My classes this week and my rambling thoughts

Gwai Lo Dan

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Nov 3, 2010
Messages
860
Reaction score
115
I had a couple classes this week that I found more interesting than usual, in that they highlighted what I did well and not so well, and reinforced a few thoughts on tkd schools.

The first class on Wednesday was me (45 years old) and 4 kids 10-15 years old. The beginning was all sorts of running, jumping, and duck walks. Although I was the slowest at the line running, I couldn't help but think that I was still doing ok at 45!

In the second part we started kicking, and focused on the spinning hook kick. A 15 year black belt girl said to me, "you make it look easy, and I'm a black belt and I can't do it well". She had just gotten her black belt, whereas I've been a red belt for years. I told her that my spinning hook kick was good only because it was my goal last year and I worked on it a lot, especially my right leg which was worse.

I then showed her the difference in her technique versus mine, while the 6th dan instructor held the target. The other student did her hook kick more from a back kick, whereas mine was more spinning. I told her her way was better for sparring because it's faster, but it's weaker.

The interesting part to me, is the instructor provided no instruction. I've tended to see schools don't "teach" as much as tell the students what kicks to do. I'm a believer in talking about and showing biomechanics, but it seems most schools just say "whatever feels right". So I turn to You Tube videos for my instruction.

__________________________________

The next class on Friday highlighted the disadvantage of my style of spinning hook kick. The drill was roundhouse, pull the leg back after contact to the target, then do a spinning hook kick with the same foot (opposite direction of rotation than the roundhouse). I quickly realized that this combination seems to require a spinning hook kick with far less spin, since the direction of rotation is changing. I couldn't do that.

I will say however that I tried, and enjoyed the practice. One 13 year kid was going through the motions and the instructor was starting to get annoyed at the lack of effort. I couldn't help but think - if schools only taught the most motivated and gifted students, they'd half only 6 people in the school! To run a business, they pretty much have to accept everyone.
 

Flatfish

Black Belt
Joined
Nov 12, 2014
Messages
679
Reaction score
296
Amen to your last paragraph. I can say that most kids at our school try hard but we do have the slackers. They do get called out on occasion but in the long run they don't seem to change. And then there are the kids who try hard but don't have good body control....in watching them I keep hoping that that'll get better once they grow older.
 

Transk53

The Dark Often Prevails
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2013
Messages
4,220
Reaction score
835
Location
England 43 Anno Domini
I had a couple classes this week that I found more interesting than usual, in that they highlighted what I did well and not so well, and reinforced a few thoughts on tkd schools.

The first class on Wednesday was me (45 years old) and 4 kids 10-15 years old. The beginning was all sorts of running, jumping, and duck walks. Although I was the slowest at the line running, I couldn't help but think that I was still doing ok at 45!

In the second part we started kicking, and focused on the spinning hook kick. A 15 year black belt girl said to me, "you make it look easy, and I'm a black belt and I can't do it well". She had just gotten her black belt, whereas I've been a red belt for years. I told her that my spinning hook kick was good only because it was my goal last year and I worked on it a lot, especially my right leg which was worse.

I then showed her the difference in her technique versus mine, while the 6th dan instructor held the target. The other student did her hook kick more from a back kick, whereas mine was more spinning. I told her her way was better for sparring because it's faster, but it's weaker.

The interesting part to me, is the instructor provided no instruction. I've tended to see schools don't "teach" as much as tell the students what kicks to do. I'm a believer in talking about and showing biomechanics, but it seems most schools just say "whatever feels right". So I turn to You Tube videos for my instruction.

__________________________________

The next class on Friday highlighted the disadvantage of my style of spinning hook kick. The drill was roundhouse, pull the leg back after contact to the target, then do a spinning hook kick with the same foot (opposite direction of rotation than the roundhouse). I quickly realized that this combination seems to require a spinning hook kick with far less spin, since the direction of rotation is changing. I couldn't do that.

I will say however that I tried, and enjoyed the practice. One 13 year kid was going through the motions and the instructor was starting to get annoyed at the lack of effort. I couldn't help but think - if schools only taught the most motivated and gifted students, they'd half only 6 people in the school! To run a business, they pretty much have to accept everyone.

The latter part of the post does make sense. Always wondered from a business sense, if motivated can turn into gifted. At least on some individual level.
 

TrueJim

Master Black Belt
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
1,006
Reaction score
370
Location
Virginia
The first class on Wednesday was me (45 years old) and 4 kids 10-15 years old. The beginning was all sorts of running, jumping, and duck walks. Although I was the slowest at the line running, I couldn't help but think that I was still doing ok at 45!

At the school my 7-year-old son and I attend, we attend the "All Belts" class in the evenings, which is a mix of students age 6 to 54 (me being the oldest). I often feel the same way...I'll be the slowest in the line doing the duck walks or whatever, but then I'll think to myself, "I hate being the slowest, but then...I am doing duck walks at age 54. That's not too shabby."

In the second part we started kicking, and focused on the spinning hook kick. A 15 year black belt girl said to me, "you make it look easy, and I'm a black belt and I can't do it well".

