There are many types of Taekwon-Do sparring, each having it’s own reasoning and guidelines, the Taekwon-Do student begins to learn the basic form of sparring ( Three step ) very early in their career, the types of sparring are as follows:


Three step sparring (Sambo matsoki)

Three step sparring is designed for the beginner to practise basic techniques with a partner. It develops correct distancing, body angles, timing, forearm conditioning, co-ordination and correct stances, as well as blocking your opponents various hand attacks.


Three step semi free sparring (Sambo ban jayo matsoki)

Semi free sparring is considered as the next step up from basic three step sparring. It consists of a partner attacking with three different hand or foot attacks, simultaneously the defender utilises three blocks or dodges finishing with a choice of counter attacks. Three step semi free sparring should never be hurried, the secret is using reaction force and quick accurate moves.


Two step sparring ( Ibo matsoki )

Two step sparring is designed for the intermediate student to learn more advanced attacks and defences whilst still continuing to develop distance and timing. thus allowing the student to develop various attacking and defending combinations.


One step sparring (Ilbo matsoki)

One step sparring is the most advanced form of sparring in Taekwon-Do, simply because the defender has no knowledge of the attack that is going to be used against them, therefore improving the defenders reflexes. This type of sparring has two very different forms one is the traditional form using classical techniques put together with a great deal of style skill and timing, the other is a more freestyle form where techniques such as pre-emptive strikes, joint locks and take downs are employed.


Free sparring (Jayo matsoki)

Free sparring in Taekwon-Do is when two students are allowed to practise controlled foot and hand strikes against each other. Each student is trying to land a successful blow to specific targets on their opponent, whilst trying not to get hit themselves. Protective equipment on head, hands, feet, shins and forearms must be worn.

Tournament sparring must be seen purely as the sport side of Taekwon-Do, and not confused with self protection. To be a competent tournament fighter certain skills have to be developed such as speed, stamina, timing, balance and flexibility both mentally as well as physically. Most students when they spar for the first time tend to attack without thinking about defence. Even when all the skills have been developed it still does not guarantee success, as with most things there is no substitute for experience.