Starting TKD tomorrow

I'm stuck out in Korea so I figured when in Rome.... Anyhow what are the rules to Tae Kwon Do sparring, obviously there are no takedowns, assuming no kicks below the funky body armor stuff? are punches allowed at all? Anything else I should watch out for when training? I'm a Sub wrestler who has cross trained Thai/boxing and trained Karate for a few years.I fear my school may well be the ultimate Mc Dojogi but meh its close to my work and home and the instructors speak some English so I can't complain too much heh.

dude, WTF-style sparring is as far away from grappling as you can get. WTF rules (that's the style of Taekwondo from South Korea and in the Olympics) allows kicks to the Hogu (body protector) front, side and back, and kicks to the front and side of the head. Punches only allowed to the front of the body - that too, it's gotta be a straight punch and followed up by a kick, so no flurries of punches. Most times punches are used as a counter or to open up space for kicking - punches do not score too well. Talking about scoring, it is 1 point for a body shot, 2 points for a head shot, an additional point for knocking the opponent down, so if you kick your opponent hard and drop him to the floor, you get 2 points, or if you kick him on his head and drop him, or he gets a standing-8-count, you get 3 points. Of course, if you knock-out your opponent, you win the match. Matches are usually 3 rounds of 3 minutes.

Also, no hitting below the belt, no grabbing, holding, pushing, clinching, falling-down (new, controversial rule), running out of the ring, punching the face, etc.

KD gets a bad rap for McDojangs, but if its a legit school serious about competitions, than be prepared for LOTS of kicking, the kicks are different from Muay Thai kicks in many ways due to the rules under which sport TKD operates - they've been fine-tuned exactly for the TKD-sport environment - you might be disappointed if you expect to take those kicks and be able to use them in the same form for MMA or Muay Thai.

I'm sure training in Korea would be great. I hear they train VERY hard over there, good luck.

well that was fun (until the end anyway), lots of kicking and punching all of which brought back memories of my shotokan days. Really enjoyed myself and was just warming down on the nicely padded floor, doing some random guard stuff when the instructor was like 'what are you doing', 'oh this is how my style works' 'OK show me' so he wanders in I take grips and pull him into my guard. He does all the usual random stuff that people try like crushing the trachea (extended my guard) and trying to keep balance and stand, then he tried to go for a twist at the genitals so I swept him (well more of a pull him down and roll) and took the mount were I got a smack in the mouth for my trouble. I think he was expecting me to take it a little less well than I did (I may or may not have blown him a kiss) and I think we have hugged and made up (Though I got 'invited' in for a chat with the master about how fighting is bad) but I will not be showing him anything ever again....... We shall see what happens tomorrow.

*edit* yes all the students had left the dojogang by the time this happened.

I think we have hugged and made up
Awwww, that's nice.

He, he, keep us posted bunny.

Also, just think when you come home, you can say " I studied TKD...but in korea!"

Oh forgot to mention I got given a brown belt, this is some good going, at this rate I'll be 45764765486565465495th dan by the time I come home.... 'Would you like fries and a shake with that grade?'

I got given a brown belt

You took one class. You don't know any of their forms. You previously studied a different style of striking.
But they gave you a belt?

Some of the forms are very similar to Karate, aren't they?

The cool things with TKD kicks are the speed and height ... I'm thinking Cro Cop. My dad and uncles used to box and they trained and fought in Muay Thai so the hands are very different. Judo helps with the clinch work I'm still learning. They say the mixed style I use is more suitable to Chinese San Shou.

The forms are similar, but different and even the most basic things are just different enough that you can't get away with doing them Karate stylie. Yup TKD is all about fast high spinning kicks which is one of the main things I hope to learn (if nothing else chicks dig 1080 reverse hook kicks at parties). Also they use distance an awful lot as they only have one weapon, the feet, so there is a lot of feinting and disengaging going on. I hope to take away some of this increased fott/eye speed and flexibilty put them into my style but otherwise its a bit of a larf and will keep my cardio ata respectable level. Nothing more has been said of the 'incident' so I figure all has been forgotten. Oh and for anyone else starting out those paddley things have a solid plastic spine in them so make sure you hit the middle of the pad or you'll crack your toenail like me :(.

I'm in Ansan about an hour away from SEoul, I'm teaching English down here. There is BJJ in Seoul, and some MMA (I wouldn't call it vale tudo though)but I can't get up to seoul in time after work. MMA in Korea is odd as there is a whole heap of money and not much talent floating around..... I would definitely consider fighting out here if my job would allow it thats how bad some of the fighters are...

OK I'm still sticking at it despite the best efforts of my employer to kill me :/. I'm beginning to get the feel for the way TKD does things and my flexibility is slowly improving. As much as anything I'm struggling with things in the forms which are similar but subtly different to shotokan which are just second nature to me. At the end of the day its enjoyable and doing something to keep my fitness up which is all I really wanted anything I learn is an additional bonus..

come up and train for a weekend in Seoul...
the coach fought in Pride and a bunch of guys fight regularly.

I'm training with Henry Jung's gym most weekends but I might drop by some time. Where is the team tackle gym exactly my hangul is not good enough to read that site. I met a bunch of the team tackle guys at the David Sun (sp?) seminar and they were pretty decent guys. Wouldn't mind a bit more wrestling though the kickboxing with Kobus is pretty good and Henry's BJJ is decent too just lacking sparring partners near my weight or ability (either too big or too inexperienced) so my technique isn't being tested too much (either they just out stength me or I beat them up). Prolly gonna fold up the TKD though it isn't really doing me any good and my work are killing me so I'm not getting value from my monthly fees.

go to "Seoungneung" Station on line 2. It's next to "Samseong" Station which is where COEX is. if you make it there take exit 3 and it's the first left you see comming out of the station. the gym is just up that street, you'll see a red sign that says "Choi's wrestling" and a Team Tackle sign, we're downstairs...

also I hear judo in Korea is pretty damm good as well, I dont know much about judo though but there seem to be heaps of guys that train it here...hard people the Koreans, gotta giva that to them :)

training times?? Yeah judo is a bit odd as anyone who's any good will have been training for years and so as a 'beginner' I'd probably end up in a kids class. To be honest until I switch jobs I can't see me training much in the week and at weekends I have enough to do with Henry and now yourselves.