Striking techniques are usually executed with a heavy bag, or with a punching/kicking target, a kick punching pad and a smaller bag when more precision is required.
As Taekwondo kicks require a lot of flexibility, stretching exercises must be practiced before any technique is applied.
They must be preceded by a rotation of the joints and by an energetic warm-up (as an aerobic activity). A warming allows to increase the blood flow in the muscles, improving flexibility, muscle performance and reducing the chances of injury.
There are two main types of stretching exercises:
• Static stretching: It occurs when a position of stretch is held for a certain period of time (in average during 15-25 seconds). It should be performed in sets of 2-5 repetitions with a 15-30 second rest in between each stretch. The main areas to stretch are: back, sides (external obliques), neck, arms, chest, groin, thighs (quadriceps & abductors), calves, hamstrings.
• Dynamic stretching: It is representated by gentle, relaxed swinging motions, to get the body reach its maximum range of motion. Such exercises include leg raises and arm swings in all directions. These exercises should be done on both sides of the body before any vigorous training is carried out.
Because the muscles and bones of children are not full grown, dynamic stretching is considered the best type of stretching for them. Children should also never be forced into a stretching position and no external pressure should be applied.
The uniform used is called 'dobok'.
The WTF uniform is a V-neck uniform with various colours on the v-neck.
The ITF uniform is white and zips up in the centre. Black belt holders have a black stripe on the bottom of the jacket, 4th dans and above have stripes down the sleeves and pants.
The ITF system of rank is made up of 10 grades and 9 degrees of black belt. The title of Master is reserved for 7th degree and above only.
WTF generally refer to 5th dans as Masters and have up to 10th dan.