Jack of All Trades

A regular conversation we have at TKD Coach Academy is the time spent on each facet/component of training.

Most people training in Taekwon-Do in Ireland (think children, most people training in Taekwon-Do in Ireland are children!) train twice a week for an hour or so.

When you’re beginning in a new activity that’s a reasonable time investment and as coaches, we can spend quality time on physical development, fundamental movements of pattern and sparring, basic kicking and work on developing an ethos or culture that we want in the club.


Over time, even with an increase in training volume (maybe training a third session or training longer sessions) the coach has to compromise and decide what to spend those precious minutes on. That’s where we look to the Pareto Principle and the 80:20 rule.

That is to say, that we expect 80% of the outcomes to be determined by 20% of the inputs and in this case, focusing on 20% of what it’s possible to teach for 80% of the time in order to achieve our goals.

What does that look like in practice? For us, it means that outside of beginner classes we spend 80% of our time on sparring, pattern and kicking and 20% of our time on everything else!


Our goals as competitively focused coaches align more toward the competitive disciplines and less to the broader art of ITF Taekwon-Do.

Why? Because we don’t want to be a Jack of All Trades.

We hope to develop a depth of capability, understanding and expertise in a narrower portion of what’s ultimately possible rather than a shallower but broader range of abilities.

Much like a graduate pursuing a Masters or PhD we seek deeper rather than wider knowledge. Both have value, but time is limited and we must all choose how we spend it.

How do you approach the balance?

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