My First Competition - Advice Welcome :)

Discussion in 'Taekwondo Sparring' started by Keigo, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. Keigo

    Keigo Member

    Hello everyone! Had a go at my first WTF style competition last weekend, and.. it didn't turn out too well lol.. I'm the one in red. I was a total nervous wreck, legs were all jelly the moment I stepped onto the mat. Still I feel like I could've won though...

    So I'm hoping to get some advice on what I can improve. I do realize I need to work on:

    1) Faster kicks; also landing my feet faster after the kick
    2) Footwork - I seem to be moving 'heavily' for my weight category, which is under 50kg, need to work on being light on my feet

    Probably a whole list of other things too, so would appreciate any suggestions and what drills/exercises I can do to improve :)
    ssiidd and UK-Student like this.
  2. ssiidd

    ssiidd Active Member

    Hello Keigo,

    First off, congrats on your first competition. It usually is an eye-opener :)

    Personally I like your stance, it is compact and you make yourself a smaller target (notice your opponent swings arms wide giving you a nice big target)

    You have mentioned two aspects you need to work on. Your shift's to close/increase the distance are good just need to get lighter on your feet. Think going forward/back instead of 'hopping' on the spot, it is a downward force that will tire you out.

    I notice you are right-dominant, suggest mix it up a bit. With the current technique (right turning-kick, left turning-kick) your opponent can easily read you. Try experimenting with swapping legs (you did it a few times) and using your left leg to initiate. It is often good to do a check-kick with your less dominant (left) leg and execute with the stronger foot.

    You tried to execute a head shot a few times, notice each time you try, it is on your opponents closed side. You can't therefore get there in the shortest possible time and have to try get to the head from the outside. This is mainly down to timing and reading her. Bait your opponent and wait for it to be picked ;)

    I would suggest
    1- Practice shifting and stepping - forward and back and use a combination of both in your sparring
    2- Practice scoring with your left leg. Try different kicks and see which ones you are comfortable with on your left (there will be one or two) and add that to your sparring drills. Gradually you will start focusing on the weaker kicks on the left
    3- Work on timing and range, you can do this by doing drills on kick pads with a partner.
    4- When doing #3 also think about when to fully commit (in the video you will notice a few times when you did a turning-kick you over-committed. It is difficult to recover from such a position)
    5- Work on combo's. Start with two, then three, then four. My experience is up to three are generally enough by the time I attempt the fourth I am either at the edge of the ring or have been countered.
    6- Keep it simple. Master basic kicks first and once you are comfortable, get fancy.

    If your opponent is attacking, try shift back or, if you can, shift to the side and wait for an opening. Speed and accuracy is what you should aim for. Practice is key, suggest do two matches of sparring (3x3) every week minimum and when training with your class spar with all the weight categories you can.

    All the best. Yes you could have won. Something to aim for next time :)
    UK-Student likes this.
  3. Rugratzz

    Rugratzz Active Member

    Nice back kick @5:17 ish ;) vary your stance left, right we all favour one side or the other but try to change try not to keep your hands on one place continously change their position confuse your opponent. Move not only back and forth but also left and right and as you do move in closer you will be in your kicking range but limit your attackers options. Get onto the balls of you feet. My teacher used to bring in and play some music with a good steady beat we used to shadow spar to that. It's not easy at first but after a while you will get the hang of it. Also your muscles will get used to it and you will be able to do it without thinking.

    It takes a lot of courage to get on the mat/fighting area adrenalin pumping heart feels like it's going to explode all those techniques you know flying through your head.

    You conducted yourself very well and should be proud. My first competition I lasted less than 30 seconds.

    The only way to get better is to practise and enter more competitions. Talk to the others who have more experience in comps..

    Good luck for the future

  4. michael mckenna

    michael mckenna Active Member

    i think you did very well to be honest least you were not completely dominated all you need is more experience if you compete more you get more confident. what rank are you ?
    UK-Student likes this.
  5. michael mckenna

    michael mckenna Active Member

    i have also subscribed to your channel i have a feeling you are going to go pretty far if you keep at it
    UK-Student likes this.
  6. Keigo

    Keigo Member

    Thanks for the kind words guys, got me all hyped up to train even harder for the next competition now :)

    ssiidd & Rugratzz, thanks for all the feedback and suggestions. In hindsight, I reckon I tried for head shots too many times, should've focused more on body kicks instead. Probably could've scored more since she was flailing her arms about like you pointed out, shame I only noticed it now >.< But yes, I was doing sparring classes 3-4 times a week, most of the time with people bigger than me (occasionally guys too), so I was actually quite stumped that I couldn't get a head kick in on her. Damned stubbornness got the better of me..

    Michael, I'm currently 1st kup, so I'm a little worried 'cause I feel my sparring isn't quite up to standard. Where I am, you need to be at least 2nd kup to take part in kyorugi, and we only have 2 competitions a year locally, so we don't get much exposure.

    Thank you! Unfortunately I'm past my glory days (already 28 lol), not sure what my chances are, or how far I'll go, but I'm gonna keep at it anyway :D
  7. Gazzer

    Gazzer Active Member

    Is it me or do a lot of people never bring there knee up enough?
  8. michael mckenna

    michael mckenna Active Member

    unless your dead your never past your glory days lol
    UK-Student and Keigo like this.
  9. spinningkick

    spinningkick New Member

    Good match, you gave a good fight and weren't afraid to attack your opponent. A couple of suggestions could be fighting more on both legs as you seemed to really rely on your right leg which I assume is dominant changing stance and using your left leg more could be useful.

