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#377876 - 03/16/08 06:20 PM Re: Taekwondo losing it's face/popularity [Re: ITFunity]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
I was just at a tournament in Poland today. The competitors wore boxing gloves and the contact was pretty hard. Lots of hands but also some great kicking.
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#377877 - 03/17/08 05:01 AM Re: Taekwondo losing it's face/popularity [Re: ITFunity]
Supremor Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 2510
Loc: UK
Quote:


I would venture a guess it is another reason for holding free sparring to blue belt, so they have more of an arsenal to draw from.




Is this only at international competitions, because at most of the local tournaments I have been to, there have even been yellow belt divisions for sparring. Personally I have no problem with this, although I think most people prefer to be at least green belt before they think about competing.

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#377878 - 03/17/08 09:11 AM Re: Taekwondo losing it's face/popularity [Re: Supremor]
ITFunity Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/15/06
Posts: 2053
Quote:

Quote:


I would venture a guess it is another reason for holding free sparring to blue belt, so they have more of an arsenal to draw from.



Is this only at international competitions, because at most of the local tournaments I have been to, there have even been yellow belt divisions for sparring. Personally I have no problem with this, although I think most people prefer to be at least green belt before they think about competing.




No what I mean by this is that Ambassador Choi stated that sparring should begin at blue belt level. The premise is that if a student starts fighting before they learn enough techniques & even have the ability to use these techniques effectively, they will have a much reduced arsenal to utilize when fighting.
Therefore we wanted students to build basics & learn sparring through the progression he layed out in 3 step, 2 step, 1 step, then semi-free sparring before letting students free to spar. It is IMHO a great idea & I have had some good results with it. The problem is that it is so hard to implement in a commerical school. Tournaments exist to make money. The more divisions, the more potential to make money. Competing interests. The interest that should win out is the well schooled BB student, who will engage for a lifetime. Then blue belt doesn't seem like a bad starting place.

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#377879 - 03/17/08 09:45 AM Re: Taekwondo losing it's face/popularity [Re: ITFunity]
Supremor Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 2510
Loc: UK
Well, quite apart from the tournament aspect, I think you can never be too inexperienced to start sparring. In my first school students were gently introduced to free sparring- allowed to attack more, attacked at a slower speed and so on. When I am sparring less experienced students, I am always trying to let them learn as much as possible and I think it really works well for them. Of course, you cannot expect a yellow tag or belt to be a good sparrer, but the sooner they start, the better they can get.

All good stuff for gaining confidence, and even if you have a small arsenal I think it is still possible to be very effective in sparring. Indeed, much of the improvements I made later on in my sparring were to cut down the number of techniques I used frequently and instead to focus on a few techniques that I could use in a diverse number of ways.

However, I can see your argument as well. As always it depends on how the instructor approaches such things and how he is able to make it both rewarding and safe for his students. It is another demonstration of why I am against more strict standardisation in the ITF- one instructor can make sparring at yellow tag work, another may not want to.

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#377880 - 03/17/08 10:16 AM Re: Taekwondo losing it's face/popularity [Re: Supremor]
von1 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/04/08
Posts: 260
Supermor, ITFUNITY,



hummmmm,

You both have made good points, personally I don"t know how I feel regarding this madder. My first tourney was many years ago when I was yellow belt. Prior to that I had only sparred twice in the dojo in a controlled environment. Had never even witnessed a TKD competition and had absolutely know idea what to expect. Was scarred to death at the competition and ended up getting hurt, fought through it and took second out or three competitors, severe shoulder injury, couldn't"t even lift my arm to steering wheel to drive to emergency room after wards, had to used other arm and still dealing with this injury today.
Now, this was unfortunate but I can also say that I never made the same mistake that I did that day happen again and sense I have never been that scarred as I was that day either, maybe was not for not. Hummmmmmmmm, was it worth it? I don"t know.


Edited by von1 (03/17/08 10:23 AM)

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#377881 - 03/17/08 10:35 AM Re: Taekwondo losing it's face/popularity [Re: von1]
Supremor Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 2510
Loc: UK
Quote:

Hummmmmmmmm, was it worth it? I don"t know.




