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Gathering the skills

 

One thing all students have in common is they are first taught basics (kibon).
 
Practicing basic techniques
Forms or patterns (poomsae), are a solo exercise that allow the student to practice and perfect their technique through repetition, until it becomes as natural as walking.  Some poomsae contain techniques which are considered too unsafe to practice on others during sparring but form a good basis for self defence.  They also enable us to train coordination, balance, timing, and breath control.  
 
Poomsae competition
Sparring (kyorugi), comes in a number of different forms from prearranged through to the full contact competitive sport that you see at the Olympics.  
 
Sparring
Competition rules and protective equipment make this a relatively safe sport.  Kicking techniques are allowed to the trunk and head (excluding spine), punching techniques are only able to be used on the trunk.  There are no techniques allowed to the legs and no throwing or grappling. Beginners will usually begin with no contact allowed, and gradually contact will increase.  Most clubs will allow people who are unable or unwilling to engage in contact sparring to continue with non contact. Participants in Taekwondo tournaments fight under Olympic rules, and are divided by belt ranking (skill), weight, age and gender. There are a variety of levels of competition available, from local tournaments through to the Olympics and Taekwondo World Championships.