Mr. Cunningham taught class,
with the concentration on flexibility.
There are several reasons why improving flexiblilty is important.
First and foremost, flexibility equals speed. Also, especially as
we get older, having good flexiblility will help avoid or reduce injury,
and if you do get injured you are likely to have a faster recovery.
Note that being warmed
up before you stretch is essential!
Stretching with a partner using
* Front kick position, back against the wall, keep your back flat
and use good posture so that you're not just tipping the pelvis but
stretching the back of the leg, partner pushes up on your leg for
the stretch. Release the stretch and push down for 5-10 seconds, then
resume the stretch.
* Side kick position, partner
pushes up on the leg.
Everyone worked on splits on the
floor. Front splits, side splits.
* Back to the wall or back to
the floor: put your foot on your partner's chest, your partner will
push until the knee goes as far as it will go toward the wall. If
stretching on the floor, you can put both feet on your partner's chest,
keep your back and hips flat on the floor, partner will press both
your knees toward the floor.
* Stand in open parallel stance, stretch forward, bending at the hips
with your back, legs and arms straight. Arch your back (tailbone tipped
up) to keep the back as straight as possible.
* Starting from a side plank postition, with one hand and one foot
on the floor (same side i.e. Left and Left), lift the top hand and
foot off the floor, keeping straight arms and legs, extending the
arm and leg up in the air.
* Starting with both hands and
feet on the floor, raise one hand and one foot off the floor (opposite
i.e. Left foot and Right hand), straight arms and legs, extend the
arm forward and leg behind.
Mr. Cunningham demonstrated two
other stretches that use a yoga ball (he used a mat):
* With the feet in the splits against the wall, upper body against
the mat, then lift the entire torso up - this is NOT a crunch, but
lift from the hips.
* Facing down, with the feet
in side splits, extend the arms in front of you, and lift the torso.
Now, on to Taekwon-Do techniques
to continue to work on speed:
* From an L-stance, side front snap kick, stepping forward, execute
guarding block with the forearm, * Front leg side front snap kick,
stepping back, execute guarding block with the forearm, side front
snap kick with the front leg.
* Side piercing kick - for the
preparation, lift the leg flat as if it was on a table. Pull the knee
in. Keep in mind the kick is controlled with the hip. The shoulder,
hip and heel should be in line; the kick will go out and come back
on that line.
Double kicks - reload
with the hip, speed comes from the hip, don't reload the whole body;
the knee doesn't come all the way back for multiple kicks. This is
for speed. Be careful not to over-rotate on the reload. Stay in side
kick position, not back kick.
* Turning kicks - shoulder movement
is very slight, hand position is guarding, the body should be in line
at delivery, similar to a side kick. Don't allow your body to bend
into a V shape; stay upright. Energy flows best in a straight line.
If your body 'folds' into a V there will be a loss of energy into
the kick, the energy will go out your butt. (Excuse me!)
* Hook kick - just a short little
pop through with the hip to pull the kick through the target. Shoulder
position is similar to a spin backfist strike. Make this kick come
from the hip, not the shoulder.
Mr. Cunningham asked the seniors "Are you getting anything out
Seniors: "Yes Sir."
Mr. Cunningham: "Are THEY getting anything out of this?"
(referring to the rest of the class)
Seniors : "If they are working on it, yes they are."
Jump Kicks and Flying Kicks -
you don't have to jump high to execute a proper flying kick.
Mr. Cunningham demonstrated a side kick with tuck from a
squatting position, landing gear down no problem.
Single target, two targets in combination, then two targets in combination
with a hand technique, then two-direction kick, then adding a front
kick, then adding a hand technique also. Flying kicks, multiples -
you must reload between kicks using knees and hips. The last kicks
we worked on were flying twin foot front kicks, two targets, one target
Everyone in class worked on all the kicks.
Mr. Cunningham then sat everyone
down and spoke:
We have a Gem here in Wyoming - - Master Martin. He is concerned with
each and every student, and we should take every opportunity to train
with and learn from him. There were very few in class today; we need
to strongly encourage all red and black belts to attend all Black
Then Mr. Cunningham took off his
belt, folded it and laid it on the floor in front of us. He asked
what it was. It's just a piece of cloth with some stitching. What
gives it significance? The person wearing it makes it what it is.
It comes from your training, what you yourself put into your Taekwon-Do.
It is in your brain, your body, and your heart.
We show respect for rank no matter what. It's a bonus when we can
respect the person too.
We have a responsibility, a duty to work to be the best we can be
at whatever rank we hold. None of us is perfect. Be humble. Admit
if you don't have an answer or if you're mistaken, and take steps
to correct it. follow the high standards of General Choi and GrandMaster
Mr. Johnson added that we should
consider the Tenets as a code of ethics and use this code to influence
the decisions we make through the day.
USTF Nationals June 26-27.
Next Black Belt Class is July 12.
Wyoming Color Belt Test is July 25 on Casper Mountain.
Wyoming Invitational Tournament is September 19 in Casper.
Grand Master Sereff's Fall Championships is in October.
Utah State Championships is November 7th.
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