Tournament and Test Anxiety

If you’ve ever participated in a competition or have taken a test, you know that nerves can sometimes get the better of you. Even if you know the subject well, test anxiety can paralyze your performance and skew your scores. According to the ADAA, 1/8 children suffers from some kind of anxiety disorder, as well as millions of adults.

test anxiety

Do tests make you feel like this?

Martial arts is great for learning to overcome test anxiety. The system is set up for each student to learn progressively, in steps, at their own pace.

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Tournament Sparring vs. Street Fighting

Today, I’d like to talk about the difference between sport martial arts and street martial arts. Sport sparring and street fighting are not the same, and today’s martial artists must be aware of the difference.

There are all kinds of people with opinions about tournaments. They range from those who dedicate their lives to the competition to people I’ve heard say that padded gloves were the worst thing to ever happen to martial arts. Strong stuff.

Kicking high at a sparring tournament.

Kicking high at a sparring tournament.

My personal opinion is that tournaments are a great motivator.

They promote friendly competition, give us a chance to practice sportsmanship, and create a sense of a wider community. They also make us more well-rounded martial artists.

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Tournament Forms: It’s All in the Details

Tournament forms are all about the details. Check out this video of Rika Usami (a world tournament forms champion). She’s doing Kosokun Dai. She does a few of the moves slightly differently than in our Seito Shito-ryu Karate version, but that’s not important for now.

What is important is to watch her presence in the ring and sense of timing. This is a form that is performed at a very high level, with 100% attention to detail. Nothing is out of place and there is no wasted motion. She is totally focused on her imaginary opponents, and you can tell that she’s winning the imaginary fight. Continue reading

Success through Visualization

With the upcoming tournament, many of my posts this month will be focused on preparing for competitions. Today we’ll take a look at one of the key ingredients of success: mental practice and visualization.

Visualization, or image training, is something many athletes (and other successful people) use to help them hone their mental focus, boost their confidence, and add to their performance. Image training aids your ability to believe in yourself and makes you more likely to perform for success.

Additionally, practicing for a competition  in your head may also help with performance/test/competition anxiety. Continue reading

Preparing for Your Next Tournament: 6 Tournament Prep Tips

Tournament prep tips–with the tournament coming up on March 30th, I’ve had a lot of students asking me what they can do to train and prepare for it. The most basic thing is to be in class as much as possible, so the instructors can help you get ready and give you specific tips. Continue reading