Newbie to Tae Kwon Do

GSoden

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Been lurking for the past few months but i figured I would finally post my first thread since every time I log in it keeps telling me I have yet to post. I am currently a yellow belt studying at a school here in Loveland CO. The school is primarily a self defense school that teaches Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido and Yudo. I knew I would like Tae kwon do etc but I absolutely love it....very addicting. As a newbie, I have a few questions that hopefully some of you can help with.

1) I am curious how long it normally takes for the things you learn to start "clicking". Is there a normal period of time where you finally start to feel like you are really getting over the awkwardness and you can start to put together the things you are learning?
2) I am making progress on stretching etc but am really having a tough time getting the right stretches to help with the flexibility doing a side kick. Any advice?
3) any advice on a magazine that will cover the three arts taught at this school? I have bought Black Belt and it is good but there isn't much TKD in it. Is TKD Times good?

Thanks again for the help.
 

Drac

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Greetings..Don't forget to head over to the Meet and Greet section and say "Hi"..
 

terryl965

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Welcome, lets see I have been studying TKD for over twenty five years and the clicking part will happens when it happens, as far as a Magazine try Tae Kwon Do Times it covers alot about TKD and Hapkido with some Yudo in it as well. Hope this helps.
 

IcemanSK

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Been lurking for the past few months but i figured I would finally post my first thread since every time I log in it keeps telling me I have yet to post. I am currently a yellow belt studying at a school here in Loveland CO. The school is primarily a self defense school that teaches Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido and Yudo. I knew I would like Tae kwon do etc but I absolutely love it....very addicting. As a newbie, I have a few questions that hopefully some of you can help with.

1) I am curious how long it normally takes for the things you learn to start "clicking". Is there a normal period of time where you finally start to feel like you are really getting over the awkwardness and you can start to put together the things you are learning?
2) I am making progress on stretching etc but am really having a tough time getting the right stretches to help with the flexibility doing a side kick. Any advice?
3) any advice on a magazine that will cover the three arts taught at this school? I have bought Black Belt and it is good but there isn't much TKD in it. Is TKD Times good?

Thanks again for the help.


Welcome to Martial Talk & to Taekwondo.

I would encourage you to ask your instructor about how best to stretch. I say this because he/she can actually see how you stretch & see what may work better for you.

On #1, I hate to be seemingly vague about it, but there is no set time for it to start clicking. For some, it's quick: other's it's a while. Be patient with yourself & train as often as you can & enjoy the time you're there.

As for #3, I've not been impressed with TKD Times for many years.

Get other opinions on all of these questions.
 

Dave Leverich

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Been lurking for the past few months but i figured I would finally post my first thread since every time I log in it keeps telling me I have yet to post. I am currently a yellow belt studying at a school here in Loveland CO. The school is primarily a self defense school that teaches Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido and Yudo. I knew I would like Tae kwon do etc but I absolutely love it....very addicting. As a newbie, I have a few questions that hopefully some of you can help with.
First off, welcome to the forums! Second, welcome to Taekwondo! You'll have a great time I'm sure.

1) I am curious how long it normally takes for the things you learn to start "clicking". Is there a normal period of time where you finally start to feel like you are really getting over the awkwardness and you can start to put together the things you are learning?
It can vary greatly, I think mainly depending on how fit you are, how much activity you are used to, dexterity etc. I know it took me probably 6+ months to really feel like things had 'clicked' (when we started sparring). Of course that was at 14, as an awkward kid who'd just grown some 6 inches, then grew 4 more, so I think _everything_ was awkward hehe.
2) I am making progress on stretching etc but am really having a tough time getting the right stretches to help with the flexibility doing a side kick. Any advice?
If you're looking at the stretching 'the hard way', it just takes time, and lots of stretching. I do side kicks with the hip rotated over, so it's not as much those groin tendons, but the scissor style splits action. But, the groin ones help a ton as well. The frog stretch is good (on all 4's, spread the knees with feet against the wall, slowly push back, widen hips as you can). Or the Superfoot stretch with a foot on a point, legs wide, but weight is leaning back relaxed so you're only stretching, not fighting the muscles. Then push forward with your hips with that 'pivot' foot staying on it's point, hold 30 seconds, push more etc. The weight 'back' really helps to keep things from being you fighting your own muscles to stretch.
Time, lots of time, but you'll get it.
3) any advice on a magazine that will cover the three arts taught at this school? I have bought Black Belt and it is good but there isn't much TKD in it. Is TKD Times good?

Thanks again for the help.

For a TKD magazine.. Honestly no luck there for me, try TKD times though, I haven't read it in years. BB mag is fun sometimes, but it's been a lot less awe inspiring as an adult than it was back in the early 80's.
 

Shaderon

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Hello and welcome! Glad you finally started to take the plunge. As well as what Drac said about the met and great section I'll try and help with your questions here too.

GOsoden said:
1) I am curious how long it normally takes for the things you learn to start "clicking". Is there a normal period of time where you finally start to feel like you are really getting over the awkwardness and you can start to put together the things you are learning?

It's different for everyone but for me it was my first grading, seeing everyone above me grading and what they were doing. Little things click at different times though, I keep getting flashes of "of course that's the case" and I presume I will do for some time too. I think if everyone is honest that goes on through your MA life and never stops. I know I don't want mine to stop anyway :)

GOsoden said:
2) I am making progress on stretching etc but am really having a tough time getting the right stretches to help with the flexibility doing a side kick. Any advice?
Well I like to do ballerina stretches.... that is putting my leg up in a side kick position on a window sill and balancing with my arms in the forearm guarding block position then doing isometric stretches (push down on the windowsill, then relax and move my planting leg out a bit) but I'd really suggest finding a freindly fitness instructor or physio and asking them to show you a couple of stretches that will heklp you as they really shouod check you are doing them right, you can do yourself more harm than good if you do them incorrectly.

GOsoden said:
3) any advice on a magazine that will cover the three arts taught at this school? I have bought Black Belt and it is good but there isn't much TKD in it. Is TKD Times good?
I'm not as up on magasines as other people but my Subum has just got a new magazine called "TaekwonDo" I think. I'll ask him the title of it and see if I can find out who publishes it for you, he says it's really good. he said I can have it when he's finished with it but that might be about 10 years knowing him. ;)
 

Kacey

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Been lurking for the past few months but i figured I would finally post my first thread since every time I log in it keeps telling me I have yet to post. I am currently a yellow belt studying at a school here in Loveland CO. The school is primarily a self defense school that teaches Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido and Yudo. I knew I would like Tae kwon do etc but I absolutely love it....very addicting. As a newbie, I have a few questions that hopefully some of you can help with.

Welcome, and happy posting! :wavey: Loveland, hmm? I'm in Denver, stop by and visit some time if you'd like (visit the website in my signature for info).

1) I am curious how long it normally takes for the things you learn to start "clicking". Is there a normal period of time where you finally start to feel like you are really getting over the awkwardness and you can start to put together the things you are learning?

Hey, that's a good one! I mean this in all sincerity. When I was a yellow belt, I thought things were finally starting to click... then I got to green belt and another layer of complexity appeared... and then blue belt... and so on. When one thing clicks, it means it's time to learn the next level. It's part of what I like about TKD.

2) I am making progress on stretching etc but am really having a tough time getting the right stretches to help with the flexibility doing a side kick. Any advice?

Well, do you mean to get it hip high, chest high, head high, above head high? Different stretches are often beneficial for each one. The one thing I would suggest, however, is that whatever stretches you're doing, do them after you work out; stretching/warm-ups before class are to prevent injury, and while they will help with flexibility some over time, the best time to stretch for flexibility is after class when your muscles are warmer and looser - and less likely to tear.

