Two Styles of Sparring?

Kane

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The Tae Kwon Do I have been doing in my dojo I found today was different than what my college does. My dojo does what seems to be a more less contact point based systems than what is done in the Olympics and in college levels (atleast that is what I heard). The Olympics competition I saw was more full contact and even had KOs and TKOs, but the dojo Tae Kwon Do I do does not.

I later found that the more full contact sparring is traditional Tae Kwon Do, and the more full contact Tae Kwon Do as I explained before is done in colleges and the olympics.

I am thinking of taking Tae Kwon Do more seriously, and I am thinking of joining my college's Tae Kwon Do team next year. Will doing the more soft point based Tae Kwon Do that I do in my dojo (Ernie Ray's Tae Kwon Do) lessen my skills needed for real contact sparring? If so should I slowing trasistion myself into a more full contact Tae Kwon Do dojo until Tae Kwon Do season starts in college (or maybe the college one is all year, I'm not sure)?

Also, can anyone explain the rules of more traditional full contact Tae Kwon Do done in colleges and in the Olympics. I know they may vary, but try to give some rules they all share. I heard it is like full contact kickboxing.
 

MichiganTKD

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If you want fancy uniforms, Hollywood-style martial arts, and point fighting, Erney Reyes is the place for you.

But seriously, point fighting will not train you for full contact or Olympic style, because the mindset and dynamics are different. Also, I would hold off on training full contact or Olympic style until after black belt. Get your body strengthened and used to doing those techniques.
Keep in mind, full contact Tae Kwon Do and Olympic style are not necessarily the same thing. My Instructor fought full contact in the Korean Nat'l Championships years ago, when it was guys trying to break your ribs and knock you out. This was with body armor too.
 
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Kane

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MichiganTKD said:
If you want fancy uniforms, Hollywood-style martial arts, and point fighting, Erney Reyes is the place for you.

But seriously, point fighting will not train you for full contact or Olympic style, because the mindset and dynamics are different. Also, I would hold off on training full contact or Olympic style until after black belt. Get your body strengthened and used to doing those techniques.
Keep in mind, full contact Tae Kwon Do and Olympic style are not necessarily the same thing. My Instructor fought full contact in the Korean Nat'l Championships years ago, when it was guys trying to break your ribs and knock you out. This was with body armor too.
How different is Traditional TKD Full Contact that your instructer did than Olympic Full Contact TKD? Are the rule difference small or big? Also, how different is university full contact TKD than traditional and olympic TKD?

Would I have to start all over in belt rankings when doing full contact TKD, or can I start where I left off in the TKD I was in? Also, do you know any organizations that teach the traditional full contact TKD that is closer to the olympics?
 

Shu2jack

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Will doing the more soft point based Tae Kwon Do that I do in my dojo (Ernie Ray's Tae Kwon Do) lessen my skills needed for real contact sparring? If so should I slowing trasistion myself into a more full contact Tae Kwon Do dojo until Tae Kwon Do season starts in college (or maybe the college one is all year, I'm not sure)?
It depends on how you train there. I have trained in the ATA for 12 years, which has a "moderate" contact, no-KO, non-continous point sparring system. Recently I went to a gathering of TKDists from around Michigan for a 2-hour training/sparring session using full-contact Olympic style rules. Full contact, knockouts, continous sparring. Adjusting to it was no big deal and I just have to be aware of how I need to slightly modify my sparring.

While MichiganTKD is correct in that the mindset and dynamics are different, training in your style of sparring would not be detrimental to you. If you want to fight full contact, train for full contact. If you want to stay at your dojo, then that is fine, but realize that if you want to be a very sucessful full-contact fighter for TKD you need to study the game.
 

TigerWoman

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Our dojang sparring is continuous 5 min. rounds. Then we do point sparring at tournaments, so I know it is a switch. In order to do continuous, you will need to build up your cardiovascular capability to go that long. Running is good. Better than that, we have a workout where 8-10 standup bags are positioned a few feet apart and we do a continuously jump kick workout, run back and go at it again. After doing this for 30-40 minutes you will approximate continuous sparring. You can go to the WTF site to find out the rules but I understand they are changing right now. Also would be good to get good headgear and chestgear etc.

As far as your belt rank, you will have to talk to the head instructor at college to see where you will be placed. IMO, if you are WTF style trained, Taegueks etc. for form, you will probably stay that rank but not advance or compete until you are ready anyway. Don't know if you are ITF or other...because then you might have to relearn kicking style. TW
 

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Kane said:
I am thinking of taking Tae Kwon Do more seriously, and I am thinking of joining my college's Tae Kwon Do team next year. Will doing the more soft point based Tae Kwon Do that I do in my dojo (Ernie Ray's Tae Kwon Do) lessen my skills needed for real contact sparring? If so should I slowing trasistion myself into a more full contact Tae Kwon Do dojo until Tae Kwon Do season starts in college (or maybe the college one is all year, I'm not sure)?
If it's your only source of TKD it'll will give some feel for timming and distance. The perferable method is find a WTF and jump right on in, it's like alot of things it will make sense, once you make the adjustment and then you'll see what you need to work on.

