taekwondo sparring

I will spar you! Respectfully.

Inevitably, if you practice martial arts, you have told someone you are going to your martial arts class.  They may have given you that raised eyebrow wtf look.  If you tell them you spar, same thing.  More often than not I hear a comment about sparring along the lines of ‘I bet it’s a great way to get aggression out.’

Sparring is not about getting out aggression.

What sparring is about: respect, self control, and refining your technique.

Respect

First and foremost is the well being of your partner because you are not here to injure or seriously maim them.  They deserve your respect because they have openly agreed to being put in harms way for the sake of bettering your skill.  You are partially responsible for their safety and welfare.  

Self control

Yes, it is possible to learn without going full force.  If you really need to wail on something, save that for a bag or some other training equipment designed for that.  There is a kid (16) at my dojang who has zero self control and ends up always apologizing profusely for injuring his partner.  Not only does his behavior not change, but most students will not spar with him anymore.  Only the advanced students will and there aren’t many who regularly attend sparring class.  If you want other students to spar with you, keep your strength in check. 

Refining your technique

If your school is set up the way mine is there is a separate class for sparring instead of being the primary focus.  During the regular lessons we learn a variety of blocks/strikes and application.  Well, the only way you are going to learn speed and accuracy is to practice and sparring is a great place to try out something new.  One of my instructors will often spar with the lower ranks and when the student goes into kick he just stands there and lets them try it and keeps himself at a safe enough distance that it wont hurt him.  

We are here to learn so in the process, try to keep yourself and your sparring partners in tact.  

Also, listen to Yoda

Thank you to SifuKuttel for inspiring me to write this post. 

Types of people in your dojang
  • The five year old: screams at everyone until the master walks by. can't hold a stance during a hyung because they are too distracted by the urge to make faces at everyone in the room.
  • The absolute perv: Honestly just really needs to stop groping people in places they shouldn't be groped unless making passionate love.
  • Sexist old guy: Thinks girls shouldn't spar, or be in tough situations.
  • Annoying dad: wants more "women's self defense" classes and more "women" oriented stuff because women are not capable of kicking ass and need special "women classes" to aid in such activities.
  • Crazy old lady: takes it personal when you spar and land more kicks/punches than her. talks about her pets a LOT.
  • Horny mom: says she comes to class for her son but really just wants the D. Asks the master to demonstrate until he physically has to move her limbs. Also complains about her bad life choices.
  • Quiet af dude: always sits in the corner quietly and when it comes time for sparring, beats the living shit out of everyone.
  • Demon queen: tough as hell, don't take shit from nobody. probably eats cactus on sundays.
  • Random guy that's not even in the class: comes to class and fucks up the whole respect and obedience thing going on by telling kids they need to be "free".
  • Actually committed student: comes to class. kicks shit. goes home.
  • Fuckin weird girl: likable and funny but brings up the most off topic shit during training to distract the master from actually teaching.
  • Obsessed dude: everything is taekwondo to them. everything. shhhhhhhhhh.....everything. has made up their own martial art and has demo copies on DVD available.
  • White girl: comes to class, takes selfies, checks phone during water breaks instead of drinking the glorious nectar. stops during sparring when her hair gets messed up.
  • The master: silently wondering why they put up with so many weird af people.

It was intense asf last night, holy crap. The testing was from 4.30 to 8.45-ish. Old TBB members from our coach arrived to watch all of us and the aura inside the gym was pretty damn intimidating, oh my godd. Anyways the good news is… I PASSED MY TESTING FOR 2ND DAN! 🎉🎉💪 THANK YOU FOR THE SUPPORT GUYS. 😁😁
(…on a side note the upstairs studio looked hella artsy with the lighting so yeahh.)