Taekwondo Sparring is central to Taekwondo training. If you’re training for a competition, or keeping fit, or just doing normal Taekwondo Classes, you’re going to be involved in sparring one way or another.
But the problem with Taekwondo is that doing lots of sparring, or even doing a little, can end up with lots of injuries for people. Injuries hamper your training and don’t allow you train anywhere near as much as you should do.
So here is a guide for you with the top 3 tips you can use to stay injury free in your Taekwondo Sparring:
- Wear Protective Pads
Use of protective arm guards, shin guards, groin guards, head guards and gum shields are common place in the Taekwondo Dojang/School. They are there for a reason – to protect you! This is your first line of defence in a sparring situation. They can protect your arms and leg (and even your head and face) which means you can spar more longer and more often.
As well as your standard shin and arm pads, you can also wear foot pads. The most common injury in Taekwondo is damaged toes and insteps. Protecting them will help reduce and eliminate this type of injury and help you train more. You can also wear standard Taekwondo shoes in training too. They may not provide as much protection as foam pads, but they still work better than no protection. If you’re working kicking pads and then going straight to sparring, then this would be your best and fastest option.
- Relax And Not Stick Out Your Elbows
One of the biggest issues experienced Taekwondo athletes have when sparring less experienced people is the less experienced person’s use of elbows and knees to protect themselves. This not only injures the person, but it also gets annoying for the person sparring them as they keep injuring people through lack of experience.
When sparring, it’s not like a real competition, where you have to protect yourself because your opponent will score a point. You can allow your sparring partner to hit you when they kick. This also has the benefit of conditioning your body to receive kicks in competition so you won’t be winded if you get kicked hard.
There are some “experienced” athletes who use elbows as a way to injure their opponent, but you don’t want to get into that habit. Use your ability and talent to out kick and out smart your opponent rather than getting a win through injuring them.
So relax when you’re sparring. Let the person kick you, or learn to avoid so you don’t get hit at all. Keep your elbows out of the way and if some does that to you, you can tell them to relax the let you hit them.
- Don’t Train Or Spar Too Much
Overtraining and tiredness causes a lot of injuries in athletes, not just Taekwondo. Being tired and over trained causes you to lose concentration, which can end up you kicking wrong, or not having your guard up, which could end up with you being Knocked Out!
If you feel tired while sparring tell your partner that you are tired and that you want to go easy. Wanting to push through your tiredness only causes you to get more tired, increasing the risk of injury.
You can also sit out that session, or do every other spar. It’s up to you. Being a hero doesn’t win you any medals. Taking a break and stretching out your muscles can help you recover. Obviously you need to look at your training and Taekwondo nutrition, so this is short term action you can take.
Improving Your Training
Now, these are just some tips to make sure you reduce or eliminate injuries while sparring in Taekwondo. Another way that we didn’t cover is you actually improving your technique and overall ability.
There is plenty of information covering that here at The Taekwondo Coach. What Taekwondo Training tips are you looking for? Let us know below and we will do our best to get it to you. 8)