Avoiding Common TKD Training Mistakes

Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do Resources' started by KickChick, Aug 19, 2003.

  1. KickChick

    KickChick Valued Member

    Studying the martial arts is about growing and learning from your mistakes. Here are some common mistakes that most students make at one time or another. (...adapted from a piece in the June 2001 issue of Black Belt Magazine

    Mistake # 1
    Training one side of your body more than the other.
    If you are ever in a real self-defense situation, you probably won't be able to choose which leg to kick with, so both must be equally strong. Solution: Train you weaker side first and force yourself to use that side when sparring. Switching your stance when sparring can also help keep you focused on making your techniques sharp.

    Mistake #2
    Stretching too far too fast.
    This is a common problem with adult students just beginning to study. When your motion exceeds what your body can handle, it can result in sore muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Solution: Arrive at class a few minutes early and get properly warmed up before class begins.

    Mistake #3
    Holding your breath.
    Many students concentrate so hard on what they are doing, they forget to breathe, causing lightheadedness, dizziness, and a reduction in energy level. Solution: Relax (You've probably heard that before!) Breathe while you move, exhaling as you kick, punch, or block. Try to breathe deeply, from your stomach, rather than from your chest.

    Mistake #4
    Practicing advanced techniques before mastering the basics.
    There is nothing worse than seeing a black belt with sloppy and incorrect form. Advanced students should never have to be reminded about making a tight fist or keeping their fingers tight in knife-hand blocks. Solution: Practice, practice, practice those fundamental techniques--they are the building blocks of the advanced techniques. If you spend time practicing the basics, your advanced techniques will look good and you won't end up as a black belt with sloppy punches.

    Mistake #5
    Overdoing it.
    Know your limits and don't exceed them. It is very easy to fall prey to an injury if you allow yourself to get too tired. Solution: Training should be 90% physical and 100% mental. Save some physical energy for your next workout and concentrate all of your mental energy on making your techniques controlled and precise.

    Mistake # 6
    Practicing only your favorite techniques.
    Everyone has a favorite technique that they are good at, as well as ones they need to work on. If you only practice you favorite kick, you will never make any improvements to your other kicks. Solution: Perform all your techniques using both sides of your body. When sparring with a familiar partner, surprise them by throwing a technique you've never used before.

    Mistake #7
    Coming to class only once a week.
    With today's busy life style, people often find than exercise gets a low priority. If you only come to class once a week, you have six days in between for your memory to fade and your techniques to deteriorate. Solution: Make a commitment to yourself to get to class often!
    On your days off, think about your kicks and blocks. Go through your forms in your head. Think of it as doing your martial arts homework and come to your next class prepared to learn.

    Any others????
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2004
  2. Kaine

    Kaine New Member

    I have the one side problem but I am working on it right now, other then that I concentrate very hard all the other problems when I go training ( I'm not part of a club right now). sloppy patters are a majore problem I've seen with people and it is a problem that I have too, like really lazy L stances and stuff like and non-full facing shoulders when punching. There are others too...
  3. KickChick

    KickChick Valued Member

    I found that stances are a big problem and also when sparring I notice many of the students drop their hands, another big mistake. Also arms and hands flailing about when doing floor technique. Lack of power/snap and height in kicks is yet another.

    As a black belt I try to always be conscious of my technique even when I am not feeling 100 % that day. There is nothing worse than seeing an advanced student just going through the motions...

    I'm sure there are many others seen at your schools....
  4. Helm

    Helm New Member

    Yeah Id agree with the points you've raised. The biggest many people make is not relaxing, you see them all tensed up..especially their shoulders, and as a result their techniques tend to be poorly executed, and seem to take more energy for them to perform in this 'tensed' state.

    Another common mistake is striking pads. A good pad holder can make so much difference when training. I see some people not even looking at the person kicking the pad when they are holding. They should be totally aware of what techniques are being used, how to hold the pad properly with minimal risk of injury to themselves and others. (I've seen people holding floppy pads infront of their faces).
  5. Tosh

    Tosh Renegade of Funk

    I like to add one

    Peform the techniques, don't just put your arms and legs in to the correct position. If it's a block imagine yourself blocking if it's a strike imagine striking the vital spot.

    If you are just placcing your arms and legs into a photographically correct position you are just doing keep fit, block to block , strike to strike!
  6. Kaine

    Kaine New Member

    over extenstion when some one else is holding the pad, when you kick they move back in anticipation for your kick, and flailing hands is also a large problem...
  7. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    I love the original post... words of wisdom)

    Common Reminders for higher level TKDists (and assistant instructors)

    (1) Remember to continue practicing your old techniques and forms no matter what level you reach... you'll need them later for other tests or for instructing.

    (2) Watch how other instructors do warmups and teaching. File away some ideas you'd like to use. Practice occassionally how you would run a class... you may be in front of the class suddenly and without warning.

    (3) Assistant instructors should always have a teaching topic ready for every class... you may be asked to teach if the master chooses to do something else.

    (3.5) Make sure you can do whatever you are going to teach... think about how you'll present it.

    (4) Don't run your class EXACTLY like the other instructors... add some different drills or ideas... make your teaching style memorable.

    (5) As a assistant instructor, be prepared to be the first one at class and the last to leave. Keep an eye out to see if anyone needs help before and after class.

    (6) Always start on time and finish on time. Sometimes allow time for students to work on things they might need to brush up on.

    (7) Always show a good attitude whether you feel like it or not... the junior students may emulate you.

    (8) If you are injured or sick or really do not feel like training... don't. Contact your master and let him/her know you won't be in. It's okay to take a night off once in a while if it will make you more efficient. (The "always train whether injured, ill or not" is not a good idea. Sometimes a break will bring you back even better than before.)
  8. Artikon

    Artikon Advertise here ask me how

    WOW!!! I've seen and actually done all of those bad things . . . and then learned my lesson . . . thankfully.

    Some very good points brought up by kickchick, and of course Thomas your additions are also very true. Although #8 from Thomas I agree and disagree with. I find that sometimes training when you are felling down can sometimes bring you back up and give you some energy. Some of the best classes I've had with my students have been when I have felt poor. Although on the flip side listen to your body. If you do feel very ill, barely able to move, hoping the porcelin god is close by, may be a bad idea to go teach :D at that point I agree.

    If I may also add one thing. I find alot of times students AND instructors alike are too concerned with the final product of the technique, and not the beginning or the middle. By equally focusing on the beginning, middle and ending, a student can have a technique that is fast, powerful, effective, and most importantly understood.
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    I agree and disagree with #8 in a way as well. A person has to be conscious not to abuse this. If you are really injured or in a really bad mood, where your actions or injury could hinder the learning of others, then you should not go. If you are just looking for a reason not to train... then maybe you need to re-evaluate why you go in the first place.
  10. flyingblackbelt

    flyingblackbelt New Member

    Okay this is my first post on this board so i figured id just tell everyone that. I teach quite often at my Tae kwon do school and the mistake i see people making most often is inconsistency. A lot of people will come 2-3 times one week and then miss an entire week, that is not the proper way to train, you have to make sure youre training everyweek that you can. Dont get lazy, lazy mindset amounts to lazy techniques. Also, the childrens parents tend to not have the right mindset, most of them want to get their child to the next belt fast and dont care what their technique looks like, thats a big mistake that can actually rub off on the children themselves, and believe me ive seen it. One small question for kickchick, do you by any chance train at a.i.t.k.d?
  11. KickChick

    KickChick Valued Member

    :D ... I believe you got your answer this morning flyingblackbelt.

    Welcome to MAP flyingblackbelt.... and the name fits you well!
  12. neryo_tkd

    neryo_tkd Valued Member

    i noticed that some students don't pay attention to their entire body when executing a kick e.g. a yopchagi. they pay attention to the foot and leg and hips, but not the upper part of the body. they don't look at the oponent, they execute the kick but the upper part is directed in the opposite way. the same thing happens when executing a dwitchagi. the leg goes one way, the eyes another.
    so i guess i have to agree that drilling the basics is very important and paying attention to details. as time goes by the students get the hang of all the techniques, more or less, but it's the details that make the difference.
    then there are also problems with executing a dolyochagi. sometimes it looks more of a sewochagi etc.

    i mean, there are mistakes like these that can be noticed in every dojo. but it's up to the instructor to notice them actually be able to notice them and explain them to the student(s) and of course up to the student to think about how much he/she wants to invest his/her effort in the training sessions.
  13. Kwajman

    Kwajman Penguin in paradise....

    Your right on, sounds like my instructor lecturing me (tho your better to look at). You, are, the, queen...
  14. neryo_tkd

    neryo_tkd Valued Member

    like ur instructor lecturing u?...... he he he he....great minds think alike...he he he he
  15. Kwajman

    Kwajman Penguin in paradise....

    Hey sounds like the instructors are teaching the same things! THats a good thing I think.
  16. Holgate

    Holgate New Member

    only thing I would add is on the amount of training, yes train more than once a week, but anymore than 5 times a week will make very little diffrence to your technique and could have a backward effect on you because you'll become tired.

    I exercise at least 4/5 times a week, but only twice in TKD (occassionally 3 times if I am in the mood) it's about varying the kind of exercise you do and if you train twice a week you keep your mind fresh but doing diffrent exercise keeps your body fresh and working other parts which wouldn't normally be worked on.
  17. neryo_tkd

    neryo_tkd Valued Member

    well, Holgate, a very important thing when talking about the amount of training is WHY u r training TKD. if it is to get a great work out and learn some techniques, once or twice is ok. but if u take part in competitions, then once or twice will only get ur ass kicked at competitions.
  18. Holgate

    Holgate New Member

    Yes but they do think that you gain as much from training just twice a week as you do five times a week, something like 1% diffrence if you train more. Sometimes it isn't worth exahusting the body just for an extra 1%

    Training too much will also make anyone more prone to injury in both practice so I feel in the long run it isn't always the quantity of training someone does but the quality of training done which counts
  19. neryo_tkd

    neryo_tkd Valued Member

    yes, i hear you. but i still disagree with u. u would actually train once or twice a week and then go to competitions????????? wooow what a statement! well, it's either that ur competitions are not as tough as ours are, or there is something wrong with ur instructor if he agrees with u. that's my oppinion.

    maybe u should ask around and find out how much the national team of ur country trains. is it really once or twice a week????
    because if u train for competitions, u have a special training program. it's not always drilling the techniques and it's not always sparring, it's a combination of many different things that contribute to ur stamina, technique, strength, fighting skills etc etc etc and if u are a member of the national team, there are again special trainings that all competitors have together, outside the club they train at. i know it because i am one of them. and i don't think that there is something wrong with that way of training because it definitely brings results. to win medals at the world championship is not a small thing, wouldn't u agree???
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2003
  20. neryo_tkd

    neryo_tkd Valued Member

    i couldn't agree more and it doesn't matter if it's when drilling techniques or doing forms or whatever. that is why i also want my students to concentrate 100% when doing the forms, which are not just mere moving around. if they see that advanced students do them with a boring expression on their faces then it's not good for the lower belts and it's saying a lot about those advanced students as well. this has never happened at my club but unfortunately i've seen similar things at different schools. and one more thing which i don't like is when the instructor does the techniques with the students. several months ago i witnessed it. the students were doing things wrong but the instructor didn't correct them because he didn't see them.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2003

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