I am planning to begin to taekwondo but I have seen this video. Yes, being the person that stands in the video is great but I guess that one cannot be that person without first being the guy that licks the mat real good (please correct me if I am wrong). So coming to point, I would like to start to taekwondo but I am a little bit intimidated by those heavy foots and heels landing right on to the faces of people in the video. So, I would like to ask, would you have any advices for me to overcome this and start to taekwondo with ease? Or is the answer to this question is simply: "If you are a p*ssy, go find yourself another activity boy."? Thank you in advance, I thought the best place to ask this question would be here.

  • 5
    You already know you want to do it. You're just looking for some encouragement. So... Just do it! Trust me, TKD instructors are not nearly as scary as you think they are. They'll encourage you and help you. Commented May 22, 2015 at 19:58
  • This is anecodotal, but when I did TKD we did not spar at all for the first several belts and it was all light/touch sparring until you reached the senior belt levels. Commented May 26, 2015 at 20:01
  • Additionally, these are all older clips. WTF sparring rules have changed dramatically to reduce these types of shots.
    – JohnP
    Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 22:09

5 Answers 5


For the first 3 to 4 years, you'll never fight anyone who is of a higher belt than yourself, so they won't be much better than you. Your opponent will be just as scared of you as you are of him. And after 4 years, you'll be a black belt and you'll be able to do all the same fancy things with your legs.

  • Thanks. So basically, most lesser belts are not able to pull that heel to the face KO or other "destructive" moves and so, I do not need to worry. Am i right?
    – Utku
    Commented May 25, 2015 at 8:31
  • Yes. They probably wouldn't have the power to put any force behind the kick. Don't worry about it. The first time someone kicked me and it actually hurt was at a national championships and we were both black belts. Before that your opponents simply don't have enough power to really hurt you unless they're much bigger and/or older than you. But that doesn't happen until you're ready and able to deal with it. Commented May 25, 2015 at 9:13
  • And always remember that the other guy is also a bit scared and your kicks will also be shaking him. It feels exactly the same for both people in a fight. Commented May 25, 2015 at 9:14
  • 4
    Fine point: you will spar with people higher rank than you. If you're not, you're missing on valuable education; you don't get better by only sparring people your level or worse. But this will be in class, presumably with people who are being careful not to hurt their fellow students. However, you'll not be competing against people much higher rank than you, which are the kind of circumstances where you are more likely to be against somebody who has no qualms about hurting you.
    – Larry
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 19:08
  • Exactly as Larry says!!! We certainly have beginners sparring with black belts the first time they spar - the reason is that the black belts are better at pitching themselves a notch above the beginner's level and helping them, coloured belts often still have some ego and can't control themselves as well. Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 9:04

A good instructor will start your training with body conditioning and basic techniques. It is unlikely you will be thrown to the on your first day. As you become proficient in your skills, you may be invited to begin sparring with a partner (who should be matched to your size and skill level).

Have courage, or as they say in Korean, Yong Gi. You will learn by doing.


Honestly, I am not that good at sparring. I'm good but I am better at form and kicking. I think depending on the school you go to, you will be able to find very supportive teachers and friends. it is unlikely that you will be the only person who is starting for the first time. From my experience, teachers like to tease and will poke fun but you will find that you will get better. I started tae kwon do as a shy person that could barely defend herself. Realize that the harsh teacher or fellow student who may criticize you had to go through the same thing. We ALL start at a white belt. Sure if you enter at an older age it can be more obvious (I started at 6 years old) but just go for it. And now I am confident; not because of how good I am or how many years I have done tae kwon do but the supportive people around me who encouraged me to not give up and keep on fighting. I used to have issues with embarrassment. But I realized that no one was actually judging me. Sure I messed up, but that happens to the best of us.


Keep in mind that Martial Arts are not just sports or competitions, Martial Arts are a way of living. That tiny -Do at the end of the name means way or route.

Thus Martial Arts are a life-long journey.

May I first ask why is it that you want to start TaeKwonDo? Maybe I can suggest an equivalent style of Martial Arts that does not rely as much on competitions.

Obviously I do not pretend to know all Martial Arts, but as my knowledge goes, all beginners learn the fundamentals of their style. This is usually stances, forms, kicks & punches.

This will help you:

  • Create a good posture

  • Understand basic movement

  • Help with the respiratory system

  • Gain confidence with your body

After the basics, your muscles, tissues, bones, skin will be able to absorb more pain and you will be introduced to physical contact. This simple contact is to remove the fear of being hit and give you the knowledge of how to strike.

You won't participate in a ring fight unless you have a certain rank.

Those guys getting KO-d are professionals whose body is adjusted to that sort of pain.

Most importantly: Martial Arts teach you how to connect your body with your mind and emotions. They teach you how to achieve peace and deepen a sense of being.

From someone who has practiced both Shaolin and WuDang styles of Kung-Fu, San Shao (San Da, Chinese kickboxing), Krav Maga and has a deep love for philosophy.

  • You are right but I never said the body gets used to being KO-ed. I said it is used to the pain in a fight. Maybe I should have been clearer. Thanks for the comment.
    – mjeshtri
    Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 21:12

Don't worry about those head kicks. Like everything in life, you'll start small. You'll learn to kick to the body, receive to the body. You'll have time and hopefully nice training partners that'll adapt to you, so you can get tougher and tougher when it comes to receiving kicks.

Afterwards, maybe you'll start competing. You'll never fight "to the head" under the red/brown belt. Even after that, most competitions don't allow them anymore unless you're fighting "pro". If you do, get a good instructor that'll help you prepare. But trust me, once you'll have the level to fight with head kicks, you'll also have the level to see them coming (most of the time).

I'll take myself as an example. I fight to the head while sparring at my dojan, with people I trust and people I don't want to hurt, so we are careful but I decided not to do any competitions with kicks to the face. I have a job, I can't afford a commotion. Even though I'm a black belt, I just don't feel like I need to kick someone's head off to enjoy competing.

To resume, you'll never have to fight with head kicks to enjoy fighting in TKD. But be prepared to have bruised legs/arms a lot :p

If you get in a dojan that forces you to get kicked in the head and you don't like it, go somewhere else.

The important is to enjoy it, and you will. Plus, it's not because you don't kick people on the face that you're a strong fighter.

Do it, sign up, you won't regret :)

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