3 Additional After-School Sports That Will Improve Your Child’s Tae Kwon Do Skills
Tae Kwon Do is a multifaceted martial art that offers benefits beyond self-defense and physical fitness. It instills discipline, improves focus, and boosts self-esteem. As your child grows in their Tae Kwon Do skills, you may be faced with a situation where you want your child to explore other activities, but also want them to continue to strengthen their abilities in this form of marital arts.
Luckily, there are many additional sports that can also help your child improve their Tae Kwon Do skills and possibly take them to the next level. Here are three after-school sports that complement Tae Kwon Do training by enhancing specific aspects like agility, strength, and balance.
Gymnastics – For Improved Flexibility and Coordination
One of the fundamental tenets of Tae Kwon Do is flexibility. High kicks, quick turns, and agile dodges are integral parts of the martial art. Gymnastics is an excellent sport to enhance these attributes. The sport focuses on full-body flexibility and dynamic balance = qualities that are directly translatable to Tae Kwon Do.
Gymnastics training incorporates activities like tumbling, parallel bars, and balance beams, which require a strong sense of body awareness. This kind of spatial awareness can help your child execute more accurate and effective kicks and strikes in Tae Kwon Do. In addition, gymnastics builds core strength, which is crucial for maintaining balance during fast-paced sparring sessions.
Soccer – For Enhanced Footwork and Stamina
Tae Kwon Do involves a lot of kicks and footwork. While practicing the martial art itself will naturally develop these areas, adding soccer into the mix can bring a new dimension to your child’s skills. Soccer is a game heavily reliant on footwork, be it dribbling the ball down the field or executing precise passes.
Soccer also demands a high level of cardiovascular fitness. With time durations often exceeding 90 minutes, the sport offers excellent endurance training. Improved stamina can make a significant difference in your child’s ability to maintain a high level of performance throughout a Tae Kwon Do session, particularly in long bouts.
Swimming – For Better Breathing and Core Strength
Breathing techniques are often overlooked in martial arts, yet they are vital for stamina and the effective execution of techniques. Swimming is one of the best sports to improve lung capacity and breathing control. The very act of swimming forces rhythmic breathing, as irregular patterns can disrupt movement and speed.
Swimming also engages multiple muscle groups, particularly the core, arms, and legs, offering a full-body workout. A strong core is essential for maintaining balance and posture in Tae Kwon Do, particularly when executing kicks or defending against an opponent’s strikes.
Enhance Your Child’s Tae Kwon Do Skills Through Cross-Training
Each of these sports offers unique benefits that align well with the key attributes required in Tae Kwon Do. Gymnastics offers improved flexibility and balance, soccer enhances footwork and endurance, and swimming can significantly improve breathing techniques and overall strength. Engaging in one or more of these after-school activities can be a strategic move to accelerate your child’s progression in Tae Kwon Do, making them more rounded, adaptable, and proficient in the martial art.