Tae Kwon Do Mentality

Post questions and tips on dealing with mental state before and during a martial arts or sports performance, such as prestart emotions, entering the “zone” or peak performance state, and control of concentration.

Tae Kwon Do Mentality

Postby GBTaeKwonDo » Dec 14, 2003 01:33

I am 22 and an avid practitioner of Tae Kwon Do.

I practice 2-3 hours a day on fighting/techniques and spar constantly.

My problem is that when I get to competitions, I lose my focus. I am fully prepared physically, but don't seem to be mentally. I worry about my matches before hand, psyche myself out, and often lose matches to someone I should have easily beaten. I absolutely hate it. I win 1st place here and there, but I lose way more than I should. I want to win and win badly, and I hate this deep slump. Please help!
Posts: 3
Joined: Dec 14, 2003 00:45
Location: Houston, Texas, USA

Postby UKfightfreak » Dec 14, 2003 17:48

It seems to me as though you are defeated before you even step on the mat.

Positive thinking is going to make you win, Chuck Norris often visualised techniques he was going to use to win matches before he fought and then used the exact move to win!

If you do not think you are going to win, whats the point?

Say to yourself:

"I am winning" even before you get in - you brain is pretty complex, if you say "I am going to win" or "I will win" - your sub consious will interpret it at a future point. Get relaxed and lie down and visualise stepping on the mat and see yourself winning, beleive you are winning. See yourself using techniques effectively and using the skills you have gained.

On the day - just remember you are winning - even if you walk away without a medal - shrug it off as a blip - you are a winner!

There is a stadion product on this subject - it's one of the only ones I haven't bought yet! it might be worth looking at!

If you always done what you always did, you will always get what you always got.
Posts: 65
Joined: Dec 13, 2003 06:58
Location: Birmingham, England

Tae Kwon Do Mentality

Postby GBTaeKwonDo » Dec 15, 2003 23:33


Thanks for the positive support. It's tough when one gets into a slump, and any reinforcement is good. I'll keep in mind what you said. Thanks for your time!

Posts: 3
Joined: Dec 14, 2003 00:45
Location: Houston, Texas, USA

Tae Kwon Do Mentality

Postby looneyas » Dec 20, 2003 00:28

Another Question is to ask your self is why do you do Taekwondo,
Go back to Enjoying Taekwondo, Be sure to have your Goals set out for you.
Go back to the basics and no matter what happens learn from your mistakes, also look back and enjoy your achievements that you did make in the fight.
Learn to Teach
Teach to Learn
Posts: 25
Joined: Dec 16, 2003 03:22
Location: Cairns

Postby mmeloon » Mar 18, 2004 20:47

I, too, am having problems with my mental state as I practice my tae kwon do. I'm feeling a lack of confidence even though my accuracy is good and my power is very good. I also get very "tense" mentally and have trouble adapting and reacting to my opponent. I'm looking for something to help me with day-to-day mentallity and not for a tournament. For those of you who have purchased the Gold Medal Mental Workout, does this help with getting the right mindset for regular training sessions or is it primarily geared towards getting yourself psychologically ready for a tournament?

Posts: 193
Joined: Dec 12, 2003 19:36
Location: Santa Barbara, CA, USA

point of view

Postby jukado1 » Mar 20, 2004 01:37

one of the most important principles for any kind of stand up fighting. this is something i learned from Joe Lewis, Joe calls it "POINT OF VIEW" another name would be external focus, Many times fighters are distracted by outside thoughts that have no value to the goal of winning. An example would be allowing your mind to be thinking "gee! he's big" or "that's a cute girl in the first row." These thoughts will interfere and slow down your reaction time. Instead your focus should be on something that keeps you focused on your opponent and on the fight. I've found the most efficient Point Of View seems to be concentrating on the control of distance. As a fighter your point of view
is to maintain your safety zone distance, any time your opponent comes within this imaginary line, weather due to your movement or your opponents you should be attacking them, or moving to maintain distance. Just as a rattle snake attacks as its space is violated, so should a fighter use their opponents movement to key his attack. A second point of view which is another way to say the same thing is, as boxers say, "GET OFF FIRST." to help emphasize how important this is, i once attended a two night seminar taught by another instructor whom i consider one of the very best, MIKE STONE, and mike also emphasized this.
Any fighter who can totally maintain their point of view may not be unbeatable, But they wont beat themselves.
Yours In Martial Arts.
good luck, Train Hard, Train Smart.
Bob Rosenbaum
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 12, 2003 20:46
Location: bermuda dunes, ca.

try sportsmind

Postby richthorpe » May 09, 2004 09:22

I can recommend a book by Jeffrey Hodges titled, Sportsmind. His website is at www.sportsmind.com

I used it for training up to my blackbelt, and it really helped.

