Training Information

Individual Effort & Training
It is important to realize that martial arts is an individual sport. This is truer than anyone realizes. Because of this truth we want to emphasize the type of effort and training each student must do. As a student in school could pass with a 'D' or pass with an 'A', and chose how much effort and preparation put forth, Taekwondo is the same. Sometimes a student may mention they are bored because they are working on the same material. The instructor is waiting for the student to correct portions of how they are executing techniques. A student should feel free to ask a higher belt to review a technique and critique if a specific area should be improved. Below are some suggestions.

Forms
When practicing forms, do them over and over again. A student can always practice and always improve. To start, the student must learn the moves. After learning the moves, he/she must perfect the stances. After perfecting the stances, the student needs to get the form crisp, add snap and power to the strikes, blocks and kicks and lastly have smooth transitions from step to step. Keeping balance throughout the moves is also important. Finally a student should be able to do the form quickly without sacrificing crispness, stances, power or without having to pause to think of the next move. Reaching this point takes time. In order to maintain this level of readiness the student must practice the form at anytime available. When time is given in class to practice forms, students should review every form they know, not just their current belt rank forms.

Hapkido
When practicing Hapkido, students should practice the moves over and over again. Hapkido should be done quickly, without any thought and executed with perfection until the attacker is neutralized. While practicing techniques, if a student is performing them incorrectly by moving in the wrong direction or grabbing/stepping in the wrong place, the student needs more practice. Also if the instructor asks a student to demonstrate a technique (i.e. Yellow Number 1), the student should be able to remember the moves quickly without being reminded.

Kicks/Strikes
Measuring a student's ability to perform the kicks and strikes for their belt level is quite simple. Can the student execute them effectively or is it a struggle? I understand some folks could have a physical limitation (back, hip etc) that prevents them from being able to perform certain kicks or other techniques. If that applies to you or your student, then concentrate on the kicks that can be done to make sure they can be used effectively. Those who have no limitations should be able to execute kicks or strikes effectively with speed and power, without losing their balance or dropping their hands (guard) etc. Blocks should be performed with power and precision so they can stop the attacks for which they were designed.

Cardio/Endurance
As a student progresses through the ranks, tests get longer and more demanding until the black belt test. Training hard at class and outside of class is important to continue to perform at 100%. Higher belt tests review many of your lower belt forms and techniques so being physically fit and focused mentally is important.

Promotions/Testing

One of the most common questions the new students or their families have is 'When do I test?' or 'When will my child test?' The answer to this question is not a 'one size fits all' but we want to address this issue.

First, because courtesy and respect are an important part of martial arts, a student is considered disrespectful if he/she asks about testing. Every student must understand that the instructor will decide and notify the student when they are ready to test. We arrive at a testing date by going with the general guidelines that are time-tested and proven; however, instructors are taught to watch the students during class to see if they have mastered techniques for their current level (kicks, blocks, strikes, forms, Hapkido etc).

Since martial arts is an individual sport, testing times can vary based on the individual, the amount of classes they attend, how quickly they master material and more. The following is a good guide to use. If the student can perform the moves even when physically exhausted, he/she is ready. If he/she starts to become forgetful as he/she tires and the responses are not reactionary then more time is needed. Remember that the student should be able to do any lower belt material as well. We encourage all students to continue to practice the techniques for their belt level repeatedly. Students should practice not only to become more proficient in the techniques but also because future material sometimes builds on lower belt material.

Another important aspect of training important for students to remember is day to day class knowledge such as students should know how to count to ten in Korean, know the tenants of Taekwondo, know how to tie their belt correctly and more. Students should know when to bow, how to address their superiors, be educated enough to help lower belts and assist the instructor when asked. Adult students should also know the rules of the school and politely remind other students when they see the rules not being abided followed. Adult students should also assist the instructor in policing the lower belts, especially the junior students.