Black Belt Set Sparring

Three step and two step sparring are described in the P.U.M.A. handbooks but one step isn’t, as it more free-form than three or two step. The following notes show what is expected of students at various grades.

For all one step sparring, the attacker should judge the distance by eye. The attacker needs to ensure they are close enough for the attack to actually work!

Traditional One Step

Traditional one step sparring has defined attacks; these are shown below.

1st and 2nd Kup

The attacks are as follows:

  1. Middle section punch in walking stance
  2. High section punch in walking stance
  3. Middle section reverse punch in L-stance
  4. Middle section knife-hand strike in L-stance
  5. High section punch in walking stance
  6. Middle section reverse punch in L-stance

Defence: Use blocks from patterns; body shifting/dodging is allowed.
Counter: Any counter attack; student should finish in a traditional stance.

1st Degree

The attacks are as follows:

  1. Middle section reverse punch in L-stance
  2. Middle section knife-hand strike in L-stance
  3. Jumping back-fist side-strike in X-stance
  4. Mid-air strike landing in L-stance
  5. Middle section obverse punch in L-stance

Defence: Use appropriate blocks from patterns; body shifting and dodging is allowed.
Counter: Any counter attack; students should finish in L-stance.

2nd Degree

The attacks are as follows (kicking from the back leg):

  1. Front snap kick
  2. Side piercing kick
  3. Turning kick
  4. Back piercing kick
  5. Reverse turning kick

Defence: Any appropriate block; body shifting/dodging is allowed.
Counter: Any counter attack; students should finish in L-stance.

Freestyle One Step

1st and 2nd Kup

Attack: Middle punch in walking stance.
Defence: Any block or counter; locks or restraints may also be used.

1st Degree

Attack: Any grab or hold (Middle punch in walking stance).
Defence: Any block or counter; locks, restraints or take-downs may be used.

2nd Degree

Attacks: Any grab or hold.
Defence: Any block or counter; locks, restraints or take-downs may be used.

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Two step sparring

Here are some points about two step sparring that I picked up at today’s session.

  • For the second “set”, where the counter attack is a sliding side elbow strike, it is down to the student to decide if they should step across before sliding. It depends on what position the attacker has ended: is a step actually needed or not?
  • For the third set, where the counter attack is a knee strike, the defender should grab the attacker behind the head. In class, however, students should grab their opponent on the shoulders instead. This reduces the chance of injuring someone’s neck! At a grading, the grasp should be behind the neck to show that you understand the technique.
  • For the forth set, where the counter attack is a front snap kick followed by a twin upset punch, the defender must decide which leg to kick with based on how far away the attacker is. If the attacker is close, kick from the front leg; if they are further away, kick from the back leg.

Of course, you should always remember to follow what your instructor tells you. The tips here are merely what my instructor has told me.

Upcoming black belt grading

At my taekwondo session this evening, the instructor was singling out a particular black tag (1st kup) who will be taking her black belt grading in just over a week. The idea was to simulate the pressure she’ll be under at the grading itself.

She coped pretty well with it; she has definitely been studying her theory in quite some depth – so much so, some of her answers were too detailed!

I’m sure she’ll do really well at the grading; we’ll know in about 10 days!

Johnathon got a Credit and a Grading Award

One of my hobbies is Taekwondo – a martial art that originated in Korea but is now one of the most widely practiced martial arts in the world. I myself have been training long enough that I’m approaching my 2nd degree (black belt) grading later this year.

My son, Johnathon, does a form of Taekwondo designed specifically for young kids aged 4 – 7. He had a grading last week, to get his Little PUMA brown belt. Turns out he did well enough to get a Credit! Later the same day, I spoke to his instructor and she told me how surprised she was. The previous week, she had told Johnathon she wasn’t going to let him grade because he’d been so naughty in recent lessons! However, she let him grade, and he did a great job – in fact, he did such a great job, he also got the Grading Award as well as the Credit!

As I’ve only ever had one credit pass in my coloured belt gradings and I’ve never received a grading award, I was really, really proud of Johnathon for doing so well! His instructor told me how amazed she was at his performance at the grading, especially as she’d threatened to stop him from grading!

Well done, Johnathon!