Hong Ik Martial Arts > Blog  > Taekwondo Sparring (part 2)

Taekwondo Sparring (part 2)


Rules For Sparring In ITF Taekwondo

Many of the same rules for sparring within the ITF are the same or close to those used by the Olympics and WTF. However,
the sparring area will be a little bit smaller, just nine meters per side. In the rules for ITF, you are allowed to deliver punches
to your opponent’s head. However, you may not, under any circumstance, strike the back of your opponent’s head.
Delivering a punch or kick while jumping will score additional points. Protectors for the torso are not required in ITF
sparring, however, foot and hand protectors must be worn.

You can earn points in ITF sparring by doing the following:

* A hand attack striking the torso or head. Worth one point each.
* Foot attacks striking the torso. Worth one point each.
* Foot attack striking the head. Worth two points each.
* Executing a perfect block. Worth one point.
* Flying hand attack striking the head. Worth two points each.
* Flying foot attack striking the head. Worth three points each.

Judges will deduct single points for any improper conduct. An example of this include attacks using knees, elbows, or the
forehead, attacking while the opponent is on the ground, losing your temper, and using heavy contact unnecessarily.

Taekwondo In MMA

Taekwondo is sometimes used during competitive MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) tournaments. MMA is known for being tough
and brutal in fighting style, and participants are not required to don any type of safety equipment. The rules that fighters
must follow are minimal. Many times tournaments allow elbow and knee strikes, as well as headbutts. Depending on which
tournament it is, it may even be permissible to attack an opponent on the ground. In an MMA competition, the fighters
usually use the combat discipline of their choice, whether it is Muay Thai, Karate, or Chinese Sanda. The goal is to prove
that their skills are superior.

Because an MMA competition allows cross-style combat, traditional Taekwondo instruction does not include MMA
preparation. To win in an MMA sparring match often requires the participant to use techniques that go beyond those used
in traditional Taekwondo, and the participant can include moves from other disciplines such as Jiu-jitsu grappling, western
boxing punches, and Muay Thai leg blocks. Not having a skill in grappling is considered a weakness for competition in MMA.
Because of the many different techniques required, competitors do not use traditional Taekwondo often in their MMA
sparring matches.

However, this doesn’t mean that Taekwondo doesn’t belong in the MMA arena. There are many different advanced
practitioners of Taekwondo who tout the benefits of using Taekwondo in MMA. A knockout from a single Taekwondo strike,
such as an axe kick, spinning back fist, or spinning hook kick, is both known and feared within the MMA world. Two major
MMA players, Serkan Yilmaz from Turkey and Lukasz Jurkowski from Poland, both have Taekwondo grades in their names.
Yilmaz in particular is known for his vicious spinning kicks, capable of taking out even experienced pros in the ring.