The Tao of Taekwondo

Notes and reflections from a deeper practice of traditional taekwondo

Monday, January 21, 2008

Solo training

Worked solo in the dojang yesterday, focussing on my tornado kicks and spinning hook kicks. Did the following:

  • Warm up drills
  • Black belt patterns and Tae Geuk 8-5. Took a break between each pattern went to the standing bag to work on palm strikes. Three sets of straight, upper cut and roundhouse palm strikes, 10 each arm. Followed this with a one minute beserker session on the bag.
  • Stretched
  • Worked tornado kicks by breaking the kick down did several sets of the following drills:
    • Lifting the rear leg and moving up to the front leg and holding that position.
    • Lifting the rear leg and corkscrewing it around the front leg.
    • Same exercise but landing the plant foot in the pivot, to turn the hips.
    • Timing the front leg kick with the landing of the plant foot.
    • Putting it all togther
  • I discovered that my tornado kick was faster, much more stable and incredibly powerful, even on my troublesome left side. Still had trouble judging distance with my left leg...I tend to crowd the target on that side.
  • After this I adopted the same spinning technique to spinning hook kicks, knocking a target off the top of the standing bag, placed at chin level. Much better control and accuracy.
  • Finished with strengthening exercises including squat sets, 50 sit ups and a one minute plank. Was shaky at the end of that.
  • Stretched and went for a hike which involved lots of ducking under fallen trees. I used this opportunity to do some twisting squats! Nature is my gym!
Solo training is a test of one's resolve and discipline. Lorne Christensen says that our tired mind, lazy body and apathetic spirit want to keep us from training when we known that we should otherwise. Perseverance means sticking with the commitment to improve, to notice what needs working on and going ahead and taking care of it. If mastery comes from executing a technique 10,000 times, it will take years to accomplish that in two classes a week. I find solo training to be an inspiring way to keep with my commitment to improve.

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