Wednesday, February 22, 2006


My helmet is on the floor and not on my head because that's where it usually is.

I don't wear this particular piece of equipment. I'm not sure exactly why. I do value my head.

I guess part of the deal is that none of the adults wear helmets when sparring in class.

Our school is ITF Tae Kwon Do which means (among other things) that sparring for us is "light to no contact;" in other words, you can score just by touching your opponent in the scoring areas.

Other schools are WTF, which is like the Tae Kwon Do in the Olympics. To score, you must inflict a "trembling blow" to your opponent, a blow that actually makes the person move from its force. Or so I understand.

So at our school, you have to have very good control of your kicks and punches--hit too hard, and you'll get a warning.

Children always wear helmets during sparring at our school. They don't have very good control, so head shots might be somewhat dangerous. If they're sparring someone bigger than they are, their heads are vulnerable, too.

I suppose that might go for me, too, as I'm a good 6" shorter than most of the men I spar.

Maybe I should start wearing that helmet.


TKD Rocker said...

I don't know about other WTF schools, but at ours we normally spar with light contact. Some students might get carried away and give someone a "trembling blow", but its not required in order to score. When we spar tournament-style, there are 4 corner judges who determine the points. When the ref thinks that they see a point, they pause the match and ask the judges. If three or more agree that a point was scored, then they count it. So technically you don't have to hit them hard to score a point. You just need the accuracy.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind wearing a helmet -- other than the fact that it's very hot and gives me a wicked case of helmet head!
But I've never been a fan of the mouth guard. It's difficult to keep my teeth clenched while sparring and it makes me feel slightly nauseous. I've even tried different types to see if I can get a better fit to no avail. The kids, however, have no problem -- they don't hesitate in picking up a saliva and lint-coated mouth guard from off the mat and popping it into their mouths. Ugh!
Kicker Chick