By Mark Scott, 2nd dan
No matter what occupation, sport, or academic pursuit, the people that excel in each area are always grounded in the basics. In the engineering field, the best are always very good in math and science. The best students are always the ones that do their homework and pay attention in class. In sports, the best athletes spend the most time practicing the easy things so they come naturally. The basics provide the foundation to do the more complex and interesting things.
The basics in Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo are one of the most important things to practice regularly. The basics can be found in sparring. Good kicking and punching technique are necessary to even get a point recognized during a sparring match. A poor quality kick or punch might land off target or be seen by the judges as dangerous and lead to a warning. Good basics are also necessary in the self-defense techniques. If the moves in the self-defense technique aren’t executed properly, the self-defense won’t work correctly or won’t be powerful enough to work when it is necessary. In one-step sparring, the basics are incredibly important as the moves are executed at speed with a partner. Moves with poor technique might end up injuring the sparring partner. Poomse, of course, requires good basics to be performed correctly.
The basics performed in the Moo Sul Kwan basic routine also provide a foundation for the physical conditioning as well as for the other more complex parts of MSK Taekwondo. The basics are done after the muscles are warmed up and stretched out. This allows the basic moves to be performed with full power on each technique. Each time a technique is executed at full power, the muscles are conditioned and trained to get even stronger and faster. Since the basic routine includes kicking, punching and blocking, at the end of basics a full body workout has been achieved.
As the basics are perfected and the body is conditioned, confidence in each movement grows. The more the confidence grows, the proficient sparring and poomse become. During free sparring, the kicks and punches can be thrown quicker, but with more control because of all the basics practice. The poomse moves can be quicker with better form. The better the basics become, the more natural the moves become. More advanced techniques can be learned because the basic moves are now natural. The foundation provided by the basics paves the way for success.