There are many reasons to join a Taekwondo class. Some children are inspired by television shows and will need to discover the difference between actors on wires and flying through the air and real moves. Others are in it for the physical fitness or because their families have been in martial arts. Children join with their friends and classmates and adults join as a way to work out with a friendlier community than the gym crowd.
Whether you're six or sixty, there is always a place in a taekwondo dojo for someone who respects the art and wants to learn. Now the real challenge is for you to figure out how to be a stellar student and get the most out of your taekwondo class time.
1) Be Hydrated
Whenever you're planning to exercise, no matter what kind of exercise, it's important to start and stay hydrated. Because most martial arts classes do not have a policy of water bottles on the mat, this means you'll want to take every opportunity to stay hydrated. Drink a glass of water before you come to class or snag a few gulps from the water fountain before class. If your class has a mid-point break, make sure to grab some water from a fountain or a water bottle in your bag and hydrate again after class.
2) Clip Your Nails
For the most part, people in your taekwondo class don't care how you do your hair as long as it's out of the way. They don't care what kind of socks you wear on the mat or if you go in barefoot. They don't care whether or not you wear makeup or wristbands or have straight teeth. What they do care is that you don't accidentally cause an injury with nails left a few days too long uncut. While when you cut your nails is mostly a private matter, be courteous to your classmates and make sure no one loses an eye.
3) Get to Class On Time
The beginning of class is incredibly important, as this is when you do your stretches and warmup. These ensure that your tendons are stretchy, your muscles are warm, and that everything else you do in class can't hurt you with overextensions and sprains. This means that you want to get to class on time and it's best to show up early so you can stow your shoes and other personal items and get the hellos taken care of before it's time to line up on the mat.
4) Stay Home When You're Sick
Taekwondo can be an incredibly intense workout even if it's not a day dedicated to sparing. The amount of rigor and aerobic exercise involves means that if you're feeling under the weather, you should probably stay home. While you can come in, watch a class, and say hello to your friends if you're careful not to sneeze on them, staying home has the benefit of preventing the entire dojo from catching what you've caught.
5) Practice at Home
The final way to make sure that you are a truly stellar taekwondo student is to practice more than just during your weekly classes. Once you've mastered tying the belt, practice the moves you learn in class at home or anywhere else that you have the space and time to practice. Have ten minutes outside and don't know what to play? Practice the moves you learned in class instead. Looking forward to your belt test? Work on your katas in every spare moment where there's room to move.
Whether you're aiming for black belt, learning with friends, or simply looking for a fun way to stay fit, taekwondo can become an enjoyable and important part of your life. While becoming good at the art is it's own reward, being a good student will help you to learn, win you friends in class, and ensure that you have the best possible time with your taekwondo lessons. For more tips or information on martial arts classes, contact us today!
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