There are 6 principals used to make a technique as powerful as possible:
1. Reaction Force (Bandong Ryok)
2. Concentration/Focus (Jip Joong)
3. Equilibrium (Kyn Hyung)
4. Breath Control (Hohup Jojul)
5. Mass (Zilyang)
6. Speed (Sokdo)
An untrained person only uses 10-15% of their potential when trying to perform Tae Kwon-do techniques.
1. Reaction Force.
If you strike an opponent who is rushing towards you at speed, the force of the blow is the combination of your opponent's movement and your own. Techniques can be of considerable force if timed well. Another type of reaction force is to use the two sides of the body in harmony. If the right fist is used to execute a punch the left fist should be drawn backward to the hip to maximise the effectiveness of the blow.
Pressure = Force/Area.
As with high-heel shoes being more damaging than a bare foot, Tae Kwon-do techniques use the smallest surface area as possible when in contact with an opponent. For example, a Tae Kwon-do punch uses only the bottom two knuckles of the index and middle fingers where as a boxer would use the entire fist.
Balance should be maintained at all times - when moving or stationary. The body is therefore able to respond quickly and to execute techniques as fast as possible.
4. Breath Control
The body must always have a good oxygen supply but sharp exhalations at the moment a technique is performed temporarily tense the body to make techniques more powerful and diminishing the impact of any blow received. There are claims that it helps release a person's chi, or life force.
Force = Mass x Acceleration
By raising the body and dropping it at the moment of impact the force of a technique is dramatically increased.
Continuing with Force = Mass x Acceleration, a technique should accelerate quickly and be at its maximum acceleration at the moment of impact.