How to Prepare for a Tournament by KJN Fred M. Parks

How to Prepare for a Tournament by KJN Fred M. Parks
You have four workouts performed on separate days; shoot for at least 5 workouts a week, up to six is fine if you are not practicing to failure. Give yourself at least one day to rest your mind and body.
 
How you schedule the workouts depends totally on the tournament date. We will look at a year; I will use my normal tournament season. USNTA National Championships schedule is normally 4th of July weekend. I will run the schedule up to the state championship, simply back off the national competition day and apply the same schedule.
 
To make this easy let’s start training on January 1st.
 


Look at the following periods of time as sharpening a knife. Off season training is using the grinding wheel, pre-season training is using the sharpening stones, in season training is using the leather strap to make yourself razor sharp. Pre-tournament rest, put the emphasis on kata/forms, and you are ready to fight.
 
Jan 1st – Jan 7th = Off season training
 
Feb 15th – Feb 28th = preseason
 
March 1st – March 15th = in season preparation
 
April 16th, 30 = Pre – tournament rest
 
May 1st = State championship
 
Off Season Training Per Week
 
2 Strength practice sessions
 
2 Speed practice sessions
 
1 Explosive practice session
 
1 Forms practice session
 
1 rest day
 
Do not do two identical practice session two days in a row. Alternate the sessions. Here is an example using Sunday as your off day. I would cycle the workouts this way using the following:
 
First week 6 practice sessions; second week 5 practice sessions. Drop the speed session on the 5-day work week. This will prevent burn out. Also use your instincts if you need rest take it. Only drop the kata/forms day if you are injured and cannot do your Form.
 
Sunday: rest day
 
Monday: Forms
 
Tuesday: Strength
 
Wednesday: Speed
 
Thursday: Explosive
 
Friday: Speed
 
Saturday: Strength
 
Pre Season Training
 
Now it is time to increase the Form and maintain the strength. You will continue to get stronger during pre-season on this program.


 
We will now be doing 2 Forms workouts per week; everything is scheduled around training. This will also give you extra forms training if you compete in forms. You may still follow the 6 day/5 day/2 week cycling strategy. If you drop a day on week two drop the strength day.
 
Week 1
 
Sunday: rest day
 
Monday: Forms
 
Tuesday: Strength Day
 
Wednesday: Speed Day
 
Thursday: Explosive day
 
Friday: Forms
 
Saturday: Explosive day
 
Week 2
 
Sunday: rest day
 
Monday: Forms
 
Tuesday: Strength
 
Wednesday: Speed Day
 
Thursday: Explosive
 
Friday: Forms
 
Saturday: Speed Day
 
In Season Preparation
 
In season preparation should be at least two weeks but no longer than 3 weeks. We drop back to a 5-day work week with two rest days. We are doing this to peak in skill, agility, strength, and power. You will now completely drop strength day. Experts agree that we will retain grind strength for approximately 30 days. We will use this knowledge to free up time for specific sport training and still retain the strength we have been building all year.
 
Now we must look at the tournament date and work backwards. Most tournaments are on Saturday.
 
Let’s run a three-week cycle so you can see at least two full weeks of scheduling. I realize this does not line up with our schedule exactly but just use your common sense to adapt it to your situation.
 
Sunday: Rest
 
Monday: Forms
 
Tuesday: Explosive
 
Wednesday: Forms
 
Thursday: Speed
 
Friday: Forms
 
Saturday: Rest
 
 
Sunday: Rest
 
Monday: Forms
 
Tuesday: Explosive
 
Wednesday: Forms
 
Thursday: Speed
 
Friday: Forms
 
Saturday: Rest
 
Tournament week
 
Sunday: Rest
 
Monday: Forms
 
Tuesday: Explosive
 
Wednesday: Forms
 
Thursday: Rest
 
Friday: Rest
 
Saturday: Compete and take home your 1st Place Award!
 
 
Words of wisdom from those who have been there–
 
“Your competition is probably working hard so you must train harder.” GM Jong Sung Kim
 
“First make yourself unbeatable then go to war” Sun Tzu, The Art of War
 
Note 1. Always practice a backup form in case of a tie in scoring. Most tournaments will require you to perform a different form. Even if they don’t, you will usually score better if you have an alternate form to perform. Even if you don’t compete in forms still practice a form at the beginning of the sparring practice session this will increase your coordination, speed, and focus.
 
Note 2. Round length of the workouts is 1 minute longer than your competition rounds. The last week prior to the competition, practice rounds the same length as your next competition. This will help you peak physically and improve your ring sense. Don’t worry about losing your conditioning during the last two weeks, as Pavel states in “Return of the Kettlebell” endurance strength will last 15 days + or – three days.
 
Note 3. Most tournaments simply tape off a ring on the floor. You will do the same thing for your training.
 
Note 4. During explosive practice day if you know how to do the one arm snatch alternate this with swings.
 
Note 5. Use your instincts to cycle, I have appropriate rest days built in. But if you feel the need, take a day off.
 
Note 6. On your rest day once or twice per week I suggest 5 minutes of endurance and stamina training. Go easy this is rest day. These exercises are simply for active recovery.


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

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