Starting Taekwondo: any tips?

(9 Posts)
EcoLady Sun 16-Sep-12 22:17:49

DS (8) is going to try Taekwondo (first month is free!). Neither DH nor I have had any experience of any 'martial art' at all. What should we expect, what gear will he need, what Q's should we ask...?

Thank you

TeamEdward Sun 16-Sep-12 22:24:15

Is it TAGB?
TKD is based around these tenets
COURTESY: To be polite to one's instructors, seniors and fellow students.
INTEGRITY: To be honest with oneself. One must be able to define right and wrong.
PERSEVERANCE: To achieve a goal, whether it is a higher grade or any technique, one must not stop trying; one must persevere.
SELF CONTROL: To lose one's temper when performing techniques against an opponent can be very dangerous and shows lack of control. To be able to live, work and train within one's capability shows good self control.
INDOMITABLE SPIRIT: To show courage when you and your principles are pitted against overwhelming odds.

There is lots of bowing! As they enter the dojang (or room the class is in), to instructors & seniors, when they leave the dojang etc.

This website might help

TeamEdward Sun 16-Sep-12 22:26:26

oh, and the commands are in Korean! But always explained in English first.
To pass a grading and get a new belt, they have to do a little practical exam when they demonstrate the sequences of moves they've learnt and also answer questions about TKD.

EcoLady Sun 16-Sep-12 23:32:40

Great link - thank you so much!

Apparently they are linked to TAGB, so I'm hoping that means they are all suitably qualified ... but I am clueless really, so the link is very useful indeed.

picturesinthefirelight Sun 16-Sep-12 23:56:43

I was like you. Ds asked if he could go to a martial arts class after watching Kicking It. A work colleague reccomended Taekwondo. I was clueless, performing arts yes thats my thing, martial arts no.

Anyway I emailed a few places and the one that bothered to reply and answered my questions we went along to. He goes to a WTF & BTCB affiliated club which means that they practice the olympic style taekwondo, the other organisation is the ITF but their members can't qualify for the olympics.

The first thing I found odd was that they all train together in mixed ages/grades. However it seems to work. Ds has never stuck at anything before but he loves it. Its very disciplined, he just goes once a week but there are some there who train 5 or 6 days a week.

There is poomsae which is learning the moves in a set pattern and sparring which is the fighting. They won't spar at first though and they wear body protectors.

At ds's class a lot of time is spent warming up and stretching.

Ds went to his first couple of classes in a t shirt and joggers with bare feet then his instructor ordered him a white suit. He now needs his own body protector.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Mon 17-Sep-12 14:19:46

DS1 graded yesterday, hopefully to a black stripe. He has been doing it for 4 years and loves it. It is not his main out of school activity and he goes once or twice a week. Others train lots. DS 2 also goes, but only once a week.

What kit will depend on your club. In ours you need a dobok for your second grade, although they are currently giving them free to new starters so they all have them. Mine also provides all Juniors sparring kit so you don't have to buy anything else as they are growing. (chest protector, leg and foot guards and helmet). Buy the dobok really big. You can pull in the waist and turn up cuffs on the trousers and arms.

Iy your club is as good as ours I can't recommend it highly enough. My Dc are never going to be Olympian athletes but they thoroughly enjoy their time in the dojang. They are treated as they are expected to behave, with respect and courtesy. DS1 is 14 and at the end of a recent event they met up for a meal afterwards - teens through to adults. I dropped DS off feeling totally secure in the adult company he was with

EcoLady Mon 17-Sep-12 20:14:10

Thank you all :-)

He was very excited today but came home inconsolable because apparently the older boys laughed at him when he couldn't do the splits or count in Korean. I will drop an e-mail to the instructor to seek reassurance that this will NOT be allowed to happen again. Once he calmed down he proudly showed me what he had learned. He wants to go again 'if the purple belts don't laugh at me'.

Fingers crossed that next week is better.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Tue 18-Sep-12 00:21:21

This is not behaviour that would be tolerated at my Dss dojang (training hall), it doesn't fit in with courtesy tenet at all.

You must definitely need reassurance this will not happen again. Or look for another club.

archfiend Wed 03-Oct-12 11:20:06

Hi, I hope he has had a better time - agree that that kind of behaviour wouldn't be allowed at my dd's class.

Assuming he carries on (hopefully he will), he will need the uniform before he grades and eventually will need sparring gear. Dd only got hers recently, she has been going for 9 months now (ITF not WTF so I don't know if the requirements are different).

Good luck! It's a great sport once they get into it.

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