New to Tae Kwon Do: First sparring match in two days!

Dinkus Mayhem

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Hello everyone.

I am new to Tae Kwon Do, and am so far loving the experience. My 9 year old daughter has been in it for a year, and has reached green belt level....thanks in part to her enthusiasm she talked me into sharing the experience.

Anywho. Though I am still a white belt, I have been learning a lot in each class. Our first regional tournament is this Saturday, and I decided to take the big step and jump right into sparring and form competition, I would have done breaking as well but that isn't going to be a part of this tournament.

The main reason for this thread, is to ask for some friendly advice before stepping into the ring. I have my yell down, and have been practicing some basic kicking combos on my own but was hoping to get some advice from the more experienced practitioners who frequent this site.

Any tidbits of information would be greatly appreciated, and I thank you all in advance.

Also, please wish me luck...I am a bit nervous.

~Dinkus
 

IcemanSK

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First of all, welcome to Martial Talk! I'm glad you're here.

As a parent of a TKD student for the last year or so, I assume that you've ben to a tournament with your child. As a participant, it's a lot different. Nervous energy, worry, probably self-doubt may be a natural part of what you're thinking.

I'd really encourage you (as much as you possibly can) to try not to put expectations on your performance, & to just have fun & learn from the experience. You just started & you have nothing to "prove" to anyone.

All my best! Go have fun. Let us know what it was like for you.
 

terryl965

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Welscome and enjoy

Don't worry about anything just go and have fun.
 

TKDHermit

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Yeah. Competition isn't a problem of winning or losing, but a chance to perform yourself to the fullest. In other words your opponent is going to be yourself. Grace is the beauty of form under the influence of freedom. Don't stress yourself, just do it.
 

bluemtn

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I remember my first tournament- I was very nervous! The important things to remember are: have fun, and to remember to learn something from the experiences- trophy/medal or not. Best wishes, BTW!
 

BrandonLucas

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You'll never forget competing in your first tournement. Take in as much as you possibly can, and learn from what happens.

Oh, and if you get a break for lunch, eat lightly...maybe a salad if you need something.

Good luck!
 

WMKS Shogun

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It would also help us to know if you will be doing olympic or point style sparring if you are looking for more technical advice. My personal advice for you (other than what was said above, which I agree with) is to keep your hands up, your head back, and try to keep your breathing even and under control. A strong Kihap can startle an opponent before launching into an attack. Do not do that too often, but once or twice, doing a kihap and then attacking on the flinch reaction is a great way to put that kihap that you have worked on to good use. If you are doing point sparring, a good lead backfist is your friend. Right from the signal to start, a quick backfist can do wonders. Also, remember to use combinations. One move will likely not win it for you, so you have to put your moves together. Overwhelm them with techniques. Be mindful of your position in the ring and do not get forced back into a corner by circling instead of always moving back and forward. If you find yourself getting pushed back by a barage of kicks, plant and reverse punch or side step and counter with whatever you can do.
Good luck and have fun. If you win great, learn what you did well and how to improve on the things you did not. If you lose, figure out why and commit to not making the same mistakes again. Be inspired by your performance. Also, have fun in the forms competition too.
 

bluekey88

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First and most important...RELAX AND BREATHE...it's very easy to tense up and hold you rbreathe...that'll sap your energy faster than anything.

don't worry about doing anything fancy...work the techniques and combos you know. Whenever possible, try to move forward, avoid moving straight back as that gives away the initiative.

Mostly, just stay relaxed, enjoy the experience and learn from it for next time.

Peace,
Erik
 

Deaf Smith

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Dinkus,

When you get into the ring, first keep in mind the other guy is just as scared as you are (if not more.) Use this! Use the idea he is scared and use the fear you feel to pump you up.

Think very positive. Keep saying to yourself you are a winner. You came to win and you will do this!

And here is a word from one of my heros, Youthly Puresome. It's about the Night Thing we all fear.

http://www.skyhawk.org/2d/tins/purenite.htm

Deaf
 

Manny

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Take care of your face/head, as you are a begginer plese take care a kick to the head/face can be very hard, use your arms/hands to take cover and move, don't stay still, as in boxing roll and rock to avoid exesive contact to the head/face.

Manny
 

Sukerkin

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I'm not a TKD student nor do I approve of tournaments but I have been in my share as a practioner of Lau Gar kung fu and I used to love full contact sparring outside of the tournament setting.

I only chip in my tuppence worth to say that the most important thing is that if you don't enjoy the experience then take that lesson away from the day and don't be pushed into doing it again. If you do enjoy it then that is fabulous - just because I don't approve of them doesn't mean there isn't anything of value in tournaments.
 

Kacey

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It's not whether you win or lose - it's whether or not you learn something from the experience. If you win - great! If you don't win - so what? It's not the championship of the known universe, especially at your level and your child's level. Go early and/or stay late, watch as many levels of competition as you can, and see what you can learn - and then do the same with your own competition. And enjoy!
 
OP
Dinkus Mayhem

Dinkus Mayhem

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Thank you everyone for the advice, most of it I was able to read before I left for the tournament yesterday evening.

I remembered to eat light, and stay calm and relaxed. It was a fun time, and I am fairly certain my daughter had as much fun as I did.

Sparring was a blast, and I think that getting that first experience out of the way will help my confidence a lot. There were some kicks received and some given, I even attempted and landed a head shot. The main goal I set for myself was to use as many different kicks as possible, no matter if I did them well or poorly....at least I now know what I need to work on.

Walking away from it there is much I need to learn yet, but I am eager to do so. Hopefully next time I will be able to take a first place in sparring, but I am happy with the 2nd place I earned (I did earn 1st place in form presentation, presented H-pattern).

Good stuff all around, and thanks again for all your words of encouragement and the tips that were offered.

:ultracool

EDIT: I almost forgot to let you all know how my daughter did. She earned 3rd place in form presentation, and 4th place in sparring. She was happy with that, and had fun participating. She was also happy that we bought her a green belt key chain, and a Lee's Tae Kwon Do stocking hat.

I couldn't resist. :p
 

IcemanSK

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Excellent!

I'm glad you had a good time with your daughter & learned some things, too. Congrats to you & your daughter on placing!
 

bluemtn

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I'm glad to hear that the 2 of you had a lot of fun, and congrats on the placements!
 

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