Martial Arts/about kicking

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Question
sir
am a 20yr old boy... nd i am training in taekwondo these days... earlier was trained in shotokan karate....
my query is about stretching...my current master tell me that excess of strching or splits like gymnasts can spoil power of your kicks.... it is true sir??? i cn split fully about 170degrees ... cant make 180 degrees ... so he says this much of stretch is enough for you.... dnt stretch much else ur kick's power will b gone... so he asks me to practice kicks nd do squats with light weights for improving my kicks.... but my earlier teacher emphasises mre on stretching ... m too much confused sir.... plese help me..... because i wanna imprve my kicks... nd plese advise me some workouts for improving kicks...i can split well ... i jus need to know how to improve my kicks more... nd whether excess stretching is harmful for legs???? my current mastr is 3rd degree black blt in tkd....
please help me sir....

Answer
Ron,

I have never heard of any Instructor telling his or her student that stretching reduces or "spoils" the strength of a kick.  I disagree with that training philosophy.  You should continue to stretch and train properly using the exercise regimen your Instructor recommended, but continue to stretch.  I, for example, use Vinyasa Flow Yoga to help me attain a greater level of flexibility through stretching.  Practice kicks against a heavy bag, squats, running, etc. are all great ways to strengthen your legs.  However, you must continue to stretch.  If you do not you run the risk of restricting your range and possibly injuring yourself.  

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Jeffrey Hauck

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I would welcome the opportunity to answer questions regarding mixed martial arts (MMA) styles and traditional aspects of Karate, Tae Kwon-Do, and Self-Defense.

Experience

Criminologist. Professor of Criminal Justice. Licensed Private Detective with expansive clientele base encompassing hundreds of cases. Donates resources and time to the Children's Rescue Network in Orlando, FL. Defensive & control tactics instructor training LEO's, private citizens, and corporations since 1997. Shodan rank (1st Dan) in Karate(1st Degree Black Belt).

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Serves on the Board of Directors for the National Institute of Martial Arts Scholars with Dr. John Landry: http://www.martialartsscholars.org/Home_Page.html

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Associate of Science; Bachelor of Arts; Master of Science, Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree.

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