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So, I currently practice Taekwondo, and Im Black Belt 2 (II) Poom. (Im 12 years old.)
First, we will go through belts in Taekwondo WTF.Edit
10 kup - White Belt
9 kup - White belt with a yellow stripe
8 kup - Yellow belt
7 kup - Yellow belt with a green stripe
6 kup - green belt
5 kup - green belt with a blue stripe
4 kup - blue belt
3 kup - blue belt with a Red stripe
2 kup - Red belt
1 kup - Red belt with a black stripe
1st DAN/Poom - Black Belt
2nd DAN/POOM(me) - Black Belt
3rd DAN/Poom - Black belt
4th DAN/POOM - Black belt
5th DAN/Poom - Black Belt
6th DAN/Poom - Black belt
7th DAN/Poom - Black belt
8th DAN/Poom - Black belt
9th DAN/Poom - Black belt(LAST BELT)
Taekwondo WTF SparringEdit
So, in both Taekwondo WTF and ITF (World Taekwondo Federation and International Taekwondo Federation) there is sparring.
Sparring is one of the main parts in Taekwondo WTF, which every normal school should do it at least 2 times a week, especially if there is a tournament coming up in a month or earlier. Before we start with the rules, first REMEMBER THAT YOU SHOULD BUY PROTECTORS FOR THE MOUTH, FOR THE ARMS AND FOR THE LEGS. AND NEVER PLAY SPARRING IF THERE ARE 2 WEEKS TO A TOURNAMENT OR EVEN EARLIER, BECAUSE YOU CAN GET DAMAGED IF YOU DO.
Basic Rules in WTF Sparring and TipsEdit
In WTF Sparring, there are 5 age groups in every single tournament. In my country(Bulgaria) they are like this:
Children 1 group (I group) - 7-9 years old
Children 2 group (II group) - 10-11 years old
Cadets - 12-14 years old
Juniors - 15-17 years old
Seniors - 17+
Regardless of the specific day and month.
In Sparring, there are Hogus (chest protectors) used for both competitors. If you are Children I group or II group, you will use non-electronic hogos. You kick each other with kicks like dollyo chagi, yeop chagi and dit chagi and sometimes punches. When you hit the hogu, 3 referees need to press a button if they see a point. If they do so, the point goes to the contestant, who scored to his opponent.
Blue and Red in sparring are called Chong(blue) and Hong(red).
Lets say Chong scores to Red. The 3 referees press the button for scoring, and there is a point to Chong. You can also use arms to block, but never use legs to block in WTF, its a half-point warning.
Now we are gonna talk about categories and scoring systems.
There are different categories in each age group. For example, Im competing in Cadets Male A -53kg
There are two classes in a sparring.
The first one is the class that everyone starts with as in first tournament. Class B.
B means no head shots allowed. So, that means that, if you kick your opponent in the head, you will receive a Gamjeom (1 point for the opponent and kyongo for you). If you receive in total 4 full kyongos that give 4 points to the opponent (Gamjeom), the referee will stop the match, saying Chong Seun or Hong Seun (whoever received those 4 points).
Anyway, there's also Class A.
A means that headshots are allowed. If you score with dollyo chagi or yeop chagi in a hogo, its a single point for you.
If you score with dwit chagi in hogo, there are 2 points for you(dwit chagi is a turning back kick)
If you score a head shot with Naeryo chagi, Dollyo chagi or other lets say normal kicks there are 3 points for you!
If you score with dwit chagi , Tio Ligi or jump and Naeryo chagi, 4 points for you!
However, in Cadets, Juniors and Seniors, there are electronic Dae Do hogos used (E-Chest Protector)
So you need to brinig everything listed above:
MOUTHGUARD,SHIN GUARD, DAE DO ELECTRONIC SOCKS, HAND PROTECTOR, FOREARM PROTECTOR, GROIN GUARD AND A HELMET.
NOTE: DAE-DO ELECTRONIC HOGOS FOR CADETS, JUNIORS AND SENIORS ARE PROVIDED BY THE ORGANIZER OF THE TOURNAMENT.
How scoring works here, is pretty interesting.
Chong and Hong start fight. They are in Cadets Male A -41kg lets say.
Hong scores a point to Chong's Electronic chest protector with his electronic foot protector(socks).
It automatically appears on the electronic system(mandatory requirement for all tournaments, provided by the organizer of it) for less than a second!
So in the moment you score, the point appears on the electronic system extremely fast.
Note that you must keep your socks(foot protectors) clean and in a good form. If they are old, no problem. But beware not to break them or something, because you won't be able to play sparring, and if you do not appear in the Dojang (place, where you spar. There are at least 3 Dojangs in each tournament, each having their own sparring match until 99th fight).
Now, some tips.
I recommend if you are leading the result, use clinch when hes coming to you. For example, hes coming with a dollyo chagi and you should quickly clinch him. Clinch is protecting you from points. He cant score a point in clinch. If he does, it will be a Kyongo (warning).
I also recommend if you are near your opponent in a distance you cannot kick each other, punch him. Normal punch. If you are playing with electronic hogos, points appear automatically again.
Taekwondo is a great sport, and if you wanna find time to do anything else instead of staying in front of the computer whole day, and having a lot of fun(you will sure find friends. There is no Taekwondo school, that doesnt have fun in every training.), Taekwondo is the right thing for you. Its not about winning when you are on a tournament and playing, its about having fun in first, and after that its also important to win. If you are yellow belt and green stripe and play with a red belt for example, dont start thinking you will lose the fight. Never, EVER think you are going to lose. If you think so, it does happen so. I know it, ive lost from higher belts on tournaments, and now I know I have a lot of experience in sparring, so I dont fear about sparring a higher belt than me(or taller opponent). You cannot get 3rd Dan or 4th Dan as a 7-17 year old kid. You must be 17+(at least 18) to get 3rd dan or 4th dan. The maximum for kids like me is 2nd Dan/Poom, and I have it and I am proud that I do. Some kids stop training their first three months. Some others get their yellow belt and stop training. Others get to blue, red and stop. But not everyone gets to the black belt, even 1st Dan, so if you find out Taekwondo isnt your spord and you dont like it, dont train it. If you dont like the sport, you wont succeed in it.
I hope you liked my post about Taekwondo. Taekwondo is my passion. Every day after school I go to training and have a lot of fun, talk with my friends in there and thats what made me good. Before I became black belt 2nd Poom(maybe when I was lets say yellow belt) I was taking it serious and nothing really was happening. After I got my green stripe, I started talking and found friends there. And since now, I have a lot of friends from my school, which helped me succeed in Taekwondo. Taekwondo isnt much about the belts, Its about learning the kicks and mostly Sparring. Everyone's favorite thing in Taekwondo. Mine too.
This is a long post, so I hope you read it and trust me, It took me 5 years to get to here, where I am now in Taekwondo. If its not your sport, dont hate. Not everyone can become a strong Taekwondo guy. Train whatever you want and always remember one thing: HAVE FUN! Byee.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, COMMENT AND I WILL ANSWER AS SOON AS IM HERE.