Tae kwon do is one of the most widespread martial arts in the world. Created from traditional Korean martial arts after the end of Japanese occupation in 1945, it focuses heavily on elaborate kicking techniques. Along with judo, wrestling and boxing, it is one of the few combat sports that is also considered an Olympic sport. Tae kwon do training involves practicing individual techniques and counters, sparring, board-breaking techniques and pattern training. Patterns are set routines that contain all the techniques, stances and movements of tae kwon do and allow practitioners to perfect their skills on their own.
Go to a tae kwon do class. Even if you are looking to train mainly at home, try to get some tae kwon do lessons either at the beginning of your training or at regular intervals to keep you on the right track under supervision. If you cannot attend classes, watch videos to familiarize yourself with how tae kwon do should look to give you a better idea of what your training should look like.
Practice the basics. Tae kwon do, like all martial arts, is built around its basics, so practice your stances, footwork and techniques such as kicks, punches and blocks as much as you can, using a mirror to check your form if you do not have a partner to correct you. Skill is built through repetition. As the great Bruce Lee once said, it is better to practice one kick a thousand times than to practice a thousand kicks once each.
Run through your patterns. Patterns, also known as hyung or poomsae, are set routines containing movements and techniques appropriate to your level and are especially helpful if you are training alone. They can be found online. Use a mirror or record your movements with a video camera to allow for feedback.
Train with a partner if you can. This will help with motivation and to give each other feedback, as well as allowing you to practice in different ways. Training with a partner allows you to do additional drills, such as practice of blocking and countering, and sparring, if you feel comfortable.
- World Taekwondo Federation: What is Taekwondo?
- International Taekwondo Federtaion: Training Secrets
- The Complete Master's Kick; Hee Il Cho
- The Complete Tae Kwon Do Hyung; Hee Il Cho
- Striking Thoughts; Bruce Lee