Here's my update recently went to a sparring seminar held by 1988 olympic gold medalist Chang Myung-Sam where he talked about you guessed it controlling distance and timing. It was a good seminar and I learned alot. What he taught us helped me out alot during the tournament this past weekend.
The tournament was the National Capitol open held in Herndon, VA by Grandmaster H.K. Lee I got third in forms (because for some reason their was a fourth and fifth degree blackbelt competing against me), but thats not the part you want to hear.
I weighed in at 200 pounds, half way to my goal, and my opponent was a big Samoan looking guy who was about 6'4 or 5 and weighed 270 who was incredibley agile for his size. The match started and at first I was just trying to gauge the distance, becuase one of the things Master Chang told us was that good fighters are cautious fighters and that you need to think about what you're doing. Then as I stepped in to fake he caught me with a bir turning-back kick to the stomach that knocked me out of the ring. I got quickly and continued. we exchanged roundkicks as I took the center of the ring then as he moved into the corner I fake him into doing turning kick and cught him with a hop-step side kick of my own that knocked him down. I continued to fight tactically and cautiously making sure not to rush in when he came in with a round kick I blocked, then a quick axe kick that grazed my head. after another exchange of partially blocked kicks the round was over, and I was down 4-1.
The second round started and my spirits were high. I was down, but not out of it yet. Came out and tried to stay tactical and keep focus, when out of the gate he comes at me with a hoping tornado kick I couldn't get away from. the rattle me alittle but I kept my cool I regain the distance and come at with a round kick that he blocks and counters with a axe kick that lands and I threw another round kick that misses wide. We move around a little more trying to get a read on each other when I slide and clinch thinking I'd be able to angle off and catch him but he was to big so I had to back out. Then I heard my corner telling me to go after he because he was getting tired so I started pushing the pace throwing a round kick he blocked but landing a follow Hurrincane kick to his chest. I then threw a side kick but miss read the distance a little so it only tapped him while he countered with a sharp arc kick just under my arm. I maintain control of the center and move him towards the corner where I threw a round kick and he threw another axe kick. I see a few chances for me to attack, but I hesitate and let them slip then he attempt a hop or leaping kick, but I immediatley countered with a push kick that stopped him in mid air I my corner tell me to keep my hands up, but didn't realize what they meant. Then we moved back to the center of the where I try to slide in and move off the clinch again, but squares up and shuts me down. then we break apart and as I step in I get caught with a big spinning hook kick to the jaw and I was floored instantly. from the floor I can hear the ref counting, but years of readingn hajime no ippo told me to use the full count and not rush to stand up. I remember thinking to myself " Am I ok? Am I ok? Can I see stright? Is my body ok? Then I heard the ref call for the doctors and I stood up. I was fine, the ref asked if I could continue and I did. Back to the middle of the ring we were we move around a bit and both came in with rear-leg roundhouse kicks mine was blocked but I only partially block his. The match was stopped there was a Ten-point gap rule in effect and I had just lost final score 13-3.
Corner was mad because I didn't listen about keeping my hands, because what they meant was that I have a tell I do when I'm to into the fight, where my hands bounce up and down Apollo Creed style and they stop/pause right when I'm about to attack. They said thats when he threw the turning-hook kick that floored me. I that I was giving my opponent to much respect and was being to patient.
Next fight in my divisions one guy was only seventeen and dropped out so the other guy got the technical win He was the same size and weight as me but had a more tone build. He then fought the big dude for the final. guy comes out aggressive exchanging round kicks with the big dude. they got at pretty evenly in the first round the score 2-3 big dude up. Second round big dude comes out ready to go quickly takes it to 2-4 then as the guy tries to retaliate big dude catches him coming in with the same spinning-hook kick the fkoored me and dropped him. this time his heel partially caught the guys temple. he didn't make the ten count and both his couch and the ref had to help him stand up, he was so wobbley. After my couch saw that she told my dad to take me to the hospital because she wanted to make sure I didn't fall asleep and in up in a coma, but the doctor said I was fine and that my jaw would problably hurt for a few days.
P.S. My jaw dosen't hurt that muchm, I'll be in class tonight.
SORRY about the wall of text.
Sounds a little like some of my matches. Do you get nervous before a fight. I do and I will account all my losses to that. I would have done better or even won a couple if I didn't get nervous. I get almost tunnel vision effect and I become very stiff instead of relaxed. This makes me slow and not use what I know. Also its hard to read the opponent.
Originally Posted by korean dragon
Now if you don't think you get nervous then you just need more practice and more tournaments. If you do get nervous the only way around it is to compete. This is the same reason in martial arts you have to spar with contact this way not only you test against resisting opponent buy you get used to someone try to take your head off.
Keep up the work and you will see results.
Originally Posted by svt2026
Don't know if I'd call it nervousness. Its more like over cautiousness. Totally have the tunnel vison though. Usually means I've lost my composure and am to "into the fight".
Maybe its not nervous for say. Your frame of mind is not how you are during your regular training/sparring at your school. Once you learn to deal with it you will learn to use things you know better and read your opponent. So more tournaments will do that. Keep practicing. The closest thing I found in practice is to have a really hard work out before you actually get to sparring this in my eye's kind of mimics the feeling I get when in a tournament.
O.K. here's the update next week is the USA Taekwondo Junior Olympics and Senior Nationals in Orlando Florida. My current weight is 195/192 depending on the time of day and I have until this coming Friday to drop those extra 5 pounds before my official weigh-in any advice.
P.S. don't know if I'll have any video ,but I will write up my results.
Im not sure why you would want to drop a weight class. Wouldn't you want to be the lightest/fastest in your division. If you drop weight you will be at top of your division, so probably heaviest and slowest. If you did grappling or full contact where strength gives you advantage I could see your point, but not in a competition where speed counts.
Speed and strength count in Olympic Taekwondo, especially if you're good at the clinch game in a competitive environment that encourages clinching. I competed in the INCTL, now the ECTL, and they definitely encourage clinching. If he's the heaviest, and hopefully strongest, in his weight class, he can use the clinch game to even up the speed gap.
I only competed on the university level, so I don't know what your league's referees are like when it comes to the clinch.
Now, back to your concerns, it sounds like you really need to relax. As svt said, you just need more competition experience. If you just moved up to the dan ranks, it's going to take some time to adjust to the speed and tactics of the game. You yourself said that the first opponent that talked about you had been to that same tournament for the last 8 years. That's a big experience gap.