The Chemistry of Taekwondo


I decided to do my project on reflexes in taekwondo because I did my independent study project on how reflexes can differ between people who have trained in martial arts and people who haven’t. Reflexes affect everyone, so I wanted to apply the science of them to something interesting. I have been training in taekwondo for five years, so this project was really fun for me.

Composition of ...




Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components



Chemistry's Role

Potassium can be found naturally in bananas, fish, and baked potatoes.

Sodium can be found naturally in salt, dried tomatoes, and bacon.

Background Research

Potassium and Sodium are the two elements involved in reflexes.There are multiple potassium channels in your body that send signals such as reflexes to all of your extremities.When the brain receives stimulus, it sends a signal down a potassium channel, it is almost like a wave of sodium. That wave of sodium creates an action in return.For example, when someone punches me, I put my hand up to block it. In this case the punch is the stimulus and putting my hand up is the action that it produces.


Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology Fourth Edition by Elaine Marieb

Information about how potassium channels work.

Mader’s Understanding of Human Anatomy and Physiology by Susannah Nelson Longenbaker

Basic understand of how reflexes work

Types of reflexes

About the Author

Jen Dietz is a senior at Billings Senior High. She is a member of National Honor Society, Senior Advocates, plays goalball, and she is a first degree black belt in ITF taekwondo. She enjoys baseball, taekwondo, anything to do with science, and reading. Jen will be attending MSU Bozeman next fall.