Tournament competition

Kacey

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As instructors, do you require your students to compete in tournaments? As students, are you required to compete?

If so, why?

I require my students to compete in tournaments, for several reasons:
- tournaments are a high stress situation, which can help many students learn to deal with stress
- students get too used to comparing themselves to others in their own class, in sparring, in patterns, in kicking, in whatever requirements are being worked on; tournament competition provides other students for comparison
- win or lose students learn from those around them, from instructors and students they don't always see - and I don't really care if my students win or lose, as long as they can tell me what they learned
 

Sukerkin

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In my Lau Gar school, it was not exactly a requirement to take part in tournaments but, due to a bad case of trophy-cabinet-itus, it was looked on very poorly if you had ability and did not 'represent'.

The pressure got worse the higher up the tree you climbed and is one reason why I stopped taking gradings after my black sash. I still trained, sparred and did whatever else was required of me but not competitions (and kudos to the school that after a couple of years this was accepted and the pressure stopped (tho' partly this was because I stayed resolutely black sash and plenty of others came up who could stand in my stead at that grade)).
 

bluemtn

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We aren't required to compete, for various reasons, but it is encouraged. We have our own school tourney's, as well as have students sign up for tourney's held in the area. It's viewed as opportunities to learn outside of the dojang, and it helps with confidence in various ways. Also, they're a lot of fun!
 

terryl965

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We do not reequired but we do encourage everyone to give it a try and all of them do sooner or later.
 

stoneheart

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We don't do tournaments. I am arranging to visit another local school, however, to do some friendly sparring and forms exhibitions.
 

CF'er

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In my school you aren't allowed to compete unless you are in the Leadership program. That is a school rule not ATA. This is because you only earn points toward State/World Championship if you are Leadership. My instructor feels that those who aren't earning points are taking away from those who can.

We can go (Leadership) if we choose and aren't pressured to. My son was totally against it and decided to compete last minute. He is now "hooked" and there is no stopping him. Me too.
 

Telos

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We have a requirement for competition to get higher belts. Most notably three tournaments in the previous year before applying for black belt. However over the years i've seen some people just compete at the home tournament once a year and rack up three in three years.

Not how its supposed to be ...but rarely anyone travels to compete these days.
 

DArnold

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As instructors, do you require your students to compete in tournaments? As students, are you required to compete?

If so, why?

I require my students to compete in tournaments, for several reasons:
- tournaments are a high stress situation, which can help many students learn to deal with stress
- students get too used to comparing themselves to others in their own class, in sparring, in patterns, in kicking, in whatever requirements are being worked on; tournament competition provides other students for comparison
- win or lose students learn from those around them, from instructors and students they don't always see - and I don't really care if my students win or lose, as long as they can tell me what they learned

Ma獺m,
This just looks like a rehash of other threads...
http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=52774&page=2
 

Shaderon

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We aren't required to compete in tournaments but it's encouraged, we have individual as well as regional championships and the results are posted on our web site, if you are interested it's all there, if you aren't it's not pushed in your face. I have been to one tournament, I lost both of my competitions but in a way I won, I got a chance to see others doing thier stuff, see thier standards, fight them and it was a fantastic experience. I learnt more from that tournament than I had done from the seminar where I won a gold medal.
 

IcemanSK

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I don't require my students to go to tournaments. I've never been a big fan of the politics that I've seen there. I know it's not at all tournaments that way, but it's enough of them. As a student, I didn't see the politics. As an instructor, it's a bigger issue.

Politics aside, it is a great experience to have students compete in tournaments. It's a growing opportunity for them. And, as others have said, it's not about winning & losing. There are a few that I may bring them to.
 

Phil680

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Im in the same school of thought as iceman. We did two tourneys last year because some of the parents "pressured" me too. Meaning they just kept asking so I said Fine. Two tourneys later and NONE of them ever want to do it again. Besides that I dont teach competition sparring.
 

IcemanSK

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The Karate instructor where I teach introduced me to a great concept. He called it a Shi-i (pronounced Shee-eye). (I don't know what the equivalent is in Korean). It's a friendly get together between 2 or more schools to learn & compete against each other. No trophies, but having pizza for afterword helps:).

