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Illustration of 3 step sparring techniques
3 Step Sparring

In this next instalment, we’ll look at Ee Soo Sik Dae Ryun (two step sparring) & Sam Soo Sik Dae Ryun (three step sparring). As we said before, single & multi-step sparring often come in for a significant amount of criticism from outsiders, as, when they see it practiced, they see a person stepping into a front stance, executing a punch & remaining still while their partner executes a series of techniques. Ee Soo Sik or Sam Soo Sik Dae Ryun are, in many regards, just an extension of Il Soo Sik Dae Ryun (One Step Sparring), so many of the same concepts hold true.

It therefore holds true, that we also consider that these techniques & practices have a place a global self-defence system & have practical self-defence applications. As before, it can look a little unrealistic to the outsider with someone throwing one or two punches at you from a considerable distance, in a front stance, remaining static at the end.

Just like before:

Distance, Timing & Targeting

Multi-step Sparring teaches these in much the same way as the Il Soo Sik Dae Ryun, but takes the concepts just a little further. With our targeting, we must now target multiple blocks rather than just a single one. Targeting striking techniques is also more difficult, as we increase the number of steps and strikes. The same with timing - multiple is harder than a single strike or block. A further complication is now added in so far as we are using both sides of our bodies & may need to start on both sides.

Adding in multiple steps also challenges us to get our distancing correct, especially as you add more steps - being in the right position for the 3rd strike is much harder than defending just one strike.

Angles & Control

As before, we are utilising these in a more complex way - When you add steps to the process, it is only natural that being able to execute techniques with proper speed, power & control becomes ever more challenging.

Inside / Outside

With Il Soo Sik Dae Ryun, it is relatively simple to step either inside or outside from a stationary position. Add in multiple steps & it becomes more challenging to do this when moving backwards. Learning to change directions quickly is another aspect of multi-step sparring that makes it important.


With Free Sparring, students need to be able to move quickly in all directions, without too much thought. This is the same skill you need in order to be able to defend yourself on the street. Multi-step sparring introduces & develops this concept to students in an easy, controlled manner. The predictability of multi-step sparring means that defending students can focus on footwork skills, building muscle memory through repetition.


As students become more adept at multi-step sparring, they will develop their flow - in other words, there will be no hesitation or stop/start. Multi-step sparring teaches students to execute multiple techniques without hesitation & without stopping. The counter-techniques at the end (counter attacking) will begin to flow from the self-defence element the more the student practices & the more senior the student becomes. In other words, you learn to counter-attack effectively, waiting for the correct moment.

Multi-step sparring is also an extension of the development of our partner work - over time, you get closer & closer to the body with counter attacks, you allow strikes to come i closer before defending & you build up your flow to be able to execute these with a natural flow that will spill over into your Free Sparring.

Picture showing Small Steps Equal Sure Success
Baby Steps

These slow, deliberate techniques, developed within multi-step sparring allow students to learn in small steps. It can often be done just as a variation on Il Soo Sik Dae Ryun but that neglects the importance of some of the skills that this part of your training develops.

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