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At-Home Training #5

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Bed Time! Here are some exercises that you can do at home. All you need is a bed.

Bed Push Ups! Put your hands on the bed and your feet on the floor. See if you can do 10 push ups!

Overachievers: Do the push ups with your feet on the bed and your hands on the floor. Good luck!

Bed Bridge! Put your feet on the floor and your hands on the bed and see if you can do a bridge.

Overachievers: Try to doing a front kick while you’re in that bridge. Good luck!

Bed Fists! Grab a blanket in your hand and make as tight a fist as you can around it. Open and close 10 times, then try the other hand. Now try making a tight fist without the blanket. Open and close 10 times, both hands.

Overachievers: Instead a blanket, use a pillow. Good luck!

Bed Kicks! Stand facing the bed, and throw a front kick over it. Don’t kick the bed! Pick three between front kicks, roundhouse kicks, side kicks, and hook kicks, and do 10 each leg. Send me a picture or video of your best kick. If I like it, I’ll send you a picture too. The picture I send you will probably be really dumb, so you’d better not send me a good kick.

Overachievers: The closer you stand to the bed, the more challenging it is to do. See what you can do!

Bed Punches! Put your pillow right in the middle of the bed and sit down right in front of the pillow. Set a timer for 30 seconds and see how many times you can punch down into the pillow. Count them, and tell me how many you did. If you can do at least 30, I’ll put a picture on the Facebook page telling everyone how awesome you are and give you a point on the board. No wimpy punches!

Overachievers: After your 30 seconds, take a break for 30 seconds, and then try another 30 seconds. See if you can do even more than the first time!

Bed Eggs! Do 10 egg rolls on the bed. Remember to hold onto your shins and keep your chin tucked!

Overachievers: Use your arms to stop your roll like you’re practicing your falls.

Bed Stretch! Stretch anything you want, and make sure you breathe deeply and slowly.

Overachievers: Make sure you do one or two stretches that are especially difficult for you.

Bed Sleep! Get a good night’s sleep and dream pleasant dreams about taekwondo.

Overachievers: Dream pleasant dreams about taekwondo in Korean.


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At-Home Training #4

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If class weren’t canceled today, it would be a form class. For this particular lesson, I want to explore stances a little bit.

First off, stances aren’t really stances. We think of stances as being a position that you adopt and hold firm, but in the martial arts a stance is nothing like that. Stances are momentary snapshots of positions that are useful in self defense. It’s the movement BETWEEN the stances that is what’s really important.

Part 1

Try this. Starting from a left-foot-forward front stance. See how many different ways you can step into a new front stance. Keep your head level (not bouncing up and down) and keep your movement smooth. Then switch feet and try the other side. Here are some ideas:

  • step forward into a right-foot-forward front stance
  • step to face the right in a right-foot-forward front stance
  • step to face the back in a right-foot-forward front stance
  • step to face the left in a left-foot-forward front stance
  • step straight back (still facing the front) with a right-foot-forward front stance

Part 2

Try them all again with back stances instead of front stances.

Part 3

Try them all again starting in a front stance but ending in a back stance .

Part 4

Try them all again starting in a back stance but ending in a front stance.

Part 5

Overachievers: Try it with a book balanced on your head.


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At-Home Training #3

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Hope everyone had a great weekend! If class weren’t canceled today, it would be a sparring class. You can’t really practice sparring at home without a sparring partner, but you can learn some things to improve your sparring skills.

First, watch this sparring match.

There are a lot of interesting things about this match.

  • This is a national championship, and both fighters badly want to win, but they are respectful toward each other and toward the judges.
  • The fighter in the red helmet is taller (and probably a little older) but the fighter in the blue helmet maintains a lead through most of the match. Remember: the smaller, younger kid can win!
  • At 0:40, you can see how both of them are light and quick on their feet. They’re not flat-footed. That makes them able to move faster to attack and to get out of the way of the other kid’s attacks.
  • At 0:57, you can see the red fighter attacking with a roundhouse kick and the blue fighter defending by spinning for a fast back kick. Remember trying that in class? Think you can be that fast?
  • At 1:25, the red fighter tries to start off a combination with a spinning kick. At 1:40, the blue fighter tries the same thing. Both of these kicks miss because you have to be a LOT faster than your opponent for that to work, and both of these kids are pretty fast. Spinning kicks are much easier to land in the middle of a combination, or as a counter.
  • At 2:43, in the second round, the red fighter is a lot more aggressive. He starts scoring a lot more points. He keeps moving forward and the blue fighter keeps moving backwards. But the blue fighter is really good at scoring while moving backwards (even though that’s harder than moving forward) so he is able to win the match.

But the biggest thing I want you to notice about this match is that both of these fighters are really good at footwork.

Try this:

  • Get in a fighting stance, and bounce in place. Try to be really light on your feet so you can move quickly.
  • Try moving forward an backwards. Try to be FAST when you do it.
  • Try moving from side to side. Again, try to be FAST.
  • Switch feet, and do it all again.

Now it’s time to add some strikes.

  • Shuffle forward, and throw two punches, one to the head and one to the body. 10x each foot.
  • Shuffle to the right and throw a left leg roundhouse kick. 10x, then try the other side.
  • Shuffle backwards and throw a front leg side kick. 10x each foot.

Overachievers: Watch this sparring match. What kind of attacks do the fighters favor? What would you do if your opponent attacked you that way? What would be the hardest thing to overcome in sparring someone who fights like that? How would you overcome it?


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