I used to compete. At times I think it was a waste of time and other times it was a very good learning expirence. It depends on how it was done.
When I had my children in martial arts (before $$$ became an issue) I took them to a competion and then walked out. It was a mess, they became so tired and no one knew where anyone else was. I got fed up and walked out telling them that they were far from being professionals and needed to take themselves off the circuit.
Interesting comments and a very good point. Being a good martial artist doesn't mean you're good at running tournaments. Having helped (and I use the word help here because I certainly didn't run it or even come close to running it) put on a tournament it does take a lot of time, effort, and coordination. And not everyone does it well.
Sorry to hear your children didn't have a good experience. <img src="/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />
I agree Amethyst22. I get upset as well when people take malicious turns or things are not done properly. Speaking as someone who has judged, though, I have sat on the other side where I've had someone complain about a lack of ruling and there was none that I've seen or any of the other judges. I'm not saying we were necessarily right, we are human after all. Unfortunately, sometimes you do have to roll with it and keep going. What gets me upset is when it's done purposefully to hurt or be malicious to the opponent. Yes, we're competing but we don't have to be enemies.
As for the butterflies in competitions, I wish I could say they go away. I still get butterflies. The trick is to figure out how to use that energy to your advantage rather than try to fight yourself. If you fight yourself, you'll lose.
LOL. I know the feeling, trust me. I'm going to compete in my organization's yearly international conference in less than a week. Oh boy!
I actually thinking competing in smaller tournaments in some ways are harder at times. In big tournaments, so much is going on at the same time around you, you don't feel like as many eyes are upon you. But in small tournaments when only a few rings are up or the crowds are right on the sidelines, it can get nerve-wracking. It may be moreso if you have family or people who know you in the crowd.
But your idea of the ki's using it to release your tension is a great idea. I don't ki in Tai Chi so can't use that technique. I try to imagine some of my nervous energy forms a bubble around me that helps me to unfocus everyone else about.
I started judging tournaments as a corner judge right after I got my black belt in '87, then started running center rings within a year.
I was lucky enough to work early with somebody who was probably the best judge in Florida (which has a LOT of tournament activity). I did everything he did. I can modestly say I'm a pretty darn good judge. I never had a serious injury in sparring because I learned how to rein the kids in when they got too excited. I never lost track of score during sparring and called a wrong winner (you see that sometimes).
I used to compete, but I didn't put a lot of weight on the trophies. I haven't displayed them in probably 18 years. Kata competition is severely weighted toward the last 1/3 or so of the competitors. Also, in a 3-judge system, it's very easy for a single judge to determine the vote.
As a judge, I got tired of the parents. About a half-dozen of them stand behind the scorekeeper doing their own math. I liked to catch 4-5 of the students afterward and offer some advice on competition; some of the parents felt I was unfairly "singling out" their children for that, so it was wasted on some of the kids. It just wasn't fun anymore.
It sounds like you were a wonderful judge. I think it is really nice when a judge takes the time to speak to someone about how they can improve and it is a shame that it wasn't appreciated more.
I've had the over injective parent (actually probably should write an article about that some day) in which it was quite sad but the child ended up feeling bad coming in 2nd place over about 30 other competitors. And by bad I mean really bad, she went away crying thinking she was a failure even though she beat out 28 other competitors. And most of that was from an overactive parent <img src="/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />.
I was thinking about competitions and reflecting a bit on what I saw recently at one. I actually just posted an article about competition protocol. Would love the thoughts of others if there are some I missed that others like to follow.
Thanks for taking the time to stop by and post a message!
I read it just before popping back in here. It's surprising how many instructors throw their students out there without reviewing this procedure in class. Even though I didn't push competition, I insisted that my students know the procedures in case they wanted to compete.
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