Why Tournaments?

Tournament season is here! You will be hearing about them, being encouraged to attend and have your children compete in them. We will be running competitions in class to teach protocol and will be pushing the Saturday, 9AM Competition Class. Why?`

I believe a lot of good things come from tournament participation, both open tournaments and Tang Soo Do tournaments.

Students will get to showcase their skills and find out where they need to improve to win. I have never seen kids more determined to perfect their forms and sparring techniques than after a tournament. If going to competitions is what makes a child enthusiastic about learning martial arts, then going to tournaments is what s/he should be doing!

Students will make friends and in many cases will retain those friendships over years because many of the same children attend the majority of tournaments we attend.

Students learn to lose. Some schools discourage competition, but I think that since we live in a competitive society, teaching children about competition, including losing, is an important part of martial arts.

For Tang Soo Do tournaments, it is a family experience. Students are welcomed and nurtured, even in the ring.

If there were more of them around, we would go to more. The closest ones to here are about 5 hours away. We have gone to a few in Fayetteville and plan to go to one in Birmingham next month.

The rest of the tournaments we go to come from the All-Star Karate League (ASKL) schedule. This is a highly competitive open league based out of Atlanta that includes tournaments over a large swath of the U.S., from FL to WI!! The ones we go to are in TN and GA.

With open tournaments students get to see other styles, uniforms that do not look like theirs and to compete with their technique as much as their pattern. Since the judges do not know our forms, students with good form score well even if there are mistakes in the pattern.

These are more challenging tournaments since the divisions tend to be larger and the judges are not Tang Soo Do. However, these are the types of tournaments I came up the ranks with and they served me and my children (Mr. Ian, Mr. Will, Ms. Sarah) well.

I hope you will consider allowing your child to compete in at least one tournament this year!