Just the book I was looking for to become more confident and establish good strategies for taekwondo sparring. I like how Master Hogan starts with establishing a good defensive stance and guard including defensive drills and correct movement, and then turning to offensive strategies. All nicely illustrated with color pictures featuring Master Hogan and 4th Dan Mr. James Home. Very good explanations of the "why"s and "how"s of all techniques. An "energy-boost" for taekwondo sparring.
I'm 1 year into my TKD (ITF) learning. This book is well recommended giving a sensible approach to sparring. Well written and logical steps. Very good. (Jim Hogans Taekwon-do Patterns book is just as good too - get them both if studying ITF TKD)
I can very much recommend this book since there seem to be few others for ITF practitioners that relate to sparring as it is now rather than how it used to be (i.e. rules, tactics, techniques, etc). It is useful for beginners to get some ideas but also to more senior students (early dan grades - such as myself) who are not "natural" sparrers to give them some stimulus to think through some new ideas. The book contains many of the sparring techniques and strategies that I have not seen in print before but in my mind define what is unique about ITF taekwon-do sparring as compared to other "light contact" or "semi-contact" styles.
The book is well written and although some of the picture sequences could show more intermediate pictures (each sequence is generally composed of three pictures, though to expand this to show more pictures, perhaps sacrificing some of the "exercises to develop" sections would be an improvement as these are sometimes repetitive) the text, pictures and printing are good quality.
There is a lot here to get your teeth into and it certainly goes beyond just showing some basic techniques or combinations that you will likely already know anyway (in taekwon-do we can be very good at picking up lots and lots of combinations but not necessarily good at getting the best use out of them against an opponent). Where tactical insights are shown they are very realistic, practical and go beyond "if he's a kicker..." or "if he does this.."
More experienced students will know that though basic techniques are the same, there are different sparring styles and ways of using the same techniques between individual schools. Following this, it was interesting for me to see the ideas of another school - for example a slightly different way of executing some of the jumping and blitzing attacks to that which I am familiar.
This book is a general guide to guarding and attacking combinations. There is a very useful and functional section on footwork but it is rather concise (no criticism of the author - obviously books whole manuals could be written on this alone...). If I have one small criticism is that it does show opponents as full stepping backwards and forwards in a rather uncoordinated way and often presenting you with excellent opportunities for counter attacking which at a higher "club" level they are unlikely to do.
However, all in all I think it is really excellent and I have a lot of gratitude to the authors for publishing it and giving taekwon-do students a concise, sharp and effective manual with a great deal of guidance on all the relevent ITF-specific sparring which has been lacking from book shelves, at least in this country.
Effective Taekwon-Do Sparring is a unique book, for the main fact that there are not many if any Taekwondo books that cover sparring in such depth on the market. The book covers all the basic and intermediate stances, legs, hand, kicking and punching combinations, coupled with the rationale and explanation of the set drills. The book not only covers offensives, but also defensive drills when sparring. This book has helped me immensely when sparring in class and also in competitions and I highly recommend it as it makes an excellent reference book as well as a teaching aid for students with no previous knowledge of sparring. Furthermore, and most importantly it is written and explained in a non technical language and also with good graphical photography of the different bodily sparring poses and positions.
I have been a martial artist for over 20 years and first heard of Master Hogans reputation as a tournament fighter in the early 90s. I was extremely impressed with the content of this book. There aren't many training manuals with as many practical sparring techniques which can be applied to other competitive fighting styles, but the techniques inside this book are very versatile and adaptable whatever your main style. This is not just another book for the TKD practioner, it is a useful resource for any serious competition fighter.