WTF TKD sparring hands down?

dagg3r

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Hi all,

I was just curious recently joined a WTF tkd club and watching everyone do sparring and also on youtube watching olympic tkd sparring matches nearly everybody has their hands down (guard down).

I asked the instructor, he says its illegal to have your guard up or to block?
I read the WTF competition rules doesnt say anything about it is illegal to block or to have your guard up, so why dont you guys spar with your hands and guard up? why dont you block the attacks?

The only thing I can think of is possibly if you block the attacks in WTF or have your guard up and you block the attacks, although you blocked it the opponent will get a point assuming your hands were not there the trajectory would have connected??? I dont know thats the only logical thing I can think of.

Hope you guys can shed some light on this, but was just curious if you can block, you might as well block attacks well before they connect ... and to have your guard up at times.

Cheers
 

terryl965

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Well you instructor is wrong there is no such rule, basically they keep them down so there opponey will be tempted to go to the head and then they can counter. Alot of people believe they are faster with hands down, not me. This is one of the reason and pthers are since they do not use hands to the head, there is no reason to have them up.
 

FearlessFreep

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This comes up pretty often.

It's a risk/reward thing.

(WTF) TKD sparring is done at a greater range than other combat sports that allow hand strikes to the head, so you have greater lead time to block kicks to the head. So hands are often left low to entice the opponent to kick to the head on the feeling that you will be able to block in time if need be but mostly to set up a counter attack.

With recent rule changes designed to increase offense, I wonder if such tactics will go away.

Anyway, some (of us) who train Tae Kwon Do primarily as a self-defense martial art train to keep hands up as a defense against more 'real-world' situations as opposed to the sport scenario.
 

tshadowchaser

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Hands down sparring is why many people criticize the art and sport.
This sparring technique develops BAD habits if a transition is to be made into self defense or street.
 

Loomie

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Where I train we are WTF and spar every Wednesday. If you are caught with your hands down, you are gonna be in big trouble. If your arms are out when you kick, not protecting your rips they will take off your belt and tie it around your arms so they can't go too far away from your ribs. My master specifically encourages people to have their hands up and moving a little. His reason being that it will take less time to block if they are moving. So it just goes to say that every dojang is a little different.
 

Deaf Smith

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Cause it's a game Dagg. Olympic TKD is a game. A game with many restrictive rules forced so kicking technique takes presidence.

It has nothing to do with self defense or any realistic martial use.

Deaf
 
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dagg3r

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Thanks guys for the clarification, just also wondering if you were to block attacks such as a front kick way before it connects to the chest area the opponent wont score a point?
 

K31

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Where I train we are WTF and spar every Wednesday. If you are caught with your hands down, you are gonna be in big trouble. If your arms are out when you kick, not protecting your rips they will take off your belt and tie it around your arms so they can't go too far away from your ribs. My master specifically encourages people to have their hands up and moving a little. His reason being that it will take less time to block if they are moving. So it just goes to say that every dojang is a little different.

LOL, One of our instructors threatened to tie a students hands up with his belt if he kept dropping them during an exercise. They usually make the student hold two medicine balls if they don't heed the first warning though.
 

mango.man

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This year at the Fresno Natl Qualifier, I saw a guy come out in a guarded stance with his hands up like a boxer to protect his head.

I think the match lasted 4 seconds before he was point gapped by a barrage of round kicks. 4 to the left side of his torso and 3 to the right.

That is what the sport of TKD is about. I find it funny how many people complain about it. But if you wanna stand the best chance of winning under the WTF rules of competition, you gotta play the game their way.
 

terryl965

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But see mango.man people are not educated enought o understand this is a game just like point sparring and other types of MMA events. It is all a game and the real S.D. princeple are still out there in the school and in the streets.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Sparring with your hands too high or too low is foolish. Your hands should be high enough to guard your chin and to quickly react to an incoming kick. They should be held low enough so that your arms are guarding your torso and so that you can react to incoming kicks and punches.

Ali used to keep his hands down to entice opponents. Very few boxers keep their hands down, so it was a blatant, in your face statement of 'I'm so fast that I can do this and still stop you' that was designed to psych out his opponents. That, and he really was that good.

But if everyone is doing it, then it kind of loses its effect and really entices nobody.

