Competition Class for Kids

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kiwi

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What worked for my son and I.

The dojo we are at spars alot....but does little competition sparring. It is almost all continuous sparring with no scoring.

At competitions, I coach my son. We learned by trial and error and by observing what works and doesnt work from other competitors. We took what we learned and worked on "his style" of fighting (in the driveway of our home). Mainly figured out what he is best at, figured out a strategy to make that work, and how to cover up what he struggles with.

And to clarify...my coaching is just letting him know in between matches what I observe...not being aggressive enough, not committing to technique, over use of a technique, under use of a technique, etc...

Also you will find out black belts have no problem with giving you tips and advice.

It was all trial and error. We made mistakes and learned from them. All in all...we have had a great 8.5 years of figuring it out.

Whether or not you try the other school is something you will have to figure out. But there is a very good chance at some point you and her will have to choose one or the other.

Also, competing can get expensive pretty quick. But also can be great fun and a chance for her to test her ability.

I appreciate all of the advice. It seems like a great site with wonderful people which is why I posted here. Im sure I could eventually figure out how to coach her, but it seems like it might be a lot of extra work now. The main thing with the other place is the cost and a bit of a commitment.


Another problem is her school doesnt really have anybody for her to practice with on sparring. Shes one of the few girls who wants to spar. Most kids are at least 2-3 years older than her. A couple of kids closer to her age were boys and had at least 10 lbs on her. She sparred against them once, but one fought a bit dirty. So it seems like self defense style is a little different from competition sparring to get points. Plus, they only offer class once a week on a day we cant make due to another commitment right now. For the sparring class at her school that she tried, it was a it of a free for all, set up a ring and the instructor kept shouting at them to use your sparring techniques and dont use roundhouse kicks.

Are there good drills or something that would be helpful to practice with her?
 

WaterGal

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As it sounds like you've picked up on, there are a number of different styles of sport sparring, that have different rules and sparring sets. Knowing what style of sparring you want her to do, and what's available in your area, is probably the first step to take.

The biggest sport TKD organization in the world is World Taekwondo, formerly the World Taekwondo Federation (the recent name change was because "WTF" came to mean something else in pop culture, not even kidding). The style of sparring they do is commonly called either "WTF style sparring" or "Olympic style sparring". This is the kind of Taekwondo competition you may have seen in the summer Olympics, where competitors wear chest protectors, helmets, shin and forearm pads and spar continuously for 1-2 minute rounds.

Does this ring a bell as the kind of competition available in your area?
 
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kiwi

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As it sounds like you've picked up on, there are a number of different styles of sport sparring, that have different rules and sparring sets. Knowing what style of sparring you want her to do, and what's available in your area, is probably the first step to take.

The biggest sport TKD organization in the world is World Taekwondo, formerly the World Taekwondo Federation (the recent name change was because "WTF" came to mean something else in pop culture, not even kidding). The style of sparring they do is commonly called either "WTF style sparring" or "Olympic style sparring". This is the kind of Taekwondo competition you may have seen in the summer Olympics, where competitors wear chest protectors, helmets, shin and forearm pads and spar continuously for 1-2 minute rounds.

Does this ring a bell as the kind of competition available in your area?

Yes, we are looking at WTF/Olympic style sparring. These are the majority of competitions by us.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Yes, we are looking at WTF/Olympic style sparring. These are the majority of competitions by us.
The good thing is, if she likes competing, that's the style to go to. I could go basically anywhere in the US and look for a competition in that style and be able to find some.
 

WaterGal

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Yes, we are looking at WTF/Olympic style sparring. These are the majority of competitions by us.

Okay, cool. There are lot of publicly-available resources for you, then.

First off, the gear.
You'll need a reversible chest guard that's red on one side and blue on the other (called a hogu), a helmet (it must be either white, or a set of 1 red and 1 blue), a clear mouthguard, forearm pads, and shin/instep pads. For a basic starter set, this one on Amazon would probably work: https://www.amazon.com/Pine-Tree-Co...sparring+gear&qid=1557274332&s=gateway&sr=8-4. It doesn't look like it's super great quality, but it's cheap and she's going to outgrow it in a year or two anyway.

Second, the rules.
For a 7-year old color belt, the only legal techniques are kicks and straight punches to the chest guard. At her level, no head techniques are permitted whatsoever. Once she gets to black belt or age 12, light head kicks are allowed - though some local tournaments have modified rules about head contact and won't allow anyone under a certain age or rank to do it, so always check the tournament rules. Grabbing and grappling is never permitted at any level, nor is striking to unpadded parts of the body.