Good luck


Postby koryodan » Jul 22, 2004 10:46

I do WTF Taekwondo and I have exactly the same problem when I compete. Before competition I train hard in order to feel that I am prepared for the competition. Of course a person should train hard before a competition but I always give that extra bit of strength and effort to know I have tried as hard as I can to be the best for the upcoming competition. Also during a fight the adrenaline kicks your butt! When you fight I find it takes twice as much out of you as a spar because of the adrenaline coursing through you! So the more you become fitter the less effect the adrenaline will have on you!

Then when the competition arrives my mind starts to faulter. Because I am only young and I am in the senior catagory fighting men I often think 'oh he looks strong or he looks fast', instead of concentrating on my fighting qualities instead of theirs! I often lose to guys that shouldnt be beating me at all! I was in essence beaten even before I walked on the mat.

All the guys above me are right in what they are saying. However there is no magical way for nerves and anxiety to dissapear during a fight. It is actually these fears that keep you subconciously sharp and awake even though you dont know it. If you were totaly calm before a fight you might get slugish and lose concentration altogether!

This is what I do on a competiton day before a fight to make my self ready to take on what ever challenges lie ahead.

1. I eat a really good breakfast to make sure I have a good supply of energy in me for the day. Plenty of carbs to keep you going. Even if I feel sick (which I often do from nerves!) I try to get plenty of energy inside me. It will give you the energy you need for your fight.

2. Try to visualise positive images. Winning the match, the gold medal around your neck, the amount of hard training you have put in for this event.

3. Listen to music before each fight. I have music that really pumps me up before I go out on the mat. It really gets me going. Because I am concentrating so much on the music I forget my fears and go for the kill! Then listen to music that relaxes you for afterwards in case you have another match.

4. Keep a lot of comforts around you. Take your favourite snacks to the fights with you to eat through the day. Sit down and relax. Even sleep and try to conserve energy for other matches ahead. Even watch other matches and visualize: 'I can beat that guy!'

5. the most important of all! Try to remember why you are there. You are there for enjoyment. It is not a punishment. You are at the fight because you want to be. Enjoy it! 2000 Olympic Gold Medallist Steven Lopez always quotes: 'My worst enemy and hardest opponent to beat is myself, mentally'

Sorry the reply is so long but this is a queation I can really relate to! Good luck in future comps and I hope you do well. My coach always tells me: 'The more experience you gain the more familiarized you will become with the game.' Keep fightin!

Posts: 21
Joined: Mar 03, 2004 13:17
Location: Great Britain

Re: Tae Kwon Do Mentality

Postby maengho9 » Oct 21, 2011 23:00

I think that the self-doubts you experience prior to competition, demonstration, etc. has been experienced by most of us at one time or another. The goal is to get past that and into your zone, your bubble.

Physical preparation is one large, significant piece of it. There is nothing like actual sparring, or play fighting to avoid injuries, to build up reflexes and strategy. But what are your tournament training sessions like? Do you work on building stamina, muscle work? I'm not claiming my practices are perfect -- better than another other grandmaster master or instructor -- but they seem to have succeeded so far in sate and national competition. First, we do low hurdle work and floor ladder to warm up. I've gone away from static stretching and embrace moving stretches which seem to minimize muscle pulls. I might then have them go on a mile run or do reps on a nearby hill outside. After a water break -- we take them every 10 minutes or so -- we do hand-held kicking targets. We then put gear on and conduct sparring matches with coaches, ref, 30-second breaks, etc. As we get nearer the date of the competition, I have my athletes wear the chest protector as much as they can to get them accustomed to the restrictive, uncomfortable nature of the gear. Sparring takes up a majority of our tournament training. I then have them do reps on plyometric boxes, lower for the younger competitors. To conclude we might do some light stretching and then various forms of crunches and then push-ups. We do this in a circle and meditate at the end.

I have found music to be a great training aid for the early portion of our workout; then for the meditation period, I bring in Herbie Hancock with a tune called "Bubbles". The session might extend to 2.5 hours, maybe more. Woven through all of this is mutual support for each other. Personally, I believe it to be crucial. Diet, cross training, constant rehydration are, of course, also important. Solid preparation will be of great help on The Day. Stay chilled with music, a book, computer game, snacks. Good luck! Master Joe Nawrozki, Jarrettsville MD
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 21, 2011 17:47

Return to Sport-Specific Psychological Training

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests