Sparring help please

SamanthaC

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I am a long time lurker and don't often post but the advice I have read on here has been invaluable, so I come with a problem of my own.

I am currently a red stripe in an ITF club and recently went to a competition not my first comp but, it was my first experience of the continuous at competition level. I went up against a woman who went on to win, in our fight she got in a strong contact side kick to my ribs which stunned me followed rapidly by a punch to the face that was so hard I ended up knocked out and found out the day after that I had a tiny hairline fracture on my cheek (A tiny one that hurt like hell none the less) that was 4 weeks ago.

I did sparring at my club for the first time since the comp on Monday with pads on again. Previous to the comp I was an alright sparrer quite offensive and I loved it.

Now I am finding myself scared although I know it wouldn't happen at my club I am sitting here dreading the next time I have to free spar when I put my sparring gear on I actually started shaking and although I did it, I couldn't attack I was just scared

Now how on earth can I get past it enough to start building up my confidence?
 

Manny

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I can feel you, I also remeber the time when afther kalyo!!! I got a broken nose from a heel turning kick, in fact I was caught with the same kick years before the broken nose and that time I got a well knock out.

Yes it's hard to feel some kind of fear afther such a blow and what I can advise you is the following, buy a helmet with a plastic mask like this one http://www.asiana.com.mx/shop/index...ategory_id=34&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=96

and uset it inside dojang when you have to sparr and protect your face always, try to use counteratacks till you feel more confortable but I have to tell you the best defense is the atack, you can also ask your sambonim for light contact if you need it so the sparring will be very light till you get your pace again.

Remeber ... what does not kill you make you stronger, the only way to overcome your fear is to deal with it, so do it in light contact till you overcome it.

Manny
 

Flying Crane

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They say that when you fall off a horse, you gotta get up and get back on that horse before you lose your nerve.

That being said, maybe there's a way you can work back up to it and rebuild your confidence. Talk with your instructors about that, and make sure the fracture is healed first so you don't re-injure it.
 

StudentCarl

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Welcome. The first time you get knocked out can mess with you, but you can grow from it and become stronger than you imagine. I agree with the above about letting your master know what's going on in your head so he/she can help.

If it was me I'd want to partner you with someone above your level to spar with you so can be assured they have self-control. They should spar with you as frequently as possible and build slowly from lighter to heavier contact. This is partly mental and partly physical, as your body and mind will toughen some as you get used to getting hit harder and pushing through it. This will also help you to continue building your defensive skills so hopefully next time you can move or block and not get hit.

There's a red-stripe at my club whom I'm working with on a similar issue. Be patient with yourself but keep working at it and you'll get there.

Stick with it!

Carl
 
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terryl965

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Welcome to the board.. Your problem is no difference for alot of people, getting knocked out is a very traaumatic experience that takes some longer than others to recover. First thing first have you accepted the fact that you will be knocked out again? Second have you came to terms with being knockout from the first time? The last thing one needs to do is go and sit down with your instructor, let them know what is going on so they can sit up a program that will get you going again. You need to get back in the ring but you may need to just take baby steps to get there.
 

Rumy73

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I am a long time lurker and don't often post but the advice I have read on here has been invaluable, so I come with a problem of my own.

I am currently a red stripe in an ITF club and recently went to a competition not my first comp but, it was my first experience of the continuous at competition level. I went up against a woman who went on to win, in our fight she got in a strong contact side kick to my ribs which stunned me followed rapidly by a punch to the face that was so hard I ended up knocked out and found out the day after that I had a tiny hairline fracture on my cheek (A tiny one that hurt like hell none the less) that was 4 weeks ago.

I did sparring at my club for the first time since the comp on Monday with pads on again. Previous to the comp I was an alright sparrer quite offensive and I loved it.

Now I am finding myself scared although I know it wouldn't happen at my club I am sitting here dreading the next time I have to free spar when I put my sparring gear on I actually started shaking and although I did it, I couldn't attack I was just scared

Now how on earth can I get past it enough to start building up my confidence?


Dear Samantha,

I am sorry to hear about your negative experience. I was of the understanding that ITF is not full contact and that heavy contact is not permitted in tournments, because players lack protective gear. I would discuss this with your instructor. I would also learn more about tournment sparring rules and regulations. Often, new students go into this experience blindly. I have heard horror stories. Please press your teacher for answers.

Now, about getting over your fears -talk to your teacher about them. They are legitimate concerns. Ask about light sparring. I see another poster recommended trying some head gear to help build confidence. I agree with this suggestion.
 

VinsonTKD

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Hello. I pretty much agree with everyone else above. The main thing is to get back in the ring and continue sparring. You will always second guess your self right at first, that is a normal thing. Although, I would start slow (maybe instead of full sparring... just work certain drills). Then slowly start building confidence throwing more and more techniques. The biggest things is to communicate with your classmates. If you want to start slow, ask them if they could just spar at about 50% or so until you start to feel more comfortable.

You're doing a great thing by continuing! It will take time to get over the second-guessing type of anxiety. It may not seem like it, but you are learning a lot from your experience.
 

chrispillertkd

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I am a long time lurker and don't often post but the advice I have read on here has been invaluable, so I come with a problem of my own.

