Sparring is the physical application of offensive and defensive techniques gained from patterns and other fundamental
exercises against a moving opponent or opponents. The two most common forms of sparring are set-sparring and free sparring.
Set-sparring can incorporate many offensive and defensive techniques. There are various subdivisions but all involve one
partner executing either one or a series of offensivetechniques and the other partner using the appropriate defensive techniques.
Free sparring is more common and is the more popular side of Tae Kwon-do. It is used in competitions and only allows techniques
to be executed above the waist and to the front part of the body. In the U.K the semi-contact style is the most common where
techniques score points if they are executed to within 2cm of the opponent and were not blocked. Light pads are worn for safety.
In other countries and the Olympics the full contact style is used and heavy body armour is necessary.
The disadvantage of sparring is that only a fraction of techniques are legal so many techniques useful for self-defence
cannot be practised.
Contributed by: ITF Taekwondo Austraian.com