It takes immense courage to find your feet back into fitness. More so, if you were a martial artist, the chances of getting back to the sport are harder. As a former Taekwondo practitioner, you might already have the skills and won’t require slogging as much as the new students.
However, there are certain things which you must know before your return to Taekwondo.
As a former taekwondo practitioner looking to get back to the sport, there are numerous questions in your mind such as:
- Do I have to restart from scratch?
- Do I get to keep my former rank?
- Will I have to start over as a white belt?
These include a list of obvious as well as new ones based upon when you bid farewell to the sport. And here’s an opportunity to get an answer to all these questions through the list below:
11 things you must know before restarting your taekwondo career:
1. You’ll need to start fresh
Unless you were a black-belt in a leading Taekwondo Federation, you’d need to restart as a white belt. There’s no need to get disheartened, if you’ve practiced well in the past, climbing to the top won’t take much time. Furthermore, the process of climbing up would be fun and exciting. Even if you were a red belt, feeling you were so close to the epitome, starting fresh will be a fantastic experience.
2. Independent practitioner
If you were not associated with a major Taekwondo Federation and still were a black belt, your chance of retaining the belt lies in the hands of the school. Herein, the instructor will test your skills and see how much of it do you remember. He/She might also ask you to start at a lower rank; there’s no need to get disheartened as mentioned earlier.
3. Database Scanning
When you want to restart your taekwondo career after a hiatus through a new school, your credentials will be scanned. If your dan-certificate is with you, then the process is easy, however, if it’s not, the database will be scanned to confirm your past developments. You might even have to start fresh and forget about the previous belt you had.
4. Don’t lose patience over belt
Try understanding things from the school’s perspective. Per se, you were a black belt taekwondo practitioner 15 years ago, but you quit. The school or the governing body cannot accredit you with your belt which you earned 15 years ago given you’ve lost your touch completely. Furthermore, the belt is nothing more than an indicator of how good you were during the time.
5. Slow Peak
Once you restart with your Taekwondo career, it might take you longer to work your way to the top. Keep calm and do not think pessimist. With age, our actions including the punches, kicks and reflexes turn slow and thus it’ll take time before you mould yourself into the sport. Hear this podcast to learn how age isn’t a barrier for improvement
6. Lighter training
It’s fair to assume that you won’t be anywhere as near as flexible as you once were. Having said this, you need to take it slow and not overwork yourself. After a certain age, the risk of injury increases which might thwart your progress indefinitely. To prevent this, you should avoid explosive exercises and kicks such as sidekicks, roundhouse kicks or other jumping manoeuvres which can affect your body.
Comeback for self-improvement. Don’t undermine yourself and set unnecessary goals. There might have been crucial reasons for you to step away from the sport. Forget those; start fresh to improve yourself every day. If you initially started Taekwondo as a means to beat people up, then surely, your comeback would make no difference as it’s not the right martial arts for you.
8. Taekwondo is beneficial
It’s never too late to restart. There’s no age barrier, yes there are some weaknesses now, but that shouldn’t bother you achieving a healthy lifestyle through taekwondo. Though you cannot maintain the same intensity and will largely focus on a light drill, you’ll still manage to do enough to lead a sound and healthy lifestyle.
9. Don’t over expect
If you were a taekwondo practitioner in your teens and early 20s and planning to return to the sport in your early 40s, you wouldn’t be the same. Thus, it’s advisable to keep your expectations low. Do not overburden yourself with expectations; it isn’t going to work out. Furthermore, your goal is to stay fit and ensure that your body is being worked – that’s the primary motive.
10. Improvement might take longer
A young adult student requires two-years of dedicated training to achieve agility, flexibility and technique. Within this period you’ll learn to enjoy Taekwondo for what it truly is. However, since you’re not a young adult, it might take you longer than you must have expected. It may take a while, and you do not have to worry, as Taekwondo is not a destination but rather a journey.
11. Taekwondo is a Journey
As mentioned before, Taekwondo is a journey, not a destination. If you were training at different schools or taking private sessions, you’d be at your best in no time. And a taekwondo belt is nothing more than a sign of excellence in your present state. In any martial art, when you train, you possess capability and knowledge, and when you stop, you lose them.