A lot, if you value your physical health!
Tae Kwon Do is Korean Karate. It means The Way of the Hand and
Foot (punching and kicking). There are basically four sections
to the art: Toning, Sparring, Forms and Self Defense.
It is a well rounded exercise program that encompasses muscle
toning, stretching and flexibility, increasing strength and
stamina through aerobic sparring and mental challenges through
becoming proficient at the patterns or forms.
Most classes start out with warm-ups. These exercises are the
calisthenics such as push ups, sit ups, jumping jacks, trunk
rotations, squat kicks and various leg stretches. For certain
you will tighten your abs and strengthen your arms just from
performing the warm-up exercises. Before you know it, youíll be
doing fifty knuckle or triangle push-ups at rapid-fire pace and
will be able to lean up against a wall and have someone lift your
leg up so that your toes touch the wall behind your ear. Tae Kwon
Do will definitely help you to become or to stay limber.
Sparring is fighting in a controlled environment. Itís not
street fighting and all participants wear protective gear:
helmet, gloves, shin guards and feet guards, called kicks.
Usually you will spar in three minute rounds. Itís basically
kick boxing. Then a minute rest; switch partners, then spar
again and repeat. You will get extremely hot and sweaty. Jab,
punch, upper cut, side kick, reverse punch, round house, hammer
fist, bob and weave and repeat. Itís an excellent aerobic
Learning the forms or patterns can really tax your brain. Many
of the forms have 26+ different movements. Itís your job to
remember them, in order, and learn them proficiently. In theory,
by learning the forms, itíll help you to become a better fighter.
For example, one form might start out: high block, front kick
punch left; high block front kick punch right. Turn 90 degrees,
down the center, knife hand left, knife hand right, knife hand
left, spear hand. And so it goes. If you master these, when it
comes time to spar, you can implement some of these patterns into
Many people enjoy Tae Kwon Do, or any martial arts for that
matter, because it is an all inclusive exercise program. Itís
fun, itís challenging, and itís an excellent way to get in or to
stay in shape. As with any exercise program, start slowly and
consult your physician. If you havenít participated in much
physical exercise in a while, your muscles will definitely be
very sore for the first few weeks. Donít be intimidated by the
other students may appear to be in better shape that you are.
Everyone started out as a white belt. Just have fun; and get
The information contained in this article is for educational purposes
only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any
disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any
health care program.
About the Author
Emily Clark is editor at Lifestyle Health News and Medical Health News
where you can find the most up-to-date advice and information on
many medical, health and lifestyle topics.
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