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#343057 - 05/21/07 12:53 PM competing on mats
pianoperson Offline
sweet chin music

Registered: 12/10/06
Posts: 184
Loc: US of A
hey gang,

i had a tournament yesterday and, for a number of reasons, did a lousy job. this is after having done exceptionally well on my belt test 3 weeks ago. the belt test was on a regular gym floor, and my first tourney, which was also on a gym floor, was also a success for me. my second tourney, and my third, which was yesterday, were on these thin mats that they put down over much of the large gym floor. i did just so-so on the second tourney, and bombed yesterday on the third.

i realized last night that i think that the errors that the judges pointed out to me have to do with me not yet being comfortable on the mats. for example, one judge told me my knee on my front stance wasn't bent forward enough (so that it would cover my toes), another said my movements weren't "sharp" (but another judge disagreed with her on that), and i just felt like there was too much drag, almost llike my body was being pulled backwards by something. on heian nidan, my turns at the end (before the rising blocks) were not complete--i just couldnt' get around as far as i was supposed to (3/4 turn). does anyone else experience this discomfort with matted surfaces? does anyone have any recommendations for me? i would really appreciate it.

thanks, people!

dispirited piano lady

#343058 - 05/21/07 01:10 PM Re: competing on mats [Re: pianoperson]
oldcoach Offline

Registered: 07/19/06
Posts: 130
1. Start training on mats with the routine(s) you'd be doing at the tournaments.

2. If at all possible, get some practice time on the actual mats that will be used at the tournaments. If that's not possible, something close would do.

#343059 - 05/21/07 01:14 PM Re: competing on mats [Re: oldcoach]
pianoperson Offline
sweet chin music

Registered: 12/10/06
Posts: 184
Loc: US of A
well, that's something obvious and makes a lot of sense. i think i'm going to have to buy something, b/c we train on vinyl flooring. i'll ask my teachers what they woudl recommend. but i bet that while many others at the tournament may be training on mats, many may not be, and i bet they're not affected as much. that's why i'm wondering if it's something in my technique or strength level. again, i'll be seeing my teachers tonight, so i'll ask them.


#343060 - 05/21/07 01:33 PM Re: competing on mats [Re: pianoperson]
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
If you're going to a few tournaments its likely that you'll find yourself competing on a number of different surfaces, including differing mats with differing "feel" Even different wood floors have different characteristics depending on what finish is applied and their age.

At some tournaments, you may find that some of the areas will have mats but others will have a bare wood floor.

As such, it's unpredictable.

My advice. Go to the tournament early, look at the surface that's going to be used. Go onto the mats (or whatever) and go through your kata a number of times and you feel comfortable. If you're going to be sparring, do some shadow sparring on the mats to get a feel for them.

Then when your event is called, go over to the mat. Don't waste the time standing around, go through your kata another couple of times. The division never starts immediately it's called so you'll have time.
John L

#343061 - 05/21/07 02:06 PM Re: competing on mats [Re: JohnL]
pianoperson Offline
sweet chin music

Registered: 12/10/06
Posts: 184
Loc: US of A
great idea about doing the kata on the mat after they've called us to the mat to "stretch and warm up." i never thought of that, and it's like, duh....

fyi, it so happens that all the tournaments i will go to in this area will be at this same place with these same mats. unfortunately, my age group is towards the end of the day, so unless i get there 9 hours early, i can't try the mats before they call us to the mats....

thanks for the great suggestion!


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