SITE DESCRIPTION

TKDTutor provides martial arts students with information about all aspects of taekwondo and the martial arts in general and helps potential students avoid fraudulent organizations, schools, instructors, and concepts.

Sparring>Tips>More sparring tips

↩ Back

More sparring tips

Intro

More tips on sparring to help you become a better fighter.

Tips

  • Be courteous, humble, and confident, and maintain self-control.
  • Fighting requires brains. Outthink your opponent. Be alert and accurate.
  • Victory goes to the one:
  • With more accuracy and speed in attack and defense.
  • With more stamina.
  • With more power.
  • With the most techniques that make contact.
  • That gets off first.
  • Who has better knowledge.
  • With a correct attitude.
  • With the will to win.
  • Analyze the opponent:
  • Is his or her center of balance high, low, or changing?
  • What types of attacks does he or she use?
  • Is he or she fast or slow, strong or weak, or hard or soft?
  • Is he or she experienced?
  • Is he or she stationary or constantly moving?
  • Don’t think in individual attacks; think many moves ahead, like they do when playing chess.
  • Maintain a high level of fitness, so you may tire out your opponent. Accuracy and speed are reduced when muscles are fatigued.
  • Always appear confident.
  • Never underestimate an opponent and never allow yourself to be too impressed with the opposition.
  • Avoid showing any discomfort or tiredness.
  • The safest place is in close with head tucked in behind high hands with elbows tucked in. 
  • Control the ring and you control the fight.
  • Don’t drop your guard hand as you attack; stay guarded.
  • Fight your fight, not your opponent's fight.
  • Don’t cock your punches or follow-through with punches. Most punches should move straight to target and straight back to guard.
  • Don’t cross your legs as you move; stay in a fighting stance as you shuffle.
  • Don’t dance on the backs of your heels; stay light on your toes. It hides your intended movements from your opponent.
  • Always keep your eyes open, even while taking a punch.
  • Don’t lock out your arm as you punch, it may lead to elbow injuries.
  • For any technique that is not a fake or any movement, offensive or defensive, that is not toward the target is wasted movement. It also makes the technique slower than that of a direct movement toward the target.
  • Point your feet in the direction that power is being applied.
  • Some prefer to not look at the scores and just fight their best fight, but the scores are important to your fighting style. If you are ahead and time is running out, you may want to use a defensive strategy. If you are behind, you may want to go for higher scoring techniques,
  • Don’t stick out your tongue or mouthguard. Do not chew your mouthguard.
  • Vary your angles of attack.
  • Return to your fighting stance after every strike that is not a combination.
  • Do not be a headhunter; vary your targets.
  • Attack only when you see an opening; don’t just attack to appear busy.
  • Once inside, keep both hands punching.
  • Don’t make the same mistake twice.
  • A straight punch will usually beat a hook.
  • Carry the hands high and head down behind them and watch your opponent through your eyebrows, thus keeping your chin down and protected.
  • Fear is restricting. Use it to your advantage.
  • Never underestimate an opponent.
  • Any time there is an opening, attack immediately, don’t wait.
  • Use a variety of techniques; keep the opponent guessing
  • You are most vulnerable when moving into your attack or moving away from an opponent's attack.
  • Keep the opponent in scoring position where judges can see your techniques strike but any strikes by the opponent are obscured.
  • Don’t panic, even when you receive a warning.
  • Avoid set patterns of fighting; learn to react to each attack.     
  • Kick your way out of clashes.
  • A direct counterattack demoralizes opponents because it stops an opponent's attack before it even gets off.
  • Counterattack as the opponent begins approach footwork. For example, counter just as opponent steps behind lead foot for a sliding side kick.
  • Opponent's high attack means a low target is open and vice-versa.
  • Counterattack kickers when they are on one foot because their balance is weak, and they cannot retreat from the attack.
  • Vary your moves. Never use the same movement more than twice in succession.
  • Keep moving. Move in a circle, in both directions.
  • If you do not have time to counter or block an attack, either step into the attack to jam or smother it, or quickly sidestep and execute a circular kick before there is a counter.
