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    Fundamentals of sports training for Taekwondo (for players and coaches)

    Fundamentals of sports training for Taekwondo

    Taekwondo (hand-foot-way) is a hard linear Korean martial art invented in 1957 to train the Korean military, many masters now populate the world and the art is very wide spread and quickly becoming the most popular martial art in the world. With major international bodies such as the World Taekwondo Federation over seeing the spread of the art. WTF style Taekwondo focuses on the sporting aspect of the martial art. Since becoming a recognised Olympic sport at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, more interest has occurred in the sport side of the art. In sport Taekwondo both feet and hands are used to strike targets worn on the body, indicated by the body armour participants wear. The player who has the most points or the player who scores a knock out blow to the head with any part of the foot blow the ankle will achieve victory. More points are scored with kicking techniques 1 to the body and 2 for a blow to the head (USTU 1993).

    Needs assessment and testing method.

    Strength in Taekwondo tends to be used in specific concentric movements; elastic strength is preferred because Taekwondo is an ?explosive? sport. Relative strength is also an important factor for many aerial techniques has to carry his weight through the air (Dick, 2000). For strength tests we can take the 1RM, which is the one repetition maximum, a person can lift within a specified movement.

    Strength Endurance
    The Taekwondo fighter needs to be able to perform concentric movements a high number of times at a very high frequency with, little or no rest periods during bouts except at the end of bouts. This calls primarily the anaerobic energy system in too use (Dick. 2002) Can be analysed using the Wingate test, which the athlete has to perform repetitions of a movement, the decreasing power out put can be used to record how long the athlete can sustain a number of repetitions.

    Aerobic Endurance
    Taekwondo bouts stretch over 9 minutes each round being 3 minutes with a 30 sec rest in-between each round, therefore a high level of aerobic conditioning is needed to maintain the steady state in-between flurries of powerful and fast activity. To measure this an athletes heart rate can be measured during sparring simulation or through use of a V02 max recording.

    Speed endurance
    The Taekwondo fighter needs to be able to continually exchange accurate and high quality blows to the specified target area, this takes place in a climate of cumulative lactic anaerobic pathway by-products. For this a flash test can be used where in which the player must strike the targets as fast as he can with in a set time (Staley, 2000), to measure the quality of the blow special double layered strike pads must emit an audible ?Bang? when struck, with player aiming for as many as possible

    In competition the fighter needs to be able to withdraw, defend, attack and counter attack as fast as possible (Staley, 2000)., this is one of the most important aspects of Taekwondo, because ultimately the faster fighter will score and counter faster. This can be measured using electronic scoring sensors built into Taekwondo armour, from an external start, the player must either attack his opponent or counter attack his opponents on coming attack when a point is scored, the time it took from clock start too when the blow was scored can be measured.

    Power (explosive or elastic strength) needs to be specific to technique, the ability to perform it as fast as possible with out losing the strength of the movement. This is also vitally important to Taekwondo scoring with intent to harm and or knock out the opponent. Power can be measured using electronic kick bags and body bags, which measure the amount of force exerted on the pads. (e.g. psi).

    The need for mobility is vastly technical, blows need to scored by attacking the head and above the waist, with kicks potential scoring more points, it is vital that leg flexibility is very high, this assists with speed of movement and technical possibilities. The more flexible you are the more technical and tactical options that become open to the player. To measure mobility in the athlete sit and reach tests can be used but goniometry is more accurate because it can be used to measure the range of motion in any joint. Technical training in its self is a complicated affair, with every offensive and defensive move there is an appropriate counter attack or combination.

