Ja Nim Yoo; edited by Hyun Sa Chun Shim