A slim, tone and healthy body is one of the most visible rewards of serious Taekwondo training. ATA has been helping Americans young and not-so-young buck the 'overweight' trend for many years, resulting in better health and quality of life. For millions of others, though, the obesity problem has been inescapable and the situation has worsened to the current level of health crisis. ATA leadership senses the need and opportunity to change even more lives – one Black Belt at a time – with renewed emphasis on physical fitness in our martial arts style.
ATA FIT is a workout that readies the body for virtually any physical activity. It can be adapted for anyone from pro athlete to non-athlete. Most other training programs work on cardiovascular endurance and/or strength training, but ATA FIT develops flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, accuracy, and balance – the whole package. With regard to cardiovascular endurance, the workouts alternate between short bursts of exertion and rest. According to Dr. Izumi Tabata, a prominent specialist in sports science, this type of interval training (short bursts of exertion) can significantly improve one's aerobic and anaerobic capacities.
Some ATA schools and clubs employ a teaching method called "360 Training," noted for its ability to blend an extra fitness element into regular Taekwondo classes. It is made up of functional movements done at high intensity. Every workout has a different set of challenges but can be scaled down to meet individual needs such as lower weights, reduced reps, modified push-ups and pull-ups, etc.
There are six parts to 360 Training: push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, punching, kicking and a combination of kicking/punching. When a martial artist becomes proficient in these drills, with 'proficient' defined as being able to perform the drills with both quality and quantity, he or she has obtained a level of fitness far superior to average citizens, with subsequent increases in strength, endurance, capabilities, self-confidence, leadership potential, and more.
The concept of 360 Training is very simple: just perform 60 repetitions of each part of the training, i.e. 60 reps x 6 parts = 360, hence the name. The training can also be broken down into smaller segments by doing fewer repetitions of each part, i.e. 30 reps x 6 parts = 180 Training. Conversely, the reps can be doubled to create 720 Training for hardcore athletes. Since not everyone starts in the same place physically, it is always best to consult a qualified physician before beginning any fitness regimen, even traditional Taekwondo. Be sure you understand the correct way to perform each exercise per the photos and descriptions below. Train hard, train to win!
Start with a complete head-to-toe warm-up to safely prepare the muscles and tendons for the workout. Your Songahm Martial Arts instructor may challenge you with these exercises in class in a variety of ways, to enhance your conditioning, techniques, speed and power. Immediately following the workout, don't skip the Cool Down to return the heart rate to normal and improve flexibility by stretching.
The student begins in the front leaning rest position (i.e. hands on the floor one to two hands widths beyond the shoulders; elbows must be away from the body, arms fully extended, body held straight with the feet no more than three inches apart, toes touching the floor). As the arms are flexed, the body is lowered toward the floor until the upper arms are parallel to the floor (straight line from center axis of elbow to center axis of shoulder). Student completes the exercise after returning to the starting position. This is a timed, one minute continuous motion exercise.
The student lies on back with tops of shoulder blades touching the floor; hands behind the head with fingers interlaced. The knees are bent at a 90 degree angle with the feet placed flat on the floor (feet are held in place by a partner with partner's hands at the tongue of student's shoes and knees on the student's toes). Student raises upper body until the base of the neck is in line with the base of the spine (back is perpendicular to the floor). Student then returns to the starting position (i.e. tops of both shoulder blades must touch the floor). This is a timed, one minute continuous motion exercise.
The student begins in a natural stance, feet shoulder width apart. Step forward with one leg and lower the back knee toward the floor by flexing the knee and hip of the front leg, continue until the rear leg is almost in contact with the floor. Return to original standing position. Repeat by alternating lunge with opposite leg. Remember to keep body upright during the lunge. An alternate way of doing the drill is by repeating the same foot until the exercise is done.
The student must wear approved protective padding on hands. The student begins in a sparring stance, hands up, prepared to hit a target. Using punching techniques only, the student strikes the target with properly-executed, high impact hand strikes. A partner assists by counting the proper punches and by holding or controlling the target.
The student must wear approved protective padding on feet. The student begins in a sparring stance, prepared to kick a target. Using kicking techniques only, the student strikes the target with properly-executed, high-impact kicks. A partner assists by counting the proper kicks and by holding or controlling the target.
The student must wear approved protective padding on hands and feet. The student begins in a sparring stance, prepared to punch or kick target. Using hand and foot techniques only, the student strikes the target with properly-executed, high-impact techniques. A partner assists by counting the proper strikes and kicks and by holding or controlling the target.