Can I Teach Myself Taekwondo?


Taekwondo is focused heavily on kicks. The good news is for those looking to practice at home, it’s easy to practice kicks without a partner. But what about some of the other moves? You’ve probably wondered “can I teach myself Taekwondo?”

Here’s what I know from experience doing martial arts both in dojos and at home:

You can teach yourself the fundamentals of Taekwondo. But a heavy bag for kicks and punches will be essential in mastering the techniques.

Ultimately, you may want to move to a dojo.

That way you’ll get one-on-one instruction, and the chance to spar with other students. In most cases, practicing at a school will also be the only way to earn belts.

But don’t worry. We’ll get into all of that and more!

But without a sparring partner, I strongly recommend getting this Dripex Freestanding Punching on Amazon to practice punches and kicks. Unlike some heavy bags, this one is free-standing, so you don’t have to hang it from your ceiling.

It’s also heavy-duty enough for your soon-to-be brutal kicks. Almost 2000 reviews and almost completely 5-stars tell the rest of the story. And it won’t break the bank either.

CLICK HERE to see the current price on Amazon.

Is Taekwondo easy to learn?

Taekwondo is much easier to learn, especially compared to other martial arts. It features one of the fastest paths to a black belt and focuses heavily on kicks which can be mastered easily with repetition.

One of the most important secrets to Taekwondo is that you must be flexible. Flexibility training is easy. It’s just that you’ll need to make it a daily practice.

It would be best if you are flexible because you’ll have to jump and spin and execute fast kicks.

It’s almost impossible to achieve this without being flexible. In fact, it’s dangerous. To be flexible, you’ll need to stretch at least twice daily before and after training.

To really master Taekwondo, you’ll need a lot of training, and you’ll need to be super-fast. Head-high, jumping, and spinning kicks are the main thing in Taekwondo.

And if you are looking to practice along, or at home, a heavy bag will be essential to master those kicks.

A heavy bag can either be hung from the ceiling or held by a stand. They are often stuffed with rags or foam until medium-density is reached. Then they are excellent for kicking and punching. Personally, I like this one on Amazon.

It has thousands of great reviews and has a great price and works equally well for adults and teens.

In some other martial arts, there are so many techniques to learn. You can become good at Taekwondo within a year and even earn a black belt in 2 years.

In many other martial arts, it could take you at least 5 to 7 years before you can earn a black belt. Aikido would probably take you at least seven years.

In a recent article of mine, I showed why Aikido might be a better choice for most people. Of course, that’s if they had to choose between it and Taekwondo. And I even share the 1 reason you should absolutely pick Aikido if it applies to you.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Can you learn Taekwondo online?

Taekwondo can be learned online. Between Udemy courses, YouTube videos and more and more dojos offering live-streaming classes to worldwide audiences, it’s never been easier to learn Taekwondo online.

But I still think that while better than nothing, it’s not as good as going to a dojo.

Yes, you can learn all the techniques. So, take your time to research the best online schools. So, you’ll get the conceptual knowledge you need.

Here are my top sources for learning Taekwondo online (not paid endorsements):

Platform Name/Link Why I Like It Cost
YouTube Alex Wong Tons of lessons and over 100,000 subscribers! Lots of playlists organized by specific movements and beginner lessons Free
Live Streams, classes & private lessons Alex Wong Once you check out Alex’s YouTube, when you’re ready for more, head on over to her website where you can get coaching support, virtual private lessons, a weekly virtual class, and access to future YouTube videos not yet published. Ranges between $2.00/month to $50/month depending on package
YouTube Live Martial Arts by Samery Moras Another great YouTube channel with over 170,000 subscribers, and over 100 videos. She too has a great playlist selection to target specific aspects of your training, including beginners training at home. Free
Live Training plus online courses Cyber Taekwondo A combination of self-paced online courses and live virtual classes where you can earn belt ranks in Taekwondo from the highest governing body of Taekwondo. Free 7-day trial with monthly memberships as low as $27.99

One of the benefits of going to a dojo is the fact that it’s done at set times, and while there, you repeat certain techniques over and over again.

You also get to practice with a partner, which is not feasible when you’re alone. But, you can have a dedicated room or part of the house for your practice, and you can have set times, too. Both will help you progress.

You’ll have to also spend a considerable chunk of the time watching videos and practicing what you’re seeing.

So, make it fun and make sure your laptop or TV that you’re using is big or of medium size, so you don’t have to squint or strain your eyes. But, at the same time, you want it in a safe place, so you don’t accidentally run into it while you’re practicing the techniques.

So, try not to rush.

Pick a few techniques per week and practice over and over again until you’re proficient. Mastery will take a long time. But ensure you watch several times, then practice several times. Focus on the basics.

You may need to be with an instructor later to really “get” the techniques. But at least with online classes done live, you can set up your camera so that the instructor can also see you and give feedback.

Now that you know you can learn Taekwondo at home, can you also learn Aikido at home, all by yourself?

