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#226522 - 01/29/06 09:24 PM TKD student very concerned with dojang, advice pls
CoLa Offline
Newbie

Registered: 01/29/06
Posts: 7
Hello everyone I am new to posting on this forum but I have viewed it multiple times in my conquest of general martial arts knowledge.

I have been training in TKD since October and recently received my Orange belt. I live in Michigan and the weather parallels Korea quite well so it is predominately TKD around here. Initially I was very hesitant to learn this art as I wasn't sure if it was what I was looking for. Luckily a Dojang opened within a stonesthrow of my house and it offered Hapkido as well so I joined curiously.

In retrospect I couldn't imagine training in another martial art first, I have an insane amount of respect for TKD teachers and practioners as well as the art itself. I hope to make it my base martial art for the rest of my life.

I've started taking things so seriously Ive been centering everything in my life around betting my mental growth and physical health. It is a great feeling. In this quest for my personal pleateau of mental growth I have done as much reading as I possibly can everyday about TKD, stretching, martial arts, eating... just everything. I believe that there is so much information out there it would be ignorant to just take what my Dojang teaches or this or that guy, I would prefer to learn from everyone and combine the most effective.

Now I am extremly pleased with my Dojang and GrandMaster Kim. Master Kim (he gets insulted by his grandmaster title as he is quite young for the rank, a comedian also ) is quite an experienced 7th level instructor and teaches as if we were in Korea (where he spent most of his life). I couldn't ask for a better teacher and it definitely aids in my quest for greatness.

In my 4 months of training I've started to show improvements in every way. Less stiff, greater flexibility, blah blah all the stuff that should happen. Unforutnately one area still alludes me... splits.
Not only can I not achieve them but I can't seem to get good enough progress. Thus I've done much research and tried new stretches but nothing is helping. Not to mention the instructors at this school like to use wall stretches (where a partner stretches your legs with his against a wall and try to basically force a good stretch)

This has always worried me but I just shrugged it off as being scared. Now after doing research it seems this may not be the best method as well as many things my dojang is doing.Thomas Kurz, author of Stretching Scientifically, Secrets of Stretching speaks of dynamic stretching etc etc.

Now I've always been familiar with dynamic stretching etc.. but I didn't realize that isometric stretching can actually hinder your kicking and aid in injuries? He also states jumping jacks are detrimental and have no purpose. My dojang is huge on endurance/conditioning - pushups,situps,jumping jacks till your eyes bleed. We also like most dojangs I'd assume do 30-40 minutes worth of isometric stretching and joint rotating before all workouts. Sometimes classes go 2-3 hours of strenuous sparring practice, kicking practice etc..

My concern now is I have this great instructor and two student instructors who may know the art extremly well may not know the important things such as stretching / warming up as well as I had hoped.

I am such a newbie to this area that I don't know if I am just freaking out or if I should consult them and say hey perhaps jumping jacks isn't a good warmup, perhaps isometric stretching should be replaced with dynamic stretches and we can so the isometrics after class? I feel this would not only be disrespectful but wouldn't sound right coming from a newly rank'd orange belt.

I'm very concerned and would appreciate if anyone could shed any light on the subject. Sorry if this post is too long. The basic jist is I couldn't make adequate progress with the splits so I started doing research to see what was hindering me and came across a pleathora of proper technique informations.

Bottom line is I dont' want to spend 20-30 hours a week training if I am only going to damage my joints/tendons and possibly injure/tear muscles in the future.

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#226523 - 01/29/06 11:19 PM Re: TKD student very concerned with dojang, advice [Re: CoLa]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
CoLa you have found something very common in most martial arts. I also picked up Kurz's book and took it upon myself to stretch in the mornings with dynamic stretching. I also took it upon myself to stretch prior to class with dynamic stretching. The results were very beneficial and my body was the better for it because "I" took it upon myself to do things right.

I would never question my instructor about this and I know he has read the book and has the video but we don't follow the book's format. I don't suspect you would want to discuss this with your Instructor either so take it upon yourself to stretch properly prior to class.

Splits ... very ... very ... very over rated. You don't need to do the splits in order to be a good martial artists so don't put any pressure on yourself to do so. I will never be able to do the splits and I personally no longer try. I make sure I'm limber and have stretched properly and that is all I need. I in fact am less flexible then most but that does not stop me from kicking somebody. I may struggle with roundhouse kicks to the head but I can front kick them and jump and roundhouse them to the head if needed. Heck there are odd times I can kick head height ... when I'm not really trying and just kick.

If you goal is to do the splits then work at it but realize that this is only your goal and is not detrimental to martial arts. Stretch properly before class so that when you do the other stretches your body is ready for them. It is your body and it is up to YOU to take care of it.

I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying yourself and congrads on your recent promotion. I hope you have a long fullfilled life with martial arts.
_________________________
"IF I COME ... I'M BRINGING THE PAIN WITH ME"

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#226524 - 01/30/06 02:04 AM Re: TKD student very concerned with dojang, advice [Re: Dereck]
Mr_Heretik Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/20/05
Posts: 1074
Loc: Bronx NY, USA
^Ummm...yeah what he said. I was in a similiar scenario and now I just stretch before class.

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#226525 - 01/30/06 05:18 AM Re: TKD student very concerned with dojang, advice [Re: CoLa]
Kysogkram Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/06
Posts: 137
Loc: Denmark
So, you couldn't do a split in 4 months and your progress wasn't as fast as you'd like .

I'm sorry, but expecting to do a split in 4 months is pretty optimistic. One thing martial arts should teach you is that everything takes hard work and patience. And your progress will vary in different periods of your training. It's quite natural to progress fast early on, to slow down a bit when you've been training for a while.

It's typical in modern society (and perhaps even more so in the states) to expect a quick fix without too much hassle, in this instance provided by Mr. Kurz.

On the whole dynamic stretching vs. static stretching thing. First of all, dynamic stretching probably won't help you achieve doing the split.

Second, in my opinion the whole Kurz thing is being hyped a bit too much. I mean, there are thousands of martial artists, who have achieved great flexibility using only passive stretching. So to say that doing passive stretching is detrimental to your flexibility is, in my opinion, way off.

That being said, I do use dynamic stretching myself, so I'm not trying to say it doesn't work, I just find the "dynamic stretching is the end all of stretching" mindset silly. I use it because the more you stretch the better, so I combine it with passive stretching. Both have worked for me.

Jumping jacks are detrimental and have no purpose?! I'm sorry but that really is a load of crap. The one thing that you could call detrimental about jumping jacks is that they're hard on your knees. However anyone with an ounce of common sense should be able to see that they most certainly help conditioning.

So just keep on training, do dynamic stretches on your own if you feel that they're working. Have patience and train hard and you should be doing the splits, headkicks, and whatever you want in due time if you work hard.

And while I believe Kurz has some good things to say, I also believe he has to sell books, so take what you can use, and don't believe everything you read .
_________________________
meh.

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#226526 - 01/30/06 11:23 AM Re: TKD student very concerned with dojang, advice [Re: Kysogkram]
CoLa Offline
Newbie

Registered: 01/29/06
Posts: 7
Awesome, thanks for the input everyone appreciate the advice.

Thank you Kysogkram.. execellent points.. How can my grandmaster and his students have obtained splits on chairs etc.. if their warm-ups for years have been detrimental.

I'm not concerned with the fact I haven't reached the splits in 4 months... I was concerned that everything I've done with stretching has improved ten-fold yet my splits barely improved even small gains of an inch. This just provoked research to make sure I was doing things correctly and after I found out this new pleathorea of information it kind of freaked me out.

I'm going to shut my mouth and get back to training, thanks again everyone.

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#226527 - 01/30/06 10:43 PM Re: TKD student very concerned with dojang, advice [Re: Kysogkram]
Mr_Heretik Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/20/05
Posts: 1074
Loc: Bronx NY, USA
Quote:

So, you couldn't do a split in 4 months and your progress wasn't as fast as you'd like .

I'm sorry, but expecting to do a split in 4 months is pretty optimistic. One thing martial arts should teach you is that everything takes hard work and patience. And your progress will vary in different periods of your training. It's quite natural to progress fast early on, to slow down a bit when you've been training for a while.

It's typical in modern society (and perhaps even more so in the states) to expect a quick fix without too much hassle, in this instance provided by Mr. Kurz.

On the whole dynamic stretching vs. static stretching thing. First of all, dynamic stretching probably won't help you achieve doing the split.

Second, in my opinion the whole Kurz thing is being hyped a bit too much. I mean, there are thousands of martial artists, who have achieved great flexibility using only passive stretching. So to say that doing passive stretching is detrimental to your flexibility is, in my opinion, way off.

That being said, I do use dynamic stretching myself, so I'm not trying to say it doesn't work, I just find the "dynamic stretching is the end all of stretching" mindset silly. I use it because the more you stretch the better, so I combine it with passive stretching. Both have worked for me.

Jumping jacks are detrimental and have no purpose?! I'm sorry but that really is a load of crap. The one thing that you could call detrimental about jumping jacks is that they're hard on your knees. However anyone with an ounce of common sense should be able to see that they most certainly help conditioning.

So just keep on training, do dynamic stretches on your own if you feel that they're working. Have patience and train hard and you should be doing the splits, headkicks, and whatever you want in due time if you work hard.

And while I believe Kurz has some good things to say, I also believe he has to sell books, so take what you can use, and don't believe everything you read .




Never saw it that way myself

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