Taekwondo, a martial arts discipline that is grueling and challenging, yet highly rewarding for those who demonstrate a resounding commitment to its self-defense practices, can be learned by people of all ages.
Although some might feel tentative about joining a Taekwondo class for a variety of reasons, whether it concerns their age, physical condition, or mental strength, there are many ways to prepare beforehand.
Jin Suh, a Taekwondo Grand Master and the founder of High-Performance Martial Arts in Bayside, New York, shares some advice and words of inspiration for all Taekwondo beginners.
Many of the techniques involved in Taekwondo take considerable time to master, Grand Master Jin Suh states, and beginners will need to be patiently persistent in their efforts. One practice session simply won’t turn you into an expert because your body has to first become accustomed to the unique movements. Treat the first lesson as a learning experience, continue your training, and develop the skills at your own pace. After a few years of dedication, the movements will come naturally, almost instinctively, to you during training.
Focus on Your Own Progress
A spirit of competition amongst friends or family members who attend Taekwondo classes together is a common, acceptable occurrence, but problems may arise when it breeds comparisons, according to Jin Suh. All beginners will progress steadily and, despite the fact that other students may grasp concepts quicker, it is crucial to concentrate on your own trajectory. When you compare yourself to others and realize that perhaps you are advancing at a somewhat slower pace, it can be deflating. Remember, it is a process and, more importantly, it only relates to your personal progression.
Taekwondo is intense and, at times, painful for students, which is why Grand Master Jin Suh recommends that beginners allow their bodies to sufficiently rest and recover between sessions. Overtraining the body is physically and mentally taxing, especially in martial arts, as every single muscle is being exercised. Soreness is an indicator that your body has immensely exerted itself, making it necessary to allow ample time to heal up prior to the next lesson. You can always train to a lesser extent, if you prefer, rather than sitting out entirely when the muscles are aching. By learning to recover smartly, you afford yourself every opportunity of attaining long-term consistency in Taekwondo.
Keep it Lighthearted and Fun
While the training and constant practice of Taekwondo will be exhausting, be sure to enjoy the experience as often as possible. Overall, you should take a degree of pleasure from the workouts, concentrating on the journey first and your belt color second. Work tirelessly, persevere, and listen to your instructor; as you do that, keep yourself in good spirits and treat yourself kindly, as you would in any other pursuit. Your mind will certainly grow in its resilience and, in being aware of the satisfaction received from the experiences, the physical displays will be a direct reflection of that.