Saturday, 25 February 2012

Friday, 24 February 2012

2012 London Olympics: TAEKWONDO

A 2000-year-old martial art with roots in Korea, Taekwondo became a full medal Olympic Sport in Sydney 2000.

During the London 2012 Games there will be 8 Olympic Taekwondo medal events. I will post more infos and news about the competition and chances of the GB Team athletes as we get closer to the dates, but first, let's have a look a the rules and details of this particular aspect of Taekwondo.

Olympic Taekwondo is played in three, two-minute rounds, two fighters take to a 10-meter square mat, with the aim of landing accurate kicks within the scoring area of their opponent. In Taekwondo different styles of kicks and their accuracy when landing on the oppenents body, score different points. The more skilled the kick the higher the points awarded. High energy and tense, Olympic Taekwondo competitions are fantastic for spectators. Here is a few more informations about the sport and rules in this amazing Olympic event.

The word "Taekwondo" translates into English as "the way of foot and fist" – an accurate description of the principles behind this Korean martial art. Powerful kicks and punches are, literally, the name of the game, which offers tension, drama and plenty of action.

The basics
◦The aim of taekwondo is to land as many kicks and blows as you can on your opponent in the allowed target areas.
◦A taekwondo contest comprises three rounds of two minutes each – with a one-minute break between each round.
◦The whole contest area is a 10m square mat.
◦Victory can be achieved by knockout, by scoring the most points, or by default if the opponent is disqualified.

Scoring in taekwondo
◦One point is scored for each legitimate strike on the body, and two points are given for kicks to the face. Competitors get an additional point for a knockdown.
◦One referee and three judges oversee the contest, and a point is awarded only when two or more judges register a hit at the same time.
◦Kicks to the head and body are only awarded points if they are landed with parts of the foot below the ankle.
◦Blows to the body must be with the front of the index and middle finger knuckles of a tightly clenched fist if they are to be awarded points. Fighters are not allowed to punch to the head.

Penalties in taekwondo
◦Penalties are awarded for offences such as grabbing, holding, feigning injury, pushing, and turning one's back on an opponent.
◦The most serious taekwondo offence is ‘Gam-jeom’, which leads to one point being deducted. Examples of ‘Gam-jeom’ include throwing an opponent, deliberately stepping over the boundary line, pulling an opponent to the ground, and attacking the face with anything but the feet.
◦If an opponent is knocked to the ground then the referee begins a 10 second count. A knockdown occurs if any part of a contestant's body touches the floor apart from the foot. There is a mandatory eight-second count before the referee decides whether the bout should continue.
◦A knockdown becomes a knockout if a competitor cannot regain his or her feet by the count of ten seconds or if the referee decides he or she is unfit to continue at the end of an eight count.
◦If a contest ends with the competitors level on points, then the contestant with the most points before penalties were deducted is the winner. If the scores are still level after this, then the referee awards the contest to the fighter he believes to have been the most willing to attack. The only exception to these rules occurs in the final of a competition, when a tied contest will go to an extra ‘sudden death’ round where the first to score a point wins. If no result is achieved during this round then the final decision once again lies with the referee.

Olympic competition rules for taekwondo
◦The Olympic taekwondo competition takes the form of an elimination tournament to decide the gold and silver medals.
◦After this initial tournament, two groups are then drawn up of all the competitors – except the semi-finalists – who have lost to either of the finalists. Another knockout process then produces two pool winners. Each pool winner then faces the beaten semi-finalist from the other side of the draw, and the winners of these two bouts compete for the bronze medal.
◦The weight divisions for an Olympic taekwondo competition are as follows: Men – under 58kg; under 68kg; under 80kg; over 80kg. Women – under 49kg; under 57kg; under 67kg; over 67kg.

Why do we practice patterns?

Often in class, students ask me the benefits of Taekwondo patterns and why we practice them over and over again? So
I hope the following will help understand the importance
of performing traditional patterns and how they can help
you develop your Taekwondo!

What is a Pattern?
A pattern is a set of fundamental movements, mainly defence and attack, set in a logical sequence to deal with one or more imaginary opponents. Patterns are an indication of a student's progress a barometer in evaluating an individual's technique.

Why do we perform Patterns?
We practice patterns to Improve our Taekwondo techniques, to develop sparring techniques, to improve flexibility of movement, master body-shifting, develop muscles, balance and breath control. They also enable us to acquire techniques which cannot be obtained from either fundamental exercises or sparring. The following benefits can also be obtained while performing Taekwondo patterns:

-development of muscular strength and timing.
-increased cardiovascular conditioning and stamina.
-improved balance, rhythm and speed.
-enhanced concentration and focus.
-development of correct breathing habits.
-development of muscle coordination.

