Kicks in an Olympic sparring setting is all about height, speed and points (rarely do you see anyone kick to hurt these days). Height because the ruleset outlaws any kick delivered lower than belt height. The lowest kick in olympic sparring is therefore around waist height. Speed is important as the objective is to kick so fast that the oponent does not see it comming so you can score a point (or two if you kick in the head). In the older style of Taekwondo wich I often just refer to as the "hard style" the kicks also had to be executed with power as the combatans were going for a knock out or to kick the oponent so he fell down. Since these days most people settle for points many of our kicks have been slightly altered so that it is a little faster delivery, but some power is lost (little less hip investment in the kicks, straighter deliveries etc). I find this "evolution" interesting as it is darwinism in real life. People experiment with kicks, combos and footwork, and only the things that makes people winners are accepted and the rest is put to rest. In Olympic sparring the only objective is to win. What is a little sad though is that most of our techniques were not developed for sport, and these techniques worked really well in combative settings against untrained assailants or even on the battlefield (Taekwondo is one of the few martial arts that actually fit the "martial" term), but now they are being tampered with so it is easier to score points in a rule bound sport. Do not get me wrong, Taekwondo is getting better by this evolution, but it is only getting better at the goal and test area of evolution and that is the sportive context of Olympic sparring.
Originaly Poomsae or Martial Forms were made to transfer combative principles from one generation to the next. So first you have a principle the maker of the form would like to teach the next generations, so he chooses one technique or string of techniques to show the principle. He repeats this over again with each principle he wants to preserve. Then he strings the whole thing together into one mnemonic in this case a Poomsae. So first you have the self defense techniques (applications) and then the Poomsae were made to preserve these applications. This explain why in Kukkiwon Poomsae the kicks most often used are front kick and side kick, almost no jumping kicks (only two jumping kicks untill 7th Dan pattern), no spinning kicks what so ever etc. The kicks in Poomsae are there to help the application but softening the oponent up, or unbalancing him. They are to be delivered low in application, as the hand techniques of Taekwondo are for close combat and not for long distance combat. Take for instance the side kick in Taegeuk Oh jang
Look closely at 00:36 to 00:43 mark. Here you have eulgul makki (face block) followed by a side kick with a simultanious hammer fist strike, and then a elbow strike in mid section height into the other hand. Untill about 2009 you would see most people doing this sequence with the side kick in midsection height. Arguing that the oponent would bend forward because of the kick in the stomach and then be hit by the hammer fist as well. But the problem is distance as well as the hammerfist and side kick are delivered at the same time and with the aforementioned application the hammerfist strike would miss its because it was thrown to early. The distance is as earlier mentioned also a problem. The eulgul makki is a close range technique, following this with an extreme long range technique (as the mid section side kick is) followed again with a close range techniqe makes little sense. In this movie the side kick is delivered to the face and it makes the simultanious hammer fist strike even more reduntant. What is she striking above her head anyway? Air?
Move the oponent closer and do the kick to low section and see what happens. The oponent has you in a lapel grab and is about to punch your lights out. You strike his arm with your arm (preperation for high block), secure his hand and strike the side of the neck with a forearm strike (the actual high block with the hand at your hip).. You then grab the oponent with both arms, knee him in the stomach or groin (preperation for side kick is lifting your knee up). Directly from the knee you do not put your foot down, you kick instead to the oponents knee (inside or outside or front does not matter), this is the actual side kick. Simultaniously you strike his head with a hammer fist strike (now as the distance is correct he is struck by both strikes). He gets down to one knee as one foot is now broken and his head is now in mid section height. As you put your foot down you deliver an elbow strike to his head that you secured by grabbing his ear or hair with your hammerfist striking hand.
|This is a self defense kick|
used in a sportive setting.
I am sure the red "player"
was penalised for is actions.
When searching for the practical intrepretations for your Poomsae always remember that in a self defense context the kicks are to be delivered low, and that the oponent is very close. Many seemingly strange sequences in Poomsae suddenly makes a lot more sense when viewed this way.
All the best.