Tournament Survival Guide

If you, or your child, intends to compete, here are some basic protocol and ideas to help you survive tournament season.

Preparing for the tournament 

  • Attend our Demo/Tournament class on Saturday mornings (9am).
  • Practice at home. 
  • If you get to the tournament the night before, practice then. When possible, we enjoy practicing in the parking lot at the hotel. 
  • Get to the tournament early to practice. 
  • You get the idea. Practice, practice, practice. 

What to bring

  • Complete uniform (top, pants, belt), clean and, if possible, pressed. 
  • Weapon(s) 
  • If sparring: head, foot, & hand gear, mouthpiece, cup Food and drinks, or cash for the concession stand (most tournaments allow coolers). Concessions are usually hot dogs, nachos, chips and drinks at best. 
  • If you have one, a stadium seat or cushion, at best you get high school gym bleachers to sit on. 
  • For open tournaments: cash or card for a name plate for trophies if you want one (so far they have been $5 a plate). 

Uniform Protocol

  • T-shirts allowed under the do bok: solid white, blue, red or your belt color. An ETTSD or TSDMA tee shirt is preferred. 
  • No shirt sleeves, shirt bottoms (tuck them in) or pants legs are to be seen when wearing the do bok. 
  • It is usually very warm at tournaments, consider no t-shirt at all to keep cooler. 

Parent Behavior

  • If you have any questions, concerns, or complaints, do not go to the officials yourself. Bring issues to Ms Vic, Ms Jennifer, or Mr Ian. 
  • Remember: you and your guests represent ETTSD. Be respectful of others and others’ belongings. 

    When in front of the judges: 

    • Show CONFIDENCE when entering the ring. Walk with strong strides, chin up, firm steps. 
    • Use POWER. Pretend you are actually fighting an invisible opponent if you need to. Power wins more often than not. 
    • Speak politely. Be respectful. Speak clearly. Speak up. 
    • Keep your hands in fists in Choong Be while speaking. No fiddling. 
    • No adjusting the uniform while on the mat. 
    • Try to go slowly. You will go faster than you think, so think SLOW. Use an even rhythm throughout your form. Better to be slow and steady than fast and erratic. 
    • For open tournaments: if you forget the next move, fake it. Just keep going. And find a place to end when you are facing the judges. 
    • For Tang Soo Do tournaments (where they will know your form), if you forget the next move, stop and ask if you may start again. 
    • Treat all weapons as if they are live. 

    Step-by-step ring protocol 

    • Bow to mat and person exiting mat if relevant 
    • Walk along the back of the mat until in front of the center judge. 
    • Turn and bow to the judges. 
    • Walk toward the judges until just a couple feet away. 
    • Bow. Choon be. (Speech*.) 
    • Wait for head judge to approve. 
    • Bow. 
    • Walk backwards until at your starting point. 
    • Choon be. (If you need to, take a few breaths before you begin.) 
    • Do your form. 
    • At the end of the form, hold last move for an INTERNAL slow count of three. 
    • Choon be. Bow to the judges when dismissed. 
    • Turn and bow to the next competitor if there is one. 
    • Walk off the mat. 

    For TSD tournaments: 

    • Judges, my name is ________. 
    • I represent East Tennessee Tang Soo Do. 
    • My instructor is Ms Victoria Rivas (or Mr. Ian Turnage.) 
    • My form is _____. 
    • Permission to step back and begin. 

    For open tournaments: (You will be given a number before your division starts. We will call it x.) 

    •  Judges, I am competitor number x
    •  Permission to step back and begin.