Unfortunate Tournament -- Maybe I'm Just Naive

bushidomartialarts

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[FONT=Verdana, Times New Roman, Helvetica]Hi all, I had a rant/question for tournament goers out there.

I took my school to an open tournament this weekend and while my people did well I was appalled at the behavior of the black belt instructors from other schools. Some things I observed:

a line of 11 year old competitors waiting twenty minutes for their ring to start, because the black belt judges were all to busy watching kumite for anyone to come over and judge.

black belt instructors insulting participants in the ring against their guys.

competitors leaving the ring after performing their kata (not waiting to watch their fellow competitors), or talking loudly on the line while others performed.

an 'adult' student storming out of the gym after losing his match for 1st and 2nd.

that same student still receiving his 2nd place trophy.

a senior black belt actually heckling a center judge over a call, and refusing to back off when asked to.

tournament management trying to appease the heckler rather than tossing him out on his ear.

Maybe I'm just naive. This tournament was in the Pacific Northwest. Most of my tournament experience is through the AKKA organization in New Mexico/Arizona/Colorado. Where I came up the ranks, that sort of behavior would have gotten competitors or entire schools kicked out and asked not to come back. Which brings me to my question for you all:

Is this just the way of things in the circuit these days? Or was this tournament an exception? Or is this a growing trend that we all need to work hard to curb?

Peace & Strength,

Jason Brick

PS. I posted this thread at kenponet, too, so apologies to anybody I just bored.
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tshadowchaser

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ok lets talk about some of this:

a line of 11 year old competitors waiting twenty minutes for their ring to start, because the black belt judges were all to busy watching kumite for anyone to come over and judge.
sounds poorly orginised if the ring was calle the judges should have startes the ring

black belt instructors insulting participants in the ring against their guys.
they should have been told to shut up or leave by someone in charge

an 'adult' student storming out of the gym after losing his match for 1st and 2nd.

that same student still receiving his 2nd place trophy.
poor conduct on his behalf and an insult to all

a senior black belt actually heckling a center judge over a call, and refusing to back off when asked to.
the tounament coordinator should have been called and the person in question told to shut up or take his students and leave I don't care who or what rank he was

Is this just the way of things in the circuit these days? Or was this tournament an exception? Or is this a growing trend that we all need to work hard to curb?
I hope it was an isolated incident but I fear it was not tournaments can get out of hand when the person giving the tournament dose not want to offend high ranks and wants to kep the ttendence up for the next tournament
 

Gemini

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Unfortunately, no, you're not naive.
Though I compete in a different art, I would say that in any art, it sounds like a poorly run tournament. I know of no art that would condone such behavior, but at the same time, have never been to a tournament that doesn't have a certain number of competitors and or coaches that just don't get it. Fortunately wide scale behavior like this remains the exception, not the rule.

Be thankful that when you wake up tomorrow morning, you'll look in the mirror and NOT see one of them.
Remind your students how poorly such behavior reflects on their art, their school and themselves.
Write a letter to whoever hosted the tournament and tell them how displeased you are, why, and that you'll never represent at one of their events again. If the event was sanctioned by a higher organization, copy them on the letter.
 
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bushidomartialarts

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Thanks so much.

I've spent the last two days in a blistering foul mood, trying to figure out what to do about it. Gemini, I appreciate your advice on that. You know how it is -- things are always less upsetting once you get moving on a solution.
 

terryl965

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I have to agree with Gemini also most tournaments would not be run like that, my art will not allow anybody to do that or they would be gone from the floor.

Just kinda remember what you saw and learn from your experiences and be fortunite no one realy got hurt.
Terry
 

Gemini

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bushidomartialarts said:
Thanks so much.

I've spent the last two days in a blistering foul mood, trying to figure out what to do about it. Gemini, I appreciate your advice on that. You know how it is -- things are always less upsetting once you get moving on a solution.

I hope that's the case here. I was at one tournament that was so bad, I almost left the martial arts entirely, thinking that they were all hypocrites. In hind sight, I'm glad I didn't. What a wonderful association I would have missed out on because of a few miscreants. To say such experiences can be upsetting is an understatement. Needless to say, my tolerance for such things is non existent.

