Training for a tournament - what extra stuff can I do?

Discussion in 'Karate' started by john-called-van-lamb, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 4, 2012
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    New York
    While I didn't compete with MA, I did with fencing. I would need to do a light workout the days leading up, along with fencing a couple bouts. Directly before the meet/tournament, I would need to do footwork to get my head into it. The two times I tried without doing anything the days leading up, I felt stiff/rigid, and would lose my first few bouts trying to get into it. With one, I bounced back, in the other it was a domino effect, worst meet of my career.

    And I can't say I ever noticed a difference with fencing at least what my sex life was like leading up to it. Maybe MA's are different, but I don't see how...
  2. DanT

    DanT Black Belt

    Jan 8, 2017
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    Planet X
    My advice for the Kata would be to practice without a mirror occasionally, as it can be a bit unnerving to do it without a mirror if you usually use one, and obviously, when you compete, there will be no mirror.

    Also, practice occasionally with headphones in and the music loud (at a safe level) as tournaments can usually get louder than you would expect, and can cause you to lose your concentration.

    You should also practice Kata in front of at least 3 people many times to get used to eyes being on you.

    To prepare for the Sparring, when you spar in class (which should be 3-4 times a week now) follow the rules you will use in the tournament exactly to get you used to them. Get a fellow sparring classmate to rotate in as ref during their break (make sure they know the rules too).
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

    Apr 26, 2015
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    In the dojo
    If you’re pretty much exclusively practicing kata in the dojo, practice it facing different directions when you start. I get thrown off a bit when I start somewhere else in the dojo if I haven’t done that in a while. I think I develop subliminal cues about which way to turn next because I get used to seeing certain things and associate them with my next move. Ie where I normally start, my first turn is always facing the entrance to the locker rooms, my next direction change is always to the front door. If I’m facing the opposite direction when I start, I get thrown off when I’m facing the front door first and have to think where I’m supposed to go for a split second.

    When we’re getting ready for our annual tournament, one of the first things we do is perform the kata we’re planning on doing facing all 4 directions in the dojo. Even if you’ve been doing that kata for years, if you’re not used to changing the scenery, it can throw you off.

    As for background noise... absolutely. We were going through kata in front of a row of “judges” (a bunch of us were sitting in chairs and judging each other). On of the seniors who was standing behind them started calling out scores and clapping half way through someone’s kata. Everyone, including our CI looked at him like “what are you doing?” He smiled and said “there’s going to be 6-8 rings going on at the same time. You’re pretty much guaranteed to hear this going on in the middle of your kata.” We all nodded, the guy started over, and someone would randomly do that during most people’s kata.

    Watching my kata from a tournament on video, it happened twice during mine. I didn’t notice it until I saw the video. It didn’t throw me off at all.

    Have realistic distractions go on during practice.

    Regarding sparring, our “judges” will occasionally make bad calls or miss calls intentionally. Not often enough to be counterproductive, but often enough to get us used to dealing with it. Frustrating as hell, but it keeps you focused. At my last tournament, one of my opponents was awarded 2 points that didn’t land. Somehow 3 corner judges and the head ref awarded them. As we were walking off the floor, my opponent asked me if they landed. I said “don’t take this the wrong way, but they weren’t even close.” He wasn’t happy about that either. Then I said “we both landed some stuff that they missed, so it balances out somehow. You would’ve still beat me if they called every single thing right, so what’s the difference.” That’s one of the many reasons why I hate point fighting.

    I only compete once a year at our organization’s annual tournament. I do it mainly for the training and to see people I don’t normally see. I go in with the mentality to do better than I thought I could. Some people in the division are really good and others aren’t. I don’t beat myself up over how I placed, I just focus on how well I did personally. I used to get all worked up about it when I was younger. It never got me anywhere. I got far better after I realized I should be competing against myself.
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  4. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Master Black Belt

    Jan 3, 2018
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    I wonder how the tournament and training prep went :). But anyways some awesome advice in this thread, will refer to it if I compete this year.

    Ah yeeeeees hehe.. with my first tournament last year the schedule I set for myself was hectic.. I absolutely overtrained and even had a few niggling injuries develop, silly.. Even as i wound down and tapered off training in the week before the tournament i got a cold, go figure!

    But have definitely learnt from that. It's just not necessary to up the training to insane levels, you just end up so drained.

    If anyone was curious (what NOT to do..) here are some schedule notes written in my phone, I think it was a general plan for each week, but intensity/progression was ramped up each week... not all were performed for example in the kumite-based session, but they were just ideas I had and alternated between drilling them. I tend to get far too enthusiastic and go all out with planning too much XD


    1x weights + SS run
    2x karate (1x kata, 1x kumite) + plyometrics
    1x intervals
    1x rehab and stretching (PNF)

    bench, EZ bar rows, overhead press, squats, db curls, tri pushdowns, db swings, leg curls, bodyweight circuit (squats, pushups, crunches, lunges)

    -1x extensive kata practice, w/little sparring (shadowsparring rounds, plyometrics 1-2ex, bagwork alt betw contact+no contact rounds)
    -1x kumite
    Footwork drills (different stepping, different techniques, sabaki)
    Reaction/countering work
    Bagwork/footwork around the bag+distancing
    Plyometrics (2-3ex), agility ladder training, **skipping, sprints between floor cones to develop explosive action.
    w/little kata

    1-2x running (1x SS, 1x intervals. Maybe do the runs straight after karate? Or just the SS run after weights or karate; intervals on a separate day?)

    Sets short, 15s at most.
    Pogo jump: keep body stiff, knees stiff, bouncing on balls of feet, no heel touching ground.
    Lateral jumps
    Tuck jump: knees are higher
    Hurdle hops: jumping forward, MUST bounce, as little contact time with ground as possible
    Depth jump: just step off platform and rebound as soon as you hit the ground.

    Plyometric pushup: again, VERY little contact, very quick, not full pushup. Either top range or bottom range.

    Even hop and explode technique into bag

    So short sets (15s or less), long rest (2-3m) and a low number of total sets (3-6) and total exercises (2-3 at most, decreasing in intensity/complexity as you go).
    Phase 1 (4 weeks)- warmup, plyoz (1 simple exercise eg tuck jump), strength 2-3ex.
    Phase 2 (4 weeks)- warmup, plyoz (2-3exercises), strength (1-2ex)
    2 days per week.

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