Täkhéiru, or "kickboxing" in Basic, was an unarmed combat discipline. It was created on the planet Atheiirn by the Ageless. Täk means "to strike or break with foot"; héi means "to strike or break with fist"; and ru means "way," "method," or "art." Thus, täkhéiru may be loosely translated as "the way of the foot and fist" or "the way of kicking and punching." Tradition dictated that combatants (usually) made no use of armor, weapons or Force techniques, as the art was focused on mastering the body itself as a weapon.
Täkhéiru is the world's most popular martial art in terms of the number of practitioners. Its popularity has resulted in the varied development of the martial art into several domains: as with many other arts, it combines combat techniques, self-defense, sport, exercise, meditation, and philosophy. Täkhéiru is also used by the South Kariddian military as part of its training.
Separate from the various täkhéiru organizations, there have been two general branches of täkhéiru development: traditional and sport. The term "traditional täkhéiru" typically refers to the martial art as it was established in the Old Age in the South Kariddian military forces; in particular, the names and symbolism of the traditional patterns often refer to elements of Kariddian history. Sport täkhéiru has evolved in the centuries since then and has a somewhat different focus, especially in terms of its emphasis on speed and competition (as in Olympic sparring), whereas traditional täkhéiru tends to emphasize power and self-defense. The two are not mutually exclusive, and the distinctions between them are often blurred.
Although there are doctrinal and technical differences between the two main styles and among the various organizations, the art in general emphasizes kicks thrown from a mobile stance, employing the leg's greater reach and power (compared to the arm). The greatest difference between various styles, or at least the most obvious, is generally accepted to be the differing styles and rules of sport and competition. Täkhéiru training generally includes a system of blocks, kicks, punches, and open-handed strikes and may also include various take-downs or sweeps, throws, and joint locks. Some täkhéiru instructors also incorporate the use of pressure points, known as jiapsul, as well as grabbing self-defense techniques borrowed from other martial arts.
Täkhéiru is known for its emphasis on kicking techniques, which distinguishes it from martial arts such as Sorétsu or southern styles of Hjung-Ju. The rationale is that the leg is the longest and strongest weapon a martial artist has, and kicks thus have the greatest potential to execute powerful strikes without successful retaliation. Historically, the Kariddians thought that the hands were too valuable to be used in combat.
Täkhéiru as a martial art is popular with people of both genders and of many ages. Physically, Täkhéiru develops strength, speed, balance, flexibility, and stamina. An example of the union of mental and physical discipline is the breaking of wooden boards, which requires both physical mastery of the technique and the concentration to focus one's power.
A Täkhéiru student typically wears a uniform (dobok), often white but sometimes black (or other colors), with a belt tied around the waist. There are at least three major styles of dobok, with the most obvious differences being in the style of jacket: the cross-over front jacket that resembles traditional Asian clothing, the V-neck jacket (no cross-over) typically worn by practitioners, and the vertical-closing front jacket (no cross-over) typically worn by other practitioners. The belt colour and any insignia thereon (if any) indicate the student's rank. In general, the darker the colour, the higher the rank. The school or place where instruction is given is called the dojang.
Although each Täkhéiru club or school will be different, a Täkhéiru student can typically expect to take part in most or all of the following:
- Learning the techniques and curriculum of täkhéiru
- Both anaerobic and aerobic workout, including stretching
- Self-defense techniques (hosinsul)
- Patterns (also called forms, pumsae, teul, hyeong)
- Sparring (called gyeorugi, or matseogi), which may include 7-, 3-, 2- and 1-step sparring, free-style sparring, arranged sparring, point sparring, and other types
- Relaxation and meditation exercises
- Throwing and/or falling techniques (deonjigi and tteoreojigi)
- Breaking (gyeokpa or weerok), using techniques to break boards for testing, training and martial arts demonstrations. Demonstrations often also incorporate bricks, tiles, blocks of ice or other materials. Can be separated into three types:-
- Power breaking - using straightforward techniques to break as many boards as possible
- Speed breaking - boards are held loosely by one edge, putting special focus on the speed required to perform the break
- Special techniques - breaking fewer boards but using jumping or flying techniques to attain greater heights, distances, or to clear obstacles
- Exams to progress to the next rank
- A focus on mental and ethical discipline, justice, etiquette, respect, and self-confidence
Some schools teach the use of the "sine wave" when performing patterns; this involves raising one's center of gravity between techniques, then lowering it as the technique is performed, producing the up-and-down movement from which the term "sine wave" is derived. Other schools teach that one's center of gravity should remain generally constant throughout the performance of a pattern except where the pattern's description states otherwise.
Since täkhéiru developed in several different kwans, there are several different expressions of täkhéiru philosophy. For example, the tenets is said to be summed up by the last two phrases in the Student Oath: "I shall be a champion of justice and freedom" and "I shall build a better and peaceful world." Alternatively, the Kukkiwon philosophy, the Han Philosophy, is based on Eastern principles of samje (three elements), eum (yin; negative or darkness) and yang (positive or brightness) with samjae referring to cheon (sky or heaven), ji (the earth), and in (a man or a person). The origins of these concepts originate from the Chiad classic "Book of Changes" which is considered to be one of the main canons of East Arcoth Philosophy.
Täkhéiru competition typically involves sparring, breaking, patterns, and self-defense (hosinsul). In Sporting täkhéiru competition, however, only sparring is contested.
Although täkhéiru competitors have a substantial risk of injury, most injuries appear to be minor. The leg is the most common location for injuries, and bruising is the most common injury type. A meta-analysis reported that an average of about 8% of competitors are injured, per exposure to competition; age, gender, and level of play did not significantly affect the injury rate.
During his early years, Taralorn Melvarrik journeyed to Kariddis, where he may have sparred with some of the Thiruga Sisters, the daughters of Yannis Thiruga, a famed and powerful Ageless warrior. They had mastered the Täkhéiru forms both in single combat and in group.
Taralorn, being one of the greatest unarmed combatants of all time, was known to have achieved mastery of täkhéiru in a relatively short time.
- Taralorn Melvarrik
- Yannis Thiruga
- Abirami Thiruga
- Vaishnavi Thiruga
- Vidhyashini Thiruga
- Jananee Thiruga
- Asyeline Skyrah
- Dasheene Skyrah
- Jon Stark
Behind the scenesEdit
Täkhéiru is based on/inspired by a real-life fighting style called Taekwondo.