Tournament competition is about more than just winning trophies, it is an essential element of martial arts training so if you haven?t competed in a tournament yet, you don?t know what you?re missing. The benefits of tournament competition are so great and here are the top 5 reasons why students should compete:
Reason #1: Tournaments let you test your skills.
You spend hours in class and at home developing your skills, drilling your forms, learning effective sparring strategies, working on your strength and flexibility so isn?t it time to put that training to the test? Tournaments offer a safe and positive environment for you to showcase your abilities and learn about what you need to improve. You will get feedback from the judges, as well as other competitors, on what you did well and what you should work on.
Reason #2: Tournaments help you overcome your fears.
One of the benefits of martial arts training is the ability to stay calm and clear headed in stressful or dangerous situations. So how can a tournament help you to stay calm instead of panicking? Just ask anyone who has competed. When you step into the ring your adrenaline starts to flow. Your pulse quickens, you feel butterflies in your stomach, and your legs will feel heavy. This is a result of the ?fight or flight? response, and in a tournament you will literally be conditioning your body and mind on how to handle these stresses. With each competition, you?ll become stronger and more confident. Tournaments force you OUT of your comfort zone, and while that doesn?t always sound pleasant, it is necessary for true growth.
Reason #3: Competition helps you stay motivated.
Like everything else in our life, our level of motivation never stays constant. We see this the most in children who are still learning about self-discipline, one day they are extremely motivated future black belts, the next day they want to quit altogether. Tournaments can help keep students motivated by providing them with ?mini goals? throughout their training. Once you commit to competing in a tournament, you start to train harder. And then when you do compete, you feel a tremendous amount of pride in what you have accomplished.
Reason #4: You get to watch and learn from others.
When you train in your school, you usually end up sparring with the same people, over and over again. You eventually get used to the way they spar, and can start to anticipate them. Going to tournaments allows you to compete against new people that can challenge you. Remember that even inside of a single martial arts organization, each school will have its own unique style and personality, due to differences in the master instructors. So another benefit is that you may learn or see something you wouldn?t have seen just by attending your classes.
Reason #5: You will become closer to your fellow students.
Tournaments offer a unique bonding experience for students. As you train together for a common goal, and then compete with and cheer for each other, you will become closer. You will also have the chance to meet with and create friendships with students from other schools. Nothing brings people together like a shared experience.