In a recent article of mine, I shared, amongst other issues, how to learn it at home. But I think learning it all by yourself could be harder, especially considering there are techniques one ought to learn with others.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

How to learn Taekwondo at home step by step

Here are the steps to learn Taekwondo at home, step by step:

  1. Practice flexibility and balance exercises daily
  2. These include yoga positions such as tree pose and eagle pose
  3. Using a heavy bag, practice front kicks daily
  4. Focus less on power or height, and more on consistency and accuracy of kick placement
  5. With the bag, work on straight punches with the intended target being an opponent’s stomach area
  6. Incorporate roundhouse kicks which involve twisting the hips and landing the kick at an angle
  7. Again, focus less on power or height, and more on consistency and accuracy of kick placement
  8. Once these basics are mastered, begin to incorporate additional kicks and movements into the practice drills

But don’t worry. We’ll get into all the details below. Specifically, in this section, we’ll look at five fundamental Taekwondo moves one ought to know.

Remember to start each training session by stretching and ending it with the same. And you’ll need a space about 10 feet wide and 10 feet long, as your practice area. Make sure it’s a safe place that’s free of anything harmful.

Tree pose


You might not see the connection immediately, but there’s a strong connection between yoga and martial arts. Both focus on breath, movement, fluidity, and require core strength, flexibility, and a calm mind.

Tree pose, eagle pose, and many other yoga moves will be great additions to starting Taekwondo.

They will help with balance, flexibility, coordination, and focus. A little yoga daily will give your Taekwondo an added benefit and can accelerate the learning.

Kickass Kicks


One of the key features of Taekwondo is the ability to unleash lethal kicks. So, it’s vital you master it. You must be able to use both legs effectively. To kick an opponent effectively, one of your legs must form a strong base.

If you can’t stand firmly on one leg, you can’t deliver deadly kicks, and you’ll leave yourself exposed! You need to spend some time standing on one leg for a minute or two, then thrust out the other leg swiftly. Change the legs and repeat several times. After a while, it’ll become an automatic gesture.

In time, the goal is to deliver head-high kicks so swiftly that the opponent won’t know what struck them!

Power Punches


Yes, Taekwondo is focused on kicks, but you also need to master how to deliver powerful punches. Unlike how most of us learn to punch, make sure that your thumbs are outside your hand, so you don’t break your fingers. The power doesn’t really come from your hands.

Make sure you’re standing firm, and then gently “follow” the direction of the punches with your core. Ideally, you’ll need someone to spar with. If there’s no one, you’ll probably need a punching bag or a dummy.

Punches remind me of boxing. What if you have to choose between boxing and Taekwondo? Which one do you think is better? In a recent article, I explained when boxing is a better choice, and when Taekwondo is the way to go. Just click the link to read it on my site.

Target Techniques

There’s no point in kicks or punches that miss, right? So, one of the most vital techniques you need to hone over and over is one that’ll help you gradually become accurate when you aim your kick or punch at any part of an opponent.

You’ll need a partner to do this, or if you can’t find one, you must set some boards at different positions and then practice aiming at them over and over again—kind of like how someone learns to shoot a gun. The aim is to kick or punch the exact target each time.

Tiger Claw


Now, let’s take things up a notch. Shall we? The Tiger Claw move originated in Kung Fu, but does have applications in Taekwondo, and works especially well with a practice dummy or heavy bag.

How about a simple technique you can use to incapacitate an opponent for a few seconds? It’s simple. You’ll need the space between your index finger and thumb. Make your hand rigid and use that space to attack the opponent’s neck or trachea.

Let’s look at another deadly technique.

Wonder how Judo compares to Taekwondo?

I compare both of those in a recent article. Both are Olympic sports, but do the similarities stop there? Are there any techniques that overlap? Which one is better?

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Conclusion 

In the preceding paragraphs, I shared tips on how to teach yourself Taekwondo.

We looked at how long it would take you, and whether taking the self-study option to gain a black belt is wise. I shared the essence of Taekwondo and the fact that it’s relatively easy to master.

And I wrapped up the article with step-by-step strategies to teach yourself at home.

But without a sparring partner, I strongly recommend getting this Dripex Freestanding Punching on Amazon to practice punches and kicks. Unlike some heavy bags, this one is free-standing, so you don’t have to hang it from your ceiling.

It’s also heavy-duty enough for your soon-to-be brutal kicks. Almost 2000 reviews and almost completely 5-stars tell the rest of the story. And it won’t break the bank either.

CLICK HERE to see the current price on Amazon.

 


Photos that require attribution:

Mr. Jesse by Scott Feldstein and Taekwondo by m shaff are licensed under CC2.0, and have been combined, and edited.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell was Academy Director for a large martial arts school for over 7 years, and has trained extensively in a variety of martial arts including Brazilian Jiujitsu, different styles of Karate, the Russian Martial Art of Systema, Aikido, and much more.

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