Last night I attended my very first Taekwon-Do class in Kilbirnie with the (confusingly named) Miramar Taekwon-Do Club.
Miramar Taekwon-Do is a member of the International Taekwon-Do Federation, and this particular club is the second oldest in New Zealand. They spice up the punching and kicking and blocking bits with a hefty dose of theory, and a holistic approach to learning the art (they even swear an oath at the beginning of each class.)
I actually really enjoyed myself, despite the nervousness of being the newbie, and the weirdness of what I was asking my body to do (especially after 3 years of gym-brand boxing.)
I noticed some pretty BIG differences to what I had been practicing. IAt the gym we’re taught to have our centre of balance more forward and we tended to approach the pads more straight on, whereas in Taekwon-Do they take a wider stance with more of an angle to their bodies, and the centre of balance is more centre. (Because that makes sense right?!)
At the gym we’ve been doing a roundhouse kick, knee’s, jabs, hooks, uppercuts and bodyshots. Last night we did a few jab-type punches, which were sufficiently different to have me feeling slightly awkward, and five or six different kicks which completely threw me off balance. I haven’t felt awkward kicking or throwing a punch for a year now, so its a change. It’ll be good for me.
Plus now I need to learn how to kick higher than my own head. I saw a black belt do it, and I’ve decided I need to know that – because what a party trick, right?!
So far I’ve learnt that a punch or a kick in Taekwon-Do is rarely a one step movement like it is in boxing. There seems to be a whole heap of intermediate movements, and how you get to the end point of the punch is just as important as the bang it makes there (although, yes, the bang is pretty cool.)
Also? I’ve never thought of boxing as a standstill kind of thing, but compared to some of the movement involved in Taekwondo I’m wondering how the hell I missed it before.
All in all it’s not a replacement for boxing. Taekwon-Do is a whole new thing, and one I can see myself getting fairly obsessed about.