Why compete in tournaments?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by DrewTheTKDStudent1992, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. DrewTheTKDStudent1992

    DrewTheTKDStudent1992 White Belt

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    Hey guys,

    I have never competed in any tournament in my martial arts career.

    I am 26 years old now. I’ve only been taking classes. And I got back into it over a year ago after college. I studied Taekwondo.

    But I would like to know why many of you guys compete.

    If either of you would like to share, would you please do so?

    Thank you.
     
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  2. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Never had anything better to do
     
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  3. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    You will feel the fear, the shame of being kicked in the *** in front of people...

    For me, it was a matter of emotions management and test myself in a competive environment. As it was an internal competition (within the association), skill level of opponents could easily be years apart, so it could not be just about winning really, but more about seeing what I could do even in an inferiority position.

    In training we can all be badass, but it is when things suck that we know our actual level and limitations.

    My 50 cents. :)
     
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  4. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I competed in my early 20s. Having played sports all my life, I liked competing. It was a different type of competition, but competing is competing. I liked training for competition.

    I just competed again two years ago at 40 years old. My daughters (3 and 5 at the time) wanted to see me compete in my organization’s annual tournament, so I said what the hell. I really like training for it. It forced me to address any weaknesses and to get in shape. You can’t put stuff off very long when you’ve got a few months before the competition. It was point fighting and kata. I didn’t train to the rules of point fighting, as I’m really it a fan of it; I just trained continuous sparring, which included a ton of bag work and foot work. I did ok in sparring in the tournament, but nothing to write home about. The competition wasn’t my main objective; getting better was my motivation, and training for the tournament fit that. I placed 3rd in kata. The tournament was a closed tournament for our organization only, and my division (adult 4th kyu) had about 25 competitors from about 6 different countries.

    Other than improving my skills, the best part of it was meeting people in my organization from different dojos. There were a lot of good people there, and everyone had a great time.
     
  5. WingChunChick

    WingChunChick Yellow Belt

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    I grew up doing sport karate, and while that particular group wasn't practical. We did tournaments regularly. I've got to say, it was a lot of fun.

    It's the same for any other sport, it is fun to play against other people when the stakes are higher. Humans are competitive and it's fun.

    I believe that there are a lot of problems with sport martial arts and people not realizing the difference between sport and real combat.

    But if you realise it isn't real. Do sport martial arts, compete. It's a lot of fun and great to see how you do under pressure
     
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  6. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    You can test your skill against people you have never met. If your MA skill can work on those people, the chance that your MA skill will work on the street will be high.
     
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  7. MetalBoar

    MetalBoar White Belt

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    I used to compete in foil fencing. I loved the tournaments, the adrenaline, the hyper-focus, etc. that goes with having something on the line. The chance to work with new people was another big draw. There were fencing clubs at two of the local colleges, so maybe 25-ish people who fenced in the area. After a while it got to where you knew before you even stepped on the strip what this guy or that woman were going to fence like, so you really kind of skipped the whole first part of a bout where you feel your opponent out. In regional tournaments you might see some people you already knew well, but there was a good chance you'd be facing someone completely new. It was nice to have a fresh opponent that you really had to evaluate and figure out on the fly. As others have said, it was also a chance to meet new people with a shared interest.
     
  8. Rat

    Rat Green Belt

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    there is a distinct lack of interest in monetary rewards in this thread. :p
     
  9. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    Most of the people who compete arent really getting any monetary rewards. Or arent banking on it
     
  10. Guthrie

    Guthrie Blue Belt

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    Hmm.....I have never competed in tournements. I did some amatuer Kickboxing in the early 90's had about 3 fights. It was short lived due to lack of competitors in my state at the time.

    The Dojo I belonged to before the Kickboxing switched to tournement style fighting and in doing so lost a lot of students. A majority of them were black belts. I continued to train but never entered a competition. Never really had an interest in it, my instructor at the time was frustrated with that and eventually led to me moving on.

    Although I chose to test my skills in reality, I wouldn't advise it in this day and age as A LOT has changed over the years. Back then before tournements became the big thing, we hit each other in fighting class. Some blood for sure, fractures yes and broken bones sometimes. Training was rough in those days, albiet it was the tail end of old school karate training, we still did this type of fighting in advanced classes. In the end the school went full point sparring and this was the end for me.

    I personally have nothing against it...I was just never interested in sport arts.
     
  11. Martial D

    Martial D Master of Arts

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    For some people just getting to kick people in the face in front of a cheering crowd, without getting arrested afterwards, is more than enough.

    I'm sure there's other reasons too.
     
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  12. Jaeimseu

    Jaeimseu 2nd Black Belt

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    In my experience, nearly 100% of the people with the highest skill level are competitors. Competition puts you into a bigger world and pushes strong people to excel.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  13. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Black Belt

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    Hey Drew,

    Before last year, I never had an inkling of a desire to compete. Trained for a solid 7-8 years or so, and even though many encouraged me to compete I just was never interested at all. I didn't see the point of it, and perhaps I had a skewed perception of it (believing it was encouraging people to focus on "winning" rather than bettering themselves.. who knows!).