Scoring is like this: Punches get 1 point if they visibly move the opponent. Body kicks - if they aren't blocked and you successfully connect using your foot (not the shin or knee) - are scored at 2 points. Turning kicks (back kick, or back-hook/spinning-heel kick), get a bonus point so are 3 points. If your opponent falls down, goes out of the ring, or does an illegal technique, you get 1 point as a penalty to the opponent. If your opponent gives up. or does something super illegal (like intentionally and repeatedly doing head contact when they're not allowed), they'll be disqualified and you win automatically.

For color belts, matches are usually 2 rounds that are 1 minute each. Sparring is continuous - meaning the match doesn't stop every time someone scores - and the judges use a system with little game controllers to keep the score. There's a 30-second break between rounds, for the competitors to have a drink of water and consult with the coach.

Sparring competition is usually done in a single-elimination bracket format, and divisions are based on age, rank, gender and weight class. So she would be competing against other 7-8 year old girls of similar size who are intermediate/advanced color belts. The winner of a match advances up the bracket, and the loser sits out. Now, in a lot of local tournaments where I'm at, there aren't always a lot of young girls competing, so her division might only have 4 girls in it and even the losers get rated 3rd place and get a medal.

What else....

Before the match, an official will tell the competitors what color side to wear on their hogu (chest guard). One wears red, the other wears blue. Coaches sit on chairs set up right off the edge of the mat, on opposite sides of the ring. The competitors will go to the center of the ring, holding their helmets in their hand. The ref will give them a quick pat-down to make sure they've got shin & arm pads on under their uniforms. They'll put on their helmets, bow to each other, be told "kyorugi joonbi" (sparring ready) and then "shi jak" (start). They'll immediately start sparring. At the end of the round, the ref will yell "goman" (stop). The competitors must stop, or they'll get a penalty. Then, they bow to each other again, and go to their coaches. They take a quick break, you give them some encouragement and maybe some water, and then they do it all again. At the end of the second round, whoever has the most points wins. The ref raises their arm over the winner's head. The competitors shake hands with their opponent, and with the opponent's coach. After the whole division has gone through the bracket, all the competitors are called up and 1st place, 2nd place, & 3rd place winners are declared.

If a coach sees an illegal move during the match that should have gotten penalty, or a valid point that wasn't scored, they can raise their hand (sometimes you get a card to raise) and object. Don't do this constantly, or you'll be "that guy", but it's fine to do it once in a while. You can yell out some encouragement like "yeah Susie, keep kicking!" during the match, but don't say anything bad about the other competitor or the officials, and don't be overly loud or annoying.


I hope that helps with at least the basics of the rules, etiquette, etc.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Okay, cool. There are lot of publicly-available resources for you, then.

First off, the gear.
You'll need a reversible chest guard that's red on one side and blue on the other (called a hogu), a helmet (it must be either white, or a set of 1 red and 1 blue), a clear mouthguard, forearm pads, and shin/instep pads. For a basic starter set, this one on Amazon would probably work: https://www.amazon.com/Pine-Tree-Co...sparring+gear&qid=1557274332&s=gateway&sr=8-4. It doesn't look like it's super great quality, but it's cheap and she's going to outgrow it in a year or two anyway.

Second, the rules.
For a 7-year old color belt, the only legal techniques are kicks and straight punches to the chest guard. At her level, no head techniques are permitted whatsoever. Once she gets to black belt or age 12, light head kicks are allowed - though some local tournaments have modified rules about head contact and won't allow anyone under a certain age or rank to do it, so always check the tournament rules. Grabbing and grappling is never permitted at any level, nor is striking to unpadded parts of the body.

Scoring is like this: Punches get 1 point if they visibly move the opponent. Body kicks - if they aren't blocked and you successfully connect using your foot (not the shin or knee) - are scored at 2 points. Turning kicks (back kick, or back-hook/spinning-heel kick), get a bonus point so are 3 points. If your opponent falls down, goes out of the ring, or does an illegal technique, you get 1 point as a penalty to the opponent. If your opponent gives up. or does something super illegal (like intentionally and repeatedly doing head contact when they're not allowed), they'll be disqualified and you win automatically.