Daniel
 

Deaf Smith

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you gotta play the game their way.

Whole point mango. Just playing a game.

Tell you what, you go to the street in a bad part of town. Let a few hoods come up and get in a conversation with you. Keep your hands down by your side. Since they really really want to talk to you close up, let them get close. Let them gesture with their hands. Let them distract you. And see what happens....

Deaf
 

TheOriginalName

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Firstly: I'm not trained in TKD. I'm do a karate based MMA.

I however like to try and fill my head with heaps of information - i particularly like to look at other styles and analyise the differences in the hope that i might be able to improve my own game.

Having looked at WFT TKD i'm of the opinion that the low guard is simply and purely to protect again points being scored against the body. A front kick or a low round kick takes far less time to travel to it's destination than a high kick - thus the chances of missing the block from a hands up guard is higher. Under "realistic" conditions we might just wear such a hit and push on but in the world of points sparring you can't do this.
Therefore the hands are low to block the easy points - with the thinking that you will be able to see a head kick coming and have more time to respond.

In the world of sports karate many people adopt such a philosophy - and it is highly effective.

The problem is people see this "sport" and think that this is how a the arts promote self defence........thus the problem.

As previously mention, point sparring is a game - like tag.
 

mango.man

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Whole point mango. Just playing a game.

Tell you what, you go to the street in a bad part of town. Let a few hoods come up and get in a conversation with you. Keep your hands down by your side. Since they really really want to talk to you close up, let them get close. Let them gesture with their hands. Let them distract you. And see what happens....

Deaf

Why would I (or my daughter who is the TKDist in my family) do that deaf? We understand it is just a game. We are only concerned with the game aspect. It is why we train where we train and with the people we train with. Our goal in TKD is only on winning gold medals in competition. It's why she does WTF sparring and why she keeps her hands down while doing it. Because it gives her a statistical and strategic advantage over an opponent in the ring during the game that comes in protecting only her head.

If my daughter ever found herself in such a situation as you describe she has been clearly instructed on how to protect herself long enough to make an attempt to escape. And those techniques that she has been told to use are things that would get her kicked out of EVERY dojang on the planet if she used them in training. They include Scream, Spit, Scratch, Bite, Knees, Elbows etc but only to a point where you can run like hell. Don't try to stick around and finish anyone off.
 

Deaf Smith

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Cause you fight as you train mango. Believe me, you fight as you train out of shear habit cause you lizard brain, that is your amygdala, can only do what it knows it can do.

Especially if you put a huge effort into training one way as you are programming your amygdala to react that way.

Deaf
 

mango.man

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Having recently gone through an 18 week LA County Shreiff Explorer's Academy with much focus on self defense and survival, allow me to assure you that her instinctive fighting skills are just fine.

Not once was she seen bouncing in place with her arms to her side waiting for an opportunity to land one of her patented axe-kicks.
 

granfire

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Well, I have been told that you suck if you have to keep your hands up!
ROFLMAO, maybe I do, but I have also received a many round kicks to the noggin form my instructor, who can do so at will, any day, without breaking a sweat and you just wonder why your headgear has shifted, and that is with light to medium contact.

I have also seen a pretty good Black belt getting knocked out cold. A lucky shot, but as my Husband noted "That is called a concussion!!!" and ever since Troy Aikman we know how that is not good for a person...or are our heads harder because we do MA?

Anyhow, another instructor with RL experience in using his MA, including fullcontact Tournaments and Selfdefense scenarios assured me, that hands up is the way to go.

Besides, I just turned 40, look pretty damn good still if I do say so myself, I know if I started drooling and stuff it wouldn't be so attractive...so I opt for brain protection! ;)
 

KELLYG

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In wtf, if the opponent kicks and it is blocked with with your arm and your arm makes no contact to your body then they don't score a point. It is easier and quicker block incoming kicks if you hands are already down somewhat. Usually the hand opposite hand from the blocking hand is punching at the attackers middle section at the same time, so that you can push off to make room for further counters.....

Just my take on it...
 

Deaf Smith

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And guys, if your hands are down on the steet, before you can react they will punch the daylights out of you.

See on the street they get close and hit you before they bow.

You should learn to keep your hands up, especially when talking to people you don't know in a strange part of town. It's all habit. Ingrained habit.

Deaf
 
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