  • Always keep the trailing guard arm up because you cannot bend over to roll under an attack coming from that side.
  • When your opponent pushes, you give way. When your opponent pulls, you push. Move with the opponent but always try to stay one step ahead.
  • Give direction, not an order, to your technique. Giving an order means being fixated on a technique. When a technique is given direction it can adapt as needed to reach its target.
  • Don't look at the opponent’s technique or body; look at his or her heart.
  • Use sound to react. The sound of breathing telegraphs movement.
  • Don't be ready to execute a technique; be ready to kiai. Look at a dominant dog. It uses a sudden loud bark to energize itself and to show power. On the other hand, look at the submissive dog, its continuous yaps show more fear than anything. 
  • Don't wait for the opponent to attack; be dominant and control the situation.
  • Dictate the rhythm for your opponent and don't move without purpose. The jumpier you are, the more excited and jumpier your mind gets. 
  • Learn not to wait and not rush. Watch a hunting cat. The cat stealthily approaches within attacking range but then waits. When the prey shows weakness, the cat attacks. If the cat rushed immediately, the prey may escape. Instead of rushing, put mental pressure on your opponent. Make the opponent uncomfortable so he or she will show his or her intention or physically move, attack, or hesitate. With enough training, you will become sensitive enough to know when your opponent wants to move. You will become confident enough to allow the opponent to attack, knowing that you can respond and use the attack in your favor. 
  • When an unblocked attack is directed at the face, lean away, or pull your lead shoulder and head together to protect your jaw and prevent getting knocked out.
  • Don’t emphasize speed at the expense of form.
  • It‘s dangerous to lead with the trailing hand.
  • Use full movement when training for and competing in sparring.
  • When the opponent moves, you move, either with a defensive technique or an offensive technique, or to maintain your fighting range.
  • Never stand flat-footed with your knees straight. Always keep your knees slightly bent, coiled like springs, so that you can move in any direction easily or jump without having to squat first
  • Never score a point or throw a technique and then turn your back and lose your superiority over your opponent. Stay "in their face" all the time, until a break is called.
  • When sidestepping an attack, wait until the last split second to move. If you move too early, the opponent may follow you with the attack. If you move too late, it’s too late to move. It is a fine line.
  • Never take your eyes off your opponent. Never turn your back to an opponent. Avoid turning your back to judges, because they cannot see your scoring strikes.
  • Develop a "poker face" when fighting, that way you never telegraph your intentions through facial expressions. Never show fear, it builds your opponent's confidence. Try to look relaxed and confident, it makes your opponents nervous, which will affect their fighting ability. 
  • If it worked once, it would probably work again, but do not overuse it.
  • Don’t hesitate to back up when required.
  • A calm mind is built through meditation and a lot of sparring. Maintain a calm mind because it:
  • Builds a strong spirit.
  • Keeps you loose.
  • Causes you not to be easily distracted.
  • Gives you confidence that you can beat opponent.
  • Always maintain proper form, even when fatigued.
  • Perform techniques correctly, smoothly, gracefully, and forcefully. Basic moves performed well are the secret of success.
  • Keep the teeth tight to prevent injury to the jaw when it is hit.
  • Opponents respect pain, so block hard.
  • Hands are your most dangerous weapon, so use them.
  • Use the lead hand as a measure for distance.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and use them, such as edges of the fighting ring, walls, pillars, bright sun, etc.
  • Novices may not follow your lead, as would a more experienced opponent.
  • To win, it is not how much pain you can cause the opponent, but how much pain you can endure to stop him or her.
  • Always look at the intended target, even when using a feint.
  • Maintain balance throughout the execution of techniques.     
  • Use feints infrequently; only use them when you have an intention to attack.
  • In a close match, attack continuously. Now is not the time for counterattacks.
  • Conserve energy, useless kicks waste energy. Jumping kicks uses lots of energy.
  • Don’t walk into a kick. It happens all the time.
  • Don’t cheer yourself. Never show disrespect towards your opponent.
