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. For better kicking accuracy, please
visit our Accuracy page. Also visit our Taekwondo
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. For
endurance tips, visit our
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
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: