RPED149-01                           Tae Kwon Do                       Fall 2014


As a preparation for the first class in Thompson 303, please read the following text including the linked documents.


Begin with the extracts from a brochure about Traditional Tae-Kwon Do by Master Dr.Emmel, 7th DAN in the USA Tae-Kwon Do Masters Association.


If the following links don't start your video player, download them (right-click; save target as ..), then play.


Watch the Newport News video about Grandmaster Duk Sung Son.


Then read on:

In a typical class, we run for a few minutes to warm up, then line up and stretch in preparation for ‘basics’. The first student in line calls the class to attention; the instructor and class bow to each other. Every student, regardless of belt rank, practices a sequence of basic moves at the beginning of every class, as the instructor calls them out. (See 2:15-2:22 in the Newport News video for the upper target punch.)

‘Forms’ (known as ‘kata’ in other disciplines) combine basic moves into sequences. The student practices the transition from one move to the next, creating a flow of movement while maintaining focus and power in each individual move. With each advancement in belt rank new forms are added with skill sets designed for that belt level. See this forms video for fourth degree forms.

Before we allow a TKD student to participate in free-style sparring, we want to make sure, he/she has the necessary control to spar safely, and the necessary basic skills so that sparring is beneficial to development. Therefore we begin sparring only at the yellow belt level. In preparation for free-style sparring we teach a formalized version of it, ‘three-step sparring’. After three upper-target punches by the attacker and corresponding blocks by the defender, the latter delivers a counter attack. In three-step you experience for the first time the effect of blocking your opponent’s punch, you learn how hard to block, how to keep balance and control with the opponent’s force acting on your arm and, very importantly, you learn to judge distance. Watch the three-step movie.

Our style does not allow offensive contact in sparring. None of the customary body armors protects you from a powerful, well-focused sidekick. Hitting a body-armor is like hitting a heavy bag – it does not require nor promote focus of the attack. In non-contact sparring, the attack is delivered to stop – well-focused and powerful – just short of the target, inches or millimeters, depending on the belt level. Watch a fourth-degree sparring match.

‘Finishing Basics’ is the last activity in a regular class. A hundred punches; front kicks, side kicks; stretches.

Interspersed are bag and Makiwara board work, kicking exercises, sparring techniques, and occasional board breaking. See a third and  fourth degree black belt test board breaking video.




Video of children sparring