If you still need to do the ETKD thing add a half hour of running with heavy concentraction on sprinting. Other good things to do are jump rope, calf raises and squats to prepare for WTF style TKD. Continuing while getting hit will probably be the hardest adjustment you'll need to make and can't get there from here unless your doing it.

Kane said:
Also, can anyone explain the rules of more traditional full contact Tae Kwon Do done in colleges and in the Olympics. I know they may vary, but try to give some rules they all share. I heard it is like full contact kickboxing.
See http://www.WTF.org/ for current rules. Basics, no punching to the head, Punching and kick to the body(Belt to Armpit), kicking to the head for two points. All techniques must score with some demonstrable show of force (redirect opponent, knock them down, jerk the head...). Knockouts to the body or head are encouraged.
 

Spookey

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Kane,


I say this only as a traditionalist. The word dojo is Japanese. Taekwon-Do is Korean and is therefore practiced in a dojang!

Second, the traditional full contact sparring refered to by MIchiganTKD looks nothing like the Olympic style sparring. The rules are drasticly different and the fighting far more physical!

TAEKWON!
SpooKeY
 
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Kane

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So is WTF full contact? Is it the same style they use in the Olympics? How much is it like traditional TKD.

[QHOTE]You can go to the WTF site to find out the rules but I understand they are changing right now. [/QHOTE]

What are they changing of the rules? Are they making it more full contact or less full contact? I hope they are not making it less contact, because it would be hard then to find a full contact Tae Kwon Do.
 
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dadams

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I would say that if you want to do Olympic style sparring then you need to start right away rather than after black belt. While I can see MichiganTKD's point about learning all of the basics first, the problem is that winning an olympic style competition does not rely on the best technique. It is all about scorring points.

What it does rely on is ring craft and automated responses. These only come about from years of training and most importantly experience. The more bouts you have under your belt the better off you would be. Starting after black belt is like trying to play catch up, as normal free sparring is completely different to what happens in the ring.
I could do 50 beautifully executed and spectacular kicks, but if they all miss and my opponent does just one sloppy roundhouse that hits my hogu - he wins.

All the best.
 

FearlessFreep

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What are they changing of the rules?

Going from I think a 12ft square mat to 10ft. From 3 minute to 2 minute rounds with a sudden-death tie breaker round if needed. More empahsis on scoring punches.

In other words, making it more active
 

MichiganTKD

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The difference between the full contact practiced by my Instructor in Korea and the Olympic-style practiced by the WTF comes down to a couple of factors:
1. Footwork. The Olympic style footwork is relatively recent. Only in the last couple of decades has it really been emphasized.
2. Contact. Both the traditional and the Olympic-style practice contact. However, traditional full contact was meant to penetrate your body and render you incapable of continuing. As I said, even with armor, it was not uncommon for fighters to get broken ribs and jaws from overzealous opponents, as well as get knocked out or killed.
With Olympic style, the contact point is approximately 1 inch past the surface of the armor. You will still feel it, and it might knock the wind out of you. But it will not break your ribs, unless by freak accident. Olympic-style fighters do train train to make powerful technique like they did years ago in Korea. It is a different mindset-make points but don't hurt the guy.
 

FearlessFreep

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With Olympic style, the contact point is approximately 1 inch past the surface of the armor. You will still feel it, and it might knock the wind out of you. But it will not break your ribs, unless by freak accident. Olympic-style fighters do train train to make powerful technique like they did years ago in Korea. It is a different mindset-make points but don't hurt the guy.

My instructor is constantly emphasizing that with hand strikes you go for three inches of penetration and with kicks it's six inches. He's always pointing out that the hogu is not much protection from a good attack so a) hit it hard and b) don't count on it to protect you from an attack. We train to have powerful technique through proper techqniue executed fast; and then once a week we spar against each other, using the same techniques we spent the other days working on. The philosophy is that if you hit them hard, they are not going to want to engage you. We don't focus much on sparring, we focus on TKD fighting for self-defense/real world application. Sparring just means 'limited targets for scoring' and 'pace for a 2 minute round, not a 10 second fight'

This is about the first time that I've heard that full-contact olympic sparring was *not* supposed to be done with the same power and speed you use to drop an attacker on the street.

