Competition Inspires Oneself

G.M. Villari

Tournaments represent the sport of the martial arts. Participation teaches the students to be able to face their fears of being seen and judged in a public place. As their focus and skills are tested in front of respected judges, family and peers, their confidence and self-respect are boosted. The first tournament is always the hardest, but each subsequent competition reinforces focus, comradery, and winning and losing with the proper attitude and good sportsmanship. It can be a real test of one’s inner self. For children, it teaches them to do their best, to have fun and to respect the outcome. The teens are great role models for the younger competitors. They enjoy each others victories and losses without any reservation. Adults have as much, if not more, fun than the teens once they get over their initial fears. For the instructors, seeing all the students grow with their families and friends cheering them on is incredible.

There are many life lessons in competition.


Sparring is a form of training common to many martial arts. Although the precise form varies, it is essentially ‘free-form’ sparring competition, with enough rules, customs, or agreements to make injuries unlikely. In martial arts sparring, one exhibits all the same physical offensive and defensive moves as in a real fight, except without trying to inflict serious harm. In competition there are rules and target areas to strike at with control to win by cumulative points.


Forms consist of Pinons and Katas. Pinon (Pinion) translates to standing restraints and ground immobilizations. Kata translates to formalized exercises or, set routines of movement both offensive and defensive against imaginary attackers. In real life, Pinon’s and Kata’s are extremely useful because they can be made to reflect authentic contemporary fighting situations, but by themselves they are not enough to create an effective fighter. Kata’s develop speed, coordination, balance, power and precision. They can improve technique, build endurance and occupy a center of the mind that can create an active state of meditation.

“Memory is the key practice is power”


Some students put together martial art skits to music and/or perform with martial arts weapons. These demonstrations are often thrilling for others to see. They provide a creative outlet for the participating students.

“In the martial arts, there are many braggers and blow-hards. To them, I can only say, do not ride a strange horse or brag about something you do not posses.”