The Value of Sparring Systems In Taekwon-do
Within traditional martial technique application and rehearsal is often practiced through a variety of sparring methodologies. Taekwon-do possess a diversity of sparring systems within its curriculum, each providing the student an opportunity to experience technique application and practice from different perspectives. Essentially, the “System of Sparring” (Matsogi Goosong) with Taekwon-do is classified into:
Prearranged Free Sparring
Generally speaking appropriate sparring methods are used at all levels, with the specific methodology and techniques used being specific to the grade and development level of the students.
Sparring (matsogi) can be seen as the application of offensive and defensive techniques, under a variety of situations.
“Sparring is the physical application of attack and defence techniques gained from pattern and fundamental exercise against actual moving opponent or opponents under various situations. It is therefore indispensable to promote the fighting spirit and courage, to train the eyes, to read the opponents tactic as well as maneuvers, to forge, toughen or develop the attacking and blocking tools, to test his own skills and ability, to learn other movements hardly to be gained from pattern or fundamental exercise.” (Choi Hong Hi, 1999, p598)
In recent times, the growth of participation in combat sports and competitive arts has served to marginalise the popularist view of sparring, with many considering “competitve free sparring” to be the sole definition of this term. However, each individual aspect with the Taekwon-do system of sparring has individual merits, allowing the student alternative opportunities to better reinforce and practice their technical application. In this way sparring, in all forms, can be seen as a modality of training that intrinsically relies on, and reciprocally benefits, all other modes of training such as fundamentals (line work) and patterns.
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