Do any of you senior belts spar against white/yellow belts?

OP
J

jaymo

Guest
random comment: a friend of mine who is 3rd dan in another style tells me that she dislikes sparring white/yellow belts because they are usually over zealous and have little control.

i can identify with the whole 'freezing up' thing. since i don't know how to start a new thread i figure i'll just talk about it here...

even though i'm a red belt in tkd-- i'm extremely embarassed to say this: i hate sparring. i hate it, hate it, hate it! there are a few reasons behind this: the last school i attended didn't teach me squat about sparring; in fact, we didn't spar at all! so, i'm pretty new at sparring. with some time, i'm sure i'll get better--but for now, i totally suck. lastly, without going into too much detail, i have some PTSD issues, and i just freeze up when someone hits me in the head, it seems like it's a default setting or something. i've tried to mentally prepare prior to class with: you're gonna get hit, don't freak out, etc.

example: i was at class last night, and i sparred someone i've never sparred with-(in self reflection, i wonder if that was part of the problem). he was half my age, and twice as energetic. i tried to keep it all in perspective and just do my best. well, he hit me a couple of times in the head, and it stunned me. the instructor asked me if it was okay, and i couldn't think of anything to say except "yes". i was too stunned and embarassed to say "woah little dude...use some control". i tried to refocus and hang in there, because the round was well half-over. it didn't work, he kept circling me, which is totally legit. i became dizzy and felt like i was gonna hurl. i took off my gloves and said, "i can't do this" and sat down. I WAS SO embarassed!

the instructor told me that i should let my partner know what's going on. believe me, i wanted to--i was just completely stunned. i was really embarassed. after class, i just sat in my car and cried like a little b__ch. i cried all the way home too.

i joined martial arts to make sure i could stay in semi-decent shape, and feel some personal responsibility as a woman to learn to defend myself in this creepy world. i just get discouraged when something like this happens. my kneejerk reaction is i immediately discredit all of the other hard work i've done and want to just give up. in reality, i'm still hanging in there. has anyone else encountered this? i really don't want to talk to others at my school about my personal issues, too embarassing, and it's none of their business.

i'm really glad this forum is here so i can anonymously post these kinds of things.
 
OP
D

Disco

Guest
jaymo, don't beat yourself up so much, your not alone. The majority of females involved in the arts have never been involved with physical violence while growing up. Sparring is a training tool, but it's also a growth indicator. Since you didn't spar at your last school, you are in actuality a white belt in this area. Don't use your sparring ability to judge your overall self defense ability, they are opposite ends of the spectrum. I have seen, been involved with (training wise :uhyeah: ), many female students who couldn't "spar" their way out of a wet paper sack.......But attack them as a street thug would do and all bets are off :btg: You'll be fine, just be kind to yourself and realize that your in a new learning process.
 

karatekid1975

Master Black Belt
Joined
Apr 1, 2002
Messages
1,417
Reaction score
2
Location
Rochester area, NY
Disco is right. Don't beat yourself up over it. In my first school, we didn't spar much either (my instructor focused more on self defense). Even when we did, it was light contact (for the most part, except for over excited beginner LOL). I started TKD and it was semi to full contact (depends on who teaches). I was scared sh*tless. I wasn't affraid to get hit, I was affraid to get hit hard. It got to the point that I just said "f**k it! I'm kickin some **** and not being a chicken s**t!" I'm not saying you are, because you ARE trying. I didn't (I made excuses why I couldn't spar or purposely forget my gear). I was so frustrated and mad at myself, I just finally got in there and did it. I eventually got used to getting hit. And I got pretty good at it as well.
 
OP
B

bluespacething

Guest
When the white belts in our school are first learning to spar, the higher belts all spar against them to help them learn. Usually none of us ever hit that white belt or anthing...if we would hit them it would be a very light tap. I tell them all the time that they can kick me and I'm always prepared for if they are going to smash me somewhere other than the chest gear.

When I spar against white/orange/yellow belts I mostly give pointers that people gave me when I first started. And I always make sure that they know I'm not going to smack them hard if they get a point on me. Sometimes before we start our little match I'll have the person just kick my chest gear to see what it feels like to actually kick the chest gear and to let them know that it more than likely isn't going to hurt me because I've been kicked way harder than that.
 

