Traditionally, learning Taekwondo consists of various elements, which are carefully coordinated with each other and in their entirety form a modern, athletically challenging and effective martial art. The road from your first weekend Taekwondo class to becoming a Taekwondo master may be long and rocky, but it is well worth the challenge. It will shape your body as well as your self-confidence. In the following, we will introduce you to typical training stops and which exercises can be imitated at home.


Taekwondo Training
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Videos of Taekwondo training

In the following videos you can see how far Taekwondo martial arts can take you and what professionals are capable of – but don’t be intimidated, everyone starts from scratch.

Black belt training

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Taekwondo training

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Taekwondo talents during training

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Sequence of a typical Taekwondo training

1. The greetingAs in karate and judo, it is the custom in taekwondo to bow at the threshold of the hall (dojang) to the training room, the instructor and fellow students. This also applies if you are the first person present.

For the actual greeting, stand in a block facing the instructor. The most experienced students stand in front on the right and as a new student you have to stand in the back on the far left. The highest ranking student greets the instructor with the words “Charyot, Kyosa-nim, kyong-ye” (from 4th Dan upwards “Charyot, Sabum-nim, kyong-ye”) and a bow follows.

Then follows the salute to the flags. Here you turn to the flags and the highest ranking student says “Kuk-ki, keterio, kyong-ye”. Then you bow to the flags (in the dojang mostly German and Korean flag, at the competition Korean flag and flag of the host country). This salute is sometimes traced back to the flag roll call from the time when Dangsudo was mainly a military sport.

There are probably also clubs and associations where the salute is done sitting in a row as in karate and judo. In case of doubt, you should ask the trainer beforehand or simply know both variants, so as not to fall out of line on the very first day.

2. Warm-upAfter the greeting, the warm-up follows. In Taekwondo, the emphasis is on warming up the leg muscles. This is because the extensive footwork in Taekwondo puts extra strain on the foot, hip and thigh muscles. The highly executed foot techniques can quickly lead to injury in the hip area if the body is not properly warmed up.
3. Stretching exercises
Warm-up is followed by a few short stretching exercises, as in any sport. These two phases usually take up about the first half hour of the workout.
4. TheoryThe trainer will always include some theory in the training session, as this is essential for training and testing. This includes knowing the names of all techniques and the basics of self-defense law.

However, this will not take place at a stretch and in a sitting position, as is the case in school, as this causes the muscles to cool down too much. Instead, the trainer will incorporate the theoretical knowledge at sensible points in the training, for example during a short break to drink. This keeps the concentration and the thread of the training going.

5. Elementary schoolIn the basic school you train single techniques and also combinations, usually with several repetitions. The focus here is on the proper execution of movement sequences, the correct use of foot positions and the internalization of the techniques. You should get a feeling for how your body works in order to be able to master the techniques blindly later on.
6. Form RunThe form run comes from Karate and is therefore very similar to the Kata in Karate. This fight against one or more imaginary opponents often seems to an observer like senselessly strung together techniques, but it always has a deeper meaning. If you study the forms in more detail, you will better understand why the grandmasters invented them.
7. One-step combatThe one-step fight, as the first form of fighting against a training partner, should give you first experiences for the distance of an attack and the feeling of a block. The attack is announced so that you can concentrate on the clean execution of the technique. There are also two-step and three-step fights, although these forms are used less frequently.
8. Breaking testA well-known symbol for Asian martial arts is the breaking test, which is actually part of the training in Taekwondo. Here you will learn to destroy boards with Taekwondo techniques, while stones are used for pure show and have no place in training. The strength and material of the boards are exactly prescribed for the belt exams.
9. Free Fight In Free Fighting the goal is to develop a feeling for the flow of a fight and to prepare you for a competition if necessary. It can be non-contact without protection or with hits and protective equipment. In any case, the goal is not to send your opponent to the mat by force, but to win according to the rules and with clean Taekwondo techniques.

Depending on the specialization of the club, more emphasis is placed on different disciplines than on the rest. A competition club will train more free fights, while a club focused on public shows will work on breaking tests. Every body adapts differently to different stresses, so you can’t possibly predict which workout you’ll enjoy the most and take you the farthest. So find out for yourself in practice where your strengths lie.

Conclusion: Taekwondo suitable for self-defense?

Taekwondo is not a sport suitable for filling occasional boredom. Rather, you will have to invest a lot of time and work to bring your body to the appropriate level and keep it there. The greater difficulty you will encounter here will be with the foot techniques, as you will need various muscles for the different kicks, which you do not use in everyday life.

In general, almost all Taekwondo techniques can be used for defense in an emergency, because only a few of them are more suitable for competition. However, caution is advised when using leg techniques with shoes, as they can cause serious damage if they hit the face, for example. Knowledge of self-defense law is therefore essential if you want to use Taekwondo in an emergency.

Part of the training consists of simulating self-defense. This means that you will practice to get out of different situations sensibly and without using excessive force. You will also learn how to defend yourself against stick and knife attacks, although the best defense against armed opponents is usually to flee.

The basic learning of the various leg techniques should take a few months to a year, depending on your fitness. However, this only means learning, because we are not yet talking about competitive perfection. However, if you dare and persevere through the strenuous training program, you will be rewarded after a year with a physical constitution that is second to none.

Update: 2023-01-20 / Affiliate Links / Bilder von der Amazon Product Advertising API