Fighting is an integral part of nature. When not fighting for survival against predators, animals fight each other for dominance, power, and control. When fighting each other, the combat is usually ritual without deadly results. Humans are no different. We fight for survival against rogue humans and other animals and we also participate in ritual combat to determine the best warriors. One type of ritual combat is free-sparring as practiced by Taekwondo and other martial arts. Free-sparring has evolved into two main types: no-contact/light-contact and full-contact.
No-contact sparring has its roots in the early Kung-fu systems dating back to sixth-century China, when Boddhidharma introduced his fighting techniques. As these methodologies spread throughout the Far East, other fighting styles developed. Although full-contact sparring claims a Eastern origin, it incorporates techniques found in Western-style boxing.
Hundreds of no-contact tournaments are conducted every year with competitors of all ages and genders. Full contact tournaments are not as popular and most competitors are adult men, although women and some children also compete.
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