Three step sparring objectives.

(Sam Soo Sik Dae Ryun)

삼 단계 대륜

Three step sparring objectives.



As with one step sparring, three step sparring looks very unrealistic from a self-defense/fighting viewpoint.  No one will throw one, two, or now three punches at you in a long front stance and leave it out there fully extended so you can do a technique back to them.  As with one step sparring, this thinking is absolutely correct.  However, three step sparring is yet another tool in our arsenal; another piece in the puzzle that gives us the complete self-defense package through traits needed for defense.

Controls of distance, timing and targeting are essential traits needed in a self defense situation for a effective outcome. Three step sparring adds to that development by making both the defender and attacker now move together as the counter techniques change. One step sparring helps the new member explore this with “time” to think. Three strep sparring then helps the member to “think” a little quicker in a controlled situation.

Targeting becomes more challenging because we need to target three blocks instead of one.  Targeting of our striking techniques becomes more difficult due to the increased number of steps involved. Timing becomes harder since the timing of three punches is much different than one. It also teaches us to utilize both the right and left sides during the same sequence as opposed to one steps where we are given “time”, to explore one side at a time.

Adding multiple steps will also change the distance, especially after the third punch.  Being able to step back twice then step to the correct distance on the third punch requires more skill than if just one punch were thrown.


When students start free sparring ( which can be a frighting experience for beginners), they will need to move quickly, in all directions, and without much thought. The timing is increased and quick judgment and awareness must be brought to the forefront. Three step sparring introduces this concept to students in an controlled manner. Three step sparring is also very predictable in that we know what the attacker is going to be doing so we can practice pre-determined footwork, technical skills over and over to build muscle memory.

For the senior practitioners, it introduces a chance to explore the flow of energy and our responses of that awareness. Proper breathing in relationship to movement and harmony of the energy produced is not an easy skill and it takes practice. Also rather then having conflict of energy, practitioners can focus on the give and receive of the energy pattern. Umyong (soft/hard energy)starts to become balanced. The “Yong” or the attack makes the receiver (Um) adapt and receive the energy and utilize its force or redirect it in situations. We are given a chance to apply the receiving action in a natural way rather then in a rush and without physical conflict. Being able to apply this in free sparring and Moo Do Ja Seh Dae Ryun is the goal.


Our Soo Bahk Do Sam Soo Sik combinations also apply the application of our Hyungs (forms) movements to situations and motivate the practitioners to explore their material within their own physical parameters.

This two person exercise is also an excellent way to connect with our partner. Rather then just thinking of ourselves we, buy being open to each other in the shift of attack and defense helps us to realize our effects on others. This concept can transcend into our lives and how we deal with others and situations.



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