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Some martial arts such as Tai Chi Chuan or Aikido do not require sparring. Most other martial arts do. Since martial arts involves dealing with an opponent, it is necessary to practice in conditions similar to an actual confrontation. In this way you learn about reactions, timing, distance and speed. Unless preparing for a tournament or kickboxing match, most of the sparring at the Academy is done as an exercise to improve these technical skills.

Sparring is required for belt advancement in both the children’s and the adult’s classes.  Students may begin attending sparring classes as early as white belt.


Children’s Class Sparring:

  • Children’s sparring is point sparring (3 points wins a match)

  • Children are divided into light, medium and heavyweight divisions based on age, size and experience

  • Matches of 2 students at a time are always supervised by black belt instructors

Children’s In-School Sparring Tournament:

  • The last sparring class of each month is an in-school tournament

  • Trophies are awarded to the winners of each division

    • winners determined by the number of points earned

    • maximum number of points:  9 (3 matches, 3 points each)

  • Eligibility for the in-school tournament

    • you must have attended at least 2 sparring classes during that month

    • after winning, you are ineligible for 2 months

Children’s End-of-Year sparring awards:

  • At the holiday banquet in December, trophies are awarded to the top 3 competitors of the year

  • Top competitors are the 4 students who received the most points during the monthly in-school tournaments

  • Even if you don’t win a trophy at the monthly in-school tournament, your points count for the end-of-year awards.  Therefore, it is important to attend every monthly tournament!

Adult’s Sparring:

  • Adult sparring is continuous sparring, not point sparring

  • Partners are paired for a continuous sparring round lasting approximately 5 – 10 minutes

  • Partners are then switched for the next round

  • Partners must always communicate about injuries and desired intensity level

Mandatory Safety Gear:

  • Mouth guard (upper teeth only):  available at all stores with a sporting goods department

  • Protective cup (boys only): available at all stores with a sporting goods department

  • Foam-dipped Helmet (mandatory for under 18 years of age): order through the office

  • Gloves

    • Children:  foam-dipped:  order through the office

    • Adults: foam-dipped, boxing gloves, bag gloves are all acceptable

  • Boots

    • Children: foam-dipped: order through the office

    • Adults:  optional

  • NOTE:  WSAMA has helmets, gloves and boots available for use upon request.

Optional Safety Gear:

  • Shin guards

  • Forearm guards

  • Face mask

  • Chest guard




Children’s sparring:

Every Friday:  5:10 – 6:00

Adult’s sparring:

Last Thursday of each month:  10:10 am – 11:00 am

Every Thursday:  instructional sparring:  6:10 – 7:00

Every Friday:  6:10 – 7:00

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