Students often ask: When will I get my next belt? What do I need to do to get a stripe? Because stripes and belts mark progress in the martial arts, the real question is: How can I get better at Taekwondo?
The keys to success in martial arts, as in life, include consistency, commitment, and effort. And stripes and belt promotions mark progress. For specific tips on getting better at Taekwondo, read on.
Six Tips for Getting Better at Taekwondo
1. Try Hard
Most people who train in Taekwondo–and other sports–don’t try their best. If you want to make good, quick progress in martial arts, you need to put in your best effort physically and mentally.
How will you know if you’re trying hard physically? Every technique and exercise will be performed with speed, power, and intensity. You will feel the best kind of tired at the end of class, because you’ve given your all.
But the physical is only part of the success equation. On the road to Black Belt (and each rank along the way!), there is an intangible component that is just as critical as being strong, fit, and knowing Taekwondo techniques. Some call this grit, courage, or character. Some call it heart. Whatever the name, you’ll know you’ve got it when you don’t give up–even when you’re tired or if something is confusing or frustrating.
2. Train in Different Ways
If you want to get great at martial arts, training in different ways helps. Here are a few ways you can add variety to your practice.
- Do a technique as fast as you can. Or try it in slow motion.
- Practice with a distraction. For example, have someone ask you questions or talk to you as you train and remain focused.
- Practice a technique with your eyes closed.
- Watch videos of yourself training. Seeing yourself in action is a great way to get an honest representation of your skill and determine what you need to work on.
3. Get Advice from People Who Know More
Ask your instructor or another student with the skill you want to learn intelligent questions. Then, act on their advice. If you want to supercharge your progress, use the suggestions listed in tips 1 and 2 when you implement on the corrections you get.
4. Focus On One Thing at a Time
If you are trying to learn 50 things at the same time, you will master none of them. Instead, focus on one thing at a time. Once you have the skill at a high level, work on the next move or technique.
5. Dig Deeper
To really improve a technique, there might be something to work on that isn’t simply the move in question. For example: if you want to improve your round kick, you may need to work on balance or flexibility, rather than just repeating the round kick. Find out where your weak point is. Then, hyper-focus on improvement to take your technique the level you want.
6. Accept Your Weaknesses
Your weakness is unlikely to become your strength. So, work on improving your weaknesses–but put your focus on your strengths to become better than anybody else.
It’s Not All About the Black Belt
If you are doing martial arts just to get a black belt, you are missing the point and will likely fail in your attempt. Each belt promotion is a reminder of the tremendous growth you make while training in your art. With each new rank, you become more fit, improve your technique, gain confidence, become more disciplined, and overcome mental and physical challenges. These important life skills that make you into a better person and a better martial artist.