Good luck to you!
 

dianhsuhe

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Unfortunately- that sounds like an average "open" tournament to me... I remember during a big tournament in Los Angeles while sparring I was puched/moved/ran out of the ring (which is pretty common with point stuff) and the opponents friends who had been trash talking everyone in sight (any opponents, judges, spectators), pushed me back into the ring-

many a punk can be found at these tournaments-

I won the match though-
 

beau_safken

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Thats a tough one...

I really loathed the everyone wins something mentality of most tournaments like that. Poorly run is kinda a understatement to that situation. I'm just gonna take the wild *** guess award with this one...TKD/Karate tourny? I have only ever seen that kind of stuff happen at the dare I say it "Multiple Black Belt Kung fu/taichi/karate instructor sponsored Mcdojo tournaments." I'm sure that you know what im talking about with that one.

Either way, a place that feels unfriendly, non-disciplined and worse of all...black belts acting like school children. Advise for the future my friend: Walk away...That kind of crap is unacceptable in anyway shape or form to a real martial artist. Unless you like your name on some 2 dollar trophy made out to "Bestest sparrer," take your business elsewhere.

HOWEVER...this is a good chance for some sandbagging if you feel like it. I always used those punched/moved/shoved point matches that didnt count for any national points to practice other stuff. "Oh im so sorry, when you pushed me i accidently got my arm caught in your sleeve..I didnt mean to take you down to the ground and land on my knee... honest ;)" <---J/K, I in no way commend or condon the actions of those that use the accident clause in such situations. Its entirely too easy to just attack where you want and take the point deduction...then you get to hit him a couple more times to make up the difference. <<<----J/K J/K...Nobody would do that I'm sure. Its not like you would walk into one of those tournaments with a bag of belts...check out the competition for a bit and pick a belt from your bag to enter yourself so you can get some practice....
 

Jimi

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Sadly this is very common. I was competing in Black Belt Weapons Forms in 2001. Just before the ring was to begin competition, an annoucement was made that 1 more Black Belt Judge was to sit in on the judging. He came running over and sat beside the Grandmaster of the system and smiled as competition started. After the Black Belt Weapons Forms division was concluded, they announced that those who made it beyond this elimination would be called to compete the next morning. The next morning I waited in hopes of continuing in competition, but to my dismay they did not call my name (such is life). I was bent out of shape when they announced that the Black Belt Weapons Forms division was to now add those seeded from a previous year of placing competitors. The Black Belt who sat in judgement of our efforts the night before was seeded in the same competition that he judged. During the eliminations he was allowed to judge down any competitors he may have run into the next day. I am bitter, but I was not the only one messed over by such favoritism. It will happen at most tourneys you may run into, not all, but most.
 
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bushidomartialarts

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Hi again,

Thank you for your responses. They helped, but the biggest help came today. I was at work, teaching one of my little kid classes (7 - 9 year olds), and unsurprisingly chose to talk about sportsmanship. A couple of the students had been at the tourney and we discussed the behavior of some of the black belt coaches.

The kids who weren't there thought I was kidding. The weren't amused. They weren't angry. They were literally incredulous that a black belt would act that way.

Nothing in the world could have done more to restore my faith in the arts.

So, to everybody who responded and who's teaching their own students to do right, thank you.

And to anybody who attended the 'Battle of the Belt' in Salem, Oregon this weekend and resembles my previous remarks: shame on you, there's seven year olds who know better.

Yours,

Jason Brick
 

Jonathan Randall

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I am sorry for your bad experience.

Personally, like most, I've had both good and bad experiences at tournaments. The best experiences were at Association or Federation only tourneys and the worst were at Open tournaments. Surprisingly, the best tournament I attended was an ATA regional as a yellow belt in ATA TKD in the early 1980's. It was very professionally run and students were asked to leave and disqualified if they did not behave. Two young woman who were sparring (fighting, actually) in a way contrary to the rules as well as spirit of TKD (they were really trying to HURT each other), were both dismissed and the instructor of one of the girls pulled one of her stripes (at that time each belt had three stripes - don't know how it is today).

I also enjoyed the Judo tournaments I attended as a kid. However, that was the early 1970's and misbehavior by kids had very different consequences than it does, for the most part, today.
 

Maltair

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Hi Sifu,
I'm glad the time you have put into your school has come back to help you feel better and make you proud. I'm honored to be apart of that school.
This whole event has really turned me off of tournaments. I still can't believe it happened for one, and the fact that they tried to appease him blew my mind! We ended up leaving early.
I think I'll just save my money for seminars. %-}
 

Aqua4ever

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I'm sorry your experiance was not a good one. Our club just competed at our first "team tournament" (we have four that we are expected to attend if we are on the competition team) and it left a bad taste in many mouths. (One incident...Our instructor was fighting in grand championships. His opponent went as far as to raise his hands taunting "hit me, come on, hit me" and would turn his back and throw back hinge kicks (he doesn't gain points for connecting, but it makes it impossible for the opponent to score). It was an insult to not only my instructor, but to the black belt this man was wearing.)
Back at our club, our instructor reminded us that
"Just because you are a good fighter does not mean you are a good martial artist. It's up to you to decide where your morals and values lie, and follow them"
It seems many people have had unfortunate expeariances.
I hope your next tournament goes better, know that they are not all like this!
Aqua
 

MJS

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bushidomartialarts said:
[FONT=Verdana, Times New Roman, Helvetica]Hi all, I had a rant/question for tournament goers out there.

I took my school to an open tournament this weekend and while my people did well I was appalled at the behavior of the black belt instructors from other schools. Some things I observed:

a line of 11 year old competitors waiting twenty minutes for their ring to start, because the black belt judges were all to busy watching kumite for anyone to come over and judge.

black belt instructors insulting participants in the ring against their guys.

competitors leaving the ring after performing their kata (not waiting to watch their fellow competitors), or talking loudly on the line while others performed.

an 'adult' student storming out of the gym after losing his match for 1st and 2nd.

that same student still receiving his 2nd place trophy.

a senior black belt actually heckling a center judge over a call, and refusing to back off when asked to.

tournament management trying to appease the heckler rather than tossing him out on his ear.

Maybe I'm just naive. This tournament was in the Pacific Northwest. Most of my tournament experience is through the AKKA organization in New Mexico/Arizona/Colorado. Where I came up the ranks, that sort of behavior would have gotten competitors or entire schools kicked out and asked not to come back. Which brings me to my question for you all:

Is this just the way of things in the circuit these days? Or was this tournament an exception? Or is this a growing trend that we all need to work hard to curb?

Peace & Strength,

Jason Brick

PS. I posted this thread at kenponet, too, so apologies to anybody I just bored.
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I'm a little late to the discussion, but from what I've read, I'm in agreement with what the others have said. Sadly, this is a common thing at many tournaments. IMO, people tend to take these events way too serious. Rather than be there to have a good time, and have some friendly competition against some fellow Martial Artists, it instead, turns into what you've been a witness to.

Perhaps you may want to make the tournament promoter aware of this. It may not do any good, but then again, if complaints start coming in, and people lose interest, he may try to weed out the problem people.

Mike
 

Grenadier

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bushidomartialarts said:
[FONT=Verdana, Times New Roman, Helvetica]a line of 11 year old competitors waiting twenty minutes for their ring to start, because the black belt judges were all to busy watching kumite for anyone to come over and judge.
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[FONT=Verdana, Times New Roman, Helvetica]That's just terrible. The organizer of the tournament should have already had a list of judges, and before the competition started, should have already had their assignments set. This way, if a particular judge wanted to watch someone, he could either be put in the same ring, or alternate out with others on a regular schedule. [/FONT]
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[FONT=Verdana, Times New Roman, Helvetica]
black belt instructors insulting participants in the ring against their guys.

This is rude and crass. Not only does it show a lack of respect and discipline from these participants, but it also sends a dangerous message.

competitors leaving the ring after performing their kata (not waiting to watch their fellow competitors), or talking loudly on the line while others performed.

Should have been warned about the talking. Again, bad behavior in this manner tends to propogate when left unchecked.

an 'adult' student storming out of the gym after losing his match for 1st and 2nd.

Bad manners again.

Is this just the way of things in the circuit these days? Or was this tournament an exception? Or is this a growing trend that we all need to work hard to curb?

I am not familiar with the above organization. I will say, though, that the recent tournaments I've seen that were with the AAU or USANKF have a strict policy against such behavior. Most of the time, they would get warned, and if it kept up, they would have been given a shikkaku, meaning they were kicked out of the tournament, given a one year ban, and had to re-apply for re-instatement. It wouldn't matter if it were a competitor or an instructor / coach behaving that awfully. They're gone...

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