You will perform various types of general exercises, such as push-ups, sit-ups, leg lifts, etc., to develop strength, flexibility, and conditioning.
You will stretch at the start of training classes to warm up and 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 are moves 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. Floor drills help to develop discipline, since students must remain focused to respond to given commands correctly.
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 are techniques performed while moving down the length of a dojang wall or while standing still and using the wall as a support. The wall is used for balance while learning new kicking techniques. Students concentrate on achieving perfection of technique.
Bag drills are techniques performed against a heavy bag, either a Wave master or a hanging bag. They permit full-power techniques to be tested against a solid object.
Pad drills are techniques performed against a heavy pad held by a partner. They permit full-power techniques to be performed against a moving, resisting object.
Pattern training involves a series of predetermined moves applied against an imaginary opponent or opponents. Traditional patterns were developed to reflect the history of the development of Korea and its people. Pattern training helps students develop proper blocking and striking techniques, proper stances, focus on target area, breath control, flexibility, agility, mental discipline, and strength.
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.
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:
In this type of sparring, you try new techniques and work with your partner to develop your sparring skills.
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.
In this a type of tournament sparring, you try to "outplay" your opponent in a competition and score more points than he or she. Little to no contact is allowed.
In this a type of tournament sparring, light contact is required to earn a point.
In this a type of tournament sparring, ompetitors try to knockout their opponents or have their opponents submit.
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 is a mix between step-sparring and class free-sparring. It is a series of instructor determined moves where both sides attack and counter attack. It helps improve sparring techniques.
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 be the same strength as a lower rib.
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, but 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 to your life, you may achieve things you thought were impossible.