Competition Nerves & Critique

Discussion in 'Taekwondo Sparring' started by Keigo, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. Keigo

    Keigo Member

    Hi guys! Been about a year since my last competition, but just as before, nerves got the better of me again :(
    I thought I'd fare better this time round to be honest, but still getting jelly legs just stepping onto the mat. That aside, I'm hoping to get some feedback on what I should work on (and what drills to do if possible). I've got another competition coming up in 3 weeks, not sure how much I can improve by then, but I'd like to give it my best. I really hope to get past the first round this time :oops:

    Below is the link to my fight, I'm blue. The ref took awhile to start the fight, so pls skip the first minute of the video:



    I realised I reacted poorly to her attacks; was just dodging and not countering often enough, is more sparring the only answer to this? If anyone would like to breakdown the video and critique on what I could have done better, I'd be more than happy to listen :)

    Cheers,
    Keigo
     
  2. canadiankyosa

    canadiankyosa Active Member

    Punch the opponent in the head. Instead giving all of those "schoolyard shoves", give the other person shots to the head. I realize that some TKD associations disallow handwork to the head. I think that is TKDs biggest flaw and, possibly, arrogance. Learn to use the hands and get into open tourneys (non-TKD) so you will have to learn the hands.
     
  3. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Hi Keigo,

    Just a few constructive observations and thoughts:

    Your defensive game involves retreating in a straight line when your opponent kicks. Try stepping out to evade sideways while countering. Always counter. Put yourself in a position where you can kick and she can't.

    Use the front leg to counter her front leg kick.

    When she gets too close, crescent kick the head.

    You need a solution to stop an opponent who likes to move forward while kicking. I suggest linear kicks such as push, back, cut, axe. Hook and reverse hook can work if you are quick and good with distance. Get a solid linear counter in early to force the opponent to change their style from offensive moving forward to defensive on the spot. Then change your style to offensive.

    Your kicking skills are good but need more variety, but it's really your footwork and positioning that's losing you the game. These are easy things to fix.

    More sparring will help, but the key is linking the mittwork and footwork drills you do to the reality of competition.

    Watching it a second time, you actually are trying axe and crescents when she is close (I think this is what your coach said to try too). They are getting caught up on her arms during the chamber and failing. Try practicing your face kicks from a bent knee chamber, whipping them out at the last moment. This will get your leg up and through the guard before it stretches out and allow you to make contact better.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014
    Keigo likes this.
  4. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    You realise this is a Taekwondo forum, right?

    Face punching is not part of the rules in this competition format.

    Not everyone practices martial arts for the same reasons you do.

    Possibly the least helpful post I've seen.
     
    Michael MacNeil and Intercept like this.
  5. c5sparkchaser

    c5sparkchaser New Member

    Gnarlie, I'm assuming he's referring to ITF rules where you allowed head contact. Black Belts can even punch to the face as long as no "flowing" blood is drawn.
     
  6. c5sparkchaser

    c5sparkchaser New Member

    Gnarlie, I'm assuming he's referring to ITF rules where you allowed head contact. Black Belts can even punch to the face as long as no "flowing" blood is drawn.
     
  7. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    I know what he's referring to, but the competition in the clip is clearly WTF rules competition.

    I don't understand why someone who doesn't practice Taekwondo would join a Taekwondo forum only to criticise Taekwondo.

    My view is if you don't like it, don't do it.

    I further don't understand why someone would post such comment in a thread asking for help in a specific type of Taekwondo sport competition.
     
  8. Mario Ray Mahardhika

    Mario Ray Mahardhika Active Member

    You already have good stance and stepping, that's one to-do down. However, as many new athletes, you counterattack too late. Don't wait for your opponent's attack to finish, attack while her leg is still in the air.

    She's (and you're) slow in dropping the kicking foot down, which is the key to fast kicking combo, so that's one to-do from me.

    Next, about your attacks. First attack is the key to penetrate your opponent's defense and open up next chances to score. Though could work sometimes, plain attack is often blocked or avoided easily. Attack in combination with steps. It's somewhat not standardized (I once had 30 kinds of it, but my last club only has 15) and instructors usually teach it by inserting steps in the movement, such as "step forward, dolyo chagi" or "side step, dwi chagi". I separate the subject as it requires its own training IMO, and quite difficult to master even without kicking. I don't have any links (as I said, it's not standardized), so you could ask your instructor to teach you.

    If you can't counter due to anything, don't let your arms down. Keep them up so your palms are inline with your cheek and your elbows are inline with your upper ribs. That will make blocking easier as half of your arms already cover both scoring area (side).

