frequently asked questions
what is the best age to start?
With the massive benefits of Taekwondo, everyone can learn Taekwondo at any age.
For young children at 3, they may not be physically, intellectually or emotionally ready for the full Taekwondo training, but the benefits of attending classes are tremendous. 3-year olds have good abilities to run, jump, climb, and perform other large-muscle activities as well as catch and throw a ball. They have short concentration span and are easily distracted but they are great imitators and like to follow others during class. In the first few weeks, they may not follow the full class and wander off on their own, but they generally become more aware of the class structure and quickly adapts. They gain motor skills, learn social skills, learn discipline and develop a sense of confidence through Taekwondo classes.
It is never too late to start Taekwondo. You may not be able to kick as high as the teenagers, do the splits well or are unfit but there is no reason why you can't learn self-defence techniques as well as they do. You can still improve on fitness and flexibility through training.
how often should I train?
To effectively learn Taekwondo, two training per week is strongly encouraged. We emphasize the importance of regular and sufficient training to improve and progress well. Regular class attendance and commitment are key to improving your skills and moving up the belt levels. It is inevitable and acceptable that some can train only once weekly; it will just take a longer time to progress especially for younger children.
why is uniform compulsory?
The DOBOK (uniform) is a primary necessity in both training and tournament. The dobok white was believed that the essence of the universe, and the origin of all things are in colour white. The wearing of the dobok should instil pride in the student as a practitioner of Taekwondo. It identifies the degree of skill and cultural education in Taekwondo that the individual has attained. Grade is indicated by the belt colour. It is very important for the student to keep his dobok clean at all times, wear it correctly and treat it with the respect he owes to his art.
Club uniform is compulsory after the first month.
will my child become violent learning taekwondo?
It is commonly misunderstood that Taekwondo promote violence in children. On the contrary, children learning Taekwondo learn not to be violent. Children understand that their Taekwondo skills are not to be misused outside of class but to help them handle tough situations only if necessary. Through the teaching of Taekwondo that emphasizes on courtesy, humility and respect, children develop self-control, confidence and increased self-esteem to resolve conflicts peacefully and reduce aggression.
what are the tenets of taekwondo?
The Tenets of Taekwondo deal with the fundamental elements of etiquette. Each of the Tenets is of equal importance and coexists with each other.
Showing courtesy to all, respecting others, having manners as well as maintaining the appropriate etiquette at all times, both within and outside the dojang. Show courtesy in the dojang:
* Bow as you enter the dojang. Greet your instructor and fellow students with a handshake and bow
* Listen quietly when your instructor talks. And thank your instructor at the end of the class
* Do not yawn, fiddle, fold your arms, chew gums or talk while instructor is talking
In Taekwondo, integrity means not only to determine what is right or wrong but also having the conscience to feel guilty if one has done wrong and to have the integrity stand up for what is right. In the dojang, show integrity by not cheating at training. If your instructor asks for 20 push ups, don't do 15 so you can finish first. If you commit to a task, ensure that you carry it through with commitment and enthusiasm.
Perseverance means steady persistence in a course of action or purpose, in spite of difficulties, obstacles or discouragement. Taekwondo training is physically demanding, and learning the techniques properly requires a lot of repetition. When you start learning a technique, it may be difficult at first but you must persevere through the time and practice required to master it, and not be discouraged. Without perseverance, you will not progress well in the art and it takes perseverance to have an indomitable spirit.
A serious student must learn not to be impatient, to continue steadfastly and to persevere. He must conduct himself with control whether inside or outside the dojang. Taekwondo is not to be used for aggression, but for defence. This is one reason why as a student of Taekwondo, you must learn self-control while learning techniques. In class, physical self-control is vital to avoid accidentally harming yourself or fellow students with the powerful techniques learnt. Impressive self-control is shown by many black belt students sparring fellow students. With Taekwondo training, you learn to develop more control over yourself, and this helps you to think more clearly about what you do or say.
5. Indomitable Spirit
You may not always succeed on the first try at everything that you attempt in Taekwondo, or in life. The indomitable spirit has the courage and confidence to try again and not be discouraged in the face of fear or failure. The indomitable spirit perseveres. It comes from pushing yourself through physical and mental exhaustion and goes further than you thought possible.
why do I have to spar?
Sparring is one of the best training exercises in the Taekwondo program. It sharpens and develops many fighting attributes while completely conditioning your body for sport combat fighting as well as self-defence. More importantly, Taekwondo sparring teaches you the importance of timing and judgment of distance in relation to your offensive and defensive techniques. It also conditions your body to withstand the impact of blows and kicks. It is a training methodology used to develop combative attributes and rhythm. No amount of static training can prepare you in a real-life situation without sparring / combat training and experience.
why do I have to learn formwork?
