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Taekwondo Speed Training
To excel at Taekwondo, you must improve the speed of your kicks and strikes. Remember the fastest gun won the West. Okay, okay… not the correct saying but you get the gist of the idea. Seriously, the Taekwondo student with the best power, accuracy… and speed is usually the victor.
Speed Training Tips
- Work on your Taekwondo endurance. You will automatically have faster kicks and punches if your opponent is winded at the end of the first sparring match. :) I have seen many people with inferior skills (but great stamina) win their sparring matches in the later rounds because their opponent is too tired to attack/defend.
- Work out at the gym! Use weights but don't go for a single maximum weight rep. Rather use light weights and go for the maximum number of repetitions. However, don't use weights when kicking as you could injure your knees. Use stationary machines (i.e. seated leg curl) at the gym.
- Remove the "beginner" steps from your kicks. Remember how you first learned your back kick… turn, look and then fire your back kick. Many instructors teach beginners how to kick by using a step-by-step method. Effective but this slows things down. Once you become a more advanced Taekwondo student, your kicks will become more fluid and you will "instinctively" know the location of your target (versus having to "see" it). In addition, fast Taekwondo students cut down on their moves. For example, faster students during sparring will bypass the traditional "power" round house kick (with the leg going up and then across) and execute a "sparring" round house (which is a diagonal kick to the target versus an inverted L where you kick up, turn your body and then continue the kick across to the target).
- Aim to hit with several quick kicks versus just one. Too often, you will see students kick once, stop and wait for another "opening" - allowing opponent to get in their own kick. You are intentionally slowing yourself down. Having a lightening fast kick is not very helpful if it takes you 30 seconds to fire off another kick. Use multiple combination kicks!
- Execute each kick correctly and quickly move back into a fighting position so you can rapidly fire off another strike. If you are not back in a proper fighting position (i.e. you are thrown off-balance by your kick) then you will slow down your next attack as you try to recover.
- Practice basic speed drills. For example, see how many kicks (i.e. round house kicks) that you can throw non-stop against a pad, kicking paddle or kicking dummy in a minute. Keep score & see if you beat your personal best! Have competitions in the Dojang to see who can throw the most kicks in a minute. Competition will spur kids to try even harder.
For more speed drills and conditioning ideas, please watch the videos below
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