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.