Each poom of the poomsae has been inherited through a long history of about 5,000 years, finally as a product of scientific technique formulated on the basis of the traditional national spirit and practical experiments. Sparring is a practical application of the poomsae and the Taekwondo spirit is manifested in the actions of poomsae.
The poomsae is a series of movements for offense and defence techniques which can be practiced and trained, without a partner or even an instructor, in accordance with the fixed moves. The poomsae can be trained along the imaginary or drawn poomsae line which marks the position of foot and the line direction to move along. As poomsae can be practiced without a partner, you are able to focus on your own performance without distraction. Learning poomsae is a mental test. The process of mastering poomsae improves concentration, coordination, focus, memory and sharpens the mind as well as develops mental discipline and applies to all ages.
why do I have to learn Korean terminology?
In keeping with the rich culture of Korea and reinforcing tradition, Korean terminology is used by instructors during class and tested at grading. Learning Taekwondo is not limited to the techniques, but covers the language and culture in the spirit of martial arts.
what etiquette do I follow?
Bowing is a tradition in Korea used when entering or leaving the DOJANG (Training Hall). It is a sign of respect for instructor's experience, knowledge and commitment to Taekwondo. It is also out of respect for the dojang, the art and the ranks. This method of recognizing authority, experience, and greater knowledge helps to strengthen a student’s respect for authority in and out of the dojang. It also fosters a sense of respect for the training, the goals and the person they aspire to become. And in time through training, they learn to respect themselves.
When bowing, you must not look at the person you are bowing to. This is deemed rude and disrespectful. Bow by standing in front of the recipient and bending from the waist at about 30-degree angle for three seconds, with hands by the side and eyes on the ground.
When you greet a Taekwondo instructor or black belt you should bow as above, with your left arm bent horizontally across your front. Then you can shake hands with your right hand. It's also good practice to greet fellow students this way, especially as a beginner Taekwondo student. Traditionally, your bow shows the recipient that you respect and trust him; in return, the recipient bows as way of appreciating and reciprocating your feelings. Students should address instructors as Master... instead of by name.
Lining up in class correctly is also important to show respect. The highest ranked student stands at the front of the class on the right side of the Dojang facing in from the door. When the first line is full, the next line works the same way according to rank. If you are the same grade as another fellow student, stand on the left of him if you are younger or if you have been training less time than him. If you are unsure, standing in the position of the lower rank shows courtesy and respect.
The correct etiquette to adjust uniform or belt during class is to turn around with your back facing your instructor before you adjust your uniform or belt, and then turn to face him when finished. It is rude and disrespectful to adjust uniform and belt facing your instructor.
how does grading and belt ranks work?
Grading is the formal way that all students progress at each belt level. All techniques are taught in class and the prerequisites at each progressive level are outlined in the grading syllabus. Grading is held every term in March, June, September and December. Students are judged on their knowledge and skill level of the required kicking and blocking techniques, poomsae, self defence techniques and Korean terminology. Grading fees apply.
Colour Belt Ranks : White | Yellow 1 (9th Gup)| Yellow 2 (8th Gup) | Yellow 3 (7th Gup) | Blue 1 (6th Gup) | Blue 2 (5th Gup) | Blue 3 (4th Gup) | Red 1 (3rd Gup) | Red 2 (2nd Gup) | Red 3 (1st Gup) | Cho Dan Bo | Black Belt (1st Dan/Poom).
Due to their young age, Little Juniors 3-7 years old will have slightly modified belt ranks and grading syllabus to enable them to progress at each belt level.
what black belt certification do I receive?
At WeiWu Taekwondo, all Black Belts are awarded the only globally certified and recognised Kukkiwon Certificate and card. Every Black Belt recognised by Kukkiwon is on the global database accessible to the public. A Kukkiwon certificate is widely regarded as the most prestigious of all the black belt certificates within the art of Taekwondo.
Black Belts under 15 years old are issued the Poom rank and over 15 years old are issued the Dan rank. The same rank for Poom and Dan are the same grade, the only differentiation is the age. If you have a Poom rank and turn 15, you will be converted to a Dan rank at next Dan grading.
what is my goal after black belt?
Taekwondo as a martial art is a life long journey. The Black Belt is a symbol of excellence, not a symbol of destination. Getting a Black Belt is not the purpose of training. Being a Black Belt is the natural consequence of years of sweat, effort and determination that continue in all aspects of life. A new Black Belt signifies that the holder of such rank is accomplished enough in the basics to begin serious training.
While a Black Belt helps instruct other students and passes on what he has learned, he also recognizes how much more there is for him to learn and continue his own training and advancement. By teaching others, the student is also analysing his own abilities and makes them become better. This is part of the circle of Taekwondo. This keeps the art of Taekwondo alive for many generations and is the principle on which Taekwondo has sustained itself for thousands of years. The knowledge and art of Taekwondo is a gift that is meant to be shared with others who strive to learn and to improve themselves.