Procedures to follow before, during, and after a class.
The following should be accomplished in preparation for class:
- Bathe or otherwise ensure you are clean and fresh before entering the school.
- Ensure you have the proper uniform with you, that it is clean, in good repair, has all its required accouterments sewn on it, and is pressed if required. This includes your belt!
- Ensure you have all your required equipment with you, that each item has your identifying marks on it, all items are in good repair, and all items are clean. This includes sparring equipment, protective equipment, hand targets, manuals, rebreakable boards, notebook, pen, etc.
- Bring a water bottle, if needed. Bring a towel, soap, change of clothes, etc. as required.
- Leave jewelry at home since it cannot be worn during class. Leave other unnecessary items at home or in your vehicle.
- Leave in time to arrive at the school in time to be ready to start class at least 5 minutes before class starting time.
The following are procedures that should be followed once you have arrived at the school. They are general procedures that may differ in each school depending on the organization with which the school is affiliated, and the head instructor's preferences. Each school will also have a protocol (guidelines for etiquette and behavior) that must be observed while in the school.
Before Class Procedures
When you enter a dojang, you are entering a training facility to learn Taekwondo. This means that you are mentally and physically leaving the outside world and entering a taekwondo training environment. Therefore, once you step inside the dojang, there are certain procedures to be observed.
- Be ready for class at least 5 minutes before class starting time. However, do not arrive so early that you get the way or cause too much noise.
- Visit the restroom before class starts.
- Relax, clear your mind, and prepare your mind and body for training.
During Class Procedures
Note: At any time during a class session, the instructor may stop the training and have students perform push-ups, sit-ups, and other muscle-building exercises. This is done numerous times during a training session to build strength and stamina.
- Warm-Up. Warm-up starts with jumping-jacks, running laps, or other general physical exercises to cause a light sweat. Once warmed up, students perform various light exercises that stretch all major muscle groups. These exercises and stretches are not for increasing flexibility; they are just to get all the muscles warmed and pre-stretched to help prevent injuries once the intensive training begins.
- Bow-in. A bow-in is performed per school protocol.
- Techniques. Techniques taught in previous training sessions are reviewed to increase proficiency and so the instructor may correct any problems. New techniques, if any, are taught and practiced next.
- Drills. Class may perform drills on hand targets, body shields, heavy bags, etc.
- Patterns. Previously learned patterns are performed to increase proficiency and so the instructor may correct any problems. Then new patterns, if any, are taught and practiced.
- Step sparring. Step sparring (one, two, or three-step) is performed with a partner, with or without training aids. Various techniques are practiced against an opponent to develop proficiency.
- Free sparring. During free-sparring, students don protective equipment and spar with other students to test their abilities in actual combat with an opponent.
- Self-defense. Self-defense techniques may be taught and practiced.
- Breaking. Breaking may be practiced during a class. Students break reusable boards to test their speed, strength, and focus.
- Stretching and cool-down. More difficult stretches than the ones performed during the warm-up are performed. Since the muscles are now heated and more flexible, it reduces the possibility of injury. The difficulty of the stretches is gradually reduced as the body cools. Cool-down is the reverse of the warm-up; it allows the body to cool and relax and allows the heart rate to gradually slow down.
- Bow-out. A bow-out is performed per school protocol.
After Class Procedures
- Schools may conduct a quick cleanup in which the training area is swept, mopped, wiped, etc.
- If changing clothes, be quick and stay clear of other classes. Be quiet and do not loiter.
- When you are leaving school, you are physically and mentally exiting the Taekwondo training environment and re-entering the outside world. Do not continue to practice training techniques while waiting outside the school.
- If required, leave the parking area as soon as possible to free parking for incoming students to use.