3) any advice on a magazine that will cover the three arts taught at this school? I have bought Black Belt and it is good but there isn't much TKD in it. Is TKD Times good?

I don't know; I don't usually read them.

Thanks again for the help.[/quote]
 

TKDmel

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Since my learned collegues have said it all, I will welcome you to MT and many happy postings. But, btw, I've been doing this for over 20 years and things still "click" at times, and the side kick stretch is still not going well for me, LOL! But I won't give up trying! Have fun and again, welcome!
 

cali_tkdbruin

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1) I am curious how long it normally takes for the things you learn to start "clicking". Is there a normal period of time where you finally start to feel like you are really getting over the awkwardness and you can start to put together the things you are learning?
2) I am making progress on stretching etc but am really having a tough time getting the right stretches to help with the flexibility doing a side kick. Any advice?
3) any advice on a magazine that will cover the three arts taught at this school? I have bought Black Belt and it is good but there isn't much TKD in it. Is TKD Times good?
Hey there GSoden, welcome aboard!
The others here have given you some good tips. My 2cents are:
1. The "clicking" is constant as your training in TKD progresses because as you progress, you're taught new techniques that seem really difficult at 1st. Then these just get easier the more and more you practice them, like starting with poomse, jumping front snap kick, flying side kick, back hook kick, tornado kick, etc., etc. After doing it so many times it just starts to become automatic. It clicks.
2. The stretching also takes time, especially when you're new to our martial art, and performing the types of techniques and movements we utilize in TKD, especially the various kicks. When I was a rookie I remember my flexibility was somewhat limited. After repetitive stretching sessions before class and over time, tightness became much less of a problem.
3. Taekwondo Times had good coverage of both TKD and HKD when I used to subscribe a few years ago.

Good luck and happy training. It might become an obsession for you like it did for me... :ultracool
 

Last Fearner

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I am currently a yellow belt studying at a school here in Loveland CO.

Hi, GSoden, and welcome to Martial Talk! :wavey:

The school is primarily a self defense school that teaches Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido and Yudo.
I also teach Taekwondo, Hapkido, and Yudo, as well as Hoshinsul and weaponry.

1) I am curious how long it normally takes for the things you learn to start "clicking". Is there a normal period of time where you finally start to feel like you are really getting over the awkwardness and you can start to put together the things you are learning?

As others have said, it varies with the individual. The feeling of awkwardness usually begins to dissipate within the first 6 months, but it might take a year or two to really feel like you are able to put things together. Don't be so concerned about time-tables, just know that it will "click" some day, and the journey is what is most important.

2) I am making progress on stretching etc but am really having a tough time getting the right stretches to help with the flexibility doing a side kick. Any advice?

I agree with the others who say you should direct this question to your instructor who can personally look at what you might be doing right or wrong. Patience, persistence, and proper tension are the keys. Pain when stretching is telling you your going too far. Any stretching of your leg and groin muscles will help if you do it slow, and steady. For specific kicks, get your hips, and body in position for that kick, then do the splits on the floor, or on an elevate prop while standing. Go to the point you feel tension, slightly stretch the muscles and tendons further, then relax.

Stretch every day! One day, stretch thorough for increased flexibility (30 minutes to one hour on different positions). For the next three days, do light maintenance stretching (about 15 minutes total). Be patient, it will come in time.

3) any advice on a magazine that will cover the three arts taught at this school? I have bought Black Belt and it is good but there isn't much TKD in it. Is TKD Times good?

Taekwondo Times is pretty good - - considering....! Most of the Martial Art magazines contain the same things. Advertisements, articles on personal insights and experiences (some good reads, and others not so much), some basic technical combinations that really don't teach the reader anything useful, and typically only impresses the non-martial artist or extreme novice. You usually get better instruction in your first few weeks of genuine classes. Then there are the biographies and philosophies of some senior Martial Artists.

They can be entertaining and somewhat educational, but make sure you don't believe everything you read in them just because it is in print, or the word of a so-called "expert." The Martial Art world is filled with "experts."

I'm not sure what is still in print (I believe "Inside Taekwondo" is no longer around), and others are popping up all the time.

Try to find these:

Taekwondo Times
Hapkido Magazine
Dojang Magazine

CM D.J. Eisenhart
 
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GSoden

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thank you everyone for the replies and advice...greatly appreciated! Kacey, thanks for the invitiation. I used to live in Denver but don't get down there much any more. If I do make it down there, I will be sure to stop by. Thanks again and we'll talk to you soon.
 

bluemtn

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Well, first off- welcome to MT! Secondly, I found getting over that "awkwardness" kind of just happened (no specific time), but started noticing a good bit went away once I reached yellow belt. Also, flexibility takes some time to achieve, depending on where you're currently at in that area. Some people are very flexible naturally, so it only takes a certain amount/ time to get kicks up high, etc. However, depending on your age that you're starting, if you've done anything that needed a certain amount of flexibility (certain sports, dance, etc.)- or not... It's all in your body, I'm afraid. Always stretch before class, even before you do it with the rest of your class helps acheive a certain height for those kicks. I'd also recommend stretching in your spare time, while at home watching t.v. or whatever.

Best wishes with your training!
 

bigfootsquatch

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Light Warmup, Dynamic Stretching, MA Work out, Strength Training such as lunges, Isometric and/or relaxed stretches, jumping jacks or similiar to cool down.

Most tend to do the relaxed stretching instead of the other, or do the relaxed as the pre work out/warm up. If you don't what the stretches are I mentioned then try "Stretching Scientifically" by Tom Kurz. You could probably google the various stretches and get info. Any attempt for me to explain it would take a lot of space, and I'd still not get it right =D
 

exile

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Hi, GSyou've gotten a lot of useful advice and suggestions; I'll toss some of my own experience onto the heap of possibly helpful input.

(i) So far as things clicking is concerned... there are several levels which interact to make things click, and you kind of have to train those levels differently. So for example, a lot of kicking techniques only click when you have developed both strength and balance. You can train these by specific drills and exercise (Loren Christensen's outstanding book Solo Training gives some excellent excercise to develop both), but the point is that a proper roundhous or sidekick is very hard for a beginner precisely because the kin疆sthetic and strength requirements are so specific to MAs; the necessary increase in the power and endurance of the hip flexors, for example, is unlikely to be achieved by anything you can do with free weights, say, in a normal strength training program. Your best bet is just to keep training kicks, about 30 minutes to an hour a day ideally. It took me about 18 months to get to the point where I could actually do a decent roundhouse kick in good form and stop the kick at any arbitrary poiint and `freeze' there for at least ten seconds. It took me still longer to be able to do that with a rear-leg side kick. So that aspect of it depends on your training frequency and intensity.

But there is a more complex level, involving the sudden coherence of a series of disconnected techniques and moves into a kind of smooth, swift flow which is in part a matter of some kind of higher-order cognitive breakthrough... so that you suddenly `get' a complex technique, or a form, or a self-defense application, which had previously seemed impenetrable. This kind of gestalt phenomenon is very hard to predict or to train for, and it's far from exclusive to TKD, or MAs (I've experienced it in skiing and tennis), or physical skills in general (I've also experienced it studying physics and logic). It seems to reflect a general phenomenon where previously complex, separate concepts or skills are suddenly seen as coherently linked to each other, so that a more general, simpler picture emerges. Right now, we don't even have a commonly agreed-on name for this phenomenon, let alone the ghost of an account of how it happens, or when.

(ii) stretches: bigfootsquatch's post (#14) mentions Tom Kurz's work, which I've always found very useful and applicable. So do not neglect dynamic stretching, is about the best I can offer here. I know it seems a bit unorthodox... but I'd save the static floor stretches and the like for the cooldown at the end of your workout.

(iii) magazines... there are actually a number of threads on this that you might check out in the MT Archives (the `search' utility is your friend! :) ). There's a fairly broad consensus that neither Black Belt, nor TKD Times, are particularly trustworthy or reliable. I would go further: both of 'em are primarily delivery vehicles for advertising and their content is largely determined by their major advertisers. At one point, when I had gotten my fifth issue or so of TKD Times, I decided to try a little experiment, involving comparison of the column space devoted to particular dojangs, `industry leaders' and various notables, on the one hand, with advertising investment by those dojangs, industry leaders and so on on the other. I quit after two issues' worth, because it was like shooting fish in a barrel. Women's magazines are often accused of using advertising revenue considerations to guide their coverage, and so far as I can see there's a lot to that, but they can't hold a candle, for sheer obvious greedhead payola, to the MA magazines.

That wouldn't be so bad, if the articles these magazines published at least had some sound content, but in so many cases, what's published in an obvious crock. Someone mentioned earlier in this thread that you have to watch out for putative `experts' in the MAs, and boy, does that come out clearly in the big MA mags. Take the latest Black Beltplease! :lol: (well, I thought it was funny!). They have some middle dan rank Tang Soo Do guy (TSD is an identical twin MA to TKD; they only look different now because their life experience has left scars on them in different places) raving on about the supposed two-thousand year ancient history of the KMA, invoking a bunch of putative arch疆ological and textual evidence for this ancient status. But every single alleged fact he adduces turns out not only to not support his claims, but to actually provide strong evidence that for almost all of its history the martial arts of Korea were firmly rooted in Chinese combat systems that, moreover, long predated their appearance on the Korean peninsula. A single example will have to do: this guy raves on for a while about the enormous military manual Muye Dobu Tong Ji,, cited as a primary source for indigenous KMAs, which supposedly establish the evidence base for a distinctive Korean MA tradition on the peninsula. The joke here is that the MDTJ was positively identified by both the martial arts historians Dakin Burdick and Stanley Henning (in separate articles in 1997 and 2000 issues of Journal of Asian Martial Arts)whose training allowed them to analyze not only the original Korean version but also Chinese and Japanese military manuals of the same general eraas an almost literal translation of a Chinese treatise by one of the big-shot Han generals (charmingly titled, in translation, The New Book of Effective Discipline)published 250 years earlier than the MDTJ. The author in the BB article in question clearly had no clue about what kind of results current academic scholarship has turned about about these core, classic works; nor was he apparently aware of a followup article by Manuel Androgu矇 in a 2003 issue of Journal of Asian Martial Arts, representing the deepest and broadest study of the relationship between modern Korean MAs and traditional military training manuals, which backs up Burdick's and Henning's earlier conclusions and more, concluding, after an exhaustive consideration of its content and relations to earlier Chinese texts, that

from an historical perspective, it becomes apparent that any appeal to the Muye Dobu Tong Ji as evidence for the antiquity of any Korean modern art is unacceptable today.

And every single other component of the BB articles `argument' turns out to involve reliance on long-discredited confusions of legend with history that have been gutted by carefully documented historical scholarship.

This kind of bogus legendmongering as history is pretty much par for the course in Black Belt. My advice: if you subscribe to only one periodical in the MAs, Journal of Asian Martial Arts is light-years ahead of anything else on the planet. So far as I know, it's the only peer-reviewed source amongst MA periodicals, and its authors are required to provide full documentary citation for their claims. The disadvantage is, it covers a hell of a lot more ground than just TKD, or even the KMAs. But what you do get from them on the KMAs has been vetted under a magnifying glass and passed muster.

If you have a second choice, I suspect the British MA magazines are a cut above what we have in North America. Britain is the home of the new renaissance of interest in TKD as a hard, no-nonsense street-effective martial art, following a similar development in karate, TKD's parent art, over the past decade. Taekwondo in particular seems to have a good rep there.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Welcome to MartialTalk and I am glad that you have found TKD to be enjoyable!
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