WTF Sparring: why it is the way that it is.

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by Daniel Sullivan, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. Manny

    Manny Senior Master

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    Can anybody tell me why dertractors of WTF Style of sparring compalin so much for the low GUARD! Even boxers that use up guard are hitt in the face and even got KO's, even Manny Pacquiao got KO, I think a well KO is tjhe result of good tactics. How many KO have you seen in boxing and how many KO have you been seen in WTF competition? Yes you can get caught wiht a nice kick on the head/face inside TKD, I got several of them and know I will get some as long as I keep training TKD.

    If my perfect range of fighting is long range (using kicks) this is the range I will use most of the times and the low guard favors me period, but then if I need close counters contact a semi up gard is waht I use.

    Manny
     
  2. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    After many go-rounds with people on this subject over the years, I have come to the conclusion that they simply will not accept any deviation from 'hands up' because it was drilled into them. There is also the mentality that the WTF low guard posture is how KKW taekwondo is taught across the board and that practitioners will always 'fight like they train.'

    KKW pumsae are not practiced with a low guard, however, and not all sparring is competitive. I always was trained to maintain a guard appropriate to the scenario.

    Honestly, I have seen very few constructive or accurate criticisms of WTF sparring. Some people don't like it and see it as their mission to be on the web discrediting it at every turn. There is usually a degree of organizational dislike accompanying it as well.
     
  3. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    Im gonna quote myself from another thread:
    Your system is neither the peak nor nadir of what you can do. Any system of neither the peak nor nadir of what someone else can do.

    And hey - Some boxers carry a low guard. I keep a low front hand for various reasons.
     
  4. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    Shin Lim, the Canadian Olympic coach, teaches a high guard too. Fists around the chin
     
  5. paitingman

    paitingman Blue Belt

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    The low guard to me is all about priorities. Since punching to the face is not allowed hands are often not ready to punch, and not ready to defend them. The lowered arms protects the sides and lowers the center of gravity, slightly slouching the shoulders and relaxing the upper body. This increases mobility and makes kicking easier. It is easier to have the kicking-side arm extended downward while kicking than to have it held up. It is just natural. Like when walking, the arm tends to want to extend away from the direction the leg swings. This ergonomic technique increases speed/power. Muay Thai fighters often uses this same principle, though their guard returns quickly afterward.

    As far as why WTF sparring is the way it is. It is as it's been stated here before. These changes were made to make it unique.

    Heavy karate influence is an apparent fact. Early on certain members wanted to distinguish Taekwondo from other arts.
    The old Karate/ITF style point sparring was obviously from Karate influence that emphasized forms and the ideal of a single lethal blow.
    To separate from this, they employed full contact and body protectors.

    Full contact changed the game forever.

    It changed the timing. The point sparring style of "I attack-You block-You counter" simply didnt work well when full contact was introduced and "trembling shock" was needed to score. You simply couldn't expect to block a full force kick and then give a full force blow back afterwards. Your opponent would not be there. The classic Taekwondo style counterattack was invented to solve this problem. The blocking stage was eliminated and replaced with footwork that enabled a simultaneous "You attack-I counterattack" type exchange. From here all sorts of combos and other unique footwork were spawned. This is how/why WTF Taekwondo took kicking footwork to the level it's at.

    (Kyokushin also shows the different timing compared to point sparring. Though instead of footwork, they replaced the blocking stage with toughness "I will weather your full contact blow, in order to have the distance/time to give my own")

    Most differences between ITF/Karate, and WTF can be in some way traced back to unique rules introduced way back when.
     
  6. Cho, Yeonsoo

    Cho, Yeonsoo Yellow Belt

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    To, OP (daniel) this is my first post on this forum, I'm currently a 1st Dan that (specializes?) in contact Taekwondo (also Korean) and I must say, yes! Yes! YEs! YES! finally, someone understands, everyone calls us "*******", "cowards" etc for wearing gear, however, if we were to not wear this gear, we could get very seriously injured, I know of fellow students which suffered concussions and even I have injured others through the gear, so yes, the gear is quite necessary.
     
  7. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Welcome to Martialtalk!
     
  8. Laplace_demon

    Laplace_demon Black Belt

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    True. When I go diagonally with my roundhouse kicks head high, the ITF asisstant instructor (4th Dan) asserts those are "soccer kicks", not Taekwondo! He even went as far as saying their "wrong". The fact that I perform them seeminglessly and fast doesn't matter. He won't accept them as legitimate. My head instructor liked them, and their height.

    Of course, any Taekwondo instructional from South korea has them, instead of his outdated "mawashi geri" styled roundhouse, which in my opinion is slow and ineffective.
     
  9. Dinkydoo

    Dinkydoo Purple Belt

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    I don't do TKD however I'm interested to know how the "mawashi geri" styled roundhouses go when compared with what you were doing. Having done a few differernt styles (some much more briefly than others) I've been taught a few different ways to do a roundhouse. Mostly, I prefer and persist with the Muay Thai method I was taught.
     
  10. Laplace_demon

    Laplace_demon Black Belt

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    Huh? Just google mawashi geri, and you will find out. This instructional demonstrates a modern TKD kick, which some, as I just mentioned , labelled a soccer kick, simply for not being able to open his eyes to modern advancements in the world, but instead is stuck in the 60s!



    1:36 - Roundhouse kicks.

    And that tape is even old!
     
  11. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes Grandmaster

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    I'd be interested if anyone has any theories as to why Kyokushin sparring and WTF sparring have evolved so differently, even though there are a lot of similarities in the allowed techniques. Is it the scoring or something else? Could a high-level Olympic TKD competitor do well in Kyokushin competition or vice versa? (Obviously the Kyokushin competitor couldn't use leg kicks or knees in WTF competition, but I've seen Kypkushin competitors who seem to specialize in high kicks of the sort which are legal in TKD.)
     
  12. Dinkydoo

    Dinkydoo Purple Belt

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    Ah, didn't realise it would be that simple with mawashi geri being a well used term. I was interested to see if any of the round house varieties I'd been taught were similar - mainly because I've been wondering where the hell all these variations have came from. The answer was, not really.
     
  13. Laplace_demon

    Laplace_demon Black Belt

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    Japan did not allow tournaments involving punches to face without boxing gloves of some sort, which is part of the reason Kyokushin rules do not have it to this day.

    As for WTF, Koreans pride themselves on their unique kicking proficiency and in an effort to promote this, incorporated such rules.

    Unfortunately, WTF bares little resemblence to KK, but is in theory possible through removal of protectors and few other adjustements.

    WTFers kick better(for several obvious reasons), and have beaten KK guys from time to time. But most TKD guys don't care for it. Anderson Silva is a 5th Dan black belt in WTF.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
  14. mattktkd

    mattktkd White Belt

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    I am a currently participating athlete who fights under the WTF rules. Now I have sort of a different take on why we fight with our hands low. While it is not practical to keep them low if we need to block our head it is a lot easier to block the body. If the feet sensor pads never reach you how can they score a point? and if not enough of them reach you then no point is scored either. This being said it is more common for the better fighter to fight with the rear hand held slightly higher and the front hand to be lower -- about waist level -- and more in front of the player. The higher carried rear hand is in a position to punch from here and it is high enough where blocking head kicks is not out of the picture.
     
  15. Moto9000

    Moto9000 White Belt

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    Also a kick to the head takes longer, giving more time to raise the guard.
     

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