Page 6 of 6
If you do these things, you will get better in Taekwondo.
92. Ways to improve
I have trained in various MA’s since early childhood but I am now returning to my roots. I dabbled in Kickboxing and other contact fighting in late teens and early twenty’s but as I have aged I’m looking for a more stable and refined art—thus my return to TKD. I’m embarrassed to say that when I was young my ego was what lead my training and NON-success of not attaining my 1st Dan. Now, many years latter, and much regret, the principle of mature discipline is leading my present training and goal setting. Could you recommend ways for me to improve my Taekwondo skills?
Whether you are attending class regularly, attending when you can, unable to attend class due to your location, or just training on your own, here are some secrets to achieving your best.
Whether you are attending class regularly, attending when you can, unable to attend class due to your location, or just training on your own, here are some secrets to achieving your best:
- Stretch daily. Stretching does not have to take a lot of time, just do it regularly. Stretch while concentrating on relaxing the muscles. Do not bounce. When one stretch stretches a particular muscle group, the next stretch of a different muscle group should contract the previously stretched muscle group. This alternating of stretching and contacting a muscle group will build your flexibility. Concentrate on stretches that compliment your kicking motions and twist the body to its maximum.
- Do some anaerobic activity daily. No need for long aerobic runs. We fight in intense spurts with shorts rests between the bursts, and rounds are relatively short. Therefore, you should train accordingly; use short bursts of intense movement. Instead of long runs, run wind sprints or run up stairs and walk down. Train for increasing the number of fast twitch muscles, not the slow twitch muscles.
- Do some strength training daily. No need for expensive equipment. Could just be sit-ups, pushups, triceps dips, and such. For weights, use low cost dumbbells; they are better anyway since you must keep them under control while moving them.
- Practice patterns using perfect technique with power and precision. Never just go through the motions of a pattern; always perform it just as you would in competition or testing. When training for a race, runners do not run in slow motion. Always train in the manner you will have to perform. Make grand movements. Just as a actor does on stage, perform so that the person in the last row of the balcony can see your movements, not the person in the first row.
- Concentrate on the basics. Always use perfect stances, perfect kicks, etc. Use full chamber and re-chamber. When sparring in class, if you concentrate on perfect technique, you may lose a lot for a while, but then as your fellow students only improve a little, you will begin improving a lot and will soon be the best fighter in the class. Sloppy fighters rely on youth and quickness to cover for their mistakes, but these can take you only so far. Crisp fighters will always be good fighters, even as they age.
- Cross train to prevent boredom. Cross training can help, if you pick sports that compliment your Taekwondo movements. For example, playing basketball will help your eye/hand/foot coordination and your overall body movement, while rock climbing will do little to help your Taekwondo.
- Use slow-kick training. Hold to a support and practice performing kicks in slow motion; concentrating on a full range of motion, pausing and holding at each step of the total motion. This will build muscle memory so that, when you spar, you will kick using the same motions without having to think about it. Adding leg weights may help build power.
- Think about Taekwondo. Research has shown that a person who thinks through the motions of a skill, such as shooting a basketball free-throw, will perform the skill almost as well as one who physically practices the skill.
- When training, use hand-foot combinations. When doing bag work or sparring, always use combinations, using both hands and feet. If you practice just throwing a single attack, then that is the way you will fight. We fight as we have trained to fight.
- When moving, use angles. Practice moving in angles, not just forward or backward. When you always attack forward, it make it easy for opponents to anticipate you attack and react to it. When you move backward, you are running away from the fight, and it is difficult to stop and get back into the fight. If you move in angles, you are controlling the opponent’s movements, and your attacks cause then to make awkward responses.
- When blocking, always use a simultaneous attack. Practice firing an attack along with, or just after, any block. When the opponent is attacking, he is thinking about attacking, not blocking.
- Do not worry about blocks so much. Practice stepping inside or outside of attacks and using counterattacks. If you are inside, the opponent’s attack will fail, but, even if it does not, you will be inside his weapons and throwing multiple attacks. It is okay to give up a point moving in if you can score two or more points in the process.
- Attack. Practice continuous attacks. In point fighting, you cannot waste time feeling out the opponent. You do not score points by avoiding or blocking; you score points by attacking. In a real fight, you do not give the attacker time to think, you attack similar to a swarm of bees or pack of wolves.
- When breaking, do not try to break. When practicing breaking do not try to break using extra effort. If you do, your technique will suffer and you may also suffer. For example, for a side kick break, set up the boards, do not take practice kicks (practice should have occurred in the previous weeks), and perform a perfect side kick just as you did hundreds of times during training. Do not think about the boards even being there—the boards will break.
- When training, concentrate on relaxing. Tenseness slows action and reaction times, lessens quickness of techniques, reduces power, and drains energy. Think of yourself a marionette puppet hanging on strings, just dangling around waiting for someone to pull your strings.
- Training is cumulative. Not all your daily training has to be done in one session. Six 10-minute sessions during the day has the same effect as one 60-minute session. Actually, it may be better since the body can repair itself between sessions.
- Do not worry about sweating. Sweating does not mean you are getting a proper workout, it only means your body is hot and is trying to cool itself. Intense sweating saps your energy; you can work out longer before tiring if you only work at a damp sweat level.
- Use a training bag. A training bag is imperative. The bag should not be too hard or too heavy or it can lead to injuries. It should hang so it may move freely. I have used commercial bags, bought empty bags and stuffed them myself with cotton from old mattresses, and even used stuffed sea bags and feed sacks. Use bag gloves and hand wraps to protect the hands. When there is no place to hang a bag, WaveMaster bags work great.
If you do these things, you will get better in Taekwondo.
- << Prev