Sine Wave Motions
Sine wave motion is a movement unique to original Tae Kwon Do to create
maximum force in every moment according to the
theory of power. In almost
every moment this sine wave is utilized. Sine wave is natural and simple, and
often I heard an instructor say: "Simple and natural =
During class and in seminars Tae Kwon Do practitioners are being taught to
use "sine wave" in their techniques.
What we actually do by performing this sine wave in Tae Kwon Do techniques is
moving the center of our body mass by means of a motion, which would look
like a sinus wave if we would draw it.
There are some key benefits to using sine wave that are linked to the
training secrets of Tae Kwon Do. Moving our center of mass in the motion of a
sine wave require us to keep our arms and legs bent while the body is in
motion. To keep the arms and legs bent during motion we need to be relaxed.
Relaxing the body adds speed to a technique because we are not all tensed up
with one part of the body working against another. Small increases in speed
produce a large increase in the power of a technique.
Secondly, when employing a sine wave we have to use the knee spring properly.
That is to say bending the knee is what moves our body up and down as we move
forward. Using the knee spring while our body is in motion allows our center
of mass to travel along a curve, which by definition is another form of
acceleration, which then helps us accelerate into a target.
Finally, when using sine wave we are dropping our body downwards at the end
of the technique with helps us use gravity to our advantage and keep our
acceleration building until the point of impact.
To correctly apply the sine wave to Tae Kwon Do we need to modify the wave
shape before we can achieve maximum power. In other words the sine wave is
not a uniform curve as shown in the previous figure. The sine wave is
modified so that the body drops as it passes the half way point of the
technique, and rises to the maximum height at about the ¾ point and then
drops rapidly at the end. The rapid drop at the end of the technique helps
accelerate our mass into the target using gravity to our advantage
How much of a sine wave should there be in a Tae Kwon Do
technique? The displacement that the center of mass moves from the zero line
to get to the bottom and top of the sine wave this is called the amplitude.
Using too much sine wave defeats a technique because all the body’s energy
and motion would be dedicated to moving along the sine wave rather than
accelerating into the target -- (Harry Burke)
The basics of sine wave are down up down, in other words
there is always a downward motion first, followed by an upward motion, and
ending in a downward motion. There is however variations on sine wave, which
are related to the motion, combination and speed of the techniques used.
In traditional Tae Kwon Do, the fundamental exercises and the tuls there are
five different motions:
- Normal motion
- Continuous motion
- Fast motion
- Connecting motion
- Slow motion
Normal motion (1-1-1)
Chon-Ji tul the Tae Kwon Do
student learns the normal speed of following movements. This is the first
"motion": normal motion. Movements are performed in normal speed,
with a complete sine wave in one breath.
Dan-Gun the Tae Kwon Do
student learns the second motion: continuous motion. Two movements are
consecutively performed, with two sine wave during one breath.
Do-San teaches the student
another motion: fast motion. Two movements are performed consecutively in
fast speed, with two sine wave and two breaths.
Connecting motion (2-1-1)
Yul-Gok there is another new
motion: connecting motion. Two movements are performed in one sine wave and
Joong-gun completes the fifth
and final motion: slow motion. In slow motion the movement is performed
slowly, but according to the theory of power there has to be a slight
acceleration at the end of the movement. There is one (slow) movement, one
sine wave, in one breath. Slow motion techniques are meant to learn the
student body control and balance.
These five motions influence the sine wave, of which there are three
- Full sine wave
- 2/3 sine wave
- 1/3 sine wave
Only in normal motion, continuous motion and slow motion
there is a full sine wave (down-up-down).
In fast motion there is 2/3 sine wave, as there is only an upward and
downward movement. An example is found in do-san tul: the two punches
following the apcha busugi. (Movements 15 & 16 and 19 & 20)
In connecting motion there is 1/3 sine wave, as there is only a downward
movement. An example is found in yul-gok tul: the punch which follows the
second hooking block (movements 16 & 17 and 19 & 20)