No, I've never broken a rib of an opponent; I'm not strong enough/fast enough/precise enough/'good' enough to strike like that. I'm not trying to break my opponents rib, but I'm trying to kick him as hard as I can so he won't be able to kick me back as easily

Maybe it's just a difference in instructor mentality?
 
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Kane

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MichiganTKD said:
2. Contact. Both the traditional and the Olympic-style practice contact. However, traditional full contact was meant to penetrate your body and render you incapable of continuing. As I said, even with armor, it was not uncommon for fighters to get broken ribs and jaws from overzealous opponents, as well as get knocked out or killed.
With Olympic style, the contact point is approximately 1 inch past the surface of the armor. You will still feel it, and it might knock the wind out of you. But it will not break your ribs, unless by freak accident. Olympic-style fighters do train train to make powerful technique like they did years ago in Korea. It is a different mindset-make points but don't hurt the guy.
I read on the WTF website that KO or TKO is a valid victory, so isn't there some sort of objective to render you from continuing?

Also, will training under more traditional TKD still help prepare me for Olympic stle TKD?
 

Miles

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Kane said:
I read on the WTF website that KO or TKO is a valid victory, so isn't there some sort of objective to render you from continuing?

Also, will training under more traditional TKD still help prepare me for Olympic stle TKD?
Kane, first of all it is great that you are looking to expand your training.

If you are interested in Olympic TKD sparring, investigate your college team-some of the most intense training is done by collegiate Taekwondoin. Shu2jack mentioned our group which trains nearly every month. This past Saturday we were at Michigan State-lots of very good athletes..and my ribs are still aching... Check to see if your college/university belongs to the National Collegiate Taekwondo Association-go to the USAT website (www.ustu.org).

As far as traditional vs Olympic-if you are getting a good workout in your classes, that will help your stamina, but it won't do anything for your reactions to taking (or receiving) full-contact shots or help with footwork. You can't train for chess by playing checkers-different games mean different training progressions.

Good Luck!

Miles
 

MichiganTKD

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Kane,

In Olympic-style a KO or TKO is indeed a valid fight stopper. However, the difference is in traditional fighting the opponent was trying to inflict damage. There is a difference between KO'ing someone which technique which just happens to have that power at that time, and KO'ing someone because you are trying to.
Some of our Instructors, with extensive experience in international refereeing, have said that the contact point while wearing armor is 1-2 inches past the surface, depending on the abdominal strength of the opponent. Enough to hurt, but not enough to do damage. Keep in mind, I've fought guys in the past who aimed for your spine when they executed a midsection sidekick or roundhouse! Meaning they intended their kick to go all the way through your stomach.
As for traditional versus Olympic-style, it is my opinion that you should train as a color belt in traditional. Get your body and mind strengthened and conditioned through traditional technique. After black belt, then you can try Olympic-style. Keep in mind, you cannot practice both simultanously. Traditional requires a different way of executing technique and a different mindset than Olympic style. Practice Olympic style for several years, then go back to traditional.
 

FearlessFreep

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Some of our Instructors, with extensive experience in international refereeing, have said that the contact point while wearing armor is 1-2 inches past the surface, depending on the abdominal strength of the opponent. Enough to hurt, but not enough to do damage.

I guess I'm confused why that is, or why that needs to be?

When we do kicking drills, were always told 'six inches of penetration is the target'. When we spar (olympic rules), sometimes we do light contact and sometimes we do hard contact, but the only difference is the the target, not the power of the kick. I mean, a light-contact kick is still full speed and power, just aiming for the surface. A hard-contact kick is aimed for six inches deep. The only time our instructor let's us get away with kicks that are not powerful is if they come in a fast sequence to overwhelm the opponent.

I'll be the first to admit that within sparring I don't always have the skill and presence of mind to kick that hard, but that's a lack of execution on my part, not a lack of attempt or desire.

I guess I'm sorta suprised to hear that in olympic sparring that contact is supposed to be only an inch or two deep. I'll admit that this is the first I've heard of that idea and it's not how I train. I'm curious why that's what people do. I would think that full-contact penetrating kicks would be of value in any sparring. The harder you strike the opponent, the less willing and less able they will be to strike back.
 

TX_BB

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Freep,

Try this, you only get one point for a body shot wheather it's 80% or 100% of power. The time that it takes to deliver the other 20% is what top competitors reclaim to fire the next shot or evade the next attack. Since most top players can't deliver one shot - one knock-out, most play the percentages shots to the body and evade.

It is my experience that most knock-outs occur when a player is down three or more points with time running out.
 
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Kane

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But will training under more traditional TKD still help prepare me for Olympic style TKD? If traditional is more tougher and more full contact than olympic style, I still rather do that but will it still prepare for TKD tournaments olympic style as well?
 
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