MichiganTKD

Master Black Belt
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Messages
1,120
Reaction score
52
Location
Michigan, USA
In our organization, white belts do not spar. They stick with basics and form. However, I do prefer sparring black belts (or did-I don't get to spar very often anymore. Too busy teaching) to color belts. Reason is simple: color belts tend to freeze up and get nervous when sparring black belts. This results in accidental low kicks and rigid movements. Black belts tend to be more relaxed and fluid, meaning fewer accidents. However, it is essential to spar color belts as it is the only way they will learn proper technique and control. Black belts helped us when we were younger, now we must help the color belts who come up after us.
 

tshadowchaser

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Founding Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 29, 2001
Messages
13,460
Reaction score
730
Location
Athol, Ma. USA
granted I have not been in TKD for decads now but I spar with everyone above and below me in rank. Come to think of it most instructors I know do.
 

TigerWoman

Senior Master
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2004
Messages
4,262
Reaction score
39
Jaymo, as others have told you, sparring is in steps. You may be a red belt, but your instructor should have known that you did little sparring before. It takes a while to learn how what you have learned goes together. Also sparring experience is just that, it gives you something to rely on. You start getting your basic skills and "grow" them. Try them out on people. Sparring practice at school is just that, an opportunity to learn and practice. It is not to beat each other up. Otherwise we wouldn't have any partners left to spar with.;)

We all go through this. Some people are more adept at picking it up quickly but most go trial and error. Once after my blue belt test, I went in to the instructor/master and told him to fail me cause I did so absolutely lousy at sparring that I too cried all the way home. I had become intimidated of this black belt 6' guy who just kept attacking and I was never fast enough. Later, my master just sort of laughed at me, and told me I wasn't the first and he couldn't fail me. But I did start to work out some stuff with his help to get better. At least if you are a red belt, you have a few more tools to use and have better kicks. If you don't or they need practice, just do that, practice what attacks and defenses you would use. Does you school do any sparring one-steps or combo partner practice? Ask your instructor to do that--as you need it. He should be aware of how you feel because black belt test is not that far away but could be put off until you feel more comfortable with your practice. Please talk with him about your needs otherwise how is he going to know? TW
 
OP
J

jaymo

Guest
hey everyone,


thanks for the fab feedback!
 
OP
J

jakmak52

Guest
When sparring with underbelts I utilize control to suit their individual skill level and encourage them to ignore who I am and praise their techniques as well as critique their errors.
 

Flamebearer

Green Belt
Joined
Sep 11, 2004
Messages
107
Reaction score
5
Location
Houston
Tkang_TKD said:
Anyway, how would you all recommend I handle teaching this young TKDist that it's ok to hit me, and even blast me if he wants to? and is it a good idea to let him hit me, or would that perhaps set him on a course of being invincible?

Thanks for the comments :asian:

At my school any sparring with a whitebelt involved is no contact. (There goes the hitting thing.) Also upper belt sets level of control. If upper belt gets hit, it's upper belt's fault for not blocking. If lower belt gets hit it's also upper belt's fault for lack of control. (It's really great being an upper belt - all that responsibility)
As belt level progesses so does level of contact.

When I spar a white or yellow belt, I'm supposed to be also teaching them through the exercise - keep guard up, etc. I do remember one time when I was a little overenthusiastic in sparring a yellow - no one got hurt, of course, but I should have left more "teaching openings" for him. Felt kind of guilty afterwards. However I've learned my lesson.
 

Miles

Senior Master
Joined
Oct 10, 2004
Messages
2,254
Reaction score
53
Location
Metro-Detroit
Everyone spars everyone at my dojang. White belts do "promise sparring" (i.e. I promise not to hit you if you promise not to hit me). Yellow belts and above do full-contact/Olympic sparring. However, we also teach sparring progressively, so that one learns how to take a shot and give a shot.


We do a lot of conditioning and hogu drills so that students build up to increasing contact. We don't go full-bore sparring in every class, nor before testings or tournaments. I have sparring classes on a certain night so that everyone who really wants to go all-out can do so.