For color belts, matches are usually 2 rounds that are 1 minute each. Sparring is continuous - meaning the match doesn't stop every time someone scores - and the judges use a system with little game controllers to keep the score. There's a 30-second break between rounds, for the competitors to have a drink of water and consult with the coach.

Sparring competition is usually done in a single-elimination bracket format, and divisions are based on age, rank, gender and weight class. So she would be competing against other 7-8 year old girls of similar size who are intermediate/advanced color belts. The winner of a match advances up the bracket, and the loser sits out. Now, in a lot of local tournaments where I'm at, there aren't always a lot of young girls competing, so her division might only have 4 girls in it and even the losers get rated 3rd place and get a medal.

What else....

Before the match, an official will tell the competitors what color side to wear on their hogu (chest guard). One wears red, the other wears blue. Coaches sit on chairs set up right off the edge of the mat, on opposite sides of the ring. The competitors will go to the center of the ring, holding their helmets in their hand. The ref will give them a quick pat-down to make sure they've got shin & arm pads on under their uniforms. They'll put on their helmets, bow to each other, be told "kyorugi joonbi" (sparring ready) and then "shi jak" (start). They'll immediately start sparring. At the end of the round, the ref will yell "goman" (stop). The competitors must stop, or they'll get a penalty. Then, they bow to each other again, and go to their coaches. They take a quick break, you give them some encouragement and maybe some water, and then they do it all again. At the end of the second round, whoever has the most points wins. The ref raises their arm over the winner's head. The competitors shake hands with their opponent, and with the opponent's coach. After the whole division has gone through the bracket, all the competitors are called up and 1st place, 2nd place, & 3rd place winners are declared.

If a coach sees an illegal move during the match that should have gotten penalty, or a valid point that wasn't scored, they can raise their hand (sometimes you get a card to raise) and object. Don't do this constantly, or you'll be "that guy", but it's fine to do it once in a while. You can yell out some encouragement like "yeah Susie, keep kicking!" during the match, but don't say anything bad about the other competitor or the officials, and don't be overly loud or annoying.


I hope that helps with at least the basics of the rules, etiquette, etc.
That's a well written, concise summary of what a new competitor needs to know. Well done.
 
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kiwi

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Okay, cool. There are lot of publicly-available resources for you, then.

First off, the gear.
You'll need a reversible chest guard that's red on one side and blue on the other (called a hogu), a helmet (it must be either white, or a set of 1 red and 1 blue), a clear mouthguard, forearm pads, and shin/instep pads. For a basic starter set, this one on Amazon would probably work: https://www.amazon.com/Pine-Tree-Co...sparring+gear&qid=1557274332&s=gateway&sr=8-4. It doesn't look like it's super great quality, but it's cheap and she's going to outgrow it in a year or two anyway.

Second, the rules.
For a 7-year old color belt, the only legal techniques are kicks and straight punches to the chest guard. At her level, no head techniques are permitted whatsoever. Once she gets to black belt or age 12, light head kicks are allowed - though some local tournaments have modified rules about head contact and won't allow anyone under a certain age or rank to do it, so always check the tournament rules. Grabbing and grappling is never permitted at any level, nor is striking to unpadded parts of the body.

Scoring is like this: Punches get 1 point if they visibly move the opponent. Body kicks - if they aren't blocked and you successfully connect using your foot (not the shin or knee) - are scored at 2 points. Turning kicks (back kick, or back-hook/spinning-heel kick), get a bonus point so are 3 points. If your opponent falls down, goes out of the ring, or does an illegal technique, you get 1 point as a penalty to the opponent. If your opponent gives up. or does something super illegal (like intentionally and repeatedly doing head contact when they're not allowed), they'll be disqualified and you win automatically.

For color belts, matches are usually 2 rounds that are 1 minute each. Sparring is continuous - meaning the match doesn't stop every time someone scores - and the judges use a system with little game controllers to keep the score. There's a 30-second break between rounds, for the competitors to have a drink of water and consult with the coach.

Sparring competition is usually done in a single-elimination bracket format, and divisions are based on age, rank, gender and weight class. So she would be competing against other 7-8 year old girls of similar size who are intermediate/advanced color belts. The winner of a match advances up the bracket, and the loser sits out. Now, in a lot of local tournaments where I'm at, there aren't always a lot of young girls competing, so her division might only have 4 girls in it and even the losers get rated 3rd place and get a medal.

What else....

