Before we get started – congratulations on starting your martial arts journey. Most Perth people never even get to the first step – actually stepping onto the Taekwondo training floor! Take a moment to pat yourself on the back for deciding to do something new and challenging. Taekwondo is hard, but you can get on the fast track to Taekwondo mastery – and your black belt – by following these five guaranteed ways to speed up your Taekwondo development and get the best out of your taekwondo classes.
1. LISTEN TO YOUR INSTRUCTOR THE FIRST TIME. If you want to get good at taekwondo – and you want to get good as fast as possible – then you need to do what your instructor tells you. Odds are that your instructor knows what he or she is talking about, since they have been teaching students in Perth and elsewhere long before you came along. Have a little trust in the process, stay off the internet and don’t get ahead of the curriculum. Schools like Perth’s Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy have developed well-structured curriculums that allows students to progress at rate that is sustainable for their entire martial arts journey.
2. MASTER THE BASICS. Everyone thinks the spinning hook kick is sexy and wants to master that in the first week of taekwondo training! But you must resist as there is a reason those sorts of techniques are for later. If you don’t have your basic kicks and punches down pat, then your more advanced variations won’t be very good. Plus, the basics are what are usually the most effective in sparring, not to mention they are the most practical for self defence. If you want to be a good black belt someday, you need to stick to the fundamentals. Bonus Master Tip: focus on your side kick because having a good side kick will make learning many advanced kicks so much easier. Plus everyone is impressed by good side kicks!
3. RELAX. Tense muscles will actually work against you. It makes your punches and kicks weaker and slower, and it makes you tire out quicker during your training. So loosen up, as it’s essential to good technique. Practice throwing punches and kicks with completely relaxed limbs, tensing only right before you make contact with the target. Shadowbox with a focus on loose limbs and shoulders. The more you practice it, the more automatic it will become. Soon you won’t even have to think about relaxing as it will be your default state – this also happens to be one of the best transferable lessons of Taekwondo training in a good school like Perth’s Premier Academy. Try relaxing a little in all areas of your life!
4. PRACTICE REGULARLY. Go to class regularly every week – that goes without saying. If you want to see progress, Perth’s Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy recommends that you train 2-3 times per week. If you can fit in an extra session or two you should. In addition to that you should practice at home, whenever you can spare the time. People who practice their Taekwondo at home in between classes improve much faster than their peers who don’t. Choose one or two techniques to focus on and practice those for four to six weeks, along with some stretching, and you will see rapid improvement!
5. STRETCH. This overlaps with all of the above tips, but it deserves its own point because it is so important. Not only will it make you better at Taekwondo, but it will help prevent injuries and contribute to your overall sense of well-being. Set aside time after every Perth taekwondo class to stretch, as well an extra few sessions every week. Make sure you warm up before every session for the best results! Good taekwondo schools like Perth’s Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy will teach you specific stretching routines and you should use these at home as well to get the maximum benefit.
How can I improve my kicks?
Becoming truly accomplished in the art of Taekwondo kicking takes a combination of strength and agility – you need to deliver your kicks not only with force, but with speed and accuracy. To improve your kicks, start with applying the five tips already mentioned in this article. If you want your kicking to stand out even more in your taekwondo classes, then the following additional steps will give you an advantage over your classmates and ensure your kicks deliver maximum impact every time!
Increase Your Strength – To kick effectively, you need strength. Incorporate weight training along with other muscle building exercises such as lunges, squats, hip twists and calf raises into your training schedule. Using a heavy bag as your target will also help you develop power in your kicks. The bag should be heavy enough that it barely moves when you kick it. Only use bags that are specifically designed for training, such as those you use in your taekwondo classes at Perth’s Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy. You’ll learn how to centre your strike position in your kicks, as well as build your fitness and stamina. Try this for 3 x 3-minute rounds twice a week and your kicks will improve in a matter of weeks.
Practice Your Kicking Drills in slow motion – Slow kicking drills help increase your strength. This is why you will often do them in your taekwondo classes at schools like Perth’s Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy. Make each kick last a full ten seconds, from your guarding stance through to the kick at full extension on the 10th beat. Repeat ten times per leg. Switch up the drill with front, side, hook and roundhouse kicks.
Kick setup drills – These exercises increase both the power and the speed of your kicks. In these drills you focus on getting your leg into the setup position for each kick without full extension. For example, from a left leg guarding stance, drive your right knee forwards and pivot on your left foot into a roundhouse kick position. Hold this position for 1-3 seconds then put your right foot on the ground. Follow with the same drill using your left side, until you have done both sides 10 times each. Start slowly, and gradually add speed. Do three sets for each kick. When you’re doing this manoeuvre right, you will really feel the tension in your core. If you are training in taekwondo classes at an advanced school like Perth’s Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy then there is a good chance you have already done this drill as a warm-up exercise.
How long does it take to get good at taekwondo?
How long is a piece of string? Both questions have similar answers. It depends. If you train regularly 3-4 times a week you will progress much faster than someone who trains 2 times a week. If you are already flexible you will progress faster than someone who is very stiff. An important point that the instructors at Perth’s Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy stress to students in their taekwondo Perth classes is that your enjoyment from training in the martial arts comes from the journey not the destination so why hurry?
Can Taekwondo be an effective martial art?
How you train a martial art will determine its effectiveness. If your goal is to be effective in sporting competition, then your training must be geared towards this. If you are training for effective self-defence, then you must focus your training on dealing with the most common attacks that occur on the street. When you first try a Taekwondo class, such as at Perth’s Premier Martial Arts and Fitness, see if you can work out what the emphasis of the class is. Afterwards discuss your thoughts with the instructor and see if that is the right school for you. Training in Taekwondo classes in Perth or elsewhere will give you a solid foundation of skills that are useful in both self-defence and combat sports. The powerful kicks and dynamic footwork taught at Perth’s Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy can be applied in a range of different combat sports, from Olympic Taekwondo to Kickboxing to MMA. The physical training and fitness alone that you will get from regular training in Taekwondo classes at Perth’s Premier Academy may just give you the edge in any fight!
Many UFC fighters credit their training in Taekwondo with giving them the fast footwork and dynamic kicking that has made them successful. This is one reason that Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy bases its Freestyle MMA curriculum around the core Taekwondo in its Perth classes. Some well-known UFC fighters with Taekwondo backgrounds include:
- Daron Cruickshank is a light weight featured on the Ultimate Fighter and is known as one of the division’s most dynamic strikers. He comes from taekwondo family with his parents both fourth dan Black Belts in the martial arts. Cruickshank himself is a second dan Black Belt in Taekwondo.
- John Makdessi began his Taekwondo training at the age of six, and started his MMA career in 2008, reeling off eight straight wins before debuting in the UFC in 2010.
- Edson Barboza, currently ranked in the top five in the lightweight division, is also a Taekwondo Black Belt and might just be the division’s most feared striker. Barboza made his UFC debut in only his seventh professional fight!
- Anderson Silva is considered by many to be the best striker in the history of the UFC middleweight division, winning the title in 2006 and remaining undefeated as champion until 2013. Silva started training in Taekwondo at the age of thirteen.
- Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis began training Taekwondo and by the age of eighteen he had attained a third dan black belt. Pettis is the man responsible for the most famous kick ever thrown in MMA competition, and has been a division champion in the WEC and UFC.