Take Care,

Miles
 

Adept

Master Black Belt
Joined
Nov 6, 2004
Messages
1,225
Reaction score
12
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Everyone spars everyone where I train. Sometimes we will seperate the class into smaller people and larger people, and every now and then the senior belts will spar in a seperate group.

The general rule of thumb is to let the less experienced person set the level of the sparring. If they feel awkward and are slow and jerky, then you take it slow and help them along. If they want to play rough and tumble, then you can rough them up a bit (within reason).

Of course, if we are sparring a friend of a similar skill level, then we both go hell-for-leather.
 
OP
B

blackbeltedbeauty

Guest
In my TKD school, I sparred against many white and yellow belts, but only as a teaching tool for them. I taught them what to look out for, how to see when you have an opening to strike, etc. They usually sparred with each other, but a black belt was never aloud to just all out beat down a white belt. I mainly sparred with red belts and black belts (got the bruises to prove it). :rolleyes:
 
OP
T

the_kicking_fiend

Guest
I often find sparring the white belts very stimulating and good practise. They kind of idolise you and I remember when I was a lower grade how I felt when I sparred a black belt. I bent myself backwards to hit them, whatever trick I knew, everything I had. So when we spar white belts, they often, even if very unskillfull and ungraceful, can give you one great spar. This isn't true for everyone but the determined ones will.

Not only that, but many of you underestimate white belts. It's not uncommon to have individuals crusie form style to style, simply for the sparring and hence have accumulated lots of experience in other martial arts and come over to your dojang just to see if they can beat your club. I don't like the indivuals who live by this philosophy but it does make good sparring.

d
 

Adept

Master Black Belt
Joined
Nov 6, 2004
Messages
1,225
Reaction score
12
Location
Melbourne, Australia
the_kicking_fiend said:
Not only that, but many of you underestimate white belts. It's not uncommon to have individuals crusie form style to style, simply for the sparring and hence have accumulated lots of experience in other martial arts and come over to your dojang just to see if they can beat your club. I don't like the indivuals who live by this philosophy but it does make good sparring.

d
This is another reason why I let my opponent set the tempo of the match. Somtimes you get someone who has spent several years in boxing, or another MA style, who is comfortable with going harder than a regular white belt would be.
 
OP
O

Oak Bo

Guest
Yes, I spar with them all the time.
Nothing wrong with letting them get there feet wet, and letting them spar the senior guys and gals. Once they get over some of the ridged stuff and start to relax, everything usally goes fine. They also realize that we're not out to hurt them only to help, and that they're in pretty safe hands (and feet) when it comes to controlling the techniques.
:asian:
 
OP
S

*sic

Guest
Adept said:
This is another reason why I let my opponent set the tempo of the match. Somtimes you get someone who has spent several years in boxing, or another MA style, who is comfortable with going harder than a regular white belt would be.
matching is something that needs to be done, when i first began my training i walked into the club with no experience into a sparring night, noone there was willing to show me much so i just got the crap beaten out of me, this was good for myself personally as it was motivational, others i can see would have left the martial arts all together for something like this.. 2 edged there..

now days its not all about trying for a knockout on the earlier belts, but showing openings, and giving tips as most clubs as per above do.

the people that do roam club to club are great to spar with when they come in, alot of these people rate themselves a little to highly for their actual ability and subsequantly pay the price for it when they run with higher grades...

these people if they were good martial artists would come to the club and introduce themselves and explain any experience before they proceed to fight any members.

acting like a white belt and coming in to spar in not cool, and will ussually result in a less than light sparring match...
 

Raewyn

Master Black Belt
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Messages
1,242
Reaction score
13
Location
New Zealand
Like I said before in my last post, I am only a beginner(yellow-tip). I would rather sparr against a BB then someone of my own rank or lower, as you can learn so much more from a higher ranked person. A higher ranked person can teach you so much more about control as they already have learnt that. Higher ranked people do have ego, but have also learnt to control that. The_Kicking_Fiend mentioned that lower belt ranks tend to idolise you alot more. Its not so much that, its just that you are alot better, more practised and we are able to learn so much more from you.
 
Top