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#312340 - 01/04/07 01:07 PM Relaxation of the body (ITF forms related)
sgtZipper Offline

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 25
Loc: the Netherlands
Hi again, I've heard lots of comments on my techniques while performing forms and I really have no idea how to train myself. I'm asking you, for maybe some of you may have experienced the same problem.
Ok, here's the main problem: When performing tuls (or 'loose' techniques) I get comments on my 'tensed' look. I get this comment from almost every master I meet haha.
Master P.Hargess (8th dan, from Scotland) said I looked angry while performing the Do-San tul (although I am not).
I try to relax my body inbetween the movements (before impact), but somehow people read I'm tensed from my body language.
I got hints like: perform a tul in front of a mirror;
excecute the techniques in slow motion (or without impact);
use a squashball (or any ball that dents when squeezing it) while punching or blocking, try not to dent it 'til impact.
I've tried these things, but they've had little succes.
Do you guys know another way, also for me to notice I'm tensed? Because I just don't notice myself... Thanks in advance...

Maybe I should get some relaxation pills or marihuana... just kiddin'

Edited by sgtZipper (01/04/07 01:11 PM)

#312341 - 01/04/07 05:48 PM Re: Relaxation of the body (ITF forms related) [Re: sgtZipper]
ITFunity Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/15/06
Posts: 2053
yES. I would advise you to forget about patterns. If you have been following the other advice given & still can not solve your problem, you have to step back.
Forget about patterns!
For the time being, concentrate on fundamental movements. The key will be to perform them in isolation, one technique at a time. It is imperative you do them using targets. Have someone hold them (targets) then perform your strike or block. You must try to execute each technique with maximum power. Afterwards, immediately relax. Go soft, loosen up. If you can do this & see/feef/realize the difference, then pick up the pace.
Relax, speed, max power, completely relax & repeat. If you are using the focus pads/targets correctly & then go limp, you will see what they are correctly asking you to do.

#312342 - 01/07/07 09:49 PM Re: Relaxation of the body (ITF forms related) [Re: ITFunity]
tkd_dude Offline

Registered: 01/03/07
Posts: 23
Loc: Overland Park, KS
I've sometimes have that same problem. I'm also a trumpet player, and that makes breathing sort of my thing. I would suggest just trying to put all of your movements to counts, and try to breathe to the counts that you establish. Also, if you start to feel tense, just stop. Stop, breath, do whatever it takes to relax, but I'd stay away from the mary jane.

#312343 - 01/07/07 11:08 PM Re: Relaxation of the body (ITF forms related) [Re: sgtZipper]
jonnyboxcutter Offline

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 320
Funny, I have been contemplating starting a thread on just this. I am currently struggling with getting a few students to relax. Since it's teaching a feeling it's a hard concept to pass on Ė at least I am struggling with it.

Can I ask how long have you been training?
Not that it matters really; some people donít ever seem to ďget itĒ Iím just curious.

For me, it was breaking that flipped the switch. The worst part for me is it was learned through my own experimentation, it was not something I learned in class via verbal instruction so I have no idea how to pass it along to others.

One suggestion I would make is slow down to the point of no power at all. Be completely relaxed as you slowly make your move, slowly exhaling as you go. The slow motion should permit you the ability to maintain full control over your muscles keeping them relaxed. As you reach the end of your technique tighten every muscle violently and at the same time exhale the remaining breath. The second you tighten relax and inhale. Then repeat.

I may not be explaining this very well but in my mind itís similar to what ITFUnity is talking about but with out targets. The only reason Iím suggest leaving out the targets is so you can focus only on your movements. Once you get the muscle memory down have some one watch your forms and see if they note any improvements. Honestly though, once you start to figure it out you wont need any outside input, the difference should sufficient that you would recognize it yourself Ė possibly even before anyone else.

One other thing that seemed to help me out a bit, get some small candles and try to put them out with a punch. If done correctly it works well, but if there is any tension at all you wont even make it flicker. You would need to extrapolate from there how to apply it to other techniques but that shouldnít be too hard.

One thing that I had to tell my students was this. You are trying to radically modify the way you move your body. You will experience power increases and power losses Ė some can be very dramatic. This is to be expected - when you are experiencing the power gains try to figure out what you did, and repeat. But donít get discouraged during the power losses, there always seems to be a better technique at the end of those spells.

Hope that helps
-- -JBC-

#312344 - 01/07/07 11:42 PM Re: Relaxation of the body (ITF forms related) [Re: jonnyboxcutter]
ITFunity Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/15/06
Posts: 2053

I may not be explaining this very well but in my mind itís similar to what ITFUnity is talking about but with out targets. The only reason Iím suggest leaving out the targets is so you can focus only on your movements.

This is a good point. Thanks - I am sorry I didn't include it. Yes, break it all down to the very simple. Lets us know how it works out.
What does your instructor say?

#312345 - 01/08/07 12:29 AM Re: Relaxation of the body (ITF forms related) [Re: ITFunity]
clmibb Offline

Registered: 08/31/06
Posts: 1035
Loc: South Texas, US
Sometimes people will look tense due to body language like you had stated. Some of the things that you can do to make yourself appear less tense is to relax your shoulders (some people bunch their shoulders up when doing their forms) and to hold your head up higher. I've seen several students through the years go through this. I had them do their form and stopped them at each move and reminded them to relax their shoulders and pick their head up. The habit broke in a few weeks. Try to get someone to watch you do your forms and ask them if you are bunching up your shoulders and have them stop you during your form if you are and remind you until the habit is broken. Hope it helps!

"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."- Ronald Reagan

#312346 - 01/08/07 01:23 AM Re: Relaxation of the body (ITF forms related) [Re: sgtZipper]
BulldogTKD Offline

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 294
I replyed to a post on how to get speed in punching and kicking. The same type of training will help you. If you have questions about that post let me know and I will try to elaberate.

#312347 - 01/09/07 01:52 PM Re: Relaxation of the body (ITF forms related) [Re: BulldogTKD]
Ads Offline

Registered: 01/02/07
Posts: 37
I too used to get those comments, and occasionally still do depending on how I perform the pattern. So by trying giving methods to come to grips with the comments being thrown at me by higher grades, I started the following regime.
I'll start by going through slowly with no power and totally loose. Then I'll add speed and do it double speed but with no power, which also works as a great warm up. Then i'll add full power but slow it down kind of like dynamic tension. Then i balance the speed and power 50/50. Then full power and full speed before finally doing it at a normal pace asif in a grading. This way works well for me as it acts as a warm up, high cardio and strength training regime.

I also do other variations where I perform a pattern, do twenty pushups, do the next pattern followed by 20 situps and vary the exercise and qty after each pattern. But thats a different topic.

#312348 - 01/09/07 02:19 PM Re: Relaxation of the body (ITF forms related) [Re: jonnyboxcutter]
GriffyGriff Offline
Good Egg,

Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 414
Loc: Earth
I would also suggest practising your Tuls in a very relaxed manner. (Initially), forget about the block being a block and a punch being a punch, it is all just movements. Just breathe slowly, keep your head up and your eyes not focused on anything around you. (sound strange, I know). What I am trying to suggest is that you go through the movements with a slow, rythmic sense of your own space (Like those who perform Tai Chi).

Once you have the "Feel" of the movements required, then start to add a snap of power at the end of a technique and then relax again.

If it helps, practise your tuls in a darkened room or with gentle relaxing music. (Yes I did used to live near

Work on noticing the space you move through and the angles of the directional changes for a while. Notice the change of Centre-lines from Gunnan Sogi to Niunja Sogi and back.

Hope that helps...
(It helped me, I feel kinda mellow now).
I am NOT homophobic... I am NOT afraid of my own house!

#312349 - 01/12/07 05:42 AM Re: Relaxation of the body (ITF forms related) [Re: GriffyGriff]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
I'd agree with Griffy. my sabum used to go mad if we just 'danced' through tuls but sometimes it was good for getting relaxed and getting a rhythym.

Another suggestion, perhaps look where you are trying to generate power from. Sometimes in tuls people forget to start the power generation from the waist/lower regions and just do it from the upper torso, shoulders etc (similar to some singers and trumpet players breathing from the top of the chest).

From my limited knowledge of sine-wave it might look and feel that this is generated from the shoulders but it is probably generated initially from the tan-den, waist etc. Try this slowly and gently, to make sure you're doing it. It might relax you a bit (anything waist generated feels pretty sexy!).
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

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