What to Expect in First Taekwondo Class

Taekwondo student standing back, watching the students practice in the gym.

Congratulations on signing up (or maybe you are just about to) for your first taekwondo training program!

Now you can’t wait to experience your first class and would like to have an idea of what a typical introductory taekwondo class would be like.

Well, you are at the right place, as I would be explaining to you everything you should be expecting in your first taekwondo class.

Let’s go!

First Day of Taekwondo Class

Ok, so, what happens at your first taekwondo class?

Well, your first class in taekwondo is an exciting, adrenaline-filled experience.

You will be entering into a new world—a world that you have no doubt seen in countless moments on television and in the movies, but have not personally experienced.

Training Begins

Prior to beginning your first class, you will be instructed in the basic protocols of taekwondo.

Commonly, an assistant instructor will be assigned to you to detail these essential elements of taekwondo.

You will be instructed in the appropriate techniques of respect, which are adhered to in all schools of taekwondo.

You will be taught that you must immediately bow upon entering the martial art studio.

This bowing symbolizes that you are formally demonstrating respect for your school.

You will be taught that upon entering the school you must also immediately remove your shoes.

The reason shoes are removed in a school of taekwondo is to both demonstrate respect for the school and to symbolize that you are entering a training hall.

Once your shoes have been removed and you have entered the school, you will then be taught that you must bow to your instructor or instructors before you progress toward the dressing room where you will change into your uniform.

Bowing to your instructor is also an essential sign of respect.

The assistant instructor will then teach you how to wear the taekwondo uniform and how to tie your belt properly.

You will then be ready to immerse yourself in the exciting training of taekwondo.

Before your first class begins, the assistant instructor will teach you some of the basic movements of taekwondo.

You will be taught how to safely perform some of the preliminary stretching techniques and some of the basic kicks, punches, and blocks of taekwondo.

Once these preliminary elements have been detailed, your first class will begin.

You will be taught to line up in the appropriate placement and you will be led through the basic bowing and warm-up exercises.

In many schools of taekwondo, an assistant instructor will stand by you throughout your first class.

This is done in order to aid in your indoctrination into the basic elements of taekwondo.

At the point the warm-up segment of the class has culminated, an assistant instructor will again take you to the side where you will be privately trained in the basic blocking, kicking, and punching techniques of taekwondo.

As your first class progresses, you may be teamed up with another new student in order that you will get the feel of actually performing some of the techniques of taekwondo against another body.

Your first class will culminate with your peers and yourself reforming into prescribed lines, where the final bow of the class takes place.

The Next Day

The other common experience after the first class in taekwondo is waking up the next day very sore.

Taekwondo is a cardio-aerobic-based system of self-defense that will cause you to exercise in a method you have not previously experienced.

It will also cause you to use muscles that previously were dormant.

As a result, when you cultivate these undeveloped muscles, there will definitely be a sense of soreness.

Again, this is nothing to be worried about, and it will pass after a few days of training.

It is essential to understand at the outset of your training that there are two distinct levels of taekwondo instruction.

  • Self-defense
  • Tournament competition

The first is that of self-defense.

Taekwondo is a highly refined system of self-defense that teaches its practitioners to rapidly and effectively defend themselves if they are ever physically attacked.

The second level of taekwondo training involves tournament competition.

Many of the taekwondo techniques taught as a means of self-defense cannot be used in tournament competitions, as they are too physically debilitating to the opponent and would violate tournament rules and policies.

From the beginning stages forward, a taekwondo practitioner must learn to differentiate between these two areas of the art—using each in its appropriate capacity.

What to Wear to First Taekwondo Class

On your first day of Taekwondo, you may not have a taekwondo uniform (Gi) like everyone else, and that’s fine.

You can simply wear an athletic T-shirt and running shorts with no pockets.

The reason that you want to avoid pockets is due to the risk of the pocket catching someone’s toes when they kick.

If you’ve ever accidentally kicked or thrown a hand strike where you become stuck inside the pocket, you’ll know it’s extremely painful.

Additionally, although you may feel out of place wearing ‘Normal clothes’ next to everybody else, you’ll realize that every single person has had to take their first class.

The instructor and students will all be understanding and will do their best to help you and make sure that everything is explained at a pace that you can follow.

What Is a Taekwondo Master Called?

In many traditional TaeKwonDo organizations instructors holding 1st to 3rd dan are called Boosabum (Assistant Instructor), those having 4th to 6th Dan are called Sabum (Instructor), those holding 7th to 8th dan are called Sahyun (Master), and those holding 9th dan are called Saseong (Grandmaster).

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