One-step sparring is another part of our training that puts our basics into motion. The foundations that are established first in basics and then in poomse can be built upon while practicing one-step sparring. In addition to developing speed on your techniques, there are a few additional benefits since you are training with a partner. Timing (can you hit your stance and block just as the attacker throws theirs?), judgment of distance (can you throw your blocks, kicks and strikes with a precise distance to your partner?) and precision (can you throw your moves to the correct target position?) are three of the benefits that one-steps help a student develop.
Be sure to practice your one-steps in walking drills too. They will help you memorize the moves, perfect the technique and stances, and help you develop speed for each one-step. Don’t forget there are one step walking drill defenses (start with your left leg back on the first side) and one-step walking drill attacks (start with your right leg back on the first side).
The CTI Student Manual lists 12 One-Step Sparring rules. Four of these rules mirror other rules of Moo Sul Kwan training:
Kihap - there are actually two one-step sparring rules that correlate with kihaps. One is for both the attacker and defender to go into their respective ready stance with a loud and clear kihap. The second is for the defender to kihap on their last counter attack.
Eye contact - it’s sort of a no-brainer that there is a one-step rule about eye contact. In order to practice awareness in a self-defense situation, and to have the best possible balance, eye contact is a must!
Start slowly - this rule is similar to the poomse rule. When a student is first learning a one-step, they should perform it slowly and make each block, kick, punch and stance accurate and awesome. After a few hundred repetitions they can speed it up.
Correct stance and posture - since our power comes from being grounded to the earth, it is most important that each stance is correct and that our balance and posture is the best it can be.