Friday, November 7, 2014

Driving By and Wondering "What is Colorado Taekwondo?"

By Ian Randall, 1st dan

When someone drives past the one of the schools of the Colorado Taekwondo Institute, including the Westminster school, and sees "Taekwondo” they probably don’t think much of it, or think of the typical martial arts stereotypes. This can be expected, as the deeper benefits of Taekwondo cannot be seen unless experienced for an extended period of time. They do not envision how Taekwondo could help with concentration, balance, eye hand coordination, or even dealing with certain disabilities.

When I first started Taekwondo, I did not see these hidden benefits, and did not for a few years. The aspects of Taekwondo that I have benefited the most from have been balance, strength, and hand eye coordination. These have assisted me most with basketball.

In Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo, there is a large variety of kicks which require balance, control, and concentration. The act of rising out of a front stance, pivoting the front foot, locking out a side kick, and re-chambering the kick without stumbling is challenging and demands these skills. These skills are not only applicable in Taekwondo, but in basketball as well. Being able to dribble full speed, stop on a dime, and shoot a jumper with a hand in your face is very difficult and demands great body control. Practicing the basic kicks of Taekwondo consistently over the past 11 years has given me the ability to do this. They have given me the balance to stop on a dime, the body control not to fade away from the basket once I am airborne, and the concentration to remain poised and focused on the basket with a defender inches away.

Taekwondo has also helped me with core, upper body, hand, and leg strength. The sit-ups and abdominal work we do every class helps with balance on kicks and tight stomachs in breaking. The tricep push-ups give us great upper body strength and help improve speed on our punches. Fingertip push-ups strengthen the fingers, enabling us to have tighter han
ds. Holding low stances in basics and poomse also help with leg strength. All of these benefits are needed in basketball as well. The abdominal and upper body strength helps me get past a more physical, larger, and more athletic defender. The hand and finger strength enables me to have a better grip on the ball while helping prevent jammed fingers. The added leg strength makes me more explosive while preventing fatigue after I have been in a low stance for an extended period of time.

Taekwondo has helped me improve my hand eye coordination as well. In Taekwondo, hand eye coordination is demanded for punches, kicks, or hitting an exact target in sparring or breaking. This is easily translated into skills needed in basketball such as: ball handling, shooting, catching, and throwing on target passes.

Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo has countless benefits, but it’s easy transition of skills from sport to sport is very obvious. Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo and it’s time tested routines have given me balance to be the shooter I am today, the strength to be faster and more explosive, and the eye hand coordination to be a great ball handler as well.

So the next time you drive past the Westminster school of the Colorado Taekwondo Institute martial arts school, think of one of the positive aspects training can give you or a family member.

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