I would say that I would never let anyone enter a competition after sparring in class just twice. Nor would I let anyone enter a competition that they were not fully aware of the rules and proceedures for in advance. After all, competitions are frightening enough places without the added stress of not knowing how to navigate the organisation of the tournament.

For what it's worth, I first competed when I was a blue tag(5th kup). I competed a few times after that and always did well(I think I won every competition but one) but I did not enjoy the experience of competing particularly. Particularly when you are a black belt, you are often expected to officiate for much of the day, and may not get to compete until the very end of the day, when you're tired and don't have the adrenaline to fight well. I prefer to be a corner judge most of the time, to assess how people spar, and maybe even pick up some tips from the better ones.

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#377882 - 03/17/08 11:13 AM Re: Taekwondo losing it's face/popularity [Re: Supremor]
von1 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/04/08
Posts: 260
Supermor:



I understand what you are saying but I still have mixed feelings because of the lessons learned from that experience and prior to the competition I was versed on the rules but that's about it.

Some of the more valuable lessons and experiences from that day were,

conquered fear of unknown

stress management


Pain management

victory through pain, meaning, (I survived, second is not victory.)

Gained Tactical knowledge from mistakes

Learned to focus and block out distractions (crowd)


sense of accomplishment


There are other lessons but my thoughts are scattered at the moment.


Oh, gave family and friends something to laugh about, everyone seems to get a kick out of it when I get injured, whats that about?

Maybe it is because I refuse any of them to come watch, I hate an audience even today after years of TKD.


Edited by von1 (03/17/08 11:22 AM)

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#377883 - 03/17/08 01:15 PM Re: Taekwondo losing it's face/popularity [Re: Supremor]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
Quote:

Well, quite apart from the tournament aspect, I think you can never be too inexperienced to start sparring. In my first school students were gently introduced to free sparring- allowed to attack more, attacked at a slower speed and so on. When I am sparring less experienced students, I am always trying to let them learn as much as possible and I think it really works well for them. Of course, you cannot expect a yellow tag or belt to be a good sparrer, but the sooner they start, the better they can get.




This is our philosophy as well. At white belt sparring is introduced with no contact, to light contact, to full contact. This then allows them to work with everybody no matter what level in class and where they can develop the necessary skills to become better as they progress. Martial arts is about contact and Taekwondo is no different. I see no reason for holding this back until they've invested years into the program as I believe they would be at a disadvantage then. At the white belt level they will have basic skills and they can grow on these while introducing more techniques into their training. But the nice thing is they will already know what being kicked/punched hard is and won't have that to overcome that as I find that is a large variable.

Now with that said, as far as competing this should be left up to the Instructor as some lower belt levels the practitioner is more then ready while others take some time to develop this. Based on their readiness then they should be allowed to compete.
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#377884 - 03/17/08 01:22 PM Re: Taekwondo losing it's face/popularity [Re: von1]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
Von, after reading your post I can see myself in that as well. I went to early with next to nothing for experience. I started after my two friends and had no sparring ability. The Instructor even told me so and I was in agreement with him however my two friends talked me into going and pushed for it and it blackened sparring for me. I also got injured getting a bone bruise on my hand from stopping a kick when I blocked and punched. I was scared but finished it off drained taking 3rd of 5 people. I was the smallest ranking belt at white and sparring people at yellow and yellow/green levels.
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#377885 - 03/17/08 01:28 PM Re: Taekwondo losing it's face/popularity [Re: Dereck]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
Supremor, I also do not enjoy the competition sparring of TKD and I definitely understand having to wait till the end to compete and having been there all day already; always disliked that as well. I don't compete in TKD and probably will never again. I do compete in grappling tournaments which still gives me butterflies in the beginning but once started it gets easier.

Competing I think is good and you should do it if you like it. I've always found that competing takes your level higher as you then get a better understanding of what you are doing and what you need to work on. One competition is better then 10+ classes in my opinion.
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