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Here are some training methods I have found to work:
- Jump rope, using all types of jumping variations, to better your footwork skills.
- Shadowbox to you favorite music to learn to move gracefully with relaxed movements.
- Perform slow motion kicks using exaggerated, full-motion (full chamber and re-chamber) movements, and using perfect techniques. Adding leg weights may make the exercise more beneficial, however, do not spar or do full- speed kicks using the leg weights. Your body learns to compensate for the extra weight at the ankle and, when you remove the weights, although you may kick quicker, your body will have to learn to re-compensate for the lack of added weight. In addition, there is also the increased chance of injury when kicking with full-speed and power while wearing leg weights.
- - Instead of running over level ground, run cross-county, up steps or stairs, or a use a climber exercise machine. These motions more closely duplicates the movements used in kicking and sparring and helps build leg muscles. Perform plyometric jumping exercises to build explosive strength in the legs.
- Do daily stretching exercises that duplicate the movements used in Taekwondo. A Yoga practitioner may be very flexible in all aspects of movement but still not excel in Taekwondo. To perform a perfect kick with speed and power, you need to be flexible in the body movements required for that kick and be strong in the muscles used to perform the kick. Strength and flexibility in other areas are superfluous to the kick itself.
- Perform kicks, jump kicks, spin kicks, and jump-spin kick while standing in the shallow end of a swimming pool in mid-chest deep water. The water adds resistance to the movements, which help build strength without out causing injury, and the buoyancy of the water makes it easier to learn complicated movements and takes the jolt out of landing. You can perform many more repetitions of a kick while in water than you can while on dry land.
- Play sports that require a lot of quick footwork and precise eye-hand coordination, such as tennis, ping-pong, hand ball, or basketball. Play other sports for fun and relaxation but do not be too concerned with being good at them. All doctors are MD’s but the best doctors in a particular field of medicine are the ones who specialize in that field and only practice in it.
- Do many repetitions of your patterns while concentrating on precise movements and stances, prefect technique, and maximum power. Quickness and the height of kicks should not be of concern while performing the patterns. If you concentrate on the movements, stances, technique, and power, other aspects will get better on their own.
- Perform patterns and techniques at inopportune times. For example, after sitting at the computer for awhile, get up and perform a pattern, it only takes a couple of minutes.
- When not performing Taekwondo, think about Taekwondo. Thinking about movements is the next best thing to performing them.
- Spar a lot and spar frequently. The best way to get better at something is to do it.
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