The Sine Wave (sinewave) motion is a movement unique to ITF Chang Hon-style Taekwon-do. It is named for the mathematical concept sine wave, an oscillating up-and-down motion. The intent in taekwondo is to create maximum power in one's technique by raising and lowering the body during the technique. This gives the Sine Wave style of taekwondo a very "bouncy" look and feel. This approach augments the relax-and-tense power principle of taekwondo. Note that not all ITF/Chang Hon-style schools adopt the Sine Wave.
The basic motion of sinewave is "down-up-down." In other words there is usually a downward motion first, followed by an upward motion, and ending in a downward motion. Though the down-up-down motion is often illustrated in an exagerated way to make it clearer; in practice many schools teach that the motion should be slight, not exagerated.
There are variations on the down-up-down sinewave motion; these are related to the movement, combination, and speed of the techniques used.
The ITF Patterns (teul) exhibit five different "motions" that are part of the Sine Wave approach:
- Normal motion (1-1-1) - one full sinewave is completed during each breath. This is seen in Saju-Jirugi, Saju-Makgi and Chon-Ji for example.
- Continuous motion (2-2-1) - two sinewaves during one breath, as part of two consecutive movements. This is seen in Dan-Gun for example.
- Fast motion (2-2-2) - two movements are performed consecutively in fast speed, with two sinewave and two breaths, as in Do-San.
- Connecting motion (2-1-1) - two movements are performed in one sinewave and one breath, as in Yul-Gok.
- Slow motion (1-1-1) - 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 sinewave, in one breath. Slow motion techniques are meant to teach the student body control and balance. This is seen for example in Joong-Gun.
These five motions influence the sinewave, of which there are three variations:
- Full sine wave
- 2/3 sine wave
- 1/3 sine wave
Only in normal motion, continuous motion and slow motion there is a full sinewave (down-up-down).
- In fast motion there is 2/3 sinewave, as there is only an upward and downward movement. An example is found in Do-San: the two punches following movements 15-16 and 19-20.
- In connecting motion there is 1/3 sinewave, as there is only a downward movement. An example is found in Yul-Gok: the punch which follows movements 16-17 and 19-20.
||Full Sine Wave||down-up-down||one sine wave per breath||one|
||Full Sine Wave||down-up-down||two sinewaves, one breath||two|
||2/3 Sine Wave||up-down||two sinewaves in two breaths||two|
||1/3 Sine Wave||down only||one sinewave, one breath||two|
||Full Sine Wave||down-up-down||one sinewave, one breath||one (slow)|
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|Sine Wave||Non-Sine Wave|
Choi Hong Hi was advocating "knee flexing" as early as the 1970s. This was sometimes called "spring" style. In the early 1980s Choi expanded upon the concept and dubbed it Sine Wave. ITF/Chang Hon-style schools that do not incorporate Sine Wave will sometimes refer to themselves as "traditional" taekwondo, where the word "traditional" refers to "before Sine Wave."