Saturday, October 28, 2006


"You don't hold back when you spar, do you Jane?"

Mindy and I are getting changed after Tae Kwon Do.

"I like sparring . . . " I say.

"I mean you actually make contact. You were really going at it," she says. "I always come close, but I don't make contact. I don't want to hurt anyone."

"Oh. Well, I hope it was light contact," I say. "I'm used to sparring with the guys. "

I haven't ever been called on having too heavy of contact when I spar, but Mindy's comment makes me wonder. Am I hitting too hard? I do spar with men a lot, and they make contact--usually light contact, but we do actually kick each other.

I know there are some schools where contact of any kind is not allowed. Some of the women at the Jung's tournament were surprised, even horrified that we actually made contact in sparring at the tourney.

Maybe before I spar with women I should ask if light contact is OK or if they'd rather I used no contact. I'm pretty good at sparring and I don't want to be a bully if someone doesn't want to get hit.

Creepy. I've never thought of myself as a physical threat to anyone before.


Anonymous said...

We are taught what is called "no contact free sparring," which is sparring without protective gear, and like the name says, there should be no contact. At the instructor's discretion, all students don gear and then its full-contact sparring.
However, there is an understanding among the higher ranked students (and particularly among the blackbelts) that light contact is permitted even without gear. This means it's okay to tag an opponent with a kick or strike to demonstrate accuracy, but not permissible to strike with full force unless both sides are in protective gear.
Kicker Chick

DK of IA said...

I hate sparring with women. I'm always afraid of kicking them in the chest. Due to this limited "legal" target area I don't think men and women should spar against one another.

As a woman, what do you think?

DK of IA said...

One other comment. Free sparring is not "self defense practice". It is a sport. As a TKD brown-belt I would defend my self against a kick by simply grabbing their leg and putting them on their back (before finishing them off with a kick to the head). I do enjoy free sparring as it is great anaerobic exercise.

Street fighting, it aint. That is naive.