Sparring Advice: Opponent With Back Turned

HM2PAC

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Hello all,

I have a question to ask about sparring technique.

In ATA the back is not a legal target, but the back of the head is.

When sparring sometimes the more seasoned fighters will:

1. Fold arms in tight to the sides.
2. Hike the shoulders.
3. Turn their back to me at 45 degrees.
4. Look at me over their shoulder and advance.

To me this is somewhat WUSS. But I can deal with it.

It leaves the back of the head as the only available target.

What is a good way to get at that target? All suggestions welcome.
 

jarrod

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this probably isn't very helpful but...i just wouldn't spar under those rules. ug.

jf
 

granfire

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Hello all,

I have a question to ask about sparring technique.

In ATA the back is not a legal target, but the back of the head is.

When sparring sometimes the more seasoned fighters will:

1. Fold arms in tight to the sides.
2. Hike the shoulders.
3. Turn their back to me at 45 degrees.
4. Look at me over their shoulder and advance.

To me this is somewhat WUSS. But I can deal with it.

It leaves the back of the head as the only available target.

What is a good way to get at that target? All suggestions welcome.


turn their back at you?

hit them in the head. But you know what, don't play their strategy, move around and work on weaponry that circumvents that.

Practice twist kicks that as frontkick would miss, but at the angle hit their mark.

(and as ITA rules are similar) I do consider in those moments to make the best out of my strikes and make it count and hit hard the Illegal target, making the opponent thinks twice about it. And no, I have not done it, but I feel your frustration. My first ever tournament I sparred somebody like that. Struck out real quicklike....not perma turning the back, just as 'defense' when I kicked. ITA awards you now strikes for that if the judge feels it's intentional and not from a spin kick...

Oh, and since you didn't specify free or tourney....PUMMEL THE BACK OF THE HEAD WITH PUNCHES, TOO!
 

BrandonLucas

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Those nasty belt-level side kicks are great for any angle of attack! I've sparred people who use the strategy you've described before...the way I dealt with them is to let them attack first, that way, their body is facing you in some way, so you can block and counter.

Usually, with people who try to cheat like that, I hit full force. I have a sever disdain for people who "game the game" like that. And, even though I know it's wrong, I have punched someone right between the shoulder blades before when they kept their back to me like that. They need to learn that they cannot spar that way...if they get into a habit of sparring like that, it could become a habit in a SD situation, and that would spell serious trouble.
 

MJS

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Hello all,

I have a question to ask about sparring technique.

In ATA the back is not a legal target, but the back of the head is.

When sparring sometimes the more seasoned fighters will:

1. Fold arms in tight to the sides.
2. Hike the shoulders.
3. Turn their back to me at 45 degrees.
4. Look at me over their shoulder and advance.

To me this is somewhat WUSS. But I can deal with it.

It leaves the back of the head as the only available target.

What is a good way to get at that target? All suggestions welcome.

I don't train TKD, but I thought I'd chime in with a few suggestions. :) First off, I hope that at some point in time, the folks you're sparring with, spar actually facing their opponent. If people fight like that all the time, that could result in some very bad habits. As for your question though...it seems that due to their position, they're pretty limited as to what they can throw as well. I mean, not alot you can do, other than a back kick, when you're turned around. I second what granfire said about not playing their game. You need to dictate whats happening, not them. If you don't take control, then they'll continue to stay in that position. Force them to do something else.

I would suggest working on footwork and timing and basically overwhelming them with hits to the head. Like I said, IMO, it seems that they're limited themselves, so if you time it right, you should be able to score to the head.
 

bluekey88

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Fake a front kick and hike it into an axe kick. Hit the head and/or the shoulder. quick kick (front leg side kick) to the hip area. Probably won't score, but it's on the side and it will stop and unbalance them done right follow up with a jumping reverse roundhouse kick to the head...KO Also a good hook kick can be thrown after this setup as well. Again, to the head...going for the KO.

Peace,
Erik
 
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HM2PAC

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bluekey88 wrote:
Fake a front kick and hike it into an axe kick. Hit the head and/or the shoulder.

I've thought that an axe kick or crescent kick coming over the shoulder would be a good idea. Faking a front kick first I'll work on. Sounds good.

MJS wrote:
As for your question though...it seems that due to their position, they're pretty limited as to what they can throw as well.

It does put them in a bad position for a response.

Granfire wrote:
My first ever tournament I sparred somebody like that. Struck out real quicklike....not perma turning the back, just as 'defense' when I kicked.

That is exactly when they do it. It's two of the BB's in our class, and they use it as a defense when I throw a few combos at them. I'm starting to think of it as "Turtle-Shelling". In wrestling we had guys that would get tired and lay on their bellies so they couldn't be scored on, we called that "Fishing-Out".

BrandonLucas wrote:
Those nasty belt-level side kicks are great for any angle of attack!
My workout today is going to focus on crescents and axes. Sidekicks to the side of the abs will be on the agenda too.

Thanx to all, keep the ideas flowing. I'll let you know how this works after the next sparring session next week.
 

bluekey88

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Good luck. Remember, develop speed and power...that'll teach 'em. Don't underestimate the power of non-scoring techniques that hurt like hell. Just because they are covered up doesn;t mean you can't beat the hell out of their arms, shoulders, etc to wear 'em out and create an opening later in the match.

