My footwork and stances are unstable. I cannot move fast and I sometimes hesitate to move. I am flat footed. Could this be the problem?
I am not knowledgeable about the problems associated with flat feet, but it does not seem that the condition itself would affect your ability to move quickly.
Different people have different natural talents for movement. As you see on the dance floor, some people naturally relaxed and move gracefully while others move stiffly and awkwardly. If you watch professional boxers, some dance around effortlessly while others prod around stiffly. Some people move smoothly and attack quickly, while others move more slowly and attack with power. Both methods have their pros and cons; however, would you rather be hit with a quick punch from a dancing Sugar Ray Leonard or with a power punch from a prodding Mike Tyson.
To get better at performing a side kick, you specifically practice the side kick repeatedly for months. To get better at moving, you must specifically practice moving. Jog on rocky, uneven trials, jump rope, or shadow box to your favorite upbeat music. When practicing punches and kicks on a workout bag, concentrate on improving your foot movements. Build your leg muscles using squats and plyometric jumping exercises.
You may never be quick on you feet, but you can improve your quickness. When sparring, learn to use your natural talents to your advantage instead of trying to spar as others spar. If you cannot move quickly, then use power to overcome a quicker opponent. Instead of blocking to stop an attack, block to knock the opponent off balance. Blocks may be used simply as blocks, but they may also be used as attacks. If you block a quick kick with enough force to cause the opponent pain, the opponent will be hesitant to kick again.
Another way to overcome faster opponents is to be a better fighter than they are. Instead of reacting to an opponent’s movement, a good fighter “reads” an opponent and acts before the opponent makes a move. If you anticipate an attack, you have more time to move. If you want until the attack is in progress, you must move quickly. A good fighter uses his or her own position and movement to control the position and movement of the opponent. A good fighter only attacks openings, either ones that occur spontaneously or ones that the fighter creates by using fakes or feigns. A good fighter uses the correct weapon for the target being attacked.
When it comes to sparring, the process is not as important as the result. A slow, sloppy technique that scores is better than a quick, perfect technique that does not score. When performing patterns, with enough practice, you will be able to move perfectly with precision and with the required quickness. Some people may need more practice than others may, but the results may still be identical.
Sometimes, instead of training equally in all aspects Taekwondo, you may need to pick a certain aspect, such as moving, and work on it specifically until it improves. Then you may pick another aspect and concentrate on it.
Work hard at training and you will see results. You only get better when you try to do more in training. When you train the same amount all the time, you will maintain your level of training, but your performance will not improve. You need to challenge yourself constantly to higher levels of performance.
Keep training and you will see results.