by Sang H. Kim, co-author of Taekwondo Kyorugi: Olympic Style Sparring
One of the most common questions I hear from students is "How can I prepare for competition?" The best way to get ready for competition is to follow a plan designed by your instructor or coach. If you are a top level competitor, everything will be scientifically planned for you and all you have to do is show up and train. However, if you are one of the thousands of recreational competitors around the world, you are responsible for designing some or all of your competition training plan.
The first thing you have to do is assess what level of competition you are preparing for and how much time you have available. Ideally, for a local tournament, a few months are enough to get in competition form. By spending about two months on general practice and one month on specific competition skills and strategies, you can refine your skills to the level necessary to succeed in a small tournament. For a national or international competition, however, planning should begin at least one year ahead of time. Once you have determined the level of competition and amount of time available for your training, you can create an individual plan.
For a national or international level competition, the first type of training you have to undertake is fundamental physical training. This consists of general fitness activities like calisthenics, running and weight training. At the beginning of your competition regimen, your daily training should consist of 70% fundamental physical training and 30% basic martial arts skill practice. Ideally, this plan should be followed for 4 to 8 weeks to develop the proper physical condition for competition.Read More