We do not rise to the level of our expectations; we fall to the level of our training.
The more you sweat in training, the less you will bleed in battle. - Motto of Navy Seals
Remember, you will be training in Taekwondo for years. Do not try to rush things and cause an injury that may deter your training for weeks or months.
Physical fitness is the ability to function effectively in physical work, martial arts training, or other activities, and have enough energy remaining to handle any emergencies which may arise. Fitness is improved by physical training.
Best Way to Train
The best way to train is at an actual dojang. Training at home is okay if you are disciplined and motivated and already have a good solid foundation in Taekwondo (obtained by previous training in a dojang). However, if you are new to Taekwondo, it is critical that you get professional instruction from a qualified instructor. Reading books, watching videotapes, or using a web site such as this one may serve as a supplement or guide to your training but they are no substitute for actual training in a dojang.
Warm-up and Cool-down
You must prepare your body before training by warming-up to prevent injuries and maximize performance. Warming-up increases the heart rate and blood flow to the body.
You should cool -own properly after training Cooling-down gradually slows the heart rate and helps prevent pooling of blood in the legs and feet.
Nothing Hurts Worse than Pain
The most common injuries stem from over training. Often, beginners start Taekwondo with great enthusiasm and push themselves too hard. All exercise programs must start slowly: do not rush.
How limber are you? The more flexible you are the less likely your chance of injury. Excessive exercise causes muscles to tighten up so it is important to stretch early in the morning, before a workout, and after the workout. Stretching during cool down helps reduce the stiffness and soreness that may occur after a strenuous workout. Try to train at least three times a week, with a day between each class to give the body time to recover from the previous training session.
Listen to your body, if it says slow down, then slow down. If it says stop, then stop. If you listen to your body, you will avoid injuries.
When we perform stretching exercises, we are not stretching the muscles and trying to make them longer. We are trying to teach the muscles to relax while under they are working under tension. This will let then reach the full length. If they are not relaxed, they will contract and get shorter. Therefore, to kick higher, relax the muscles. When muscles are stressed, they contact in self-defense, i.e. cramps. When they are happy, they relax. Keep your muscles happy!
When stretching muscles for flexibility, use temperature, tension, and time.
- Temperature. Warm the muscles with some light aerobic exercise, such as jogging in place.
- Tension. Apply the tension exercise slowly.
- Time. Hold the tension for at least 10 seconds before relaxing.
After once learned, why do you never forget how to skate, ride a bicycle, brush your teeth, or drive a car. Repeated behaviors are "learned" by the development of pathways through which environmental signals more rapidly reach the motor nerves. These nerves are coordinated by the spinal cord, not the brain. Amazingly, many animals can run around even when much of their brains are missing. With time, your pathways become fixed. This is the reason it is so difficult to change your handwriting style, even when you try hard. Once you become proficient at Taekwondo techniques, it is difficult to demonstrate the wrong way to do them to beginning students because your brain has little control of the motor memory actions. With years of training, martial artists act and react with little conscious thought.
Do it right from the beginning
When the body learns a new skill, it reprograms the brain and the nerve pathways that lead to the muscles involved in performing the skill. Therefore, it is important that when you learn a new skill that you perform the movements slowly and perfectly, since you are programming your body to perform the movements. As you perform repetitions of a movement, the nerves, as well as the muscles, get fatigued, so the information being passed by the nerves get muddled. In fact, the amount of electrochemical voltage across a nerve decreases with every repetition. Thus, if you train while fatigued, your body will learn the new skill in the muddled form.
It takes about 300 to 500 repetitions to reprogram the body to the movements of a new skill. If the movements were learned incorrectly, it will take 3000 to 5000, ten times more, repetitions to reprogram to the correct movements.
Therefore, it is much better to—do it right from the beginning. Perform as many repetitions as you can perform properly in one training session, and never train until failure. When you begin to get fatigued, your form will deteriorate and you will train your body to perform the skill incorrectly.
Sometimes during a hard workout, you may get a "cramp," a "stitch," or "side ache" just below the right side of the rib cage. There have been many theories as to what causes the cramps, but the medical community now agrees that the pain is caused by a spasm in the diaphragm where its ligaments connect to the liver. The diaphragm moves up and down during breathing to expand and contract the lungs. When a person is not in good physical condition, he or she takes short, quick breaths that limit the diaphragm's movements and causes it to spasm. Recent heavy meals may also restrict the diaphragm's movement. To stop the cramps, you must move the diaphragm, so take several deep cleansing breaths until you get relief. Before your next work out take several deep cleansing breaths to help prevent the cramps. Learning to breathe properly will prevent cramps and increase your endurance.
When training, sometimes you reach a point at which, although you are training regularly, you are not making any progress. When this occurs, most people think it means that they must be slacking and that they should train even more. However, this is usually not the case. If you do more of what you are currently doing, you will merely get better, or maintain, what you are currently doing. When you reach a plateau in training, you should change the type of training. Usually you will see progress until you again reach a plateau, at which time you must change the training again.
Key Training Concepts
To improve your craft, you must:
Lafon, G. (1). Variables Affecting Judo Performance.
U.S. Army Field Manual. (1992). Physical Fitness Training (FM 21-20).