Things you do in class
IntroThese are activities you may perform as a student participating in a taekwondo class.
- General exercise. You will perform various types of general exercises, such as push-ups, sit-ups, leg lifts, etc., to develop strength, flexibility, and conditioning.
- Stretching. You will perform some warm-up stretches at the start of training classes to loosen ligaments, muscles, and joints. At the end of class, while your body is warm and loose, you will perform serious stretches to increase your flexibility.
- Floor drills. You will perform movements or techniques done while moving up and down the dojang floor. The instructor "calls out" the moves and the class immediately performs them. Floor drills help develop technical preciseness in techniques and build strength and stamina. They help develop discipline since students must remain focused to respond to given commands correctly.
- Target drills. Target drills are techniques performed against a hand target held by a partner. They permit students to practice full-power techniques against a moving target.
- Wall drills. Wall drills are techniques performed while moving down the length of a dojang wall, or while standing still, while using the wall as a support. The wall is used for balance while learning new kicking techniques. Students can concentrate on achieving perfection of technique while not worrying about maintaining balance.
- Bag drills. Bag drills are techniques performed against a heavy bag, either a floor supported bag or a hanging bag. The drills permit full-power. techniques to be tested against a solid object that may move slightly.
- Pad Drills. Pad drills are techniques performed against a heavy body pad held by a partner. They permit full-power techniques to be performed against a moving, resisting object.
- Pattern training. Pattern training involves a series of predetermined moves applied against an imaginary opponent or opponents. Pattern training helps students develop proper blocking and striking techniques, proper stances, focus on the target area, breath control, flexibility, agility, mental discipline, and strength.
- Step-sparring. In step-sparring, students work with a partner to practice blocks and attacks in a more realistic manner. Movements may be predetermined, or the instructor may direct the training by assigning the attacks and blocks. It teaches students ways to defend themselves against a variety of attacks or attackers, builds confidence with techniques that provides power, speed, and accuracy, and increases knowledge of opponent's vital areas. Multiple attackers may also be used.
- Free-sparring. In free-sparring, students learn to develop mental approaches and fighting techniques in a free-flowing sparring environment. It gives students an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills developed they learned, in mock combat. Precise control is used to prevent injury. As skills and experience increase, blocks and attacks become "second nature”; they occur without conscious thought. The basic types of free-sparring are:
- Class sparring. In this type of sparring, you try new techniques and work with your partner to develop your sparring skills.
- Test sparring. In this type of sparring, you work with your partner to highlight each other’s sparring skills for the testing judges. For the best results, a variety of techniques needs to be demonstrated in a fluid, controlled manner. Partners should work at a balance of steady blocks, attacks, and counterattacks.
- Point sparring. In this a type of tournament sparring, you try to "outplay" your opponent in a competition and score more points than he or her. Slight to no contact is allowed.
- Semi-contact sparring. In this a type of tournament sparring, light contact is required to earn a point.
- Full-contact sparring. In this a type of tournament sparring, competitors try to knock out their opponents or have their opponents submit.
- Self-defense sparring. In this a type of tournament sparring, you practice realistic street techniques with your partner. It helps students develop their action and reaction skills. Students develop defenses and counterattacks to holds, takedowns, hand and foot strikes, and weapons.
- Semi-free sparring. Semi-free sparring is a mix between step-sparring and class free-sparring. It is a series of instructor determined moves where both sides attack and counterattack. It helps improve sparring techniques.
- Board breaking. Board breaking, using either wood or plastic re-breakable boards or some other material, gives students an opportunity to demonstrate power, gain confidence in their skills, and to gauge the effectiveness of their techniques. A 12 "x 12" x 1" pine board is said to have the same strength as a lower rib.
- Forging. Some schools may use forging. Forging is conditioning body parts to toughen them so they may be used for extreme breaking techniques or for self-defense. This may include repeated striking of a hard, padded object, plunging the hand into deep sand, or two students performing simultaneous full-power blocks against each other’s arms.
Just do it!Taekwondo may be just what you need. The only way to find out is to take the first step and go to a class. Most instructors have a free introductory class so you may judge if taekwondo, or their school, is right for you.
When you first see some of the things that taekwondo students do, you may think it is impossible for you to do them. When you think something is impossible for you, just remember, that with small changes, the word impossible becomes "I'm possible." With small changes in your life, you may achieve things you thought were impossible