Not everyone is motivated to be a competitive fighter; but, it is our job as instructors to teach every student how to use Taekwondo to protect and defend themselves. Taekwondo is a martial art and martial means combat. Self-defense is what we teach.
Consequently, it is our goal to provide our students with enough knowledge about sparring so they can defend themselves. Many instructors have developed their own concepts and understanding of how to spar. There are also many different types of sparring. It is our intention to provide you with the basic knowledge needed to provide your students with a systematic understanding of how to spar.
You must begin by understanding the many different types of sparring;
- One Step Sparring
- Three Step Sparring
- Classroom Sparring
- Without a partner, shadow sparring
- With a partner
- Slow motion
- Light Contact
- Test Sparring
- Point Sparring
- Olympic Sparring
All of these different types of fighting have one thing in common. They have rules. They are different depending on the type of sparring and the organization you might be competing. But, with the exception of street fighting, they have rules.
It is important that students understand this and the rules that apply to the type of sparring you are asking them to perform. Not only for the safety of themselves; but, also for their partner.
One Step Sparring:
One Step sparring is designed to help students get familiar and used to punching and kicking at a partner. They learn to judge distance, targeting, proper weapon and control. They also learn and get used to having someone punching and kicking at them as they learn to respond with movement, blocks and counter attacks. In addition, if taught properly they can learn the medical implication of a blow to a specific target.
One steps primary purpose is to make a student comfortable with sparring. We like to say they are transitional to sparring in that they ease the student into actually participating in sparring by getting them used to being punched or kicked at and blocking or avoiding and countering.
Classroom sparring is what we tend to do most; but, it is important to use class room sparring to work on all other types of sparring.
Classroom sparring should be the training environment for providing students with the fundamen-tals of sparring. The fundamentals include:
- Sparring Stance: Gyeorugi Junbijase (1.5x shoulder width)
- Open & Closed Stances: Matseogi & Etseogi
- Movement in place: Gibon Ditgi
- Movement forward and back: Apdwi Ditgi
- Movement by switching sides: Pum
- Managing the Gap: Reactionary Gap
- Offensive Strategy:
- Defensive Strategy:
- Counter Strategy:
Test Sparring is performed without gear. It is controlled sparring where one is expected to demon-strate their offense, defense, movement and counter abilities for the purpose of scoring during an examination. As an instructor, it is critical that you practice test sparring in class with a focus on all three of the rated elements of an examination.
During Examinations a student is scored in three categories. Each category carries equal weight ( 1/3 of score for each category):
- Offense: Planned attacks
- Defense: Distance, Blocking or Countering
- Movement: Managing the gap, evading attacks
Point sparring is used in UWTA tournaments. Point sparring was introduced in the early years of competition and was later replaced by Taekwondo stylists with Olympic sparring. However, the UWTA continues to use point sparring because it is a much safer style of sparring for introducing students into competition and it’s applicability to a “real” self defense situation is viewed as im-portant. The ability to strike first and deliver an effective blow or counter an attack can make the difference in a dangerous situation. Olympic sparring with it’s point oriented kicking and lack of head strikes makes it less of a practical self-defense style of fighting.
As an instructor there are some basics that you must know in sparring in order to properly train students for competition. It is also important for an instructor to actively participate in tournament competitions to gain the necessary experience needed to teach sparring effectively.
Knowledge of the rules is critical to understanding how to develop a game plan or strategy for winning in competition. It would be difficult to win in a game of chest without knowing the rules, practicing and having experience in competition.
Olympic sparring is very similar to point sparring with some exceptions. The primary one being that Olympic sparring is continuous sparring which puts an emphasis on countering, movement and strategy during the match.
Knowledge of the rules is critical to development of a game plan or strategy for competition.