That Sport Called Taekwondo

February 19, 2014

At first glance, Taekwondo looks like a lot of people in baggy, white pyjamas jumping about and making strange noises… not the sport for your average couch-potato that’s for sure!

Spotting chest armour and head guards lying around various kit bags dropped off by the regulars, I had the nasty feeling that I’d end up on my bottom, resembling a beached turtle before I could count to five.

Thankfully, I was proved wrong, as despite the pyjama-clad appearance, Taekwondo wasn’t actually that hard to grasp. Sure, the higher grades (who’d have thought it, people over 50 being able to dance rings around a athletic Adonis like me!!) make it look almost effortless but, thankfully, the basics were easy to grasp and make it ideal for potential beginners like you and me. 

The bigger you are (hooray for me!) the more power you have behind your techniques; I found myself making a punch bag set up to practice kicks on (we practised one called a Bit Chagi) jump around all over its support. The feeling when seeing myself as a rank amateur move something about with a technique I had only learnt a scant ten minutes ago was incredibly satisfying, and did wonders for my confidence and I found myself on a slight high for a good few hours after the session came to end. This alone would make me recommend it to anyone who fancies trying out a sport which is slightly out of left field. 

The most impressive part of the lesson came at the end however. It turns out that part of the Taekwondo curriculum is what’s called “board breaking”. It’s as simple as it sounds…. or at least it sounded easy. The beginner board could in all honestly looks like it could be snapped by a child, but the board designed for when you want your black belt is three times thicker, and much, much harder to triumph over as we evidenced by the higher grades having trouble, who had made everything look borderline effortless beforehand.

Overall though, Taekwondo was an enjoyable experience, and I came away feeling happy with what I had achieved in around an hour and a quarter. No longer people in silly looking pyjamas, but a uniform designed to add a snap to an already impressive sport. However, I still can’t pronounce Tie-quan-doe…

[Video coming soon…]

By James Shirtliff – our Man V Sport Blogger.