  • Relax. Tension slows reaction time.
  • Read the opponent, but do not be trapped by feints and false movements.
  • Tactics and experience may be better than speed.
  • Never stop trying if things are not going well. It only takes one well-placed technique to turn the contest your way. 
  • Attack fiercely to "psych out" your opponent and intimidate him or her. Another form of intimidation is to look competent and confident.
  • Use glare and flare. Glare as if you were angry and flare the nostrils. You may look angry without being angry. Anger has no place in the ring, but angry looks are okay. t.
  • Don’t practice in slow motion, practice as if in a real fight. You cannot become a fast sprinter by jogging every day.
  • Spin with an attack to defect it.
  • Join with an attack to increase the force of your counter technique.
  • Unite with the body and spirit of the opponent. Go with the flow. Do not oppose the opponent's power; instead, harmonize with it and use it for your purposes.
  • Lead the opponent in a circle; never receive his force directly. Lead the opponent in a continuous spiral motion to unbalance him or her.
  • Apply all actions sequentially for a smooth force that culminates at the point of impact. Like when splitting a log with an ax.
  • Conserve energy. Maintain your direction of motion until all techniques are used up in that direction.
  • If you can pinpoint a specific weakness in your opponent’s defense, attack it over and over.
  • Even if you have the lead, don’t back off. Don’t worry about making your opponent look bad. If you want to help your opponent, wait until after the match and discuss the match with him or her.
  • After completing your full attack, make sure you have a disengaging technique that will help create a gap between you and your opponent, such as jumping backward with a pushing front kick. 
  • Quick reflex fighters do not move much when sparring because they do not need to move. Many opponents do not realize the quickness or are too impatient, so they keep walking into range and getting hit.
  • Don’t do a lot of impressive stretches or practice kicks to impress the crowd; your opponents are watching. You are merely showing your weapons to the enemy.
  • Use double attacks, kick and punch at the same time to different areas, such as a punch to head while front kicking to the mid-section. 
  • When you see a punch coming, block or slip it while firing a counter over or under it. There is always an opening behind an attack.
  • When your opponent over-reacts to all your movements, you must calm him or her down. Attack a little slower, only use single attacks, or focus your attacks much too short so the person starts to calm down. Then use the same technique in combination with a quick counter that catches him or her off guard. 
  • Sometimes you lead (be the aggressor), sometimes you follow (be the counter attacker). Switch from one mode to the other as needed. If the opponent is stronger or more aggressive, then you should be a counter fighter. If the opponent is passive, then you want to dominate by being aggressive.
  • Sometimes you must switch fighting styles in midstream.
  • When sparring in class, concentrate on a particular technique. Develop that technique until you become proficient with it. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Do not worry about “losing” a sparring match in class; this is learning time, not fighting time.
  • Don’t fall into the trap of trying to fight the same as your opponent. Don’t always move in the same direction as your opponent. See what type of reaction you draw if you back up when your opponent backs up. If facing a good kicker, don’t get into a kicking contest. Fight your fight, changing it as necessary.
  • Use footwork to avoid attacks and set up for your attacks. It is difficult for your opponent to hit a moving target and, when you are constantly moving, it is more difficult for your opponent to detect the initial movement or your attack. 

Sources

  • Hanho. (1992). Combat Strategy: Junsado, the Way of the Warrior. Connecticut: Turtle Press
  • Hee, D. (1992). Tae Kwon Do Fighting Strategies: The Ring Tactics of an Olympic Gold Medalist. Black Belt Magazine, August 1992.
  • Prime, N. (2001). Bridging the gap. Niagara North Newsletter, Volume 30, July 2001. [Online]. Available: http://www.wadokaikarate.com [2003, February 20].
  • Turtle Press. (2002). [Online], Available: http://www.turtlepress.com/library.asp [2002, October 21].
  • United States Taekwondo Union. (1999). [Online]. Available: http://www.ustu.com [1999, December 4].
  • Verstappen, S. (2002). Fight Smart I & II Chinese Strategies for The Sparring Arena.
↩ Back

No comments: