BENEFITS AND AIMS OF TAEKWON-DO TRAINING
Although Taekwon-Do provides effective self-defense skills people today study it for other benefits, among them cardiovascular fitness, increased mental energy and greater self-discipline. As you progress in Taekwon-Do you discover that the mental and emotional balance required to excel in Taekwon-Do carries over in to your everyday life, helping you focus and cope with the problems you face.
Combine inner power with outer strength
Physical conditioning: strength, stamina, flexibility
Self-development, improvement, and empowerment
Greater awareness of self and surroundings
Develop a strong spirit
Strengthen moral culture
Confidence building (less-fear training)
Enhance balance and perspective
Relaxation and stress reduction
Physical and mental healthfulness
Physical training encompasses five broad areas of attention:
This large unit encompasses all the individual techniques which find application in all the other units. It is subdivided into stretching exercises, stances, blocking tools and techniques, attacking tools and techniques, breathing exercises, ki exercises, and pressure point knowledge. These various basic elements are taught so that students can understand and be able to combine the external with the internal, the hard with the soft, and the physical with the mental and spiritual in order to maximize their own potential and achievements.
Dallyon is the concept of forging as when material to make a tool is repeatedly hammered and heated and hammered in order to render the material tough and resilient. In training this concept applies in two respects, one for the technique and one for the tool. The first is in the notion of repeatedly training a technique, so that the muscles, joints and other parts used in the movement are strengthened and able to produce the motion reflexively, fluidly and without wasted motion. For the "tools", age-appropriate forging exercises are used to prepare and develop body surfaces to deliver and receive power without damage to the individual. Without such dallyon practice, the power which a person will deliver to a solid object will be limited by their own self-preservation instinct. This is good, because if this subconscious safety limit fails, there may be serious consequences to their physical well-being, confidence, and continuation of training. If the developing power is ever going to be fully applied safely then tool forging must keep pace with technique training. Tool forging needs to begin with the surface (i.e., the skin) and slowly work inward along the line of power delivery.
This section is taught in order to learn ways to deal with one or more attackers while concentrating primarily on techniques, tools and targets not usually appropriate to sparring training. For most situations students should eventually be able to choose from a range of reactions (extending from escape, through reversal of control, to the last resort of inflicting damage) so that they do not have to react from fear, but can respond with knowledge and confidence.
Techniques are taught for standing up, sitting, lying down supine and prone, and for frontal, side and rear attacks. Techniques include the use of leverage, pressure points, joint manipulation, hair pulls, biting, elbows, knees, safe use of the head, foot stomping and other short kicks, and for more advanced students, sweeps and throws. Multiple attacker response training includes sequential maneuvers in order to learn opponent management techniques, as well as simultaneous responses as the student is able to view the situation as one condition rather than as two attackers. Rubber knives, sticks, poles, etc., are used to learn self-defense responses to weapon situations. It is important that students absorb through this training the principles behind successful self-defense responses so that they have the ability and confidence to respond to novel situations whenever they may arise.
It is difficult getting interested in practicing anything if there doesn’t seem to be any meaning or purpose behind it. Students often have this reaction to pattern practice: the only purpose seems to be to fulfill a requirement for testing. When approached effectively from the beginning, however, patterns teach a fundamental skill essential for all future training. The purpose of training patterns is to develop the ability to maintain one’s power and focus in a dynamic situation. Unlike basic training where the emphasis is often on the end of the technique itself, in patterns the new element to develop is the effective transition of one technique into another technique, often while changing postures and locations.
In patterns all the (imaginary) attackers, their techniques and their direction of attack are known, which allows the opportunity to concentrate on maximizing the performance of the techniques with power, balance and smoothness of execution to create a whole pattern out of the sequence of individual moves: to create a story of an encounter in which even a casual observer can imagine the opponents. When the individual moves are not connected in a coherent relationship there is nopattern, just a collection of techniques whose order might just as well have been determined by pulling slips of paper out of a hat. When the purpose of patterns is understood, there is meaning and much benefit from their practice, - and no training equipment or partners are needed.
Sparring is a specialized form of combative training in which the restricted number of tools, targets and techniques permits a reasonably safe environment in which focus, control, and total mind and body involvement can be developed. The various types of sparring offer increasingly more unpredictable situations which challenge students to make their thoughts and actions one. The purpose is to learn to respond appropriately and spontaneously (i.e. without thought or planning) to an ever-changing present moment. As training becomes more advanced, more emphasis is placed on responding without thinking, since thinking slows the response time and encourages the hindering self-concept of a mind directing a body what to do. More can be achieved when the total person responds as one entity - both in and outside of Taekwon-Do.
Full-power, non- contact sparring is emphasized in the UTF because of the finer physical and mental control it demands. Various exercises are used to challenge and build confidence in this ability. Power without control is dangerous to everybody within range including the person with the power, and control without power has little application in our lives.
Formalized sparring begins with 1-step sparring. With 1-step students are introduced to basic blocks against a punch, and, through control of timing, are taught how to deflect (not just hit) an attack with those blocks. Students learn timing and control at this white-belt stage when their power is relatively limited rather than waiting until later when they have developed more power to try to control - mistakes hurt less now. Students also begin to learn at this stage which blocks go best with various counter-attacks. Eventually kick attack possibilities are added along with the appropriate blocks and counter-attack responses for them.
There are additional types of sparring practiced by students prior to practicing free-sparring. These include, but are not limited to 3-step sparring, knife-arm sparring, semi-free sparring, and push-kick sparring. These forms of sparring provide opportunities for the student to practice attack, blocks/guard and counter-attack skills into an integrated punch attack and response interaction.
Free-sparring uses a large number of approaches with various emphases to increase the variety of responses and adaptability of the student. Numerous challenging and handicapping conditions are used against both single and multiple opponents. The larger purposes behind multiple opponent sparring is to train to be able to see the entire situation all the time without being distracted while dealing with pieces of it, to see without looking, to do well without planning - skills which have wide application.
This information is circa 1998 from an unknown source, likely an earlier version of the UTF website
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