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Are all tournaments like this??

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  • Are all tournaments like this??

    I recently attended a local Karate tournament, Atanta Cup if any of you have heard of it. My experience with it was horrible. All the katas emphasized rediculously low stances (greater than 90 degree bend) and literally 2-3 second kiais. In addition, all the movements were exceedingly choppy and had definite breaks in the movement. Kumite however, was my biggest disappointment. Once again, everyone insisted on kiai for 2-3 seconds. Furthermore, the whole fighting experience was more touch oriented. Yes, I know it was point....but I never expected point fighting to be harmless fighting.

    I've only trained in Karate for 2 years and most of my philosophy knowledge is from literature written by the old day Okinwan masters. Am I just expecting too much from tournaments or am I looking for the wrong things? I know there are ppl on this forum who are much better than me, so if you can, please tell me if my experience was a one time bloop or if I should expect that everywhere. Thanks.

  • #2
    Well, I love cma tournies.. but am not a huge fan of karate tournies, for some of the reasons you have pointed out. Point sparring can teach someone some explosiveness, but the benefits of playing tag usually end there. The kiais are maybe the most annoying part... never understood how it went from a move or two in a form, to after every other freakin' movement. However, you can learn there.. talk to some people, find out who to watch.. etc.
    practice wu de

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    • #3
      Vasuva

      Open karate tournaments are, by and large, crap. I competed in open and closed style tournaments from the time I was 16 until my mid 20s with a 5 year break for college.

      Open tournaments seem to reward acrobatic forms and "touch them first at all costs" sparring. Closed tournaments seem to reward cookie cutter forms (measured against the organizational standard). The fighting can be a bit better if they allow takedowns and force you to score in combinations or at least disallow a point if you are not close enough for a follow up technique. However, even then there is a limited number of techniques you may use.

      They do help you learn to deal with pressure, which is a HUGE plus both in and out of the dojo. But, IMNSHO, unless you are a physical genius, you must limit your training to what is necessary to succeed at competition. I spent all my time training 2 forms to some outside standard, which had little or nothing to do with the application of the techniques in the form. The rest of the time I spent drilling only the techniques that would be scored in competition.

      Competition forced me to develop and maintain a high level of conditioning. I also learned to not get overwhelmed by my nerves. In the end, it was too costly in time and money and too limiting in how I could train. Also, I'm not one of those physical geniuses. The closed style tournaments had me up against talents looking to win a spot on a US karate team competing internationally.

      I ain't that good and no amount of training will change that. Not unless I want to quit my job and abandon my family.

      In the end, I found a way to get the benefits of competition on my own terms. I quit competing at least 10 years ago and very rarely miss it or look back.

      If you decide to compete, learn the rules, learn how to get out of the way and don't take it too seriously.

      Mark
      Last edited by juszczec; 03-25-2004, 01:00 PM.
      Karate/Jujutsu at Akron Shaw JCC

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      • #4
        I'm in agreement with Juszczec, if you want to get good at tournaments you have to train for tournaments, which can put a lot of your other training to one side or even on hold. At my local club we have some students who like to do tournaments, and when they ask "how can I get really good at tournaments?" we tell them that they have to train differently. A lot of them don't like that idea, so they just enter the competitions for fun.

        Think about why you took up martial arts, if it was for recognition, competition, then tournaments might be for you. Otherwise "playing tag" (I'm gonna have to remember that one stylee ) might not get you where you want to go.

        I personally haven't seen any tournaments in the US, but from the one's I've seen here in the UK, you can't take it too seriously to begin with, otherwise you'll probably want to end up scrapping with a ref - some of the reffing standards I've seen are incredibly.....varied.
        Don't trouble trouble until trouble troubles you.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Xiaobeeno
          when they ask "how can I get really good at tournaments?" we tell them that they have to train differently. A lot of them don't like that idea, so they just enter the competitions for fun.
          However, there are definite benefits to competition. If nothing else, having to apply your technique, strategy and tactics to someone completely unfamiliar is a very good thing. Also, the person in better shape has an advantage. The techniques depend, to an extent, on the body. The better the body, the better the technique. Being in good condition is, in general, a good idea.

          Think about why you took up martial arts, if it was for recognition, competition, then tournaments might be for you. Otherwise "playing tag" (I'm gonna have to remember that one stylee ) might not get you where you want to go.
          If you want to use competition as a training tool, look for tournaments that reward stuff you want to be able to do. The closed tournaments I entered emphasized getting out of the way, beating the opponent to the punch, countering, sweeping, combinations (you could score with 1 technique but had to show you were capable of throwing others) and good karate technique (use of hips, focus, relaxation etc).

          some of the reffing standards I've seen are incredibly.....varied.
          Outside of closed organizational tournaments, there are no reffing standards. Within closed tournaments, the quality of the refs can vary widely. Often you are fighting 2 opponents, the other guy in the ring and the referee.

          Mark
          Karate/Jujutsu at Akron Shaw JCC

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          • #6
            Refs and judges def. varry from venue to venue, thats for sure... The best I've seen was at taiji legacy last year. Some of the worst, well, some really good, some really bad judges @ KC tournie.
            practice wu de

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