Continuous sparring without ESS

J. Pickard

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Looking for some tips/advice. My dojang is running it's first ever tournament next June. We will have IKF rules point sparring but I also want to have continuous sparring. The issue is, I'm not sure how to set it up since all the rulesets I can find for continuous TKD sparring use E-hogu with the full ESS. I competed back in the early 2000's when "trembling shock" was still the rule for scoring but I don't know how many young competitors are used to this. Our school does not have any ESS equipment and the goal of this tournament is for kids, mostly less fortunate financially, to have a chance to compete without worrying about cost so I want to be able to run it old-school with just the standard student hogu. If anyone has a pdf or anything of the old, pre ESS TKD sparring rules I would love a copy. I'm also open to any tips and advice from anyone who has run this type of sparring in a tournament in the past. Thanks a bunch.
 

Dirty Dog

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We don't use any ESS. We use a center judge and at least 2 corner judges. By preference, 4. The center judge is safety and rules. The corner judges keep score. After the round, we poll the judges.
It works for professional boxing...
 

Cynik75

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We use a center judge and at least 2 corner judges. By preference, 4. The center judge is safety and rules. The corner judges keep score. After the round, we poll the judges.
It works for professional boxing...
Maybe not corner but table judges but works the same way for ADCC. Referee on the mat + 2 table judges.
 

Dirty Dog

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Maybe not corner but table judges but works the same way for ADCC. Referee on the mat + 2 table judges.
I'm sure that works too. The reason for corners is that each judge sees things from a different angle. If all the judges are sitting in roughly the same place, strikes can be concealed by bodies.
 

skribs

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In BJJ and wrestling, and in the in-house sparring classes in my TKD school, the referee handles all scores. I think for a point-based competition, polling after the match makes it difficult for fighters to know the situation during the match.

Boxing and MMA the points are given differently, which are awarded at the end of the round as a consolation prize for not finishing the fight. They also use a mandatory 10 scale, which typically is scored 10-9 with the subjective winner of the round getting 10 points, and then the loser of the round getting 9, unless they were absolutely destroyed in which they may get 8 or 7.

In semi-recent TKD electronic scoring, you had the corner judges with a controller with a button for red and blue. If enough judges push the red button at the same time, red gets a point. I don't think this is what you want to do, because it would require purchasing very specific equipment.

The only risk with having a single referee handle the scores is that referees can miss scores. I was trying to figure out the rules at my most recent school. I watched several strikes land that I would consider a point, and a point wasn't called. So I was super strict with what was a point when I judged a round. Afterwards I was told, "We each scored several times before you called it." I pointed out that I had seen those strikes fail to score before. "Oh, I must've missed them when I was judging."

In that regard, maybe a system with 1 ref who calls points, and 2 corner judges who might call scores that the ref missed? But I think the one ref system would work best for this circumstance.
 

HighKick

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We don't use any ESS. We use a center judge and at least 2 corner judges. By preference, 4. The center judge is safety and rules. The corner judges keep score. After the round, we poll the judges.
It works for professional boxing...
I would add, when we have 4 judges they sit at the corners. When we have two judges, they move around.
 
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J. Pickard

J. Pickard

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I would add, when we have 4 judges they sit at the corners. When we have two judges, they move around.
How do you keep score to determine winners other than just opinion? I was considering digital counters. I found some on amazon for $7 each that we use in class because we are a small school and can't afford daedo or any of that. They come in colors so having each corner judge with a red and blue counter seems like it could work. When I used to compete as a teenager I always hated how unfair a lot of scoring seemed before the electronic scoring systems but they are ridiculously over priced.
 

Dirty Dog

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How do you keep score to determine winners other than just opinion? I was considering digital counters. I found some on amazon for $7 each that we use in class because we are a small school and can't afford daedo or any of that. They come in colors so having each corner judge with a red and blue counter seems like it could work. When I used to compete as a teenager I always hated how unfair a lot of scoring seemed before the electronic scoring systems but they are ridiculously over priced.
When we poll the judges at the end of the round, they tell us how they scored it. The score doesn't matter during the round; they should be out there going at it. Besides, most people know if they're landing their shots, and if their opponent is landing shots. If they don't, the strikes are not effective anyway, and probably shouldn't count.
 

skribs

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When we poll the judges at the end of the round, they tell us how they scored it. The score doesn't matter during the round; they should be out there going at it. Besides, most people know if they're landing their shots, and if their opponent is landing shots. If they don't, the strikes are not effective anyway, and probably shouldn't count.
But they can't read the minds of the judges and know what counts or not.

I've seen some judges score points for kicks that brush the pads, some that only score a direct hit on the colored circle of a mostly white chestguard. I've heard coaches in the sparring class admit they miss a lot of the hits.
 

