16

Absolutely. I was 27ish when I took my first lessons, and was so inflexible that when I sat on the floor and stretched my leg out I could only reach halfway down my shin towards my foot. And the splits? Fuhgeddaboutit. At 14 you'll also have an inclination towards trying hard and doing your best, unlike, sadly, many kids under 12. TKD, probably like any ...


10

First I just want to say that at age 44, you shouldn't expect your body to perform the same as an 18 year old's body. It's just not realistic. So resist the temptation to compare yourself to them, or anyone for that matter. Now, that doesn't mean you can't make continual, gradual progress from where you are now. Go ahead and try. But I just want to warn ...


10

You didn't give a specific problem you're having, so, it's hard to say what might be the problem. There are two primary elements to the kick: the chamber and the thrust. There is your starting position, but, there can be many. Do you kick with the front leg or the back? Is it a stepping behind or a stepping ahead? Is it a standing front leg kick? Are ...


8

There are two important points to consider: Full splits are not essential in many martial arts systems. Kicking itself may be secondary. The motivation behind full splits is often high kicking, which is high-risk in combat. See Low kicks vs high kicks in street fight. No one expects beginning students to have full splits. If your martial arts school ...


8

TL;DR No, it's not essential. Full splits are an impressive display of flexibility, but few martial arts include them as anything other than a nifty party trick or something for exhibitions.


8

Yes, your assumption is correct. Your body sweats in an effort to cool itself, due to either an elevated outside temperature, elevated internal temperature, or both. If you switch on a fan, all you do is assist the body in maintaining a normal operating temperature. In fact, it would actually probably be more on the beneficial side, since if your core ...


7

I took it quite literally by perform 50 of each kick daily. I saw improvements pretty quickly. Concentrate on the technique first. The flexibility will come with time.


7

You've given us a one word diagnosis - "stiff" - but with only that it's hard to guess what your instructor means. If you're confused by the description, then whatever you're doing wrong is probably relatively subtle. It's at least as likely to be attitudinal (i.e. your mental focus, as in trying to hit too hard, or "clenching" for too long, or rushing too ...


6

FWIW, after struggling similarly (and being given many different stretches and training methods to "fix" it) I had an MRI done and found out that my hips are formed in such a way that it is essentially impossible for me to kick above the mid-section from the side. No amount of training could ever overcome this. The only way to fix it would be to have my hip ...


6

Your master has been doing this stuff for several years (hopefully), so obviously he'll look better at it. It took me a good 6 months to be able to kick above my head and 2 years before I could do a full split. That didn't stop me from being successful in Taekwondo. You need more than just flexibility for high kicks though. You also need strong core muscles,...


6

I've covered this briefly in another answer, but splits don't help kicks. You should, in around 6 weeks be able to achieve your maximum kicking height doing dynamic stretches (leg swings). Each morning, do between 1 to 3 sets of 10 leg swings to the front, side and back. You don't need to force this or feel pain, just swing until you can't swing any ...


6

Based on your age, there is no reason why you cannot. It won't happen for everyone, but if you did them at an earlier age then you should be able to do them again. But make no mistake, it is going to take some sustained and regular training to achieve it, and if you stop stretching once you've achieved the splits then you will gradually lose your flexibility ...


6

Double-jointedness, as a physical condition, is neither desirable nor of advantage in martial arts, and I speak here both from a medical and a first-hand experience perspective. And I clearly distinguish here between what is achieved by flexibility exercises and what is an unusual physical condition. It does in no way prevent you from being submitted in ...


5

Not sure what you mean by crab walk, but I guess I could kinda see why you would call it that. Here's a shoulder flexibility exercise for the range of motion the two movements you mention involve: stand straight, feet together prepatory stretching: interlock your fingers, arms straight above head, palm out facing sky lean back as far as you can go, ...


5

You increase flexibility by stretching. You prevent injury through strength training. The great danger in splits, especially the middle split you need to work on for sidekicks is that if your cross-ligaments in your knee are week, all the strain will go there and you'll hyper-extend or tear them and have knee problems for the rest of your life. You need to ...


