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When to stop sparring the young

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Original Message Post # 1
Thu 1st May 2008 08:31
Mr Snow

GBR-5-1019
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Topics: 58 Replies: 164

Age is a harsh thing for all of us, the longer we are in TKD the older we get. At 35 we tend to admit its time to slow down esp if you have been training in TKD for 20 plus years already by 35. I am 35 and now days I spar with the extreamly young 15 year old 2nd Dans I can hold em off but I find I get caught because they are just too fast for me now or I am just too slow or rubbish now .... Oftern I see the kick I should use and think kick them but it wont work or it fires a second later and there gone.... DratsCry

 
So simple question what age should we stop sparring the young? I am thinking all over 35s should spar now with each other and let the young beat each other up. What do you think?
C.R.SNOW 5TH DEGREE
WWW.UK-LTSI.COM
Post # 2
Top Thu 1st May 2008 10:00
Mr Snow

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Also another question is it true the ITF now have an over 35 vets section, I seem to recall some one saying this, if so putting the over 35's in class together to spar makes sense means less bruises or will it?.
C.R.SNOW 5TH DEGREE
WWW.UK-LTSI.COM
Post # 3
Top Thu 1st May 2008 10:57
Jon_Mackey

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Hi Mr Snow,
It's a good question but will have subjective answers no doubt. My instructor told me once you should never spar your own students, it makes good sense. I used to spar my teenage lads, who would be blue, red and black belts of average build and size. I'm 6ft 2" 88kg's. They like to go hard in their sparring, but I found I was clocking them too much and I was still going easy, then they would be getting annoyed and once or twice I could see a temper flaring as is normal with teenage boys in this regard! I would just stop the spar at this point. At an umpire course last week, I was pretend sparring with a 17 year old, we were just being guinea pigs for the trainee centre referee, I touched an axe kick onto his cheek, very lightly, he was highly frustrated and tried his best to clobber me! So in essence this is my reason why I don't bother with sparring younger ones anymore. If they lose the head and they end up injured then you're in trouble!
 
As for them being faster because they are younger, that depends on your own training! They say the human body is in its prime in the 30's. Like all skill, if you don't practice it, you lose it Wink
So back to 6am runs Mr Snow LOL
 
Best of sticking to working the pads for them!
 
ps the ITF have 3 veteran divisions for over 35's and 'beyond' Big smile
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars - Oscar Wilde
 
 
Post # 4
Top Thu 1st May 2008 12:52
Mr Snow

GBR-5-1019
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I hate the young but then again I was young once heck we all were, My instructor always said an instructor MUST teach his members to be better then him .... sparring wise they are.
 
 I train five days a week but not the hard training unless I am competing in tournaments then I train hard. I know what you are saying when you are with them and you ketch em them try and break you up which results in them getting hurt,,,,
 
No running for me ....I cant run my knees wont take it now

I was told a fraze once by Master Sohota ' Dont beat the cash register' Erm now I understand, we are doing BB sessions monthly and this is where BB's can spar properly

Three ITF devisions thats coool.... suppose there is still room to grow

Arh TKD such a great art always evolving.... Tongue
C.R.SNOW 5TH DEGREE
WWW.UK-LTSI.COM
Post # 5
Top Sat 3rd May 2008 03:18
Nick Malefyt

USA-6-1015
Joined: 04/12/2006
Topics: 2 Replies: 50
As Mr. Mackey said - this is a pretty subjective topic.

I can see both sides to the story though. I personally think it is good to spar ALL of your students -and anyone in the organization that gets put across from you for that matter. It keeps you honest and on your toes. It also allows both parties to gage personal progress if they have previously sparred with one another. Obviously your students are getting better (so good job on that). I still say there is much you can offer those (as well as your other) students by sparring with them. For example:

1. you can teach students how to create openings by teaching them a combination followed by applying what is learned during free sparring. Some students may actually need to see you demonstrate something (in real time) in order to "get it" "own it" and "use it". Does not matter if their skill level is better compared to you - they are still looking at you to help coach them to be their best

2. You can teach defense/counters in terms of you attacking them - and making them use footwork to evade or counterattack. Sounds like they may have figured out this piece of the puzzle so now the challenge is for you to be creative when you attack them - make them explore different responses that may gain them more points in competition (if that is the goal)

3. Really interested students (you know the one's I am talking about) can also learn from watching you spar others. They will learn "what works" and in some cases "what does not" against certain people all by watching how YOU deal with them. Sometimes it is easy to pick up on habits simply by watching people spar - use this as a teaching tool as to how people can score on one another. "Look class every time I do this Johnny does this (and he always gets me) - learn from this and try to apply it next time you spar me" By the way recognizing your students achievements against you when they spar (and beat) you hopefully boosts their morale and YOU are responsible for that progress - hopefully they will keep that in mind

4. It also shows those lighting fast, young, wipper snappers that are having fun (OK at your expense), that you practice what you preach in terms of being on the floor, demonstrating indomitable spirit, and showing humility. This would be different if you have a physical limitation but if you don't - it's all good.

Finally, if the student(s) come full circle in one area (say sparring as we are on the topic) keep in mind they are still training with you because they believe you have more to offer them in terms of your overall knowledge of ITF Taekwon-Do (not just in one training area). Use that to your advantage!

Just one way to think about it.

Nick Malefyt, V Dan
US-ITF
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