Think about it a little, you do Taegeuk Il (1) Jang and kick 2 times, one kick per leg, but the whole Poomsae consists of 18 poom (counts)....
Look at this table:
- Il (1) Jang: 16 arm techniques and 2 foot techniques
- I (2) Jang: 18 arm techniques and 5 foot techniques
- Sam (3) Jang: 25 arm techniques and 6 foot techniques
- Sa (4) Jang: 20 arm and 6 foot
- Oh (5) Jang: 25 arm and 7 foot
- Yeok (6) Jang: 22 arm and 8 foot
- Chil (7) Jang: 19 arm and 4-6 foot (counting knees)
- Pal (8) Jang: 15 arm and 5 foot
So where does the kicking come in? Many will say that most of our kicking techniques are trained not in Poomsae but in Basic Technique training instead (one more reason why one should not neglect the different aspects of training). Well the Kukkiwon does make it very clear that there are 14 basic "techniques" or templates that one need to master before getting the black belt so I looked it up in the Kukkiwon Textbook to see just how many of these 14 techniques that were kicks and how many of them where arm techniques. The answer is this: Arm templates: 11, foot templates :3 ! Do not get me wrong there are tons and tons of kicks listed as being "Taekwondo kicks" but in the section of the basic movements that needs to be mastered to black belt is only 3 kinds of kicks... They are:
- Ap Chagi (Front kick)
- Yeop Chagi (Side kick)
- Dollyo Chagi (Round(house) kick)
The Matchoe Kyorugi are not so much better in terms of arms vs foot techniques. Even here the arms are used a lot more than the foot, eventhough we do have our one steps foot sparring.
The reason why the arms are used so much more than the feet in basics, forms and predetermined sparring? It is a catalog of "old school" Taekwondo, from when Taekwondo was a Martial Art and not a Martial Sport. The Taegeuk Poomsae Series where made in the early 70s long before Taekwondo would become an Olympic sport. Matchoe Kyorigi are likewise and old training format going back to the 1930s Japanese Karate. I often wonder what would happen with a Dojang if they really threw out the whole competition setting alltogether and focused on teaching the art like it is conveyed through our Poomsae and Matchoe Kyorigi? If Ho Sin Sul again comes around and takes it rightfull place in our training then it would make for a rather well rounded Martial Art and a long way indeed from a Martial Sport..
PS: I am NOT critizising the "Taekwondo players" out there focusing on competition sparring. I think that competition has its place in Taekwondo, BUT I often feel for many the competition aspect steals away a lot of training time as most people do not start Taekwondo for becoming a high ranking athlete in sports but to get good excersise, self defense skills and maybe they are seeking a body-mind training method (wich is what traditional Taekwondo is).
I wish you all good training