Sparring versus Spear Fishing
To spear a fish, you use bait or a lure to attract a fish and then you spear it once it gets within range. When sparring, you may attract an opponent into attacking a perceived opening you present as a lure, and then spear the opponent with your weapon as the opponent presents an opening during his or her attack.
Sparring versus Mirror Image
When you shadow box in front of a mirror, your image duplicates your every movement, except the image is flipped horizontally. This is the way most fighters react to each other while sparring; they constantly change their positions to maintain a mirror image of each other. One fighter may use this to his or her advantage, since the opponent's next movement may be anticipated as he or she moves to duplicate your movement.
Sparring versus Playing Chess
Sparring is similar to playing chess. If a chess player only considers the current move, he or she will probably lose the game. A good chess player considers how he or she thinks the opponent will move in reaction to his or her move. An expert chess player considers all his or her available moves and all the opponent’s reciprocal moves. A master chess player considers all his or her available moves, all the opponent’s reciprocal moves, and all his or her moves in response to all the opponent’s possible moves. A grand master chess player considers all the moves and counter moves for three or more of his or her moves.
To become proficient at sparring, you must consider all your possible attacks, the opponent’s probable response to each attack, and your response to your opponent’s actions. To become a sparring master, you must be able to think ahead three or more moves and opponent countermoves.
Sparring versus Venetian Blinds
The size of openings through a Venetian blind may be changed in size without making a significant change in the length of the blind. Target zones on the body may be opened and closed without making a significant change in your perceived height. Your arms may move, the body may rotate, and the torso may scrunch to open and close target areas without bending the body or the legs, which would change your perceived height.
Sparring versus Playing Poker
Training in Taekwondo may be compared to playing poker. In poker, you use all your skills to play the best game you can, using the cards you are dealt. You may improve your hand somewhat by exchanging some of your cards, but you must play with the cards you are dealt. Your fellow players must also play with the cards they are dealt. Sometimes, no matter how well you play your cards, your fellow players win. Sometimes they win because they are players that are more skilled; sometimes they win because they were dealt better cards.
In Taekwondo training, you use all your skills to train the best you can, using the cards life has dealt you. Sometimes, no matter how hard you train, some of your fellow students do better than you. This may be because they are training harder than you or it may be because life has dealt them better cards, i.e. they are naturally taller, stronger, faster, more flexible, etc. You may improve your hand by an extra training effort, but sometimes life just deals you a bad hand, such as disability, illness, injury, etc.