Like any other physical activity, the practice of Taekwon-do require a previous conditioning of the body to avoid possible injuries and to improve the performance.
In this Martial Art and due the total use of the body in its techniques’ development which include jumping and movements in all directions, demands an specific and previous physical conditioning.
Many times a wrong interpretation of this phase leads to give more importance to the aerobic aspect over the real conditioning of the body to improve the efficiency.
It is common that some instructors give the order to run at the beginning of the activity as a preceding warming up exercise. The curiosity is, that in aerobics’ training their specialists suggest a previous conditioning of the body with stretching and muscle exercises before properly running.
The aerobic capacity is important, however this is a target to reach once the body is prepared to move into the specific technical aspect of this discipline.
The movements to perform the routine are already established. About it, the basic exercises inherent to this activity to warming up the body are unavoidable. After the mentioned routine it is possible to include other exercises which will be used as a complement.
The basic and traditional routine of warming up exercises was designed and proved for a better development of the practitioners in different aspects of the Art, in which must be included the muscle stretching and joint’s flexibility exercises.
Sometimes, this traditional and basic routine is putted aside and replaced by exercises used in other physical activities. Probably many of them can be added to our traditional routine with good results, but never as a replacement of those.
The warming up routines utilized in other physical activities (kick boxing, boxing, aerobic, etc) are specifically designed for these sports because they are a basic support in that activities’ development.
It is necessary to remember that the biomechanical of Taekwon-do’s techniques are distinctive.
Many people wrongly believe that all fighting systems are the same, without taking into consideration that in this global concept, they’re mixing different sports combat systems with martial arts and their different purposes.
The techniques used in sportive sparring are not more than 8 or 9. Taekwon-do holds almost 3200.
In the sportive combat it is a rule not to cause serious damage to the opponent. In real self defense the intention is totally opposed. This dissimilar intention imposes a different preparing of the body to train psychophysically the diverse techniques to apply.
The real self defense is usually almost anaerobic. The sport combat must always include the aerobic capacity of the athlete. The difference between the mentioned circumstances is remarkable, then, so will be the special conditioning of the body.
Taekwon-do makes it’s necessary to prepare the body to train a Martial Art with the practice and development of all its techniques, which will demand the basic warming up exercises already designed for this specific use.
It is more, many injuries suffered by the students occurred due a wrong warming up routine.
In the sportive phase, the athletes will add to the basic original routine other exercises designed to gain speed and continuity in their application.
In its implementation, the aerobic capacity must be taken into consideration because in this phase the confrontation will be longer than in real self defense actions, but of course under less risky circumstances.
The practitioner’s evolution in the technical aspect will be conditioned to the right information received about biomechanics. However to acquire it without injuries, the use of the already mentioned basic routine in warming up exercises is unavoidable.
Senior Grand Master Ricardo Desimone IX DAN
To be actualized, read again the previous notes