TaeKwonDo

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Preparing Taekwondo Test

TAEKWONDO BELT TEST

As you may already know, one of the ways you measure progress in Taekwondo is through ranks.

At each new rank you will also receive a new belt that is colored according to you’re rank. Gaining a new rank is typically done through testing after months of practice.

For an instructor to consider a student eligible for testing you must have several things done.

First, you’re current forms must be crisp and clean, and you must perform them with kihaps in the correct places and with confidence, power and energy.

 It is important that while you should focus on you’re current form(s) that you should also continue to strengthen you’re past forms.

Practice of forms is not all you will need to be ready for testing however. You must also be able to spar at a level acceptable for you’re rank.

When practicing you’re sparring, try to get a partner who is at about you’re rank, or even better, spar with an instructor.

 Concentrate on controlling you’re moves and defending against you’re opponent’s techniques. Usually an instructor will want to spar with you extensively before he invites you to test.

Another important thing to have done is being confidant with you’re break. Break a board is often part of testing at higher ranks, and as such you should be able to perform it effectively.

I have seen many students fail to receive their new rank due to a failed break.

Many schools have time set aside on certain days specifically for breaking, you can pay a fee for wood and then show up and practice the break with instructors there to assist and guide you.

Once you have you’re forms under control, are proficient enough in sparring at you’re rank, and you know you’re break really well, you will most likely be invited to test.

Tests are held at various intervals depending on the school, but you will usually have a few weeks to prepare.

During this time you should make any final preparations. You may also want to research the art’s culture and origins as well, as some schools will administer a written test along with the physical one.

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The Tae Kwon Do Form

TAEKWONDO sparringTae Kwon Do is practised one of two ways, through performing forms, or patterns of movement, or through sparring.

Forms really form the groundwork of Tae Kwon Do Training. A form is made up of many moves strung together in logical fashion.

Often times practicality is not the goal of practicing a form, instead the goal is to further one’s ability to perform the techniques present in the form.

The number of forms depends on the school and organization, though it is common to learn one new form per rank, and possibly more forms per rank at higher ranks. Forms vary in their complexity, and tend to get more complex as rank increases.

The first step in form practice is memorization. As the forms can often get quite complex, it is important to be able to perform them confidently from memory. Usually when learning a form, it is helpful to practice alongside an instructor or senior student who knows the form well.

After memorization comes refinement, refinement of both the techniques found in the form and also the pacing and structure of the form it’s self.

 Pacing is very important to a form, when you get off pace it can lead to difficulty performing the moves correctly and also to balance issues. Another important aspect of Tae Kwon Do in general, and forms specifically, is the Kihap.

 The Kihap is a loud yell done after certain points in the form. It improves the form overall, as well as showing the strength and power of the individual performing the form.

Sometimes it is helpful so film yourself practicing the form so as to review things you may be able to improve upon that you may not notice while performing the form.

 When the time comes to show the form to an instructor, usually as a test to gain rank, or in competition, you must be able to execute the form comfortably and confidently, performing kihaps at the proper time and showing energy and strength throughout.

 Keep these things in mind during training and on testing day and your form will be top notch.

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The Beginning of a Tae Kwon Do Class

 taekwondo TKD duksungsOnce you have made the decision to begin training in Tae Kwon Do you must next begin attending regular training sessions at you’re local school or kwon.

  Class structure can vary from school to school, but usually the first part of class is the bow in. Bowing in is common across all martial arts and is a show of respect to you’re art, you’re instructor, you’re peers, you’re school and finally, to both the nations of the art’s origin and you’re own nation.

  It is common for a school to have an American flag as well as a South Korean flag hanging at the front of the class.

  After bowing in, a warm up is usually the next part of class. Warming up is important as it will keep you from pulling or injuring any part of you’re body, plus it prepares you mentally to train.

  Warmup usually consists of stretching, general technique practice, and sometimes conditioning through pushups, jumping jacks and in the case of a large kwon, laps around the floor.

 Stretching of the legs is the primary concern when stretching as much of the art is devoted to kicks. Splits, windmills and butterflies are all common stretches. After stretching, practicing general techniques is important.

 This is the practice of various kicks, punches and blocks.

These techniques are integral to every part of the art, as such it is important to spend time focusing on the technique removed from sparring or form practice. Practice of techniques is done by lining up and facing the front of class, following the instructor on his count.

 Often the instructor will offer tips and points to work on while practicing, and depending on class size may offer some individual instruction.

 Finally, conditioning is often the last part of warmups.

Not all schools will do this, but it can be beneficial to you’re mental state, fitness and strength. Conditioning, as stated above, is mostly done by pushups, crunches, sit-ups and other common exercises.

Warmups are important because they prepare you for class, as well as set the tone for the training session. As such you should always come prepared for this starting workout.

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