    In the last round, you strive for head attack too much, and your opponent already reads that. That's why all your attempts failed. A good option is to do alternate target kicking, both body-head and head-body will usually work, using the same foot (preferable as it's faster) or different.

    One last thing: train your left side much more than your right. Your opponent is more balanced in this case, and that's an advantage.

    Anyway, what belt are you? I can't really see it from the video, whether it's blue or black. Your dwi chagi doesn't look bad but it's not ready to be used, too wide and too slow, though on target.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014
    Michael MacNeil, Gnarlie and Keigo like this.
  9. Keigo

    Keigo Member

    Yes, as already pointed out by Gnarlie, this was a WTF competition (which follows Olympic rules), so we're not allowed to punch to the face. I agree with your comment about the shoving though, I did not handle it well and I could have been penalized for it. I don't usually do it in class, but my hands just reacted before I realized it, wasn't intentional. Maybe its just part of my personality 'cause I do not like people getting close to me, so it just happens when I get nervous and instinct takes over.

    As for the open tourneys, I doubt I'll be trying those anytime soon. Especially if you're talking about MMA, definitely a no-no for me; I have a day job, I can't afford the time to train 8hrs/day, or go to work with broken lips and swollen eyes :p Also as you can probably already tell, I'm not a natural when it comes to fighting, but at least sparring pushes me to improve faster than I would have, mentally and physically.
     
  10. canadiankyosa

    canadiankyosa Active Member

    The point I was making was to use the hands instead of letting them monkey hang. I am thinking I should have been clearer.

    I saw a green belt, I think, in Shotokan who won a match using only front leg round house kicks to his opponent's head. The amusing part is that his front foot did not touch the ground, from a front kick chamber, almost the whole match. Every match he caught everyone, who knew what he could (and would) do because he was that fast.

    Also, I am of the school where my Grandmaster promotes learn as much as you can from every art and the people who study them. Hence, here I am.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014
  11. Keigo

    Keigo Member

    Thanks for the advise Gnarlie!

    I'm still working on my sidesteps. I'm always stepping to the wrong side i.e stepping into my opponents kicks even in class, so I didn't want to risk it. I seem to be pretty bad at anticipating which leg they're going to kick with first, but in hindsight, I just noticed that her kicking was always alternating right left right left, so I could've easily stepped to the correct side. I wish these impulses would just come to me fast enough >.<

    Yes I was trying for crescents in close range, and axe when slightly further. I have no idea why my axe kicks kept missing her face (too nervous maybe?), but it was the crescents that were getting jammed by her arms. I have tried crescents with bent knees in class, but couldn't get them to work either, maybe my kicks are too predictable?
     
  12. canadiankyosa

    canadiankyosa Active Member

    It won't work every or all the time on everyone, but I would keep an eye on what foot they have forward.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014
  13. Keigo

    Keigo Member

    Thanks for the advise too Mario!

    Yes I do have this problem! Do you have any solution or drills to fix this? I have been researching for months for exercises which I can do to improve on this. As much as I try to tell myself to land faster, I just can't seem to do it.


    Now that you mention it, we have been doing such drills, but when its time to spar, my mind goes blank... My instructor has been telling me to come up with my own combinations too, but then I cant seem to apply them in sparring situation...


    Yes I agree, my coach was telling me to just go for head kicks, as my body kicks were too weak to score. But maybe I took it a bit too literally. I don't know why the body kicks were not making any sound? I'm pretty sure I was kicking harder than her, I noticed that she was 'stunned' a couple of times when I got a clean kick in, but there was just no sound. On the other hand, her light tappy kicks would made a sound -_-


    I'm black tip (9th kup). Yes that was a bad kick because I changed my mind halfway through XD I know my spinning hook kick is still not ready, but I'm working on it. I was actually going for a back kick, but then as I was turning around I realized the positioning and angle was wrong, and I knew I couldn't score from that position with a back kick, so I tried to change it to a spinning hook kick.
     
