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Step-sparring begins with two students facing each other. The instructor assigns one to begin as the attacker and the other as the defender.
- Attacker and defender face each other at attention and bow. Then both step into ready stances. The instructor informs attacker and defender of the technique the attacker will use and what blocks/counterattacks the defender will use. Attack and counterattack techniques may be punches, kicks, or a combination of kicks and punches. The attacker extends his or her left arm in a middle fore-fist punch position. The defender then adjusts his or her distance from the attacker to reach a comfortable range.
- Attacker steps backward into the assigned stance and gives a kiai (yell) to show that he or she is ready to attack. Defender responds with a kiai to indicate that he or she is ready to defend.
- Attacker steps forward using the assigned technique. Defender steps backward using assigned block. This is repeated for the assigned number of times: three times (3-step) or 1 time (1-step). On the last step, defender finishes with the assigned counterattack. The point of step-sparring is to learn to perform techniques powerfully, technically perfect, and aesthetically beautiful, so take your time. As you gain experience, then you may start to add speed.
- The sequence is repeated again, this time with the attacker becoming the defender and the defender becoming the Attacker. The sequence is repeated again and again (until stopped by the instructor) with the attacker and defender switching roles each time. No matter how much you think you are helping, it is considered poor etiquette to coach your fellow students, regardless of your rank or experience.
- Attacker and defender return to ready stances, come to attention, and bow.
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