<jealous> I sprained my ankle last August doing this kick. As I came off the kick, my kicking-leg somehow landed on the floor foot-blade-first to accept my weight, and the ankle hyper-extended badly. The worst sprain of my life. The ankle still goes snap-crackle-pop when I rotate it. I have never been good at this kick. </jealous> That having been said, there are some basic techniques for which our instructor will point to me and say to the class, "That's what it's supposed to look like." There's a 40-year-old women who's also a regular in these classes...has had 3 kids...looks kinda like somebody who has had 3 kids...but she was a gymnast in her youth and it still shows. She can do some basic taekwondo tricking, flips, etc. that just make your eyes boggle when you see her doing them. It's one thing to see a fit 20-year-old man doing that stuff, but a middle-aged mom? Amazing, just amazing.

The interesting part to me, is the instructor provided no instruction. I've tended to see schools don't "teach" as much as tell the students what kicks to do.

That sometimes happens at our school too...not always, but sometimes. At our school, I think the issue is that all the instructors are Korean, and their English is spotty. They often don't have the vocabulary to explain what they want to explain. But then other classes, they'll find a way, sometimes by grabbing one of the students and using them as a mannequin to illustrate whatever subtlety they're trying to show us. I'm always very appreciative of the "extra explainy" class sessions.

One 13 year kid was going through the motions and the instructor was starting to get annoyed at the lack of effort.

It's funny, we have some 6 year olds in our classes who are total dedication, focus, and hard-work...and then as you say, sometimes teenagers who are just going through the motion -- but then we also see vice versa too. Even when my technique is suffering due to my age, I look at all the sweat pouring off me or some of the other students (young or old) near the end of class, and I think -- it's easy to tell who's good at this, but it's also easy to tell who's really trying to be good.

I couldn't help but think - if schools only taught the most motivated and gifted students, they'd half only 6 people in the school! To run a business, they pretty much have to accept everyone.

Amen. One often reads criticisms along the lines of, "that school is just doing that to make money." Well, to some extent yah. So is that painter, that sculptor, that author, that M.D., that professor, that researcher, etc. If consumers are snapping-up ever-new versions of Dogs at Poker, the as a painter, you're going to have to paint some of those. But somewhere in there you're going to paint whatever it is that you love to paint too. If you're a doctor, you lance a lot of boils, but once in a while you get to save a life too. I think you teach the class of 30 "going through the motions" students to reach the 6 "motivated and gifted" students, and that's true of not just martial arts, but I think it's true of a lot of professions. Personally, I propose a toast to "running a business." ;-) That doesn't mean you have to be a diploma-mill, but you have to accept that Dogs at Poker is part of the job too. At least, that's how it seems to me.
dogs-playing-poker.jpg
 

Earl Weiss

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
3,230
Reaction score
628
Surpirised schools are still doing "Duck walks" in the 21st century (Google it).
 

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,356
Reaction score
4,646
Location
England
Surpirised schools are still doing "Duck walks" in the 21st century (Google it).


We stopped doing them a long time ago along with a lot of other 'old favourites 'as they are actually damaging especially to children.
 

Cirdan

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 31, 2006
Messages
2,494
Reaction score
440
Location
Oslo, Norway
Duck walk places a lot of strain on the ligaments and cartilage in the knee. This can cause chronic degenerative problems in the knee.

I have heard a lot of critizisms against the good old pushup for kids lately too. I love pushups (army and all that) but I think I may agree when it comes to kids since they very often don`t straighten their backs properly when doing them. What do you think?
 

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,356
Reaction score
4,646
Location
England
I have heard a lot of critizisms against the good old pushup for kids lately too. I love pushups (army and all that) but I think I may agree when it comes to kids since they very often don`t straighten their backs properly when doing them. What do you think?

I've heard that too, our instructor has the children do them on their knees and makes sure they aren't just pushing their bums up in the air which they tend to. The children don't do a lot of them. A good way to do 'press ups' if you have any issues with knees, backs or just getting on the floor is to do them up against a wall.

 

Flatfish

Black Belt
Joined
Nov 12, 2014
Messages
679
Reaction score
296
I can understand the duckwalk issues but where are pushups supposed to place undue stress on for kids? Back? Knees?

I did the Google thing but didn't really find much.
 

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,356
Reaction score
4,646
Location
England
I can understand the duckwalk issues but where are pushups supposed to place undue stress on for kids? Back? Knees?

I did the Google thing but didn't really find much.


It's not the actual doing the press ups that is the issue with kids it's that they don't do them properly. Most times it means they don't have any effect ( the nodding dog thing) making it pointless to do them but sometimes they damage backs by doing it incorrectly. To be honest it goes for a lot of techniques not just push ups.
 

Flatfish

Black Belt
Joined
Nov 12, 2014
Messages
679
Reaction score
296
Thanks for the link.

It is ok though to strap them into a stretching frame a la JCVD, no?
 

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,356
Reaction score
4,646
Location
England
As with all things in martial arts, correct technique is the key.
 
Top