I am not flexible at all! Can I still learn Tae Kwon Do?

Yes you can. Flexibility is very practical for high kicks but it is not an absolute must. Speed has a big influence as well. You will see that using proper technique and speed, you will reach pretty high, even if you are not the most flexible in your class!

I have already reached the age of xxx. Am I not too old to start Tae Kwon Do?

You are never too old to start Tae Kwon Do, as long as you are physically able to train. Of course, the older you get, the more difficult it will be to win in competition for instance, but Tae Kwon Do is much broader than sparring, something which people often tend to forget. The most important aspect of training is that you feel good about the training and that you make progress on both physical and mental level.

I am not very fit... Will that be a problem?

No, start training right away! Tae Kwon Do will help you to become fit in a (relative) short amount of time.

How long does it take to become a black belt?

That totally depends on how much you train. It takes 3 and a half years (training twice a week) to become a black belt, providing you pass every grading examination.

What is the correct amount of time you should train?

This varies depending on age, sex, reasons for training, but a rough guide would be as follows:

Beginners to yellow belts - one hour twice per week

This would be under the guidance of an instructor, however, twenty minutes per day is sufficient when are beginning, and is best consisting of ten minutes of stretching exercises, then later in the day ten minutes of another type of exercise. By training for short periods you can train with higher intensity and concentration, thus achieving higher standards. As advancement is made through the grades, more time can be spent, and you can vary the training program to suit your requirements. To summarise, the best plan for training is to:

(a) set aside a specific part of the day.

(b) Get as comfortable and motivated as possible by keeping warm, and using music when skipping or sparring to get the adrenaline following.

(c) Push yourself and keep your sessions between twenty to thirty minutes duration, no longer or you will start to lose intensity and concentration.

How many aspects of training must be covered?

Tae Kwon Do consists of the following specific areas:

1. Patterns

2a.Sparring

2b.Traditional linework

2c.Footwork

3. Power breaking

4. Self defence

5. Stick and knife fighting drills

Which is the more important of the above areas?

Each aspect in itself is important, although sparring is the hardest to learn and train for. To be successful in today's competitions, skipping, running, boxing techniques and circuit training are necessary in order to excel. Sparring is emotional, therefore, it brings into play the performer's belief in his/her abilities. A strong mental attitude must be encouraged to gear up the fighter to psyche out the opponent. It is also great for confidence, and highlights strengths and weaknesses. However, the vast majority joins a Tae Kwon Do club for self defence and this remains the primary objective.

What is the objective of one step sparring?

This exercise has the following benefits. It teaches co-ordination between the opponent and yourself. When a punch or kick is aimed in your direction, you must be decisive and move immediately to each side, using the hand or foot to counter attack. Therefore, one step teaches proper distance between you and your opponent improves your focus and quickens reactions to various attacks. An old Korean quote states "One blow should be sufficient for victory" which means 100% of your concentration should be focused on your counter attack. You should also shout loudly when you strike and do not over do the combination.

What length of time has the instructor been training in Tae Kwon Do and martial arts?

He has been training for over 15 years, he has studied Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai Boxing, Escrima a filipino martial art, Pinnacle combat a american self defence system, Jeet Kune Do which is the martial art that Bruce Lee developed.

Is there any full contact made when sparring?

No, all the sparring is semi contact, which is very similar to a game of tag but alot faster.

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