Is Taekwondo Sparring Safe
The benefits of Taekwondo training to both children and adults has been well-chronicled. The sport is one that instills in those that practice it respect, self-discipline, the importance of goal setting and a number of other admirable traits.
No matter how many precautions we take, we can't entirely eliminate the risk of injury during Taekwondo. However, by adhering to a few helpful safety tips, the risk of injuries can be greatly minimized.
Never Spar Without Headgear
Participating in Taekwondo sparring, like all combat sports, brings with it a measurable degree of risk for head injury. Studies have confirmed conclusively that both the risk for injury, as well as the severity of head injuries incurred are minimized with the proper use of headgear while sparring.
Always Wear A Mouthguard
Mouthguards are a necessity when taking part in Taekwondo sparring. The potential risk of broken teeth and other injuries to the mouth are too great to ever allow a child to spar without a proper mouth guard in place. According to South Rivage Dental, “The loss of a single tooth can have major impact on overall oral health and appearance.”
Some experts contend that a properly fitting mouthguard will align the jaw in such a fashion to reduce the risk of concussion. However, the documented evidence so far is inconclusive on this benefit.
Choose The Right Sparring Partner
Sparring in Taekwondo is intended to simulate the action of real competition. For this reason, it makes sense for skill development purposes to match a combatant with a sparring partner of comparable size, age, and experience level. Matching sparring partners based on these criteria will also serve to keep participants safe from injury.
Check The Intensity
Participants in Taekwondo sparring should not feel obligated to adhere to antiquated maxims that encourage 100 percent intensity while sparring as often as possible. According to A.E.T.F., “The differences in intensity of sparring stem not only from formal regulations of sparring but mostly depend on an opponent (his preparation, style of fighting, rank of competitions etc.)” It is true that exposure to intense sparring is a great way to prepare for competition, but it must be remembered that it is not the only way to prepare. The frequency of tough sparring should be just enough to facilitate maximum performance while not overly exposing the participant to the risk of injury.
Sparring is one of the most important elements of Taekwondo training and will always present some risk of injury to its participants. However, both children and adults can stay safe while sharpening their Taekwondo skills by staying mindful of the useful tips mentioned above while sparring.