5

In my experience (~5 years of Shin Kyokushin in Tokyo - after ~25 years of other arts), Kyokushin tends to accept whatever you can make work in sparring, and doesn't care too much whether your mawashi geri has a healthy dose of maegeri in there, even in gradings. But individual instructors and examiners may vary. Of the kicks in the video you link, several ...


5

TL;DR: Results are mixed The theory behind ice baths is related to the fact that intense exercise causes microtrauma, which is tiny tears in your muscle fibers. This microscopic muscle damage is actually a goal of exercise as it stimulates muscle cell activity and helps repair the damage and strengthen the muscles (muscle hypertrophy). But it is also ...


5

Yes. Without a question. I'm a Taekwon-Do instructor, and we have students join us from 5 years old through to 40/50+. It's a bit clich├ęd but you're really never too old to start, like some others have said as long as you're eager to learn and you try hard, you'll do fine. I started Karate in my late teens when I joined university, and then Taekwondo in ...


5

I think it is VERY dangerous, because you can injure or break your ligaments - and that would ruin everything. And, from the other side, it is a misrespect to other students, detracting their work, because (if you succeed) reduces your amount of pain and hard work, gaining the same result in a more easy way. Generally, it strongly contradicts with the spirit ...


5

This is dangerous. If it would be a reasonable way to gain flexibility, it would be common practice. A lot of people dream doing splits. The pain is annoying, also for me, but it indicates how far you can go savely. Again and again bit more increases the flexibility. Muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints need time to adjust. Breaking one of these makes you ...


4

First, it's normal to have hip soreness when beginning or restarting TKD. It's hard to say if you're causing yourself real injury, and as always I suggest you consult a physician if this is a real concern for you. Only you can really tell if the soreness/strain you're feeling is the normal soreness of training, or a sign of something serious. Monitor it ...


4

Trying to achieve a full split in just two months is an optimistic goal; I would expect it to take longer. my inner thighs and outer hips pain a lot. Immediately I would make a distinction between discomfort and pain. You should feel discomfort, but if you are feeling pain then you need to stop and re-evaluate what you are doing. Having discomfort in ...


4

The short answer is - you might NOT be able to get further flexibility in your spine without causing yourself pain or injury. Flexibility in general doesn't necessarily equate to safe flexibility. Ultimately, you're going to want to work close with a physical therapist for your back, but here's some useful information to help you make better choices in ...


4

Yes, you are correct. Having fans (or air conditioning) will do nothing to either help or hinder. Although, it will make you more comfortable. A warm up is designed to stretch muscles and increase joint mobility. These are somewhat affected by temperatures as the hotter it is the less one needs to warm up. However, unless at an extreme range (anything ...


4

If by "double jointed", you mean hyper-mobility, or hyper-flexion, which is characterized by abnormal joints which flex further than normal, then no. I've done some research and could find no martial art which requires such skill or curse. As to whether there is a style where you might perform better by being hyper-mobile, then no, I could find no such ...


4

I'm not involved in Taekwondo (so, answer from Taekwondo master should definitely be the best and accepted here), but the question is a bit wider, I think. Short answer: from my opinion it is OK. Results you gain depend on your amount of hard work and believing in yourself, not your age. Of course, it is easier to learn in your early ages - because of that ...


4

Yes, it's fine (good, even!) to start at age 14. It's a common concern from beginners that they do not have enough strength or fitness or flexibility to start martial arts. Do not worry about this; you train martial arts to acquire these attributes and improve yourself. It's never too late to train to improve yourself.


4

Yep! I'm going to back this up with a few points: Learning anything, not only martial arts, is always best to be started at a young age. 14 is the age that many people would consider to be one of the best times to start because your brain is still in development. It doesn't matter what martial art your talking about, I have met sever people that started ...


4

I am unsure of what the problem might be. It's almost always tight glutes, hamstrings, adductors, and hip flexors. Basically very few people these days have sufficient mobility anywhere in the hips to do a proper horse stance. Your difficulty staying upright in a back squat reinforces this belief. I found that stretching my anterior hip gave me the most ...


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