Finish at Home what you Started in the Dojang

 

As the old saying goes, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice.”

The only way to get better at anything is to practice. 

Master Sharratt and I teach you what to do. But it doesn’t do anybody any good if you don’t go home and do the reps. 

Think about it in terms of school. Your teacher teaches a lesson, then gives you homework. If you don’t do the homework, not only will your grades be poor, you’re never going to learn.

In Tae Kwon-Do, the stakes may be even higher. When you practice consistently, you’re building an insurance policy for yourself using the skills we teach. So when the time comes to defend yourself, your policy is up to date. If you’re only relying on the training we do while at the dojang, those skills might fail you. 

The same goes for tournaments. I can show you how to do a jump spinning hook kick and, even though we may run it 10-12 times in class, if you don’t practice it at home, you’re not going to be able to effectively use it in a tournament. If you’re in the ring with someone better than you who does train at home, you’re gonna be in deep trouble. 

It’s not even just about defending yourself. When you don’t practice your lessons at home you’re denying yourself the mental clarity, physical ability, and confidence that training provides. 

One of my favorite things to do while training at home is to do it in front of a mirror. I watch myself doing a technique over and over and over. Eventually, you start to pick out what you’re doing wrong and can correct it in real time. 

At home, I also love to do high kick stretching. You want to improve your high kicks? It’s not going to happen in the dojang. It only happens when you’re practicing repetitively, and you can only do that at home, away from the dojang. 

Practicing at home is obviously much easier for children than adults. Adults have more responsibility, and time is at a premium. As an adult myself, I am more sympathetic to my adult students, whose only opportunity to practice may be during their time at the dojang.

It is imperative that parents help their kids train at home. First, they have to create an environment that welcomes training. It can’t seem like a burden, like the child is being too loud, or they are likely to get discouraged. 

Parents can also be crucial to reinforcing the discipline to practice at home when the kid would rather be playing video games or scrolling on their phone. Too often, I meet wishy-washy parents who wouldn’t dare make their kid practice when they don’t want to. It really comes out in the training. 

My son Charlie is getting really into basketball, so I bought him a hoop that goes over his bedroom door. I constantly hear him in there shooting. I have to believe that his shooting is improving in his basketball practices and games as well. 

When I was playing basketball as a kid, my mother was ruthless and sent me outside to practice all of the time. When I played baseball, it was my grandfather who insisted on playing catch. 

If you’re a parent who doesn’t or has never practiced Tae Kwon-Do yourself, it can be tough to help your child practice at home. I have written in this blog about the advantages of parents and kids training together. So if you don’t practice, but your son or daughter is here, maybe it’s time to sign yourself up as well. 

Short of that, though, you can help by purchasing a shield to help them practice punches and kicks. Heck, even a pillow or two will help. 

Whatever you decide to use, the important thing is that you’re helping your child remain strong, healthy, focused, and disciplined. 

And believe me, both Master Sharratt and I can absolutely tell which students practice at home, and which ones don’t.

Master Gorino’s Tae Kwon-Do offers a trial program for individuals and families in Buffalo, NY and the surrounding areas that allows you to get a feel for the different classes, meet our instructors, and experience our dojang. It’s a great way to see if Tae Kwon-Do is right for you. To learn more or to sign up, visit the Contact Us page or call (716) 836-KICK (5425) and a member of our team will follow up with you on next steps. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals. Pil-Sung!

 

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