What Happens If You Accidentally Punch Your Opponent In Taekwondo?

What happens if you accidentally punch your opponent while you’re sparring in Taekwondo?

What Happens If You Accidentally Punch Your Opponent In Taekwondo?

It can happen, and it’s usually not a big problem – but here’s what you should do!

Check If They’re Ok – And Apologize

This should go without saying really, but just in case you didn’t know, the absolute first thing you should do is probably what your natural instinct is anyway!

You should absolutely check to see that the other person is ok, and apologize to them.

Look, everyone ends up having to tank a shot in sparring every so often. It happens, it sucks, but most of the time, no harm is done.

Nobody likes taking a shot in sparring – and nobody likes accidentally giving one either!

Sparring is meant to be part training, part fun, and when you accidentally tag someone, you know you’re ending the fun a little.

In fact, some less friendly training partners might take an immediate dislike to you – especially if you don’t do the decent thing right after you accidentally catch them with one!

So, as soon as that accidental shot lands, the sparring is over until the other person wants to continue.

Your first thing to do is check that the shot hasn’t hurt them, and apologize while you’re doing it!

If your sparring partner is fine (and, the vast majority of the time, they will be), then they can continue sparring if they want to.

And if they end up cut or hurt, then as the person that tagged them, it’s kinda on you to see they get some help!

Thankfully, instances where accidentally landing a punch or kick in sparring actually ends up hurting someone are very rare.

The absolute majority of people will know straight away that you didn’t mean them any harm, and won’t think anything of it.

If you decide to ignore it, however, there’s a damn good chance that your sparring partner could take a bit of offense and give you one back!

Everyone makes mistakes, and it’s just the nature of sparring that sometimes, your mistakes end up with someone getting blasted in the face.

If it happened to you, you’d want someone to make sure you weren’t hurt – and you’d probably expect a damn apology!

Remember, nobody wants to spar with someone who doesn’t seem to care about their sparring partners!

Learn From It

Learn From It

The other thing that you should do after you accidentally hit someone during Taekwondo sparring is to try to learn as much as you can from what happened.

After all, mistakes happen, but they happen for reasons! Something went wrong somewhere, of course.

Maybe you and your sparring partner were closer than you thought when you threw the shot? Maybe you threw too fast, and with too much power.

Or perhaps your opponent moved at a bad time, and ended up catching a heavy shot that shouldn’t ever have landed with such force, or at all.

No matter what happened, it’s always worth at least having a think about what happened, and how you can learn from it.

Getting tagged or accidentally hitting someone isn’t the end of the world!

In fact, as long as both parties can learn something from it, it can be the most positive way of getting hit in the mouth!

So, if it happens, take it as an excuse to learn something. Perhaps you’re throwing shots too hard and fast for sparring.

Or maybe you and your opponent aren’t managing your distance from each other well enough for safe sparring.

Or, maybe it was just an unlucky shot at a bad moment!

Learning things doesn’t mean imparting blame, and nobody should be looking to find out who was at fault for the purposes of laying the blame at someone’s feet.

Instead, you could take it as an opportunity to improve your sparring game!

And, of course, accidentally landing a shot can be a great way for your opponent to learn about a potential hole in their defense!

So going over even something as simple as accidentally punching someone in sparring can really help both participants learn something that can improve their Taekwondo game.

Don’t Sweat It

Finally, you should remember that accidents happen!

Accidentally tagging someone during Taekwondo sparring isn’t something you want to do, of course, but if it does happen, it’s far from the end of the world.

As we previously discussed, it can actually be a great learning opportunity!

Likewise, getting tagged sucks a bit, but the vast majority of the time, it won’t hurt as such.

It’s not like you’re going to be taking headshots from a world champion boxer fighting for the title!

Instead, it might rattle your head a little, and just plain suck for a few seconds. Of course, it might put an end to the sparring, at least for a few seconds!

But, frankly, if you’re going to take part in a sport where people throw punches and kicks at each other, then you can expect to take a few knocks every now and then in training!

Yeah, it’s not ideal, but the vast majority of the time, it’s not going to be serious either.

As long as you’re always learning from your mistakes, and trying not to hurt each other, then sparring can be perfectly safe, fun, and a great way to learn.

And, remember, if you do accidentally hit someone, it’s on you to make sure they’re ok, and to apologize for hitting them!

Remember, your sparring partner is only human – and they’ll likely appreciate the fact that you’re looking out for them, and apologizing for the accidental hit.

The vast majority of the time, it’ll play out like this:

“Oh, sorry dude! You ok?”

“Yeah, no sweat. Let’s go again!”

Just as long as you’re trying your best to minimize accidental hits, and you accept you might end up tanking a few every now and then, your sparring will be absolutely fine.


Try not to punch your sparring partner – but if it does happen, check they’re ok and apologize for the accidental shot!

Christopher Anderson
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