Whether it’s Tae Kwon-Do, hockey, chess, writing, or playing the piano, I believe competition will make you better at your craft. Hard work and practice are vital, but it’s only when you compete against others that you’ll truly learn your strengths and weaknesses.
Gain Experience by Competing
Participating in martial arts tournaments are not a requirement at my school, but once you reach your red belt, I highly recommend it. By this stage, most people want to compete, especially those looking to get their black belt. To be your best at this level, you’ll need the experience of competing against other people.
It’s normal to be nervous before your first competition. People immediately assume the worst. They’ll remember The Karate Kid or Bloodsport, movies where tournaments involve kicks to the face, blood drenched doboks, and life altering injuries that leave you dazed, confused and wandering public parks the rest of your life. Fortunately, the movies are not a true representation of a Tae Kwon-Do tournament.
Form Competition & Sparring
One category of competition doesn’t even involve sparring. During a Form Competition, you’ll go up against others on the performance of your patterns, much like a gymnastics event. You’re judged individually on your accuracy, strength, balance, and coordination. It’s highly competitive, beautiful, and inspiring to watch. People of all ages participate, from three years of age to ninety.
For sparring, there are many entry levels ranging from no contact to full-contact. There is continuous sparring as well as a point based system where participants stop and reset after each point earned.
How Tournaments Function
We offer four different in-house tournaments with different learning themes such as karate, ITF, and WTF. This is geared to teach our students the different rules and how tournaments function. I’ll invite other well trained schools so our students can compete against the best in the area. We’ll bring in different disciplines such as kung fu and tang soo do. The more we can educate our students on the varying martial arts, the better they’ll be.
In addition, tournaments are actually quite fun. You’ll meet other students from different schools, all learning and training just like you. Friendships form. The martial arts community is a close-knit tribe.
Go watch a tournament and see for yourself. The only requirement needed to participate is the desire to get better.
Master Gorino’s Tae Kwon-Do offers a trial program for individuals and families in Buffalo, NY and the surrounding areas that allows you to get a feel for the different classes, meet our instructors, and experience our dojang. It’s a great way to see if Tae Kwon-Do is right for you. To learn more or to sign up, register online or call (716) 836-KICK (5425) and a member of our team will follow up with you on next steps. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals. Pil-Sung!