Rules for Sparring Practice

by | Jan 31, 2023 | Sparring, Training

The Dojang is the place where we practice our martial arts. The word Dojang literally translates as Way-Place (Do-Jang). Or the place to learn the way.

On the mats is a place of endless opportunities and possibilities for overcoming all kinds of limitations. Sparring is a great method for learning many martial arts training lessons.

After teaching martial arts for almost 20 years I find that I repeat many of the same lessons to each generation of students. These are some key principles taught to me by my instructor and from my observations. And they’re often the kinds of things most students need to be reminded of.

In many cases these are easier said than done, but here’s a guide to the most common advice I give students to help them improve their sparring, as with everything there are exceptions to some rules and they might not apply to every situation.

✅ There is no winner or loser in Sparring practice, the goal is to learn, develop and improve so focus on Sparring freely without regard for the outcome.
✅ Relax your body and keep an open mind to maintain fluid movement, avoiding stiffness and inflexibility.
✅ Once you learn to control your body and mind. Learn to do the same to your opponent.
✅ Follow through with each technique. Don’t get in the habit of pulling your kicks and punches short of the target.
✅ It’s rare that the first punch or kick will land successfully so follow up each technique with another.
✅ Ask more experienced students to spar with you at your level so that you can learn from them.
✅ Experiment with new techniques, set-ups and tricks.
✅ Stay on the balls of your feet, don’t get caught flat-footed where you can’t move quickly or freely.
✅ Don’t cross your feet.
✅ Keep calm and carry on. Stay in control of your breath.
✅ Never turn your back on your opponent always face them.
✅ Keep your eyes open and on your partner.
✅ Learn to anticipate and predict your partner’s intentions and attacks.
✅ Make them miss, then make them pay.
✅ Help your partner to beat you! You’ll have to improve in turn. Everyone benefits and improves.
✅ Don’t get overwhelmed by analysis paralysis whilst sparring. Act now, analyse later.
✅ Use lower ranks or less experienced partners to develop your strategies, combinations and techniques.
✅ Don’t allow the practice to develop into a contest.
Have fun and play!

We offer all new students 1 week of free lessons, giving you the chance to try out a few classes, letting you see what we teach, how we structure classes and get to know us a little. If you or your child is ready to get started, get in touch now and we’ll schedule a few Introductory Lessons for you. Getting Started in Martial Arts!

To take advantage of the week of free lessons simply call or email Graeme on:
07817 460 635


About the author

About the author

Graeme Temple, a dedicated martial artist with more than two decades of experience, holds a 5th Degree Black Belt in Kuk Sool Won. He founded the martial arts club in Kirkcaldy back in 2011, and since then, it has flourished remarkably under his guidance. With a remarkable sporting journey spanning over 30 years, Graeme has achieved Gold medals at prestigious events, including Scottish, UK, European, and World Championships. Additionally, Graeme is a highly sought-after Sports Therapist, practicing at his Sports Injury Clinic located in Strive, Kirkcaldy. He takes great pleasure in imparting his extensive knowledge and expertise to his students.