Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by Azulx, May 25, 2017.
What does a typical TKD class cover at your school? How is the class formatted?
Most schools where I've been a student have 10 minutes or so of some sort of running, maybe 5-10 minutes of stretching, maybe 5-10 minutes of hand techniques (punches / blocks), then the balance of the class for kicking/sparring/self defence.
My current school tends to have 30 minutes of running/stretching, then the balance for other things. Personally I think 30 minutes is too long.
I liked a previous school where 1 particular instructor said to do running/pushups/situps etc on our own, do stretching before class, then in class we would have 2-3 minutes of quick stretching followed by the curriculum.
Not many do self defence, often seen as an optional extra done close to grading time
Jogging around the dojang to warm up
A few minutes of static stretching
Physical training (varies widely from class to class: agility ladders, burpees, squats, planking, etc. Often the PT will incorporate some dynamic stretching or technique practice as well)
Then finally, some actual taekwondo . Either poomsae practice, technique practice, kicking combinations, breaking practice, sparring practice, or self-defense practice. Generally speaking: Mondays are poomsae or technique days, Tuesdays and Fridays are sparring days, Wednesdays are self-defense or poomsae days, Thursdays are breaking days, and Saturdays are mostly PT.
Sometimes some cool-down stretching at the end of class, if there's time
Typically 10-15 minutes for warm up / stretch, then Hand Techniques for another 10-15 which continues the warm up phase . The in sections of 10-30 minutes with not all areas covered each class: Kicking, Patterns, sparring combos / theory / drills, Free Sparring, Ho Sin Sul / Release from Grabs / throws. Joint locks & pressure points, Philosophy, Step Sparring, - Classical and Self Defense oriented.
Other stuff includes more forms, sparring, individual attention to specific things, breaking, etc.
But what, specifically, we do in each class depends on who is there and what the instructors feel needs to be covered.
Warm ups, kicking drills, more kicking drills, still more kicking drills and then finally forms or sparring. Did I mention a ton of kicking drills?
So it would be safe to say it's a very sport oriented school.
Not my cup of tea, but to each their own.
To me, kicking is a lot harder to learn than punching. So I see value in spending more time on kicking than hand techniques.
My ideal class is similar to what I did last night on my own at the UFC gym. I had gone to TKD and found there were no classes due to testing, so I went to the UFC gym to work out on my own.
I did maybe 1 minute of bouncing, 2-3 minutes of stretching, then started kicking.
left/right front kicks moving towards a mirror, watching my hands and supporting foot
some jab punches while moving forwards and backwards
left/right roundhouse kicks moving towards a mirror
left roundhouse in place, putting the kicking foot back to starting position without landing it, then right leg.
left\right rear leg side kick moving towards the mirror
left\right back kick moving towards the mirror
left\right rear leg hook kick
left spinning hook kicks, then right spinning hook kicks.
the drill on the attached video at 4:15
a few more spinning hook kicks playing with the amount of hook, including stiff leg wheel kicks.
I was expecting more focus on forms than sparring. But here I found sparring every class or week is usual. Do you spend more time training forms or in sparring?
My experience in the four TKD schools that I have trained in is that at the white belt level you will work on a lot of basics leading up to forms. Also you will be introduced to step sparring to learn distance, timing, control, and the application of techniques. That in turn prepares you for sparring. In my old ITF class we had one night per week set aside for sparring but that was in the class for yellow belts thru red belt. White belts and yellow stripes were in a beginners class and then the black belts had their own class. In the WTF schools I have been in there was sparring in every class towards the last part of class time. In both my old ITF school and in the WTF schools there was a ton of kicking drills! Did I mention that? Well it is Taekwondo and kicking is a big big part of Taekwondo. It is what it is.
The schools I've attended tend to spend more time on forms for most people. There may be no contact sparring for all the students, but the full contact sparring would typically be held in a special sparring classes, to which typically only the more athletic people attend, by either self selection or by "invitation only".
Having full contact for everyone can create injuries, and also scare parents/kids away from the school. Most kids I see enrolled are there for exercise and to have fun. Many are not athletic or in shape. Schools don't want to scare too many people away.
I guess to be accurate I should have said the Kukki-TKD schools I have been in instead of WTF but I think everyone knows what I meant. There is one that on a gup level does not necessarily require any sparring but most students do, the red belts and the black belts usually separate at the last part of the class to spar and then continue on for another 45 minutes to an hour after the regular class time has ended. In that particular school I never saw any black belts practice any forms at all, they did warm ups, stretching, kicking drills, and sparring but that school caters to those who are very serious competitors. In the area I live now there are no ITF affiliated schools but I have found a couple that do teach the Chang-Hon style but they are expensive and a little out of what I can budget for martial arts.
True enough, but when kicking drills are the sole thing practiced, with no training on punching, there is (to my way of thinking) a problem. Punching may be more intuitive, but it still needs to be trained. If not, there wouldn't be any boxing schools.
Shoot, for about 20 years I followed the below class-pattern.
Pre-class individual warm-ups & stretching
Class begins... bow in.
3 min. Slow jog around the mat/school floor
3 min. jog with jumping, sometimes drop and push-up, variations and combinations of this to keep it fresh - get heart rate up and people's bodies warm
Line-up for calisthenics (jumping jacks, squat thrusts, pushups, sit-ups ... like that
* I just kept an eyeball on the general breathing level, and see if anyone is starting to break a sweat - and when so, on we went *
Line drills, simple hand techniques, brief cut-outs of various forms by rank (e.g. low block, reverse punch... or maybe outside forarm block with knifehand to neck, combo to other side knifehand
Line drills, simple kicks, working by rank up to single-count kick combinations
Line drills, combinations (again with both hands/feet pulled from forms sections by rank
Closing line drills when everyone is way warm, sweat is running, go into the newest kicks or newest kick combinations
* Depending on what I see and hear... maybe a 1 to 3 minute rest *
Form/kata/poomse practice, breakdown by rank
1-step SD, advanced SD and sparring tactics work (all going on at same time by rank)
Finish up active part of class with rank-appropriate free sparring (or 1-step for the low ranks)
End class, bow out.
Class time usually 90 minutes.
I don't advise full contact sparring for everyone either. Actually I only advise full contact sparring for competitors or special occasions. But I do advise technical/light/slow sparring for adults (at least), regularly.
Thank you for your reply.
Agreed. I recently started boxing classes at the UFC gym. The Muay Thai instructor saw me and said "you punch ok for a taekwondo guy". I was thinking, "Ok...is that a complement?"
I sigh though when I see people testing for black belt, and they couldn't kick effectively if push came to shove so to speak. Not even a roundhouse that could do something. Some people just are not athletic. In those cases, I can't help but think that they would have been better off to just practise a jab/cross punch combination with some head movement. But I am biased perhaps; my top 3 techniques if push came to shove would probably be a 1) jab 2) cross and 3) rear leg roundhouse. Maybe a front kick would be in there too
Floor drills for basics
Intermediate and advanced:
same, except we spar after the warm-up and then do weapons after the forms.
Edit: deleted - wrong topic.
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