5 Tae Kwon Do Sparring Tips

Looking for 5 tae kwon do sparring tips? The best tae kwon do sparing tips for you can depend on which type of sparring is being engaged in. Tae kwon do, as a sport, has two main categories. The first is known as "point fighting," and the second is Olympic-style sparring, full-contact with pads where the rules are determined by the World Taekwondo Foundation. For sparring in general, the following tips may be helpful to consider.

  1. Learn to control your fighting spirit. In Tae kwon do sparring you will generally be in a match for three to four minutes, and the only option is to win or be dismissed. Aggression and fighting spirit are not necessarily the same thing, and it can be helpful to learn to build your internal energy that you will draw upon when striking and blocking. If aggression is your idea of fighting spirit, you will often be outsmarted in matches.
  2. Know the rules of tae kwon do sparring. Gaining points is essential, but losing points can undo everything. Rules are in place for safety and no one cares if you won if you did so with cheap shots. Tournament rules can be very strict, so learning the rules early in practice matches can set you up for success later. Beginners are not permitted to use face-punches, kick below the belt, or use a back-fist strike or blind attack (a spin to strike without first looking where the strike will hit). Ground fighting and open-hand attacks are also not permitted. Better safe than sorry, so learn the rules. If you don't know the rules, ask your instructor.
  3. Avoid slick moves in tae kwon do sparring. If the judges don't see the move, or the majority of judges do not see the strike, you will not be awarded points for it. It can be helpful, especially for beginners, to make sure your moves are clear, precise and relatively easy to see. This means you must make sure the judges can see the move when you perform it.
  4. Trust your instructor. If your instructor feels you are ready for sparring, then you are probably ready. The instructor's job is to provide you with the tools you need to win in tae kwon do sparring matches. Listen, pay attention and practice often. Perfect every move so that it becomes habit.
  5. Always plan for contingencies. In any fight, whether organized in a planned tae kwon do sparring session or on the street, nothing can ever be guaranteed to work. When you decide on a strike, try to consider what the possible outcomes may be. This will help you be prepared for making your next move. If you throw a strike and your opponent does not act according to how you expected, you will lose your focus and likely give up points. Never underestimate your opponent, or lucky shots.
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