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Taekwondo Gets Better With Age!

by Bob
(Sterling Heights, MI.)

I am a 57 year old Kukkiwon Certified 4th dan training and teaching at a dojang that places emphasis on WTF Olympic style sparring. With age, my legs no longer have that youthful spring and compounding the mobility challenge is a touch of arthritis. How then do I train at a WTF Olympic style dojang?

First thing is to remove ego from the training equation by letting go of the need to out class other students. Hopefully, with rank comes wisdom. Learn to refine your techniques for ease of execution and practical self-defense. Keep in mind that all the aerial techniques that the youthful student performs are for demonstration only and should not be applied to a self-defense situation.

Taekwondo as a martial art is designed for self-defense and with this in mind, there is no need to be able to perform jump spinning hook kicks. In fact, it would be very risky in a self-defense situation and has low probability of successfully ending a hostile confrontation.

If possible, find another student to practice self-defense and one-step sparring, wear protective gear and through your techniques as hard as possible without injuring your partner. Practice defense against an attack utilizing only footwork and blocking. This is an important aspect of self-defense, avoid solid contact from the attacker.

Counter attack with knife hand, hammer fist, back fist, finger strike to the eyes, elbows, knees, etc., etc., etc... Most WTF Olympic style schools don't teach the limitless self- defense techniques that are the foundation of the martial art.

Get back to basics and above all else, enjoy the experience!

Tremendous wisdom contained here Master Bob. Thank you for sharing it with all of us!

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