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COMPETITION (Kyong Gi)

School Of Taekwon-Do

A Taekwon-Do match is more than merely a contest of skill and power. It is also an aesthetic display of martial art, not unlike fencing, with an honorable tradition. There is certainly beauty in aggressive yet controlled sparring, in well-executed patterns, or in the awesome spectacle of flying kicks and breaking techniques. Though the contest itself and the competitive spirit of all participants is important, students should also enjoy the match and take advantage of it for making new friends within the brotherhood of Taekwon-Do, exchanging training techniques, and spreading the physical and mental attributes of the art to the spectators. Too often, competitors take the match too far too seriously and ruin it for themselves and others through lack of sportsmanship.

The accolades and trophies are sometimes superficial forms of recognition. It is the measure of respect felt by instructors and fellow students that holds far more value.

A great deal of emphasis has been placed on the sparring aspect of matches. Though sparring is certainly an indicator of a student's training, it cannot be the sole criteria for judging any particular student's techniques. There are a lot of variables that must be taken into consideration. In the case of match sparring, there are some instructors and students who feel victory can only be decided through actual contact matches with or without protective equipment. Certainly, as in the case of kick boxing or some soft styles of open hand fighting, contact can be made without serious injury. Using proper technique, however, a Taekwon-Do student could easily shatter and opponent's jaw or cause instant death with one single blow. The larger majority favor full contact with protective equipment.

There are number of reasons why this is unfeasible:

The proper method of judging a student' skill and power would be to conduct a match encompassing several related tests of ability, which might include sparring, patterns, power tests, and special techniques. Through sparring-courage, aggressiveness, spirit, accuracy and speed could be tested; through patterns-balance, characteristic beauty and concentration; through breaking-power; and through special techniques-coordination, acrobatic skill, and resolve.