I am currently a red stripe in an ITF club and recently went to a competition not my first comp but, it was my first experience of the continuous at competition level. I went up against a woman who went on to win, in our fight she got in a strong contact side kick to my ribs which stunned me followed rapidly by a punch to the face that was so hard I ended up knocked out and found out the day after that I had a tiny hairline fracture on my cheek (A tiny one that hurt like hell none the less) that was 4 weeks ago.

I did sparring at my club for the first time since the comp on Monday with pads on again. Previous to the comp I was an alright sparrer quite offensive and I loved it.

Now I am finding myself scared although I know it wouldn't happen at my club I am sitting here dreading the next time I have to free spar when I put my sparring gear on I actually started shaking and although I did it, I couldn't attack I was just scared

Now how on earth can I get past it enough to start building up my confidence?

You know the old saying, "Down seven times, get up eight." Your describing a reaction where the tenet of Perseverance is of utmost importance.

I'd suggest telling your instructor of your reaction to sparring now (if he hasn't already noticed it) and see if he'd be willing to let you spar with him or some other advanced student whom you trust to give you a good work out but not take advantage of your current gun-shy-ness. These should be good matches where you're working, not being thrown softballs. The key is to gain confidence while knowing you're not going up against someone who is trying to hurt you. Have them pick up the intensity over the course of time until you're back to your old self.

Mentally, I'd suggest envisioning the sparring match you mentioned and envisioning how you'd defeat your opponent.

Most importantly, keep at it. Don't let yourself get too frustrated. If this was easy everyone would be doing it.

Pax,

Chris
 

chrispillertkd

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I was of the understanding that ITF is not full contact and that heavy contact is not permitted in tournments, because players lack protective gear.

Actually, at all ITF tournaments the players wear both hand and foot pads. At many local tournaments head gear is also required for insurance purposes. The contact level isn't full contact, but does progress as you get higher in level from local, to national, to international. There's little difference between full contact and what you see at WC's from what I have seen. There is actually a full contact ITF circuit which is open to elite athletes called the International Taekwon-Do Circuit, too.

Pax,

Chris
 

RobinTKD

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I know how you feel, as well as Taekwon-Do, i play rugby, a sport where you get hurt a lot (think american football tackles without the armour), and the first few times i played it, i got threw around like a ragdoll, but you just got to keep going, especially if it's something you love. I practice ITF TKD too, and sparring is my favourite thing, especially as i can orchestrate a scissor axe kick quicker than anyone thinks possible.

My advice is, don't think about it, jump first, think later.
 

ralphmcpherson

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I know how you feel, as well as Taekwon-Do, i play rugby, a sport where you get hurt a lot (think american football tackles without the armour), and the first few times i played it, i got threw around like a ragdoll, but you just got to keep going, especially if it's something you love. I practice ITF TKD too, and sparring is my favourite thing, especially as i can orchestrate a scissor axe kick quicker than anyone thinks possible.

My advice is, don't think about it, jump first, think later.
I played rugby league and union for 15 years and I must admit that compared to rugby, sparring is like knitting classes. That being said though, I got beaten badly once sparring at grading by a guy about 30 kilos heavier than me and more skilled (despite being at the same belt level) and it knocked the confidence right out of me. It was about 12 months before I could spar with any confidence again. Getting right back to basics and spending a lot of time on the heavy bag helped heaps in helping me regain some confidence again. That, and a lot of sparring.
 
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SamanthaC

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Thank you all so much for responding, the woman I was sparring was merely warned for excessive contact after the event.

I will speak to my instructor tomorrow, he is a great person and I do really respect and trust him so I know he wouldn't brush me off.

Thanks again
 

Earl Weiss

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You know the old saying, "Down seven times, get up eight." Your describing a reaction where the tenet of Perseverance is of utmost importance.

Pax,

Chris


Heard that or something like it. Not sure how that is possible, unless of course you start down... but that's silly.
 

ETinCYQX

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Where does the red stripe fit in in ITF?

A lot of people are afraid of contact, especially when they've been hurt before. The only advice I can offer is to build up slowly, maybe start with 1-step sparring and gradually build up to free sparring.
 

ETinCYQX

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Thanks Mr. Piller. Same as in WTF, then.

I always thought 2nd gup was brown belt in ITF.
 

chrispillertkd

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Actually, the ITF doesn't use a brown belt.

In Gen. Choi's 1965 textbook the belts and ranks are listed as:

White belt (8th-7th gup)
Blue belt (6th-5th gup)
Brown belt (4th-1st gup)
Black belt (1st-9th dan)

It's interesting to see that there were only 8 gup ranks then, although the 9 dan levels were already present.

The ITF wasn't founded until 1966, a year after the book was published (give or take). I am unsure if the ITF ever officially used a brown belt, however, since in pretty short order the ranking system was changed to:

White belt (10th-9th gup)
Yellow belt (8th-7th gup)
Green belt (6th-5th gup)
Blue belt (4th-3rd gup)
Red belt (2nd-1st gup)
Black belt (1st-9th dan)

It should be noted that all the odd numbered gup ranks (9, 7, 5, 3, 1) are indicated on the belt by using a stripe of the color of the next belt in the system. Thus, a 3rd gup will wear a blue belt with a red stripe affixed horizontally across the ends of the belt (not a stripe running through the middle for the length of the belt like you'll sometimes see).

Pax,

Chris
 
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