  14. Mario Ray Mahardhika

    Mario Ray Mahardhika Active Member

    You can ask a sparring partner so that you kick to the body instead of small thin kick target. Or if you have big thick rectangular target, you can use that. The basic idea is to use your target surface as a reflective field to help bringing your foot down faster. A little theory: your strike should go up to reaching your target. After that, use your knee to push it back, using your foot, which is now on your target, as a pivot. If using thicker target already works, try using the thin target again. This time, the reflection should come from your leg control. Another training would be to do roundhouse quickly followed by sliding backstep, where the target holder tries to attack you back using the target itself. A little video should explain it better, but I don't think I have any right now. Next week is my students' time for demonstration to recruit new students, so we're concentrating on it now.
    This requires experience (read: more sparring) for mental and technique mastery. You need mental to think clearly, and you need technique mastery to be creative in creating combo.
    Which part of your kicking leg lands on your opponent's body? First, it has to be your instep. Second, the toes have to point downward with the foot body hardened. It's a simple physics of surface and momentum. To make a big sound, the touching surface has to be wide. The wider the surface, the bigger the sound. You may seem to kick harder, but no(t big enough) sound produced because of it. In fact, classic Tae Kwon Do uses toes that points upward for kicking. That creates the biggest damage (you could break ribs with it), but lowest sound because the surface is so little. Try comparing that by asking someone holding a kick target, which one (s)he feels stronger, despite the sound produced.
     
  15. Mario Ray Mahardhika

    Mario Ray Mahardhika Active Member

    You can ask a sparring partner so that you kick to the body instead of small thin kick target. Or if you have big thick rectangular target, you can use that. The basic idea is to use your target surface as a reflective field to help bringing your foot down faster. A little theory: your strike should go up to reaching your target. After that, use your knee to push it back, using your foot, which is now on your target, as a pivot. If using thicker target already works, try using the thin target again. This time, the reflection should come from your leg control. Another training would be to do roundhouse quickly followed by sliding backstep, where the target holder tries to attack you back using the target itself. A little video should explain it better, but I don't think I have any right now. Next week is my students' time for demonstration to recruit new students, so we're concentrating on it now.
    This requires experience (read: more sparring) for mental and technique mastery. You need mental to think clearly, and you need technique mastery to be creative in creating combo.
    Which part of your kicking leg lands on your opponent's body? First, it has to be your instep. Second, the toes have to point downward with the foot body hardened. It's a simple physics of surface and momentum. To make a big sound, the touching surface has to be wide. The wider the surface, the bigger the sound. You may seem to kick harder, but no(t big enough) sound produced because of it. In fact, classic Tae Kwon Do uses toes that points upward for kicking. That creates the biggest damage (you could break ribs with it), but lowest sound because the surface is so little. Try comparing that by asking someone holding a kick target, which one (s)he feels stronger, despite the sound produced.
     
    Keigo likes this.
  16. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Regarding sidestepping:

    Step out while that leg is in the air, and move out to the side and forward. If the opponent switch kicks or you read the wrong leg, you will be close enough to jam the kick.

    Alternatively don't wait for an attack to sidestep, and use it as a movement to get you to a position of advantage before you attack. It will mean your opponent has to move before they can attack.

    I would also really start drilling your slipping counter back kick off the line. Do this in class with mittwork, with the holder walking quickly towards you.

    Counter back kick could have won you that match. The ability to slip with every kick will help you. This is what I mean when I say you need footwork - it is how you control distance against an aggressive opponent.
     
    Keigo likes this.
  17. Keigo

    Keigo Member

    Thanks Mario, I've been trying it out on those kicking shields as you suggested. But I'm not sure if I'm doing it wrong, when I try to 'push' my foot off the shield, my kick ends up staying extended for a longer period of time (that's what my instructor observed).


    Yes I know what you mean, we've been doing these drills too, but I'm still slow.. >.<


    Thanks for pointing that out too, this week I started paying attention to which part of my foot is hitting the target. I noticed sometimes I end up hitting with my shin due to the distance, I'll have to watch my distance. But another thing my instructor pointed out is sometimes my kick lacks striking power, so it ends up more like my kick is just pushing rather than hitting. As for the foot, I was taught to relax my foot and kick slightly higher than the instep, so that even when the opponent blocks, my foot can still 'hook' behind the arm and hit them. I dont know if that makes sense, it's hard to describe it here lol.
     
  18. Keigo

    Keigo Member


    Thanks Gnarlie! I tried your suggestions last night during sparring class. My partner is not as aggressive, but I think I managed to control my distance better. Tried to slip with every kick, but only managed about 50% of the time, I'll have to work on it more. May have overdone it on the sidestepping, because after awhile, my partner started reacting and moving into position the moment I moved lol. Counter back kicks are still abit of a hit and miss for me, can't seem to time it right.
     
  19. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Hi, I didn't mean you have to slip every time you kick, but that you should be able to slip each type of kick if you wish to.

    The counter back kick should be a long term goal, it takes time to perfect. Again, the timing is to shoot it out as soon as your opponent twitches, and catch them mid step.

    You may have to mix directions and break your stepping rhythm to make things less predictable!
     
  20. friedchicken

    friedchicken New Member

    Sorry to bug in,:( but I was confused to if how I can post my own thread. :(
     

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