Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Taekwondo: The Art of Iron Chops And Very High Kicks

The first time I saw a taekwondo demonstration was in high school, when four classmates impressed the whole school with their high kicks, their labang-Tide white taekwondo uniforms and their very loud yaaaah!  (And none of them got bullied anymore. Ha-ha-ha!)

At that time, I couldn't tell the difference between karate, kung fu and taekwondo. I could only tell who Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Shoji Karada were! Ha-ha-ha!

I have seen the Bruce Lee's classic, Enter The Dragon, where he fought off villains, shirt-less, and wearing only his loose black pajamas and his piercing stare. Those karate chops would have come in handy to fight off high school bullies. But actually, the weapon in that movie that I would have wanted was the artificial hand with three knives. Very Wolverine-ish.

And Jackie Chan's Drunken Master must be the funniest and most creatively choreographed kung-fu movie. The fight scenes were vintage Jackie Chan! 

But today, as I watch this taekwondo demonstration with real taekwondo students (and possibly blackbelters!), I was just as impressed with their stunts, their flexibility and their hee-yaah! 

And even under the summer sun, sitting among the sweating audience, I just looooove taking their photographs while they throw those kicks...left, right and high up in the air!

They seem to be effortlessly flying, hovering above everyone else! And landing on their feet, just like a cat would. Perfect balance!

But as I watch, I can only imagine the number of hours (or years!) of practice and merciless training (and washing of those white uniforms!) these taekwondo students must have put in to perfect those high kicks, jumps and chops!

Watching them perform (even in the heat!) was so much fun. And looking at these photographs is even better. 

I don't dream of breaking ten (yes, the guy did one-two-three....ten!) slabs of tiles in my life with my bare hands. 

But I wish I may be able to watch another taekwondo demonstration (in cooler temperatures, perhaps) soon.

Enjoy the photos!


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