Oldman's post and some other posts have made me think about this a bit. Specifically, when does your school start to let people spar and how often do you spar?
In my first TKD school, we sparred every class, although it was no contact for lower belts to light contact for upper belts (no gear, either - very Japanese from my experience with Karate in Japan), except for once a week (classes were 2 hours 3 times a week), when yellow belts and up would gear up (dipped foam hand and foot pads and cotton shin and forearm pads) and spar medium to hard contact to the body and light to medium contact to the head. Our instructor would start white belts sparring after our second week, sparring us himself for the first couple of times so that he would make sure that we learned control and could control the situation should anyone spaz. Every once in a while from about 4th gup and up, we'd strap on the hogu (really old crappy hogu that seemed to be padded with cardboard) and 16oz boxing gloves (still, no head gear) and go full contact trying to beat the **** out of each other.
When I taught TKD in college, I continued pretty much this same style, but on our contact sparring days we had an open invitiation to other MAists on campus to come spar with us and that day was pretty much just set aside for sparring. We'd (the black belts from TKD and other styles) would also spar with a pretty loose rule set and crank it up to pretty close to full contact most of times.
Since then, I've been at TKD schools that pretty much reserve sparing to once a week, full contact with gear, WTF rules, and reserved for yellow belts and up. This is the type of situation, sparring once a week and only under WTF rules, that I see as being the bane of TKD. Sure, at my first school and when I taught in college, we sparred no contact to light contact more than we did contact sparring. However, we allowed punching to the head, sweeps and takedowns from 3rd gup up. We also contact sparrred (albeit not full contact) one out of three training days a week.
So, how often and what kind of sparring do you do at your school.
Last edited by TEA; 7/22/2007 11:17am at .
We spar every other week.....full, hard contact to body and medium to the head.....WTF rules....We start sparring as a white belt.
We do medium contact to the head with control....no trying to knock anyone out....we are all learning and developing our sparring skills.
The school i was in before did "light to no contact" for green belts to brown belts....brown belts and above did "light to medium contact". White and yellow belts could not spar...and that is pretty much the reason i switched schools.
At my TKD school, when we started back about 4 years ago, we'd spar tues and thurs and forms and the rest would occur Mon, Wed, Fri. Saddly things have changed and we usually only sparr Sat's now if we are lucky (part of the reason I train two places now). I don't really know why. Maybe becuase of business and the amount of people that like to spar hard in our school is low. When we do, it's WTF rules of course... medium to hard contact depending on your partner. You start sparring whenever you like. *sniffles* I miss the old days....
In my school you can start sparring at white belt (but the contact is light). The amount of contact increase with your graduation. Normally, we spar three times a weak and saturdays is only dedicated to sparring (the class last two hours and a half). The rules are punches and kicks to the head and body, but we also spar using only punches or only kicks. We also do sparring with sweeps and takedowns starting at 2nd Gup.
We spar a variable number of times a week - coming up to a big competition, we spar every class. After a big competition we concentrate on RBSD, but not too larpy. Up to a grading we concentrate on patterns, breaking, etc. There is always a sparring only class on Sat mornings, again geared to competition, and recently this has been held in a local boxing club. Other styles can attend that day, but it's ITF TKD or kickboxing rules. We do a highly variable amount of groundwork - JJ in style, and pretty tightly controlled, as generally our skill level is quite low on the ground. We do pressure test self defence techniques as well. Sparring is light contact except for blue belts and over when its hard as you like by personal agreement. Generally, most people - especially as its a mixed skill/age/sex class - go light to medium, though I have broken someone's nose and knocked someone else out (briefly) and had a wrenched knee, been winded and bruised my lips, eyes, fingers, feet and ego many times. Interestingly, sparring at the boxing club is entirely optional - it's compulsory at TKD. We've got some really good fighters who train with the national squad as well.
We start limited sparring from the first class on with one or two techniques, and build from there.
Start sparring when you want with hard/full contact in 10oz boxing gloves with the sort of boxing headgear that has a bar across the nose. Occasional black eyes and very rare broken noses from helmet slippage. Dizziness/stumbling around unable to defend properly after a head shot resulting it being stopped for safety after a pause and inspection by the teacher is quite common.
Spar as often as you can find somebody else who wants to spar. If people don't spar they will wrestle with Shuai Jiao or Sumo-like rules.
More experienced people will spar hard without the headgear when facing somebody they know is less skilled.
!!RENT SPACE HERE FOR 10 VBUCKS PER LINE PER MONTH!!
!! PM ME FOR SPEEDY SERVICE !!
Sponsored by our first customer: Repulsive Monkey
I <3 Sirc.
We don't spar at our school until the third belt (Green). I actually have a lot of faith in this system, because when you're talking business, you're talking kids, and kids that you tell to spar at white belt won't have a clue of what to do. More often than not they'll just throw on their gear and attempt to stay away from their opponent as best as possible. Maybe and elephantine charge here and there....
For the kids, this works great. It lets them build up their confidence in sparring to the point where they'll actually USE kicks during sparring and rely on their punches at close contact. Teaches distancing and movement pretty well for them.
For the adults, this is sub-par. For adults, this means that they have to wait two belts before they'll get and sparring experience, and that they'll have to do less alive training than their higher ranked groupies. Still it does build a mentality that your legs aren't useless, and it helps the uninnitiated to martial arts learn to use all of their limbs effectively.
With a two month schedule between testings, this means a minimum of four months before anyone gets to spar.
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO