Duane Blake

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Tae Kwon Do Tournament Sparring Advice

The beginning of this year I decided to go back and start doing tournaments again. After my previous attempts went down like a lead balloon. I always used to give myself the typical excuses why I lost; I got the winner in the first round, the referee wasn’t scoring the fight correctly.

I decided to go back to the drawing board with a new outlook to my sparing, so far it’s paid off this year I have three medals from three tournament including – Tagb Men English Champion, Tagb Men Welsh Champion and 3rd place in the TAGB Midlands Championships.

Below are some of the things I notice from my latest tournaments and from my training. I am by no means an expert and these are just my thoughts if you have any suggestion drop them into the comments at the bottom of the page.

Tae Kwon Do Tournament Sparring Advice


A typical Tae kwon Do match can be anything between 90 Seconds to 3 Minutes. This may not seem like a long time compared to mma or other combative martial arts. But when you at the arena you have a lot nerves.

Whilst sparring this nervous energy can make you burn additional energy to what you would do when doing normal sparring in class. When this starts to happen you start throwing low and sloppy techniques. My advice ahead of the tournament find ways in which you can build up your stamina.


When I began sparring in class I avoided the big guys encase I get hurt and avoided the kids because they aren’t a challenge. What I have learnt the heavyweights they usually have longer reach learn to attack and get back out. At your sparing classes experiment try new things do different kicks and try new combinations it’s all about extending your arsenal.

Self Belief

In my tournament early years I used to think he isn’t my weight, he is a grade higher, he has an army of supporters. Believe in your abilities think about the hard work and the training you have put in. Don’t worry about who you get in the next round and worry about the people they have just beat. Having the attitude that you can win and that there is no one in your division that can be beat you.

Have fun

Unless you at black belt level, Martial Arts isn’t your career so what if you lose you will still have your career, family and Friends. Just go in and enjoy yourself give 100% and you never know you may come out with a medal.

Good Luck

Further Reading and Watching

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