Before the match, an official will tell the competitors what color side to wear on their hogu (chest guard). One wears red, the other wears blue. Coaches sit on chairs set up right off the edge of the mat, on opposite sides of the ring. The competitors will go to the center of the ring, holding their helmets in their hand. The ref will give them a quick pat-down to make sure they've got shin & arm pads on under their uniforms. They'll put on their helmets, bow to each other, be told "kyorugi joonbi" (sparring ready) and then "shi jak" (start). They'll immediately start sparring. At the end of the round, the ref will yell "goman" (stop). The competitors must stop, or they'll get a penalty. Then, they bow to each other again, and go to their coaches. They take a quick break, you give them some encouragement and maybe some water, and then they do it all again. At the end of the second round, whoever has the most points wins. The ref raises their arm over the winner's head. The competitors shake hands with their opponent, and with the opponent's coach. After the whole division has gone through the bracket, all the competitors are called up and 1st place, 2nd place, & 3rd place winners are declared.

If a coach sees an illegal move during the match that should have gotten penalty, or a valid point that wasn't scored, they can raise their hand (sometimes you get a card to raise) and object. Don't do this constantly, or you'll be "that guy", but it's fine to do it once in a while. You can yell out some encouragement like "yeah Susie, keep kicking!" during the match, but don't say anything bad about the other competitor or the officials, and don't be overly loud or annoying.


I hope that helps with at least the basics of the rules, etiquette, etc.

Thanks for such a detailed response. Im torn on the gear. At her current school they use some red foamy gear. The competition school uses expensive gear because he says it lasts, but its around $500 for everything I think.

Should we hold her back from belt belt a little or are the light head kicks not a lot? Shell be there around fall. I have an idea of the rules, it not sure if Id notice something illegal right away unless it was super obvious. Are they supposed to bring their own gear to competitions? At the one where she went, they had gear for the competitors to use. Is that common?

I think you are right, I havent seen many girls her age. What do you do in that situation if you register and there isnt anybody else in that age bracket competing? For kids does it just go by age and belt?
 
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kiwi

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Have you became familiar with the sparring format she would be in? Coaching mostly comes in to play when a person is competing for multiple rounds. Shouting from the sideline can be a penalty in Olympic circuit level matches.
As others have said, I would recommend staying in one circle until she truly out grows the competition at that level. Unless her current Dojang is grossly lacking there should be more than enough there for her. If not I suggest finding a single school that offers more of a sport environment. That said, the purely sport environment is missing a lot of the mental discipline found in a more traditional environment.
That is part of the problem. Her school doesnt offer sparring. They are looking at maybe a class every so often for girls to spar, but I dont really want to invest in their sparring gear if she wants to compete since I think its around $200. The chest guard is not reversible just one single color. But, she doesnt want to leave. The competition school said some kids join his school some stay at their current schools for belt rank. They can still test with the competition class, but they dont work on requirements for specific belts.
 

dvcochran

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That is part of the problem. Her school doesnt offer sparring. They are looking at maybe a class every so often for girls to spar, but I dont really want to invest in their sparring gear if she wants to compete since I think its around $200. The chest guard is not reversible just one single color. But, she doesnt want to leave. The competition school said some kids join his school some stay at their current schools for belt rank. They can still test with the competition class, but they dont work on requirements for specific belts.
There are a number of online martial art supply stores that you should check for pricing and value. $200 sounds very steep, especially for kid who is going to outgrow the gear pretty fast. The sparring school has no gear to share and use? We have tons of chest protectors and head gear. Most people get their own feet/instep guards, punches, and mouthpiece. As they see they are in it for the long haul many will purchase more gear.
Not offering sparring is a big red flag. FWIW, she will make new friends wherever she goes. Unless there are some deeply rooted relationships (at 6 ?)I would be more concerned about the bigger picture and whether she is at the best place for her and her MA future.
May I ask, what part of the world are you in? There are surely single schools that offer everything she needs.
 

WaterGal

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Thanks for such a detailed response. Im torn on the gear. At her current school they use some red foamy gear. The competition school uses expensive gear because he says it lasts, but its around $500 for everything I think.

Should we hold her back from belt belt a little or are the light head kicks not a lot? Shell be there around fall. I have an idea of the rules, it not sure if Id notice something illegal right away unless it was super obvious. Are they supposed to bring their own gear to competitions? At the one where she went, they had gear for the competitors to use. Is that common?

I think you are right, I havent seen many girls her age. What do you do in that situation if you register and there isnt anybody else in that age bracket competing? For kids does it just go by age and belt?