Why are there twenty four Patterns?
The reason for twenty four patterns in Taekwondo is because the founder, Major General Choi Hong Hi, compared the life of man with a day in the life of the earth and believed that some people should strive to bequeath a good spiritual legacy to coming generations and in doing so gain immortality.
Therefore, if we can leave something behind for the welfare of mankind, maybe it will be the most important thing to happen in our lives, as the founder says:

"Here I leave Tae Kwon-Do for mankind. As a trace of a man of the late 20th Century. The twenty four patterns represent twenty four hours, one day or all of my life."

The following points should be considered when performing Patterns:
1. Patterns should begin and end on the same spot. This will indicate the performers accuracy.
2.Correct posture and facing must be maintained at all times.
3.Muscles of the body should be tensed or relaxed at the proper critical moments in the exercise.
4.The exercise should be performed in a rhythmic movement with the absence of stiffness.
5.Each pattern should be accelerated or decelerated according to instructions.
6.Each pattern should be perfected before moving to the next.
7.Students should know the purpose of each movement.
8.Students should perform each movement with realism.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

2012 T.A.G.B English Championships

This year T.A.G.B. English Championships:

Sunday 18th of March 2012
Telford International Centre
St Quentins Gate

Doors open at 9 o'clock.

Please contact me for competition forms and details.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

My child wants to quit!

One of the biggest frustrations for parents of children in Taekwondo is when their child gives them a hard time about coming to class, or even worse, says they want to quit!

What makes this even more frustrating is that when the child comes to class, they are enthusiastic about their training and have a great time! They love it! “I don’t want my child to quit, they enjoy it when they’re here and it’s so good for them, but they fight me when it’s time to get ready for class. What can I do?” is a common question, especially during the summer months.

The first thing that parents need to keep in mind is that children often have difficulty scheduling their time effectively. And once they become engaged in an activity, they won’t want to stop for anything... even something they would normally enjoy. My advice is to help your child to schedule their time before classes in a way that avoids activities your child will not want to stop, such as swimming, playing outside with friends, or playing video games. Instead, allow them time to prepare for class mentally and physically by getting their uniform and equipment together, practicing their techniques, and having a small snack. Another great tip is to commit to a regular routine and schedule of class attendance.

The second part of the answer is to understand that we live in a society of “instant gratification”. Children are growing up with a “I want it now” attitude that will not prepare them for success later on in life. We are not willing to invest the time to achieve maximum results. I want it now, it is owed to me, everyone has one so I deserve one too! When something becomes difficult, children don’t understand how to persevere. They are told that if they don’t like something, they don’t have to do it. Many parents are literally teaching their children to be quitters from a very young age. "If you do not like it, then quit". This is the biggest mistake you can make with your children.

I often speak with parents who feel that Taekwondo would be of tremendous benefit to their child, but they do not want to ‘force’ them to come. Children learn very early on, what they can get away with. If you set a level of expectation for their development, they will follow your lead.

What if your child woke up one morning and said “I don’t want to go to school anymore and I want to quit”, would you let them? Of course not!

The truth is that while training in Taekwondo is fun, sometimes it is difficult as well. The higher they get in grade, the more challenging it becomes! Students have problems with a technique or a pattern, and instead of working hard to overcome it and learn the values of hard work, they want to give up. When your child says “I want to quit”, " I don't like it", what are they really saying? And if we allow them to give up, what are we teaching them? What do you want your child to be like when they grow up?


We need to lead our children, not be led by them. Parenting is a full-time job that can be extremely frustrating, difficult, and confusing. But if you’re not teaching your child, who is?

The best thing for children is to be involved in an activity like Martial Arts, that assists in their growth and development. A program that will teach them the values of hard work and perseverance. A program that will teach them how to set goals but most importantly, how to achieve these goals!

Then set the standard that once they sign up, they need to attend, without complaining, and that quitting is not an option until the goals you have set for your child have been reached (next competition, next grading...). I can guarantee you that when they get their brand new belt or do well in competition, they suddenly feel a lot more enthusiastic about their training! Always remember that in a Taekwondo school, we NEVER GIVE UP! If your child is giving you a hard time about coming to class, speak to your instructor. They can help to reinforce the importance of coming to class and to discover any problems your child might be having.