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#258126 - 05/29/06 08:43 PM my weekend
student_of_life Offline

Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 1032
Loc: Newfoundland, Canada
this weekend i went to the national ITKF Shotokan karate competetion in winepeg canada, more then a month ago my sensei asked me if i was interested in going (dumb question), so i began to increase my training schedual to at least 2 hours a day about 30 days befor the competetion.

after much training, the kind we all love, where the sweet glues your gi to the rest of your body, i, for the most part reduced my weight training to practially nill, and opted instead for endurance/reflex/technique/timing drills.

the intended events were kata and free kumite, hence the temporary training paradigm shift. this was my first tourniment expirence so i hope you can understand the kind of feelings of doubt and anxity that propeled my training, not the best reason to train, but it kept me focused....and terrifyied.

i don't know if anyone really cares about the rules of the ITKF so, here's the short version, the 2 kata i preformed were Hein yandan and sandan, both scored about half a point above the other 8 competetors, giving my a gold there. then the free kunite, out of 3 fights i won, 2 opponents scored one wazari each on me, again another gold.

so 2 event's 2 gold medals for me, proud? more like releaved, and yes proud. over all i was impressed with the rest of the competetors and wininessed a few very amazing feat's.

i think my and the rest of my teams acheivements will be posted in the local newspaper within the next week or so, but my question's to everyone are...

1. have any of you had similar expirences or just tourniment expirence in general that you would lke to share?

2. will those buterflies be there the next time?

3. how do you feel competetion affects the spirit of traditional karate?
its not supposed to make sense

#258127 - 05/30/06 04:13 PM Re: my weekend [Re: student_of_life]
DLove Offline

Registered: 04/10/06
Posts: 82
First off, CONGRATS!!! Sounds like you did a great job at your first tourament.

1. My very first tournament that I competed at was in Oklahoma a long 25 years ago and it yielded much the same results..

2. Have you asked yourself one question, if the butterflies are gone why do it, why compete..thats why I like competeing that uncertain outcome that just lies around the corner, but in all truth they will calm down a bit, but I hope they never go completely away.

3.. As far as a affect on traditonal arts, I beleieve yes it does dilute the tradiditons a bit, but on the other hand it myt propel the students to train harder, to improve their results in the next competition..

#258128 - 05/30/06 10:47 PM Re: my weekend [Re: DLove]
ChronicGMV Offline

Registered: 05/12/06
Posts: 96
Loc: Miami, Florida
At my first tournament, I felt the same way you did. But I calmed down a little because I only had to fight one guy because that's all there was in my division. But to tell you the truth, my butterflies never went away. At the next tournament I went to, my butterflies were greater than they ever were in my first tournament because now I had to go up against 6 guys. I lost in my first round due to my nervous breakdown. Now, I'm a little more relaxed and can handle it but the butterflies will never go away. What tournaments will teach you, though, is how to control your butterflies. I don't think tournaments dilute martial arts because when you continuously partake in tournaments, you kinda become an athlete and you wanna do your best, BE the best. I also look at losing in tournaments as, if I lost here in a tournament, what if that were the street? I would've lost there too. So I take tournaments a bit more serious training-wise, but I still like to keep it fun and friendly-oriented.

#258129 - 05/30/06 11:29 PM Re: my weekend [Re: student_of_life]
Hiyoshimaru Offline

Registered: 05/23/06
Posts: 22
Loc: Colorado, U.S.
Good Job! Sounds like you trained hard and cleaned house because of it.

1. Your first tournament will always be hard. Mine was definately harder than the next. I think that you need to stay positive, but in reality, you should just have fun, because you probably won't do too well. The reality is that you can't know what to expect, simply because you've never competed before, and no amount of witnessing or explanation will change that. My first tournament, I locked up in kata, didn't medal. I lost my first few sparring matches in almost shut outs, and only pulled through a bronze with a 1-4 match on my last fight. Fact is, first tournaments are about fun, not winning.

2. Yes, butterflies will always remain, but you can learn to make them almost non-existent. I always treat tournaments and belt tests like any other day at the dojo, if I'm training right, that should be 100% anyway, obviously put some extra umf into it and kiai louder, but overall, it should just be another day of practice. That was the secret for me.

3. I feel that competition is necessary for a modern world. I am a big supporter of traditionalism, making the art an art instead of just a fighting sport (hence the name of this site). But I don't think that we can pretend to live in the 1600, people need incentive. It doesn't change the art, it can change the attitude of the artist, so we need to be careful to properly instruct our students, so as not to make them boastful and prideful. But tournaments themselves harm nothing. I also think that tournaments help training alot. Pretending to be at practice goes the other way too. Every day you train, you should act like you're at a tournament, your sensei should be your judge, and your friends the other competetors. You should always strive to please your sensei, weather it's punching and kicking your hardest, showing self-control in a difficult situation, or staying late to clean up the dojo. As far as your friends being competetors, what I mean is that you should strive to be better than anyone else. This doesn't mean that you should boast to them when you get there, or that you should strive to get praise, and you especialy shouldn't try to hurt other people. But you should always strive to be better than you are right now, and other people make good milestones. I know that I always strive to be better than some of the advanced students, and I constantly think about it when training, "What would they do to make this better?" or "How would they perform this technique?" I hope I have expressed my thoughts adequeately, so I won't ramble, but I do think tournaments and other events like belt tests have places in the world of a martial artist. A modern martial artst, tradition is good, but we can't get so caught up in tradition that we sacrifice our students.

Anyway, keep training hard, and you'll take the house next time too. The biggest thing I struggle with is not underestimating my oponent in sparring, especially if it's someone from your dojo, I've lost alot of points to that.
"Karate practice is for the whole life; while one breaths, one practices."

#258130 - 05/31/06 08:14 AM Re: my weekend [Re: student_of_life]
Supremor Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 2510
Loc: UK
very well done. Winning two golds in your first tournament is something you should be very proud of!

1) My first tournament was very similar to yours. I won gold in the sparring and was very surprised, not least because I was the shortest in my division. Yes, I was very nervous, but once you are in the ring most of that changes to instinct.

2) Probably, and that is a good thing. I remember going into tournaments where I did not have that pump and fear- then getting beaten through inaction. Fear is a great motivator.

3) A very controversial question. In my opinion it very much depends on how the sport is integrated with the rest of the art. If you are doing sport karate for the sake of the sport, then I would call that a sport, not a martial art. That does not mean it is not valuable, there are many valuable lessons to learn in sport, as many professional sportsmen show. If the sport is just part of the art, then it should be trained along side more realistic sparring methods. Sport sparring can teach many useful things such as timing, conditioning and efective training. It is up to you to apply that to a more realistic training.

#258131 - 06/04/06 03:11 AM Re: my weekend [Re: student_of_life]
Jeff_G Offline

Registered: 04/15/06
Posts: 223
Loc: Midwest
Congrats on your first tourney.
I would suggest that you become a student of tournaments. Watch the dynamics of the place. There are loads of things going on at once. Watch the judges during forms competition. If they are sitting back in the chairs with arms folded across chests, this is a bad thing for the person on the floor at the time. Now watch someone get up for his form and pour on the snap, crackle and pop. The judges sit up and lean in with full attention. They gladly give a better score. When all things technique-wise are the same, attitude makes all the difference.
Don't be dissapointed if things don't always go your way. Watch and learn. I'm really not trying to pour cold water on your acheivement. What you did was great. The question is where do you go from here? More of the same orlearn from your new venue?
Good luck,


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