I'm guessing that her school is a different style of Taekwondo if they're using all foam gear, maybe ATA (American Taekwondo Association)? I don't know a ton about them, but I think they do karate-style "point sparring", where they use the all-foam gloves and boots and stop the match every time someones scores a point.

I'm also going to guess that the "competition school" is selling high-end WTF-approved gear. Certain gear companies pay to get their gear specially quality-tested by the WTF , and if you go to national/international-level WTF tournaments, you need to have gear from one of those companies, which will have the WTF logo on it. This WTF-approved gear tends to be a good bit more expensive than more basic gear of the same style, though $500 seems a little steep even for that, assuming we're using USD here.

Light head kicks to the helmet aren't dangerous, IMO, but they can be very startling to kids who aren't used to them. Whether you want to hold her back or not, that's up to you.

Yes, they should bring their own gear. Now, some tournaments that have advanced electronic scoring systems will provide chest protectors that have electronic sensors built into them. You can distinguish these hogu by their appearance - they will have big silver dots all over them, like this: Daedo TrueScoreGen1 E-ChestGear . Where I'm at, local tournaments only use these for black belt competitors age 12+, and you have to opt in. This kind of chest protector requires that the wearer also wears special foot protectors that also have electronic sensors in them. When a foot sensor hits the opposing chest sensor, it sends a signal to the scoring system that there's been a hit to score. The tournament usually doesn't provide the e-foot protectors, and these cost around $60-80 USD. These might be part of the competition school's set, come to think of it.

If there isn't anyone else in her bracket, which I have seen a few times, what usually happens is that the competitor is allowed to compete with whatever the nearest bracket it is (maybe slightly older girls, or smaller, or lower or higher ranking) in an "exhibition match". That way they still get to go out and try, and not just stand around all day. Usually they automatically get 1st place for their bracket, however they do in the exhibition match(es).
 
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kiwi

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There are a number of online martial art supply stores that you should check for pricing and value. $200 sounds very steep, especially for kid who is going to outgrow the gear pretty fast. The sparring school has no gear to share and use? We have tons of chest protectors and head gear. Most people get their own feet/instep guards, punches, and mouthpiece. As they see they are in it for the long haul many will purchase more gear.
Not offering sparring is a big red flag. FWIW, she will make new friends wherever she goes. Unless there are some deeply rooted relationships (at 6 ?)I would be more concerned about the bigger picture and whether she is at the best place for her and her MA future.
May I ask, what part of the world are you in? There are surely single schools that offer everything she needs.

Yes, they do have gear to use but during class they dont use chest protectors only head protector, leg and arm guards. There are schools that do offer it all, but she really doesnt want to leave her current school. Im not sure if it makes sense to do both or if we hold off a little.
 
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I'm guessing that her school is a different style of Taekwondo if they're using all foam gear, maybe ATA (American Taekwondo Association)? I don't know a ton about them, but I think they do karate-style "point sparring", where they use the all-foam gloves and boots and stop the match every time someones scores a point.

I'm also going to guess that the "competition school" is selling high-end WTF-approved gear. Certain gear companies pay to get their gear specially quality-tested by the WTF , and if you go to national/international-level WTF tournaments, you need to have gear from one of those companies, which will have the WTF logo on it. This WTF-approved gear tends to be a good bit more expensive than more basic gear of the same style, though $500 seems a little steep even for that, assuming we're using USD here.

Light head kicks to the helmet aren't dangerous, IMO, but they can be very startling to kids who aren't used to them. Whether you want to hold her back or not, that's up to you.

Yes, they should bring their own gear. Now, some tournaments that have advanced electronic scoring systems will provide chest protectors that have electronic sensors built into them. You can distinguish these hogu by their appearance - they will have big silver dots all over them, like this: Daedo TrueScoreGen1 E-ChestGear . Where I'm at, local tournaments only use these for black belt competitors age 12+, and you have to opt in. This kind of chest protector requires that the wearer also wears special foot protectors that also have electronic sensors in them. When a foot sensor hits the opposing chest sensor, it sends a signal to the scoring system that there's been a hit to score. The tournament usually doesn't provide the e-foot protectors, and these cost around $60-80 USD. These might be part of the competition school's set, come to think of it.

