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Learning to spar

Would you like to learn how to spar?

Ipswich sparers in action!

Ipswich sparers in action!

Once you have your yellow belt, and you also know how to do your kicks (back kick and roundhouse kick) and can counter (inch in/out), you are welcome to ask Mr Donaldson (or Scott and Andy) if he thinks you are ready to learn sparring. Sparring classes are by invitation only.

There are two ways to approach your sparring training:

  1. To improve your sparring skills and/or see if this side of TKD is for you; you must attend at least two TKD lessons a week and at least one of these would be a sparring class.
  2. To participate in sparring competitions, you must attend at least two lessons a week if you are a yellow belt, and at least three TKD lessons a week if you are a blue belt or above. This can be any combination of ‘normal’ and ‘sparring’ classes. When preparing for a competition, you would do at least two ‘sparring’ classes a week before a standard competition, and three ‘sparring’ classes before a National competition.

What is sparring?

Sparring is a form of training common to many combat sports. Although the precise form varies, it is essentially relatively ‘free-form’ fighting, with enough rules, customs, or agreements to make injuries unlikely.

As a key element of Taekwondo, sparring is used to teach students how to deal with a live and moving human opponent (versus a static kicking dummy) in a controlled environment with protective sparring gear (i.e. helmet and chest protector) and a referee.

Taekwondo sparring is an Olympic event where you get one point for a valid attack on the trunk protector, two points for a valid turning kick to the trunk protector, three points for a valid kick to the head and four points for a valid turning kick to the head. (Source)

Take a look at sparring in action:

This sparring clip is from the Athens 2004 Olympics.

Why do it?

Once you know how to spar, you can enter competitions, and possibly win medals. Sparring is also a form of self-defence, a great way to stay fit, and is lots of fun.

When is it?

  • During school terms: Thursday, 6:15-7:45pm (at the PCYC Ipswich Pulse Hall) and Saturday, 10:30-11:30am (PCYC dojang).
  • Over the holidays (dates and times to be advised): they are usually Thursday, 6:15 -7:30pm.

How much are sparing lessons?

Sparring classes are currently $11 (casual) and are cheaper if you purchase PCYC passes (non refundable) in advance. Ask about the passes system at the PCYC Ipswich office.

What do I wear?

Full uniform is not required. Sparers wear black pants ($15 from Kevin) with a t-shirt (either a Tans TKD T-shirt, $25 from Kevin, or a PCYC T-shirt, $2 from PCYC Ipswich office). No singlets allowed. White pants are also acceptable, particularly initially.

Mr Donaldson has sparring gear (eg. chest pads, arm protectors) which you are welcome to use as you learn. However, once you enter competitions, you need to have your own gear (available through Kevin).

Want to read more about the sorts of techniques Mr Donaldson would teach you?

Check out these sparring attacks, counter attacks, strategy and more.

What sort of competitions could you enter?

Competitions are held throughout the year and locations include the Gold Coast, Caboolture, Logan, Brisbane and even interstate.

There is no requirement to enter competitions.

Want to try sparring?

Talk to Kevin Donaldson (0429 609 180), Scott or Andy to see if they think you are ready.

Taekwondo Queensland sparring






TQ sparring

Ashley (blue) sparring

TKD Ipswich sparring

Taz (red) sparring




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