    Last year (when I had finished up training in my old style), something within me was drawn to competing. I couldn't tell you why, but the first tournament I did I absolutely LOVED. (I had done one or two many many years ago in my first style, but that was yonks ago)

    I entered it as what my rank was in my old style (4th Kyu), so was in the 5th Kyu to 1st Kyu Advanced division. Was in the point sparring and forms division, and did quite well.

    Now I'm hooked haha, and have been competing since.

    Honestly, I do it moreso for the experience of it. There's nothing like stepping out onto the mat, walking into the centre, and performing your kata in that atmosphere. It's quite surreal. There are so many other things I love about it though (as others have mentioned). I love the weeks spent preparing for it and bettering my skills. I love meeting more martial artists, the comradery and supporting each other on the day, even though you've only just met them.

    I love the silence and focus when performing your kata, and that feeling of being in the zone, and focusing everything on that moment, and doing the kata as best as you can.

    I love the speed, agility, footwork, strategy, excitement and explosiveness of point sparring.

    I like going for the challenge of it, and being willing to put your skills under pressure.

    I love just how fun and rewarding the whole experience is, even if you don't win, you've gained experience, and learned a bunch.


    Not everyone likes competing and fair enough, but I'm a convert ;). I let go of my skewed view of it and gave it a crack anyway, and it was a great decision!

    Are you thinking of competing Drew?
     
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  14. FriedRice

    FriedRice 3rd Black Belt

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    1st time was to find out what it was like + the excitement.

    Every time after that, it was for similar excitement, pride, and the enjoyment of inflicting and receiving pain while trying to knock someone out for that moment of glory. It's a weird sensation that's definitely not good for your health in the long run, or even the short one, but YOLO. You will also be feared & respected at your gym from those below you and respected by those above (although you can also get this from hard sparring and dominating your partners).
     
  15. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    For my son it’s numerous reasons.

    1). It’s something to work toward and an opportunity to use some of the skills he is training in a controlled setting.

    2). It’s fun

    3). Meeting and developing relationships with other MA from all over the place. My son has developed close friends in California, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Argentina, and Chile through competition.

    4) enjoy traveling

    5). Learn from different views and philosophies from other ma and styles that he meets at tournaments

    6). Enjoy watching other people compete and observing the differing styles and philosophies
     
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  16. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    I partially agree. The “street” has many faces and some fit quite well the MA training, some don’t at all.

    But that was my feeling when doing some hard sparring. If I could survive against really well trained guys, even eating punches without getting distracted with pain (or dizzy), what could a silly drunk do? The issue is when they play with different rules...
     
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  17. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    There’s just something about putting yourself out there and competing that’s not easily describable with words.

    To add to it, I’ve come to the point where I’m not competing against anyone other than myself. I just want to go out and surpass my own expectations. If I do that, the judges, scores, opponents, etc. will all take care of themselves. I’d rather nail a kata and be the lowest score than be the highest score by default because I botched it but beat a bunch of bums. I can’t control anyone else but myself.

    Last tournament I was at, I placed 3rd in kata. The first place guy was miles ahead of us. The second place guy was a good bit better than me. I was a good bit better than the rest of the pack. 1 2 and 3 were a no brainer; the rest were a bit harder to differentiate. 40 year old me (at the time) didn’t care. I genuinely did that kata better than I’ve ever done it, and any improvements would’ve been marginal and not enough to place higher. 20 year old me would’ve beaten myself up over it and chased an unrealistic goal of being better than them.

    Competition to me is about doing the best I can and genuinely outdoing what I think I’m capable of. Besides, I’m a bit too old to display and show off trophies and metals anyway, don’t you think? I’d probably end up giving them to my kids to play with.
     
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  18. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Black Belt

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    Osu, well said mate. Good point about everything taking care of itself when you focus on what you're doing. Like anything hey, including the future ;).

    Last tournament I placed 2nd in kata, but during the kata and watching it back, I was incredibly happy with how I went and how it felt performing it. That was everything to me. How crazy would it have been if I cursed and stamped my feet because I didn't get first place?

    But I do understand competing to win, and I still do aim to do my best and hopefully do well. It's a great motivation to train harder and learn more as I still try to take out the division. But more as a way to become a better martial artist.

    It's definitely a great experience.
     
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  19. Shawchert

    Shawchert White Belt

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    I learned in competing you can learn from others even if it isn't a class. Talking to others who are like minded people and competing against them can actually help you become a better martial artist
     
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  20. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    As they say in MMA.....you win or you learn. You can't lose!

    I think many people start out not wanting to compete but then think they'd like to try it once, to test themselves and what they've learnt. They want to know they won't freeze when punched in the head for real, or that they can think while trying to avoid being struck and trying to strike at the same time. it's something that isn't really replicated when you only spar in a club situation with the same people all the time however hard you go. Besides, it's fun!
     
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