How to Increase Agility in Taekwondo With Martin Stamper
Welcome to the latest video in our series of martial arts tutorials filmed and explained by Warrior Collective. Warrior Collective is run by Stuart Tomlinson, who has been involved in shaping the UK martial arts scene for over twenty years.
In this video, Martin Stamper, a black belt in Taekwondo, gives a step-by-step tutorial on how to drill for speed, agility, and co-ordination on the mat.
Origin of the Sport
Taekwondo is a Korean martial art with a heavy emphasis on kicks. It developed during the 1940s and 1950s by various Korean martial artists. Taekwondo represents a blend of indigenous Korean fighting styles with influence from foreign martial arts such as karate.
Beginning in 1946, new martial arts schools called kwans were opened in Seoul. These schools were established by Korean martial artists who had studied primarily in Japan. The umbrella term of traditional Taekwondo typically refers to the martial arts practiced by the kwans during the 1940s and 1950s, though in reality the term "Taekwondo" had not yet been coined at that time.
Since 2000, Taekwondo has been one of only two Asian martial arts (the other being judo) that are included in the Olympic Games. It became a demonstration event at the 1988 games in Seoul, and became an official medal event at the 2000 games in Sydney. In 2010, taekwondo was accepted as a Commonwealth Games sport.
A Tutorial on Speed and Agility
Note: If you have not done fast combination kicking before, or if you are a beginner, you need to improve your coordination before moving on to speed work. Start your kicks off at around sixty to seventy percent. This is also a time to focus on your technique and recovery.
Technique Before Speed
When doing speed work, you will not be kicking at one hundred percent. You have to adjust your feet and body and reset your stance before you can kick again. This is why it's important to improve your coordination and nail your technique and recovery before moving on to speed work.
Increasing Your Kicking Speed
When you have mastered the basics, you can start kicking faster and varying your techniques depending on your ability. Try the following exercise:
- Four to eight kicks (with a change of direction)
- Rest for thirty seconds in between (or rotate with a partner as rest)
Learn How to Flow
The technique you choose is not important, but they have to flow from one kick to the next. Avoid changing your stance or step as this will slow you down. Remember - you don't want to give your opponent a chance to kick and score.