Dirty Dog

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But they can't read the minds of the judges and know what counts or not.
If you don't know what counts, you shouldn't be sparring.
I've seen some judges score points for kicks that brush the pads, some that only score a direct hit on the colored circle of a mostly white chestguard. I've heard coaches in the sparring class admit they miss a lot of the hits.
No system is perfect, including the ESS used by the Olympics. But this method has worked well enough for professional boxing and other sports for decades. It's cheap (or free), which is a major factor for many schools. Multiple judges means if A misses a good shot, B.C, and D are still there to catch it.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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If you don't know what counts, you shouldn't be sparring.
Assuming the goal is to win the tournament - knowing what should count and knowing what counts are two different things. For OP's scenario where he's trying to allow people to compete cheaply, that's not a big enough deal to matter. But in general, having electronic scoring lets you be confident that the strength that should be required is what actually is required.
No system is perfect, including the ESS used by the Olympics. But this method has worked well enough for professional boxing and other sports for decades. It's cheap (or free), which is a major factor for many schools. Multiple judges means if A misses a good shot, B.C, and D are still there to catch it.
People have been complaining about boxing judges for decades. With some really atrocious matches as a result.
 

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People have been complaining about boxing judges for decades. With some really atrocious matches as a result.
People have been complaining about anything you can think of since about 2 minutes after it started being used.

If you're trying to let people compete without breaking the bank, I do not think you will find a better option that multiple judges viewing from multiple positions. I am unconvinced that even an expensive ESS does better.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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If you're trying to let people compete without breaking the bank, I do not think you will find a better option that multiple judges viewing from multiple positions.
I agree totally with this
I am unconvinced that even an expensive ESS does better.
I can't say if it will do it better, but it will keep it more consistent. Which to competitors is what matters more. Consistency lets you make sure that you are getting credit for what you accomplish, or at least getting the same amount of credit as opponents. This does have drawbacks (mainly people figuring out ways to game that consistency and spar to the equipment rather than realistically), but from a competitor standpoint it's definitely better.
 
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J. Pickard

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. I am unconvinced that even an expensive ESS does better.
I stopped competing shortly after the electronic systems became common place and I will say that, from my experience, the electronic system is more accurate and fair but I don't like that it favors fast touching over powerful technique. I lost a match to a guy who was really fast but barely had any power. He hit just hard enough to trigger the sensors so that he wasn't over committed and could do a quick follow up. In hindsight, that was a smart way to play the game and I should have done the same. In a real fight none of those kicks would have done much, but from the point of view of the sport he definitely hit me more than I hit him. After the match several of the judges said they would have given the last two rounds to me because I was hitting with more power and precision and to me this is the biggest problem with subjective judging. One judge might not think a technique has enough power while another thinks that it had adequate power. The ESS eliminates this subjectivity, but also breaks the bank. I've been advised that breaking the bank is a bad idea especially for a first tournament designed to give less fortunate kids a chance to compete that they might otherwise not get.
 

skribs

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ut this method has worked well enough for professional boxing and other sports for decades.
And many people question who won when it goes to points in professional boxing and MMA.
 

Dirty Dog

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I agree totally with this

I can't say if it will do it better, but it will keep it more consistent. Which to competitors is what matters more. Consistency lets you make sure that you are getting credit for what you accomplish, or at least getting the same amount of credit as opponents. This does have drawbacks (mainly people figuring out ways to game that consistency and spar to the equipment rather than realistically), but from a competitor standpoint it's definitely better.
ESS have sensors in specific areas. Which means you do not have to stop your opponent from hitting you. You merely have to make sure they hit you off the sensors.
 

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And many people question who won when it goes to points in professional boxing and MMA.
And many people do not. I suspect that most do not, especially those who know what they're talking about. I rarely disagree with how judges score matches. I may have a different point count, (see above about strikes being concealed) but the outcome is the same.

But feel free to spend a fortune on ESS and use them. As with 8 year old "black belts", it's not my circus, not my monkeys.
 

skribs

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But feel free to spend a fortune on ESS and use them.
ESS isn't required to know the score during the round. In our sparring classes the ref would call out the points as they were delivered.

It's not as accurate as having multiple judges, but it allows real-time feedback. It's one of those "Pick 2 of the 3: free, accurate, and responsive."

As with 8 year old "black belts", it's not my circus, not my monkeys.
Are you capable of making it 3 posts without being condescending?
 

Dirty Dog

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Are you capable of making it 3 posts without being condescending?
Yes. I don't see why "do things how you like, it's no concern of mine" is condescending. It truly doesn't matter to me if you decide to use ESS or not. Or give black belts to 8 year olds or not. Not in the least. Not my circus, not my monkeys.
 

skribs

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I don't see why "do things how you like, it's no concern of mine" is condescending.
The implication is that your way is better, but other people are free to be wrong, because it doesn't affect you. It's unnecessary to say. It's a more condescending version of "agree to disagree".

And the whole "Just like 8 year old black belts" has nothing to do with the thread, but just goes to show everyone that at your school, black belts are real black belts, not fake black belts like other schools. (Which is extra ironic because you also preach that belts don't matter).
 

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