The Karate program invited another school where he knew & liked the sensei. They (informally) agreed to be especially aware of the other's student's strong points. It was a mutually beneficial for both schools & everyone had a great time!
 

terryl965

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The Karate instructor where I teach introduced me to a great concept. He called it a Shi-i (pronounced Shee-eye). (I don't know what the equivalent is in Korean). It's a friendly get together between 2 or more schools to learn & compete against each other. No trophies, but having pizza for afterword helps:).

The Karate program invited another school where he knew & liked the sensei. They (informally) agreed to be especially aware of the other's student's strong points. It was a mutually beneficial for both schools & everyone had a great time!

Yea we do this from time to time to introduce certain students to the benefits of sparring, it has some good points.
 

Last Fearner

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As a general rule, I don't require color belts to compete. However, I do strongly recommend and encourage them to get the experience of their first tournament as soon as possible. There are many of my students who prefer not to spar, so I recommend doing form competition at least one time. There are others who don't want to compete at all (usually a confidence problem), so I request that they participate as a tournament volunteer (score keeper, ring runner, etc).

I do require that a student participate in both sparring and forms at least one time before testing for Black Belt. Even if a student is not "interested" in sports or competition, there are things to be learned from the experience, even if it is just the ability to assess a tournament from the inside point of view in order to teach others about it. Since competition plays a big role in shaping, honing and testing the skills of Martial Artists (good or bad experience), I don't feel a person can be a knowledgeable Black Belt in the Martial Art, and give advice to new students about tournaments, if they have never had the first-hand experience themselves.

Officiating at tournaments helps to see the inner workings of competition, and judging forms and sparring teaches a Black Belt what to look for (especially if they attend special coach/referee seminars), and how to compare between opponents who use differnet skills and tactics. Having competed at least once in a person's career is an eye-opener, and will offer lessons that will last a life-time.

If a school has enough students, they might hold tournaments just among their own students (with or without trophies, medals, or ribbons). They are fun, educational, and void of politics. Where an organization has two or three schools in a relatively close geographical area, those schools can usually compete with each other, and avoid the negativity associated with larger competitions. Still, I find it a valuable lesson to be able to attend any tournament, of any size, run by any system of Martial Art, with all the politics in the world, and still enjoy the day.

If we, as Black Belts and Instructors, can not handle the politics and attitudes of other undesirable people, then how can we teach our students to do the same in real-life scenarios (at work, at home, socializing with friends). In my opinion, to avoid tournaments because you don't like what goes on at them, is to miss an opportunity to train yourself, and prepare your Black Belts for dealing with jerks in real life! :ultracool

I've heard many instructors over the years say, "I don't do tournaments and I don't take my students to any because I had a bad experience with tournaments in the past." Well, at least you had that "experience." To deny that experience to your students (even if it is a bad one) is to give them less experience that you have. Let them find out for themselves. Perhaps they will enjoy it, and benefit from it (the above comments are general and open comments, and are not directed at any one person).

Respectfully,
CM D.J. Eisenhart
 

wade

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Go! :)

You will be surprised at what you will learn. You can be a real bad *** in the school and get your butt kicked by a beginner at a tournament. It gives every one a real life perspective on where they really are in regards to their styles. Yeah, it is based on a bunch of rules that are not realistic but it is the closet thing you will get to with out going out to the local bar and brawling there. Like I said, it lets you know where you are. Hey, you might even enjoy it.
 

Telos

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I remember seeing one guy at a tournament was a green belt and was upset he had to fight an exhibition match with some white belt who had a red stripe on it.

The green belt guy got owned. Turns out the white belt guy was a former bodan and was starting over in a new state and wanted to relearn curriculum.

it was slently amusing to watch his blustered get silenced.
 

hong kong fooey

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in my school we have one tourny a year. we are not required to compeat. but are encourged to at least once just to feel what it's like to be in a tourny.
 

Bumblebee

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I'm not required to compete in tournaments at all. My Grandmaster encourages select individuals that he'll ask to compete though. If my instructor (different from grandmaster) is competing he'll usually ask me to go along as well as two others. That way we can keep each other company during the hours of waiting around, we can coach each other if the tournament permits that, and cheer for each other. I like competing in tournaments, I think it's fun when you're actually competing instead of waiting around, but life happens and sometimes I just can't compete and my instructor and Grandmaster understand that.
 
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