In WTF/Olympic sparring, we used to have the same rule...and had similar results. Now, they have made any part of the hogu, with the exception of direct blows to the spine a legal target area. Anyone that turns the back like you describe just gets kicked in the kidneys for their trouble :D

Peace,
Erik
 
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HM2PAC

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bluekey88 wrote:
Just because they are covered up doesn;t mean you can't beat the hell out of their arms, shoulders, etc to wear 'em out and create an opening later in the match.

Excellent idea. I'm thinking sidekicks at the head that will probably hit the forearms and possibly knock the opponent over/down. Also thinking of crescent/axes that will target the back of the head, that will probably hit the shoulders and possibly knock the opponent down as well.

I don't see myself taking part in a real tournament. The whole "Point Sparring" in ATA seems a bit too sport-like for my taste.
 

MJS

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It does put them in a bad position for a response.

This is where the timing and footwork come into play. At some point, if they expect to throw anything, they'll have to come out of that 'shell' position they're in, and that is your chance. :)
 

SJON

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I don't know ATA rules, but assuming it's full contact and you wear shin guards, I'd suggest that every time they do that:

- switch into an opposite guard (i.e. he's got his left leg forward, you put your right forward) and hack a really hard rear leg round kick with the lower part of your shin into his lead arm/ribs, watching out to avoid catching the point of the elbow
- stay in the same guard (both with left or right leg forward) and drop a rear leg axe kick on his head
- stay in the same guard and drill a lead leg skipping side kick into his lead side

Watch out for the spinning back kick counters, but if you do it hard and ruthlessly whenever he shells up, it's a way of hurting him and saying "don't do that, you fool".
 

Empty Hands

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Jam them up and then unleash a really nice right hook to the solar plexus which they have conveniently left open for you. Really, the only thing you can do from this stupid position are back kicks, and even then it only works because TKD focuses so much on the kicks. Jam them up so they can't kick, and they will be able to do absolutely nothing to stop you. Not with their arms at their sides and their back turned.

I can't believe people actually fight this way.
 

igillman

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Whatever shoulder they are looking over move to their opposite shoulder and force them to change their stance. Practice a 270 degree roundhouse. Now when you move and force then to change stance advance and do the 270 degree roundhouse, you should catch them nicely on the chest plate.

Failing that, do what the others have mentioned and hammer them on the arms and shoulders. You don't have to score, just make them aware that you can still hurt them.
 

hkfuie

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What if, the second guy held his arms in close and turned his back on the first guy? Wouldn't that be hiLARious!?! I can see two guys in a ring bumping around blindly! Ha, ha, ha!

Seriously, I have enjoyed reading the real replies to the thread.
 

terryl965

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To me footwork and beating the arms and shoulders to death during the first couple of second would put an end to it. Also just kick them in the head when there back is turned that will show them.
 

newy085

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Just a quick question, when you say the back is not a legal target, are you penalized for going there, or is it bad practice within your club. If not hit it, and hit it hard. Like other have said, you don't need to score points for a technique to be effective. Even if it is just to make them think twice about doing it again, it will help.

Another thing I would try is moving away from the field of view. If they have to turn their head to see you, move hard out of their line of site. When they shift stance, come and maybe throw a trailing round kick. Again just frustrate them, and dont walk into a back kick.
 
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HM2PAC

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newy085 asked:
Just a quick question, when you say the back is not a legal target, are you penalized for going there, or is it bad practice within your club.

I get nebulous answers when I ask this question. In a tournament it may turn out to be a penalty, depending on who the judges are. In class it would be considered a faux pas. However if the head is clearly the target, and all that is available is the back of the head by going over the shoulder,....I can't imagine getting penalized for "missing".

terryl965 wrote:
To me footwork and beating the arms and shoulders to death during the first couple of second would put an end to it. Also just kick them in the head when there back is turned that will show them.

That is my plan, I've been downstairs on my heavybag practicing crescents and axes this weekend. Spinning hook kicks seem to be a good option as well.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Most sports with target restrictions also have restrictions that prevent an opponent from keeping their back turned to avoid losing a match. If the ATA doesn't have that sort of thing, then they're promoting very poor habbits.

Be careful with going for the arms; depending on what sort of padding you wear, nailing their elbow can hurt you more than them, unless you break it. I'd stick with side kicks and nail the arms. Be brutal about it; such an opponent deserves absolutely no respect and no quarter.

Daniel
 

BrandonLucas

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Most sports with target restrictions also have restrictions that prevent an opponent from keeping their back turned to avoid losing a match. If the ATA doesn't have that sort of thing, then they're promoting very poor habbits.

Be careful with going for the arms; depending on what sort of padding you wear, nailing their elbow can hurt you more than them, unless you break it. I'd stick with side kicks and nail the arms. Be brutal about it; such an opponent deserves absolutely no respect and no quarter.

Daniel

I agree with this totally and completely 110%. I think it's one of my biggest pet peeves for someone to use the loopholes in the rules to their advantage.

I used to get boiling mad when I would play my buddy in Mortal Kombat. He would always use Liu Kang, and use that bicycle kick until I was in the corner, and then sweep me until the match was over. I actually punched him in the face for that one.
 

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