    You may also want to try guarding more. It's unusual to have a proper guard in Taekwondo sparring but it puts people off as they aren't used to it, and with all the protective gear on it's very unlikely you would hurt your arms taking some kicks on the guard.

    Well done though for entering, and good luck in your future comps.
  10. Keigo

    Keigo Member

    Are you referring to the head kicks? :confused: I agree I do have that problem with head kicks, I have a tendency to 'rush' the kick because many times my opponents tend to back off quickly out of range when I try to bring my knee up completely before extending my leg i.e. I'm too slow... So that's one more area to work on :oops:

    Thanks spinningkick, I'll bear that in mind, how would you recommend I should hold my guard? Higher to cover my face? I have actually injured my forearm before from taking some very strong kicks from a black belt, he hit like a truck and I could feel the kicks even with guards on, was nasty >.<
    As most have pointed out, I'm relying on my right leg more as that is my dominant side. But another reason I feel was because I had sprained my left ankle some time back. Never had the chance to let it fully recover, 3 nights before the competition, it was still hurting when I tried to kick with it during practice, so I guess that made me a little hesitant. Not trying to give an excuse for my over reliance on my right leg, and to say I never favoured kicking with my right leg before would be a lie, but it wasn't so extreme lol. Anyway, gonna use this chance to let it recover (hopefully), and work on getting out of this comfort zone, don't want it to turn into a bad habit too.
  11. Matt Parker

    Matt Parker New Member

    It's hard to get past the butterflies of ones first competition....we usually have our newer students who want to compete do sparring with higher belts, that way they develop confidence and aren't rattled by most of those at their level....don't worry about the guys warming up, they might look like beasts hitting the sounds cliche', but "boards don't hit back" prepare well, be critical of your weakness if any and strive to lessen their effects.....bew willing to take constructive feedback....if you think you are right leg dominant, spend extra time and only kick with your "weak" lots of rounds figuring out how to only use your "bad leg" until it gets more seamless.....hope this helps! :)
  12. ssiidd

    ssiidd Active Member

    TKD guards are generally to protect your front upper body (and below neck) and that is where you are likely to be kicked/punched in a competition. Covering your head would make it something else (thai kb, kali, boxing etc etc) and is generally not very efficient in TKD sparring as you don't face your opponent straight but are more facing sideways .. not sure I am making much sense here.

    In terms of how you should hold your guard, although the question is directed to spinkick (sorry to butt in mate), the way I was taught was; consider your arms as one active one passive. Active is the arm opposite the kicking leg and passive the arm opposite the supporting leg. Passive arm you hold high enough to cover your side and your chest partially and active arm you let hang very relaxed. When you change stance you switch arms. By doing this you are not only covering your side that is away from the attacker to prevent sneak attacks but also have one arm that you can not only bring up if you need to defend but also use it to trick/check your opponent. Wish I could find an example. I am sure others here will have opinions on this as well.

    Personally the fundamental issue I have with holding guard up when sparring is people tend to get into a false sense of security and forget to move out of the attackers way - Yes, If someone is holding the guard up constantly all it takes is a well placed kick to get them drop it ;) moving out of the way is key. I also find holding the guard up (both arms) slows me down

    Based on personal experience, this is a bad bad idea. Let it heal/recover. I had a nasty ankle sprain last year, started training as soon as I could walk and made it worse. As a result I am still seeing the doctors and have to have surgery to get the bone fragments out. Not saying you could develop the same condition but when your body is in pain it is usually a sign to back off and slow down.

    One final point on training - if you are doing more than two training sessions a week make sure to relax your muscles often (massage, foam-roller etc). The tighter your muscles are the more strain they will put on the tendons and ligaments which increases chances of injury.

    Happy sparring!
  13. spinningkick

    spinningkick New Member

    I would recommend keeping your guard about middle section but out in front of your body, as opposed to against your chest guard. I completely understand why people are hesitant about taking kicks to the guard, it depends who you're fighting and how aggressive they are, I find it puts people off since you can't score by kicking arm guards. May also help to confuse corner judges by covering if a kick actually hit your chest guard or your arm guards. If you are going to try guarding more make sure to keep a strong fist. Don't know how useful this image is but might give you an idea what I mean.

  14. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    I thought you did good, although I find it hard to offer feedback on this type of sparring. How thick is the Hogu? I have never worn one, but I feel that you need one power kick. Something that your opponent will feel through it and think 'wow, I dont want to be hit by that again'. From there all you need to do is fake it to provoke an overreaction and score. you can fake a normal kick and might get a reaction, but if your opponent is scared of a certain technique, they are bound to over react. Your naturally aggressive, and that is good. Alot of the time you got caught when you attacked because counter striking is easy to score with, but dont let that put you off. If you can dominate your opponent mentally you will do well, and part of that is being aggressive.

    So thats it really, keep being aggressive and pushing forwards and keep one power kick in reserve. Dont throw it straight away, keep it untill you can score a clean shot and really let loose with it.

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