"Old Man" Taekwondoists

November 03, 2008

Taekwon-Do contains many techniques to be learnt and hyungs or pattern movements to be memorised. Many of young students who hold senior rank color belts when they take a break from attending training for sometime (normally during their school/college holiday), will simply forget their patterns and even required kicking techniques to be performed for their respective upgrading test. They simply do not understand why they need to pursue training even though not in the presence of instructor.

I have encountered old taekwondoist friends who come for my training when they find out that I am still active in this arena and got several schools which they can attend, they decide to resume their taekwon-do lesson, after all my Dan/Degree now is higher than them. They have paused training for a quite long time. After college they found job and get married and have children and surely time consuming they have no training at all in taekwon-do, but they were during their school and college days among the best and hardworking taekwon-do practitioners, even much senior than I am.

Surprisingly, they can still remember all the patterns. Yes for a while they seems to forget, but when I showed them a little movement, they recaptured the memory. In free-sparring techniques and self-defense it is much easier for them to rejuvenate. It is so different with nowadays young practitioners.

WHY? ... When a taekwondoist trains patterns or techniques continously and repeatedly he will master them easily, although not perfect, but able to perform them well with confidence. We called it Muscle Memory.

In free-sparring, muscle memory plays vital role. When a taekwondoist trains certain technique repeatedly he will be able to perform for example a counter-attack with speed which is due to his reflect ability.

I have to admit some of my old friends and students like Rahman, Shahabuden and Tun are part of this kind of practice and tradition. They gain reflect and memory throughout their past experience. They were sharp before but blunt during halt, alas - their body still be able remember the movements and continuing taekwon-do lessons is not a burden and they will love it as before. They only struggle with stamina. Hence trainings with accessories in taekwon-do gym will improve them. Another problem they are facing is "fatigue" due to daily professional job (this will be discussed later).

This is an extract from Wiki:-
When an active person repeatedly trains movement, often of the same activity, in an effort to stimulate the mind’s adaptation process, the outcome is to induce physiological changes which attain increased levels of accuracy through repetition. Even though the process is really brain-muscle memory or motor memory, the colloquial expression "muscle memory" is commonly used.

Individuals rely upon the mind’s ability to assimilate a given activity and adapt to the training. As the brain and muscle adapts to training, the subsequent changes are a form or representation of its muscle memory.

There are two types of motor skills involved in muscle memory: fine and gross. Fine motor skills are very minute and small skills we perform with our hands such as brushing teeth, combing hair, using a pencil or pen to write, touch typing or even playing video games. Gross motor skills are those actions that require large body parts and large body movements as in the throwing sports such as bowling, American football, and baseball, sports such as rowing, basketball, golf, judo, and tennis, and activities such as driving a car (especially one with a manual transmission), playing a musical instrument, and marksmanship.

Muscle memory is fashioned over time through repetition of a given suite of motor skills and the ability through brain activity to inculcate and instill it such that they become automatic. Activities such as brushing the teeth, combing the hair, or even driving a vehicle are not as easy as they look to the beginner. ..........

Above all of these, it is
willingness to pursue trainings and maintain at reasonable level and contribution to society is much more important. Something hard to achieve by many working class.



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