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Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to copy Montana's post but my experience was the same.

As a youngster I left an old style due to the fact that friends of mine were competing and had trophies proudly displayed in their rooms. I joined a "modern" tournament/trophy focused school and started competing. Tournaments were the rage and winning them put you on a higher pedestal and got you promoted faster. I was long and fast and after a year of competing I was developing techniques that worked exceedingly well in winning points. After the second year I was pulling in 1st and 2nd place wins in Kumite and Kata at local tournaments. My ego was bigger than my common sense and I began to believe the hype and thought I could not be beat. That and it was bolstered by the fact that I had risen up in grades and was now training with the brown belts and black belts. (I was a green belt, can't remember what grade that actually was as I ripped up my grades from this school)

That same year I ran into a spot of trouble with a fellow student and, as boys of that age do, we decided to meet after school to settle our differences. The main difference between tournament sparing and actual real life fighting is you don't pull punches and their is no ref to stop you once a point is won.

Well that is exactly what happened... I was faster and got around a dozen or more shots in before the kid even tried to hit me. I was pulling punches so they had next to no effect and I stopped after each successful strike for a split second, almost waiting for a ref to stop the fight. I also found that what works in point sparring doesn't work at all in a real fight. Long story short I went home to put ice on my eye, and ribs. My dad straightened my broken nose and my pride was lower than a snails belly.

I had an overly inflated ego and thought I could not be beat. I was a menace in the Dojo and in tournaments but on the street I was nothing but a poser.

Like Montana's friend I quit that next day and found a school that put absolutely no emphasis on competition and everything into teaching you how to actually defend yourself.

I will say that I learned a lesson that I'll never forget. The kid beat me like a drum. I wasn't doing anything to deter him and was stopping after each successful hit so it was but a matter of time and... lucky shot and down I went. After I was down the kicks and stomps ensued and I went home tenderized to say the least.

I personally have no issue with testing yourself in terms of speed, technique and mobility in the tournament setting and having that safety margin of no contact (I get it. I don't agree with it, but I get it). However I think that instructors do not differentiate and articulate the differences between the delusion that is point sparring and actual fighting and students get a irrational sense of security in their skills and worse the ingrain muscle memory in pulling their strikes which works against them in a real fight . I personally have not been back to a tournament since I quite that school (still around and has a window completely filled with trophies and inflated ego's) and I have never taken my students to a tournament.
The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
Charles R. Swindoll
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Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My school will train you for a competition, if you're interested in participated. We tend to do well at these when we participate, even though we don't focus on training for them. There is some encouragement, especially for our younger students to participate, but I wouldn't say they're pressured.
5th Geup Jidokwan Tae Kwon Do/Hap Ki Do

(Never officially tested in aikido, iaido or kendo)
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