Tournaments 101

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girlychuks

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How long should you wait before you enter a tournament? I am of a Shaolin Kenpo school- and there is an AKA tournament happening neardy soon.

How do you deal with the other schools having a different belt system?
Is it ok to go against shotokan/wado in sparring? How do you ensure, if the belt system is different, that you get matched with someone of your own rank/level of learning?
What about forms? Each school has it's own forms- in open competition, do they go on the correctness of the form, or do you give them the movements written down on the piece of paper, and judge on execution??
Thank you in advance for helping this newbie out- I think there is enough here to keep you all going for a while.
 
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GouRonin

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I know that sparring in any art goes out the window and "tournament" sparring is what takes place though.

As for forms, it depends on what the judges background is on how they score. Some have no idea what they are looking at and go based on motion and how loud the guy screams.

Joe Doyle out of Mentor Ohio holds a strictly American Kenpo tournament each year I believe.
 

Cthulhu

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I wish I had some advice to give, but having not been involved in any tournaments, the advice would be questionable at best.

<Yoda voice>
Yes, yes! To Gou you listen!
<end Yoda voice>

Tournament sparring is usually a completely different beast from class sparring. To make things more confusing, tournament sparring rules often vary from event to event. If you want to spar in a tournament, talk to your instructor first. If you intend to go through with it, find out the tournament rules; what strikes and targets are legal/illegal, the scoring system, any divisions, etc. If possible, try to train by sparring under the tournament rules as often as possible beforehand.

As for forms, Gou is right again. For example, I doubt most judges in my area have ever heard of Okinawa-te, much less seen one of our kata. They would be hard pressed to judge the form, particularly since our forms are so different from traditional karate/TKD forms. If a specific school is sponsoring the tournament, that may give you an idea of how the forms will be judged.

Bah. Ramblin' again.

Cthulhu
 
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Rob_Broad

Guest
Kumite(sparring) is mainly a joke at tournaments. Many schools drop their students done a belt or so for tournaments. It is a shame but it does happen. Your instructor should be able to tell you if the tournament you want to attend is a good one or not. If your instructor thinks it is a good event that will be run fair you should be fine.

The criteria for forms competition is as follows. Balance, speed, power, timing, focus and overall appearance of the performance. It is one of themore fair events at tournaments.

I started competing in my second month and continued for my first 15 yrs in the arts. Beginner divisions are usually pretty fair, there is no real bragging right for first place in Yellow Belt sparring. The fix is usually in when it is for Black Blet competition. In the beginner division you can expect to get a little harder than normal because of peoples nervousness, and adrenaline. This is normal. The judges no how to tell if the extra contact is from nerves or someone being ignorant.

All in all tournaments can be a good experience as long as you go in open minded, have no expectations as to what is going to happen, and you have no plans right after. Tournament run late, it is a given fact. It might start on time(I wouldn't count on it), but as the day goes on things will break down and go slower.

I think everyone should atleast try a tournament or two so that they can know the experience.
 
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brianhunter

Guest
I think there is nothing to it but just to do it. It's like anything people can give you all the advice in the world but you will have to find your own way!
I do believe the sooner the better, my brother has been in martial arts alot longer then I have (he started at about 6) To him tourneys where no big deal! Me on the other hand I didn't really get any experiance untill I was wrestling in high school....and I really wish I would have started sooner!!
Get out there and pull a nike JUST DO IT
I do agree about the earlier comment on "touney sparring" A ton of things tend to go out the window
 

Klondike93

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When judging forms they're suposed to be looking for power, balance, confidence of knowing the form things like that.

Sparring is a little different thing. White, yellow and orange are usually beginners. Purple, green and blue intermediate and brown and red advanced.

Dropping some one down a rank or two just to win some plastic your going to have to dust off every couple of days just doesn't make sense. The competition is the pay off and if you win, cool your confidence leve will be that much higher next time.

I'd say do it asap and learn from it, but try an "open" tournament with many different styles. I'm not sure what AKA is but it sounds like it might be a traditional karate tournament.


:asian:
 

Blindside

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I agree with Klondike, find out if the tournament is "open" or not.

I have had the unfortunate experience of going to an "open" tournament and being the lone black gi in a sea of white. Since the promoter didn't get the "open" response they were looking for they shifted back to a traditional format. The judging was in japanese so I never knew where I stood in points, I knew I was getting points removed for for something but I couldn't tell what, and they didn't respect my backfist. I damn near ko'd my opponent with one because he was used to defending the body more, to me it was like a big neon target screaming "hit me!"

My weapon division had so many oars in it we could have hosted a regeatta. I actually pitied the judges for having to sit through 10 of the same oar forms in that division.

