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Apr 27, 2012
Just started TKD in Northern Ireland
by: Micky

Hello. I started TKD 4 months now and I love it. I am 37 yrs old, 6'2" and 16 stone (220 pounds) so moving and balancing are not my best points. i am very fit as I am in a gym 3-4 times a week but I am not here to talk about me. I want to know how to improve my balance, kicks, etc. to get to black. Any tips?

Linda's reply
Hello Irish TKD student!

You're off to a great start being fit from the gym. However, as you've probably noticed, taekwondo requires a whole different group of muscles - physically, emotionally and spiritually, that haven't been exercised for a while! That's what makes it fun, interesting and a strong practice.

First of all, really attempt to perfect the basic technique you are learning now. These will be the foundation to black belt kicks. Alway remember the black belts started exactly where you are and it was only their time in class and dedication to their art that got their kicks looking incredible. Patience and repetition are important in your practice.

If you have time to practice at home, I suggest practicing wall drills with your basic kicks as a beginner - front, angle and turning kicks (roundhouse). Hold on to a wall, keeping your posture as upright as possible. Then execute each kick 30 times per leg very slow-4 counts out after knee lift, 4 counts recoiling. Don't drop your knee between reps. Pay particular attention to your foundation foot position, your kicking foot position (i.e.. toes back, ball of foot, straight ankle on front kick), hip and shoulder position/alignment.

As your muscle memory, hip strength and flexibillty improve, try your drills with no wall. Once you can execute these basic kicks with no wall, graduate to standing on one leg and executing each kick while keeping your knee up and only pivoting your bottom foot after each recoil. Perform in order of front, angle, turning kick. If you can do that without falling over, you are on your way to performing some powerful kicks!

I suggest you also approach your instructor to show you proper wall drills to avoid injury. They may also have other suggestions based on your ability. Lots of stretching when you are really warmed up will help too.

Good luck!

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