May 23, 2024


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How Students Benefit from Competition by GM Fred Parks

How Students Benefit from Competition by GM Fred Parks

In my nearly fifty years of training and teaching martial arts I have experienced eight major benefits of competition for students.

1. Measure your skills against others of your same age and rank.

            It’s easy to know how you’re doing with students from your school.  Competing with students from other schools can give you insight on your effective competition skills.  It measures your competency against an aggressive attacker while competing.

2. Goal Setting Prepare for future Tournaments.

            When you prepare for a future tournament, you are setting and achieving goals. I had my instructors critique my forms and give tips and suggestions on my techniques and execution of the kata I was performing. High on the list, is practicing till you drop and then do it repeatedly. Sometimes it’s helpful to videotape yourself for review. Oh, did I mention practicing?

3. Learning to Overcome Fear

            Fear of competing is normal. That is why learning how to overcome the fear is important. I remember my 1st tournament being scared to death so bad my knees were shaking and forgot the form halfway through.  So, I made some moves up to complete the form. Slowly after I attended more and more tournaments my anxiety lessened. Just keep going!

4. Naturally Increases Self Confidence

            Even if you don’t place 1st or 2nd, the feeling of actual competing is very helpful in elevating your confidence.  Subsequently, after each tournament you compete in, your confidence will increase tenfold. You’re a winner by just showing up!

5. Increases Your Self Esteem

            How you feel about yourself in life in general is paramount in interactions with your fellow man. This is like confidence.  It also helps in the performance of your competition skills.  You will find yourself feeling better after each event that you complete.

6. Camaraderie with Classmates

            You get to meet new friends in the martial arts school and at events. Many also become lifelong comrades.  Sharing similar experiences and knowledge creates an unbreakable bond.

7. Learn the protocols of tournament competing

            You get familiarized with the ins and outs of tournament rules and correct procedures when competing. Different tournaments sometimes have their own set of rules.  You might want to read the rules online to use as a guide to the protocols.

8. School Pride Good representation of school

            You’re a reflection of your school/dojo so be professional and mindful.  You’ll be respected and noteworthy. When you represent your school well everyone benefits. You will make your instructor proud of your efforts.

Other benefits include It Decreases Stress, It Releases “Feel Good” Hormones,  It Decreases Anger and Frustration, and It Helps you Relax.

About the author: About the author: Grand Master Fred Parks is the Dean of the USNTA International Academy  and a senior consultant for the World Martial Arts Marketing Program . He can be reached through his school website site at .