I think I came in last in my open hand division, due solely to two judges who had obviously never seen a kajukenbo/kenpo form before, I received top marks from the head of the hosting school who had seen more of the martial arts world than her students.

All in all it was an "interesting" experience, but not one that I would willingly repeat.

I still compete twice a year in tournaments, but don't spend alot of time prepping for them. The self-defense division is my favorite and is designed for those of us in kenpo. The students in our school who can go out and perform well in front of judges at a tournament usually do better when it comes to testing for rank, they are used to the pressure of an audience and critical judges.

My instructor thinks it makes a useful training tool, and I agree with him. Go for it, and have fun.

Lamont
 

Goldendragon7

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Go and when you feel you are ready..... and that is to either look and investigate, study, learn the rules etc..... or compete if you feel compelled! But know the rules if you actually decide to enter. and by all means check with your instructor for guidance.

:asian:
 
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tunetigress

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Girlychuks,
Both my young daughter and I have enjoyed competing since we were Orange Belts. A number of family members of last year's Team were up competing themselves this year instead of just watching, after finding that the whole scene was not nearly as intimidating as they had imagined, and that those of us who actually competed not only survived, but also had a great time. And then there's the medal issue. It was kewl coming home with medals. Hmmm, no wonder the kids in my classes were so nice to me after my 'Show and Tell' upon my return from my first time competing at the Tiger Balm Internationals; they only thought I waved around a little white stick before that. Wonderful thing, a Bo, the only weapon I ever saw that could bring a whole room full of teenagers to silent attention for longer than 10 seconds! My advice about tournaments is, read the wise advice of Cthulhu, GoldenDragon, and Bonehead and then go for it, and just enjoy yourself !! The only standards you truly have to 'beat' are those you set for yourself. :asian:
 

Nightingale

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Angelo Collado's website has a lot of good stuff about forms...

In order to do well in forms, you have to remember what a form is. It is a match against imaginary opponents.

Some questions to ask yourself:

How clear are you on what you're doing? Does every move have a purpose? If so, great. If not, go find out, because there isn't any wasted motion in kenpo forms. every move accomplishes something, and you need to know what that is.

Can you visualize your opponent? If not, grab a friend, and go over the entire form off each attack. make sure your motions are realistic.

Are your stances solid? Are your movements sharp and crisp? You get higher marks for a clean form. Don't be sloppy.

Basically, most judges aren't looking for the fanciest form. They want to be able to see what you're doing and why. If they can see that, you'll do well.

Tournament sparring (at least for underbelts) is pretty much just a game of tag. Just don't block with your face and you'll do fine. Make sure you ask about any rules you're unclear on. From what I've seen, rules tend to be a 2 minute match, either to 3 points or 5. in 5 point matches, kicks above the belt count as 2 points. In three point matches, kicks are one point, just like punches.

Hope that helps!
 
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Kirk

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Originally posted by GouRonin

I know that sparring in any art goes out the window and "tournament" sparring is what takes place though.

Can you expand upon this? I've never sparred before.

My instructor was in TKD for 17 yrs before moving over to Kenpo.
He made mention of how during a kenpo camp, he and another
old TKD'er kicked butt all over the place because everyone else
was trying to do kenpo stuff. I don't follow. Why is kenpo so
ineffective with sparring?
 

Goldendragon7

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That's a new one on me....... usually it's the reverse. I've never seen that happen. Must have been a Kenpo Camp Back East somewhere.

:rofl:
 
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Rob_Broad

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Now I am definitely have to go to Texas just to spar. maybe they TKDers were throwing beautiful head high kicks, and missing the real points. I have seen it before,both guys not wanting to make any contact because it a camp( who wants to train with an injury) the tKD guy throws a head kick and makes it close while the kenpo guy gets a body punch in and out before the guy has seen it.
 

Klondike93

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Originally posted by Goldendragon7

That's a new one on me....... usually it's the reverse. I've never seen that happen. Must have been a Kenpo Camp Back East somewhere.

:rofl:

I was sitting here trying to figure out how to answer Kirk and you said it best GD. Getting beat by kenpo guys is why I switched to kenpo from TKD in the first place.


:asian:
 

Klondike93

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Did you do many tournaments, other than the Internationals?

Oh one other thing, you ever have to face Frank Trejo in one?

:asian:
 

Goldendragon7

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Well, lately I haven't done any tournaments. But back when.. I did everyone I could attend.

No I never had to face Frank..... (I would have killed him) LOL

:asian:
 
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RCastillo

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Originally posted by Goldendragon7

Well, lately I haven't done any tournaments. But back when.. I did everyone I could attend.

No I never had to face Frank..... (I would have killed him) LOL

:asian:

Just wait till I go to camp, I'm gonna tell!:rofl:
 

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