    Technical training
    TKD technique is totality of rational operations of a fighter, allowed by the competition regulations and applied to attain a victory (Seabourne, 1998).The technique includes handstands ("sogi"), movements ("baljit"), kicks ("chagi"), thrusts and strikes ("jumokjiriyugi"), blocks ("makki") (WTF, 2002). Kicks are subdivided into direct ("miro-chagi", "dwit-chagi") and round ("bandal-chagi", "hurio-chagi", "dollio-chagi"). Also, "nerio-chagi" belongs to falling kicks (WTF, 2002). Traditional forms of kicks, such as "ap-chagi", "yup-chagi" are not applied in modern TKD practically because of their low efficiency, and they are not considered in the present work.

    Hand technique includes three kinds of feast impacts: direct ("jumok- jiriyugi"), upward ("chijiriyugi"), side ("dolliojiriyugi?). Blocks are applied occasionally, mainly in the form of lower block ("are-makki") and upper block ("olgul-bakkat-makki" (WTF, 2002). A statistical research of final contests of several world championships, and the following law was revealed (table 3).
    Table 3.

    Statistical analysis from Sydney Olympics 2000 and World Taekwondo Championships 2001,2002 (WTF, 2002)
    It seems to be determined by specific character of TKD competition regulations, according to which a score for a thrust or a strike is awarded in case of a knock-out or a knockdown only.
    TKD skills are always acquired in the process of execution of exercises. It is important, that every next implementation be qualitatively better than the previous one. Improvement of skills does not always occur evenly. Usually, mastering of one or another motion is firstly successful, then quality of execution either stabilizes, or gets worse (Staley, 2000). Delays in the development of a skill may be accounted for by different causes, such as student's sickness, missing lessons, etc. The process of successful mastering TKD technique is determined to a large extent by the teaching methods, individual students traits, psychological atmosphere in the school, and, to a much smaller extent, is connected with particularities of the technique itself. Three stages of skill forming process are conditionally distinguished:? generalization", "concentration", "stabilization".

    Generalization stage: At the first stage of learning of a technical operation, a student gets a concrete idea of it as a sum of sensations, presented in certain combination. At this stage, a student is not often able to concentrate on the technique essence, and new motion data involves a significant part of cortex, irradiation process occurs. In outward appearance, it displays in effort of many muscles that do not participate in technique execution. It results in decrease of the motion amplitude, worsening of coordination.
    Concentration stage: as a result of reiterated repeats of a technical operation, irradiation processes change into their concentration. Basic parts of the technique are mastered, useless motions are eliminated. At this stage, students still makes errors in motions, but are already approximating to the best execution of them. The coach should detect the errors as soon as possible, and, at the same time, promote consolidation of all the positive (Seabourne, 1998). To stop forming an incorrect skill is much easier than to correct it when it has formed and moreover, consolidated.

    Automation stage: here, technique execution technique gets stable. Contestants have an opportunity to control apparent parts of a motion less carefully, the whole technique being executed with high quality (Seabourne, 1998). Thus, automation liberates a practitioner?s nerve-centre from the necessity to control execution of techniques in details and allows them to concentrate on tactical constructions. In the process of fighting, contestants are often forced to improvise, to execute technique in combinations they never learned before.


    Seabourne, T (1998) The Martial Arts Athlete. YMAA publications, Canada.

    Dick, F W. (2002) Sports Training Principles, Fourth edition. A & C Black, London.

    Staley, I.(2000) The Science of Martial arts Training. Unique Publications, Los Angeles, CA.

    Seabourne, T., and Herndon E. (1986) Self Defence A Mind And Body Approach. Gorsuch-Scarisbrick. Scottsdale. Arizona

    Olsen, P. (2003) Martial Arts and Sports Science: specificity & the energy systems. University of Teesside.

    Bean, A. (2000) The complete guide to Sports nutrition third edition. A C & Black, London.

    Swan, D & Leuthholtz, B (2002) Exercise prescription, A case study approach to the ACSM guidelines. Human Kinetics, USA.

    Web resources

    Korean Taekwondo Association

    WTF (2002) WTF referee handbook

    table showing sparring technique usage
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  2. #2
    Banned SlooGonnaSloo's Avatar
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    i dont think much strength is needed
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