Taekwondo Sparring


This is discussion on Taekwondo Sparring we had October 2017.

One characteristic of my early training in martial arts was you never talked in class, you don't question your instructor, and you just do as you are told.

There are actually positives with this kind of training, but if you want to create a real learning environment, students should be encouraged to interact and provide feedback. This is so that martial art instructors can get feedback beyond their simple observation of physical technique.

As you are engaged in practice, you should also clarify what you are doing and what you want to accomplish in the various drills that you have. Recently I observed a sparring practice that had elements of various other taekwondo application and sparring sessions but seemed to lack a little focus. Sometimes this is fine - you can enjoying this interaction, you can use those sessions to improve cardiovascular performance, but this is not the most optimal way of learning about your martial system.

In the discussion from the first video, we talk about maximising the benefit of an exercise drill we call 'SuperLight'. SuperLight is a very controlled slowed exchange of technique in a safe environment. There's less of a focus on gap closing and more on the interaction of technique with a dynamic opponent. Of course we are no longer white belts. No longer beginners. The need for safety and control is needed in order to allow us to play with techniques that are dangerous and that would debilitate or maim our training partner if done without precision.

The discussion from the second video is about default 'traditional' hard style training approaches and how they affect combative skills. Hey, I'm not here to knock hard style training. We train line drills in order to blitz down centre line. But the line can still be applied! It can go obliquely, downward, and when stretched, it can circle the opponent!!! I'm saying that whatever methodology you use or training aids ... you need to look at what the training is trying to achieve, then make up for any disadvantage it has.

What tips would you have to improve sparring and the feedback you have in your school? What interaction would you require to better acquaint yourself with the traditional content? How would you provide feedback to an instructor who prioritised physical fitness in the class? What kind of home equipment do you need that might help you develop necessary skills?

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Unknown said…
I'm a beginner TKD student who also blogs. I've been following your blog for a little while now. I like your technical explanations. Keep up the good work.

More to my point though, I'm also a software developer. If you're really interested in great stats for you and also great search results for your readers, check out the search wijit at www.lijit.com. Full disclosure: I do work there.

- shaggy
Colin Wee said…
Thanks, Shaggy. That was the whole idea of the blog - to spend time with the techniques and to share a little of our fun during our practice sessions.

I've gone to check out lijit. Will visit again soon.

Thanks again.


sg said…
Interesting blog you have here... cheers
Colin Wee said…
Thanks for posting, SG.

I started this blog as a way to 'preserve' what I see is my version of traditional taekwondo. But another of my aims is to make this system accessible to everyone. It would be great to see more participation by other taekwondo practitioners.

Thanks for the compliment.


Patricia said…
This is Patricia who posts on the Las Vegas Taekwon-Do Club Blog.
I was just wonder which style or stlyes of Taekwon-Do you do- from your posts it looks like you do a few.
Thank you,
Colin Wee said…
Hi Patricia, I do American Karate/Taekwondo as brought to the US by GM Jhoon Rhee in 1955. I was trained by the American Karate and Taekwondo Organisation (the AKaTO is not affiliated with either ITF or WTF) and it continues to practice the version of Taekwondo that Jhoon Rhee brought over from Korea. THere is a post somewhere on this blog that goes into the history a little more. Colin
Patricia said…
Okay, thank you! I know a little about Jhoon Rhee: he used to do ITF TKD back when it was called Korean Karate, and is known by some as the father of Taekwon-Do in America. I didn't know he created his own organization! Thank you!
Colin Wee said…
Yeah, he used to do Taekwondo before it was ITF Taekwondo; and for him it would have really been Tang Soo Do. It was a group of his first black belts in the Midwest that eventually set up the Southwestern Taekwondo Association, which recently changed its name to American Karate and Taekwondo Organization. For me, this style is like a snapshot of what TKD was like before it started changing from the mid 60s onwards. Cheers, Colin

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