(Excerpts from Taekwondo & World Martial Arts by Prof. Lee, Kyu Seok)
Instructors and students of Taekwondo, both in Korea and abroad, should be aware of much more than the fundamentals of Taekwondo training.
They must also apply the principles of Physical education in training, which are suitable to the characteristics of Taekwondo.
Theoretical Background of Training
There is a great need for further research in Sports Physiology, Sports Mechanics, and in Sports Psychology with regard to the unique characteristics of Taekwondo. In addition to theoretical research and development, there is a need to re-evaluation and reorganization of the practical aspects of Taekwondo.
Taekwondo, the native martial art of Korea, began as an art of self-defense but, now, Kyorugi (sparring), formerly only one aspect of Taekwondo, has developed into as international sport. As such, there is a greater need for systematic and scientific evaluation of training methods, which traditionally tended to be based solely on the expertise of the instructors.
The recent trend has resulted in greater reliance in the expertise of professionals and scientists. As a result, the knowledge base has been steadily broadening and this knowledge has been directly applied to the training of athletes.
Through constant re-evaluation and the application of new information more systematic training methods are being created for the future training of athletes.
Training is the process whereby technical skills are enhanced. Planned strength training aims to increase basic physical power. By physical strength, we mean the functional capability of the body. Such ability is the basis of physical activity.
Planned strength training is based on theories of how to surpass one's existing level of physical strength. Training schedules are planned according to the past results of tests. Athletic ability refers to the harmony between physical strength and techniques. Sport techniques are related to physical strength.
However, the notion that one's physical strength may be enhanced without any relation to sports techniques implies a goal for the enhancement of the harmonious progress of both physical strength and athletic ability. When each one of these factors in training is equally developed in two competitors, the winner and the loser are determined by the psychological edge. Physical preparation is one of the most important factors, which must be considered for the enhancement of competitive ability at the higher levels.
The main purpose of physical preparation is to increase the functional potential ability and the development of physical ability to the highest level possible. The first step is to obtain overall physical readiness; the second step is to obtain specific physical readiness; the third step is to take the body's athletic ability to the highest level. The second step develops through the general practice of basic techniques, and the third step takes place during the game or match.
The purpose of the third step is the maintenance of basic techniques required for each game. Technical training program effects how efficiently the athlete's tasks are carried out. A technique is a method for performing a physical exercise.
When the level of techniques rises the efficiency rises accordingly. In order to raise the efficiency of the technique, the most idealistic technical model is not always applied, particularly at the beginner's level. For the beginners, the model needs to be simplified.
As athletes differ in ability, techniques need to be modified according to individual needs and abilities. Technical preparation is the process of modifying techniques through guided repetition on that each game may be completed with the highest level of skill. When all facets of training are equally developed in both competitors the winner of the game is determined by the psychological edge.
If the athlete is anxious or nervous before the game this problem must be resolved between the competitor and the instructor. The purpose of training generally lies in the systematic and scientific enhancement of competitive skills. Training towards this goal can be classified according to differences in methodology.
Goals may include the increase of physical ability, the adaptation to a given environment, the enhancement of technical ability, and so on. The purpose of training in Taekwondo is for more efficient execution of techniques. The purpose of the training in Taekwondo is to enhance technical skills.
Spirit assumes an important role in the enhancement of the overall fitness of nation's people, as Taekwondo is not only an activity of the body but its core lies in self-development and the all-around activity of the human body. In order for the body to adapt to training one must begin with a very vigorous training regimen. That is, the load applied for the improvement of physical strength must be very great for the muscles to handle. By applying the "principle of overload", one attempts to acclimate the body to a higher level by introducing loads beyond the body's present upper limits.
Change in the human body's structure and function occur slowly, over a long period of time. Deliberate planning is needed for the functional improvement of the nervous system to take place. Therefore, it is important that training methods to develop sports techniques follow basic principles. That is, one must proceed from simple movements step by step, in order to effectively guide the development of the body's abilities.
It is important to train consistently. For example, there is no gain in continuously training for six months and them resting for six months. Consistent regular training, and one must aim for the most desirable quality and quantity of training. The proper amount of high caliber regular training done consistently is essential for success.
Everyone has his/her own unique physical qualities. As such, a person with greater physical ability should undergo more intensive training, as compared to some one with less ability in order to achieve maximum efficiency in training. Thus, one must keep in mind individual strengths and weaknesses when designing a training program. The athlete must make a careful training plan himself or herself.
The desired results can be attained through constant re-evaluation of the training methods with adjustments suitable for achieving goals. Training is a process whereby the body is repeatedly exposed to a stimulus in order to develop its responses and thereby enhance its competitive ability. This involves an application of all principles and methods necessary to effectively accomplish training goals. In planning, one must aim for efficiency in the design of the training program.
The following factors must be considered in formulating a plan:
1. Potential ability of the athletes,
2. Main focus of development,
3. Availability of facilities and training equipment,
4. Test and competition achievement level, and
5. Match schedule
Other generally required factors in planning include;
1. Compatibility of long-term plans with existing plans,
2. Deciding upon the main factors which affect the training and emphasizing the key factors, and
3. Time frame and periodically set goals.