If there isn't anyone else in her bracket, which I have seen a few times, what usually happens is that the competitor is allowed to compete with whatever the nearest bracket it is (maybe slightly older girls, or smaller, or lower or higher ranking) in an "exhibition match". That way they still get to go out and try, and not just stand around all day. Usually they automatically get 1st place for their bracket, however they do in the exhibition match(es).

Her school follows WTF with forms. They arent an ATA school which we did try awhile ago. They dont really do much sparring. It isnt really a point type but more just practice.

I do think the competition school has the Daedo system which everybody pays for a portion of it. The costs are pretty high it seems to me, but Im not sure if that is typical.
 

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If the school has a Daedo setup for the students to practice with, that's definitely a big expense for them. The Daedo hogu alone are $500/each, and then you a need receivers to receive the signal, the software, a computer, and the scoring controllers for the judges. That's pretty cool that they have that, and it sounds like they're really committed to high-level competition.

I think... for small, local tournaments, you can coach your daughter. Try that, and see if she loves competing in sparring. If she does, go to the competition school.

It's like, you know, playing softball with your kid. You don't need to be a baseball expert to throw a ball around with your kid at the park, or to teach them to wind up with the bat to hit the ball. But once they get to a certain level, then you do need to get them on a team with a real coach. Right now your daughter is like the kid learning how to swing the bat and do an underhand throw. You can help her for now. Get a hogu for yourself, or a kicking shield, and have her chase you around the backyard kicking for 1 minute straight. Sign her up for tournaments and go as her coach and give her encouragement.
 

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We have two girls that are working their way into the circuit and have been going to every required tourney and seminar. They just got back from the South region class in FL. The girls are twins and their body type is very similar. We have a sparring class on Saturday morning and they were there. I had them spend about 20 minutes talking about how they are being taught to spar for Olympic competition. It seems they are really pushing lead leg kicks and are all but abandoning points to the body. One girl would get super posted and weight biased on her rear leg. Sadly, it seems like the Korean, and American, Olympic committee is turning the sparring into a "tap" match, much like point/stop matches. So, if you are really quick with your lead leg and can tap the head, you will win. It is really disappointing to see Olympic TKD evolve like this. The IOC will be voting this year or next year on whether to keep it as an Olympic sport. I don't think it looks promising. I really hope the e-hogu will allow for More contact because the shots will be scored consistently. And that they would open up the variety of technique.
 

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We have two girls that are working their way into the circuit and have been going to every required tourney and seminar. They just got back from the South region class in FL. The girls are twins and their body type is very similar. We have a sparring class on Saturday morning and they were there. I had them spend about 20 minutes talking about how they are being taught to spar for Olympic competition. It seems they are really pushing lead leg kicks and are all but abandoning points to the body. One girl would get super posted and weight biased on her rear leg. Sadly, it seems like the Korean, and American, Olympic committee is turning the sparring into a "tap" match, much like point/stop matches. So, if you are really quick with your lead leg and can tap the head, you will win. It is really disappointing to see Olympic TKD evolve like this. The IOC will be voting this year or next year on whether to keep it as an Olympic sport. I don't think it looks promising. I really hope the e-hogu will allow for More contact because the shots will be scored consistently. And that they would open up the variety of technique.

Shouldn't everyone be going to the required tourneys/seminars?

It would be unfortunate to see TKD no longer in the olympics, but it may be a wake up call...do you know what they would replace it with?
 

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Shouldn't everyone be going to the required tourneys/seminars?

I would say only if you are truly wanting to compete at that level. There are tons of local tourney's that satisfy most peoples competitive desires. I wish there were more TKD/Korean arts seminars in my area.

It would be unfortunate to see TKD no longer in the olympics, but it may be a wake up call...do you know what they would replace it with?
I have heard of nothing. Hanmadang is so popular right now I have wondered if Kukkiwon really cares if TKD continues as an Olympic sport or not.
A very large International WT conference just finished up in the EU (I forget exactly where). I find it very interesting and surprising how much communication has been taking place between WT/Kukkiwon and the ITF. I cannot imagine a merge ever happening though. I suspect it is to get more support for the WT/Olympic sport side of things.
 
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kiwi

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This is all very interesting. Where is the best place to find out about tourneys and seminars?
 

dvcochran

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This is all very interesting. Where is the best place to find out about tourneys and seminars?
I would start at the local dojo/dojangs around you. You should be able to walk and inquire. Most have an information board on the wall. Facebook is decent as finding about local events. I have also had luck googling the national websites for various styles.
 
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