Live Oak Martial Arts

Advice for New and Intermediate Students


Advice to beginners:
Kevin O'Neil, Nidan

The best advice I have for new Taekwondo students is to keep your body relaxed and your mind aware. Taekwondo can feel awkward at first because you are teaching your body to move in new ways. If your body is too rigid and tense, your muscles will work against one another, making you feel heavy and slow. If you stay loose and relaxed, you will find that your motions become smoother and require less effort, resulting in cleaner technique. The only time your body should be tense is at the moment of impact. This will give your kicks and punches a snap which will later translate to power.

Balance your bodyís looseness with a sharp mind to get the most out of every class. Pay attention and listen closely in class so that you can practice effectively on your own. Pay attention to how upper ranks train and behave. Be aware of yourself, your training partners, and even the mat space around you. The more aware you are in class, the more you will take with you from class.

Advice to intermediates:

This is a very challenging stage of Taekwondo because just as you begin to feel comfortable with the basics, you realize that mastery of them is so far away. I remember this time as a series of plateaus: great breakthroughs followed by periods of frustration when I didnít feel like I was improving. It is very easy to give up because you think youíre not getting any better, but you have to trust that continued practice brings improvement, even if you wonít realize it until later when you look back at your progress. You will always be rewarded for training hard and doing your best.