Following on from part 1, we can understand the importance of decision making in Taekwon-Do and any other sport for that matter.

When two fighters have the same ability, it’s the one who makes the better decisions that will win

So how do we train decision making?

In order to become competent at making both conscious and subconscious decisions the brain must be trained with appropriate stimuli just as much as the body. The key is to facilitate environments where decisions must be made based on a certain problem put in front of them. This form of movement solution is trained and learned through “repetition without repetition”. Ask yourself the question when you are “training” for sparring or combat are there any decisions being made here or are the decisions and choices made for me due to the nature of the task/exercise. This is why, as coaches, it’s essential to create situations and movement problems for the athletes to figure out. Giving your athletes all the solutions and answers isn’t going to better prepare them for when they are in the ring by themselves needing to make decisions for themselves. . It takes a lot of conscious effort to hold back what you might think is teaching and educating but is essentially your own ego taking over in an attempt to flaunt your knowledge. The true sign of a competent coach is when they are not needed for the athlete to succeed.

It’s essential to create opportunities for your athletes to make their own decisions to solve a movement problem. Static padwork and hitting a punch bag isn’t going to help you much in becoming a better fighter because your movements and techniques don’t need to adapt to variance in situations or circumstances. Despite the infinite variance and possibilities that can develop in combat situation due to the non linear aspect of the activity, it is strange to think how much time is still put into training methods which fail to include any decision making or problem solving. oaches still drill and drill and drill techniques and combo’s yet wonder why they never translate to the fight. This is often due to the lack of decision making in the equation of the skill development, which leaves a gaping hole in the process.

So how can we facilitate this

In a recent post on Facebook & Instagram, we published a video which showed the difference between using sparring games and traditional drills. This type of training is more relatable to decision making in competition according to numerous studies including Isada, F.I.A. & Valleser, C.W.M. (March, 2017)

. The main reason is that the training partner acts as an active opponent trying to complete their own objective as opposed to being  passive. The actions created by both participants provide opportunities for decisions to be made constantly, all in a sparring realistic environment.


The key is the understanding of sparring games. This will be addressed in the future to help coaches to create their own games which relate to the bigger game (sparring). As well as this we will be publishing plenty of games for those coaches who are looking for examples and ideas to get them going in this contemporary form of combat efficient training.


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