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Types of training

 

Your Taekwon-do training will comprise many different aspects of Martial Arts. It is important that you focus equal attention on all your training. We are all guilty of preferring a particular aspect of training but to allow one aspect to suffer in preference for another will detract from your abilities as a well rounded student.

 

Training will generally consist of the following;

 

  • Fitness Training including muscle toning, endurance development, stretching exercises, breath control and general coordination skills.

  • Floor Work and Basic techniques - Floor work involves the student moving backwards and forwards performing a range of blocking and attacking techniques. This develops the skills for the student to then move on to more complex sequences, exercises and patterns. Unless a student perfects the basics they cannot hope to progress on to more complex and demanding Taekwon-do skills. A Black Belt is expected to regularly check and improve upon their basic technique. All to often the basics become neglected in favour of the more 'exciting' techniques.

  • Exercise Sequences and Patterns - Exercise Sequences and Patterns are designed to mimic encounters with an attacker and involve the use of both defence and attacking techniques set in a logical sequence. It is extremely important that the student performs the techniques within each exercise or pattern as accurately as possible. Along with Floor Work these are the foundations which are essential for the effective performance of Taekwon-do.

  • Pad work - Taekwon-do involves a great deal of pad work including set routines developed for grading purposes. Pad work enables a student to deliver strong and accurate kicking and punching techniques to a target without the risk of injury to their partner.

  • Three Step, Two Step and One Step Sparring - These techniques are the basis for the development of good self-defence skills. One step sparring in particular helps develop fast reflexes and helps the student to interpret an attackers body movement with a view to blocking and or countering an attacking technique. These exercises should not be rushed. Students at White Belt up to and including Blue Tag perform pre-arranged examples of Three Step and Two Step. Blue Belt and above perform these exercises by drawing on their own knowledge of Taekwon-do techniques using appropriate blocks and counters attacks.

  • Free Sparring - This is conducted wearing full protective equipment. Students practice kicking and punching to legitimate targets. This is the sport side of the art and bears no resemblance to self-defence. Sparring during class is for practice and development of skills. It is not about winning medals. You should work with a partner and not completely overwhelm them which will probably intimidate them and could lead to them not wishing to spar. Higher grades are always expected to coach and assist with the lower grades.

  • Power Testing Destruction - this is practiced against pads, kick shields and or plastic reformable boards showing the maximum power that the individual can generate. It should be remembered that power is generated by speed and good technique and not by brute force and ignorance. Big muscles do not necessarily mean that an individual will be successful at destruction. All students are required to undertake power testing when they reach Yellow Belt. They do however have the choice of whether to break a board or perform their tests against a pad or kick shield. Juniors are not allowed to break boards by punching and they will only be allowed to break Junior boards using appropriate techniques as approved by the Instructor and or / the Grading Examiner.

  • Self-Defence - this follows on from the pre-arranged sparring and will involve a range of skills from joint locks, takedowns, strangles and restraints.

  • Special Techniques - This is the more acrobatic aspect of Taekwon-do for which it is renowned involving high and long kicking techniques. This is not a requirement for all students but more of an optional extra.

Something else to consider when you are training is who gains the benefit from your activities? Your Instructor will give you a range of techniques and exercises to practice which may be technical aspects of the art, or fitness and health based. You should always try to perform techniques and exercises to the best of your ability. Many students pay for lessons and are then either half-hearted or apathetic in their performance. Who will lose out in the long run? Certainly not your Instructor.

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