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Luther unleashed
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 30 Jan 2014
Posts: 661
Location: Phoenix
Styles: A few!

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:06 am    Post subject: Stepping outside of my element! Reply with quote

Hey guys, So I have never been to this portion of the forum. Sport components have never done anything for me as a martial artist. I enjoy the combative side of traditional martial arts, and being a guy that came from the streets I wasn't into sports, I was into fighting and the draw of self mastery and attempting to lay down pride and stay clear of fighting. It just isn't a sport to me, and I never felt a tiny bit like I needed to compete.

I have been open 2 years now and decided to attend a large tournament in the Phoenix area in hopes to create a more fun and new environment for my students in 2017. Along the way of dealing with it, I decided to compete myself. For one thing I felt it's what a leader should do because my students have never attended and I want them to try it out. They (and I) will face , according to last years numbers around 400 competitors from 40 different schools from about 5 states and many styles as it's an all styles competition.. Phew!

The problem? I am about 1 month pain free since a back injury 6 months ago that took weeks to be well enough for me to stand up straight. Also, because of my desired approach to learning and not thinking about rules and such, I am a bit out of my element for sparring. Some of these guys look real good, although different. I can see they have really dug deep to perfect the art of that "type" of fighting within those boundaries. I fear my back getting hurt, I have 4 months to build it up.

I also stress my ability to adapt. I also worry because I spar with leg kicks, our sparring looks like an offshoot of Muay Thai, because it is. We kick to the outside and inside of the thigh in our usual sparring. This tournament is Sport karate based and no leg kicks allowed. My leg checks/blocks are waisted energy with accidental fires just waiting to happen. I also use the leg a lot! I case some pain in the leg and shoot up top for a roundhouse, or hook kick often. It's a challenge to say the least to adapt. I use a great deal of lead attacks but these guys look like super foot bill using one leg. I hope to enter both point sparring and continuos sparring categories as well as forms. All styles welcome, going to be crazy.

Sorry for the book guys, just couldn't figure out how to shorten and I expect most to skim which is ok lol. My question is has anybody been a traditional martial artist who has placed himself in a sport element that was way out of their norm? If so any ideas to throw around about it? I'm a bit uncomfortable about it all to be honest, I enjoy my bubble but I want to be the best teacher I can, so here I go...


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TJ-Jitsu
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 30 Sep 2014
Posts: 316
Location: PA
Styles: Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Stepping outside of my element! Reply with quote

Luther unleashed wrote:
Hey guys, So I have never been to this portion of the forum. Sport components have never done anything for me as a martial artist. I enjoy the combative side of traditional martial arts, and being a guy that came from the streets I wasn't into sports, I was into fighting and the draw of self mastery and attempting to lay down pride and stay clear of fighting. It just isn't a sport to me, and I never felt a tiny bit like I needed to compete.

I have been open 2 years now and decided to attend a large tournament in the Phoenix area in hopes to create a more fun and new environment for my students in 2017. Along the way of dealing with it, I decided to compete myself. For one thing I felt it's what a leader should do because my students have never attended and I want them to try it out. They (and I) will face , according to last years numbers around 400 competitors from 40 different schools from about 5 states and many styles as it's an all styles competition.. Phew!

The problem? I am about 1 month pain free since a back injury 6 months ago that took weeks to be well enough for me to stand up straight. Also, because of my desired approach to learning and not thinking about rules and such, I am a bit out of my element for sparring. Some of these guys look real good, although different. I can see they have really dug deep to perfect the art of that "type" of fighting within those boundaries. I fear my back getting hurt, I have 4 months to build it up.

I also stress my ability to adapt. I also worry because I spar with leg kicks, our sparring looks like an offshoot of Muay Thai, because it is. We kick to the outside and inside of the thigh in our usual sparring. This tournament is Sport karate based and no leg kicks allowed. My leg checks/blocks are waisted energy with accidental fires just waiting to happen. I also use the leg a lot! I case some pain in the leg and shoot up top for a roundhouse, or hook kick often. It's a challenge to say the least to adapt. I use a great deal of lead attacks but these guys look like super foot bill using one leg. I hope to enter both point sparring and continuos sparring categories as well as forms. All styles welcome, going to be crazy.

Sorry for the book guys, just couldn't figure out how to shorten and I expect most to skim which is ok lol. My question is has anybody been a traditional martial artist who has placed himself in a sport element that was way out of their norm? If so any ideas to throw around about it? I'm a bit uncomfortable about it all to be honest, I enjoy my bubble but I want to be the best teacher I can, so here I go...



I'd say you're doing the correct thing. I've competed in muay thai, gi, no gi, and mma rulesets. The biggest thing is adaptability, and you'll learn how (or at least think how to do it) doing this tournament. You'll probably get frustrated that people almost touch you and that counts as a hit. Then you'll rationalize that its not realistic and your ego will convince yourself that everything is all right....

Same thing happened to me- spider guard isnt practical for a "real" fight. Boxing bobbing and weaving "isnt practical for a real fight" muay thai because theres no takedowns, no gi because theres no punches... etc etc. Suddenly you coincidentally find that everything you find "impractical" happens to be the same things you're not good at. You also begin to limit yourself very significantly as a result.

Point Im making is that mentality limits yourself and your learning. Youre stepping out of your element and thats a good thing because it'll improve your game. You'll either find something to incorporate or you'll learn how that other side tends to think when they fight.

Whatever- have some fun, eh?
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Nidan Melbourne
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 2202
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:23 am    Post subject: Re: Stepping outside of my element! Reply with quote

Luther unleashed wrote:
Hey guys, So I have never been to this portion of the forum. Sport components have never done anything for me as a martial artist. I enjoy the combative side of traditional martial arts, and being a guy that came from the streets I wasn't into sports, I was into fighting and the draw of self mastery and attempting to lay down pride and stay clear of fighting. It just isn't a sport to me, and I never felt a tiny bit like I needed to compete.

I have been open 2 years now and decided to attend a large tournament in the Phoenix area in hopes to create a more fun and new environment for my students in 2017. Along the way of dealing with it, I decided to compete myself. For one thing I felt it's what a leader should do because my students have never attended and I want them to try it out. They (and I) will face , according to last years numbers around 400 competitors from 40 different schools from about 5 states and many styles as it's an all styles competition.. Phew!

The problem? I am about 1 month pain free since a back injury 6 months ago that took weeks to be well enough for me to stand up straight. Also, because of my desired approach to learning and not thinking about rules and such, I am a bit out of my element for sparring. Some of these guys look real good, although different. I can see they have really dug deep to perfect the art of that "type" of fighting within those boundaries. I fear my back getting hurt, I have 4 months to build it up.

I also stress my ability to adapt. I also worry because I spar with leg kicks, our sparring looks like an offshoot of Muay Thai, because it is. We kick to the outside and inside of the thigh in our usual sparring. This tournament is Sport karate based and no leg kicks allowed. My leg checks/blocks are waisted energy with accidental fires just waiting to happen. I also use the leg a lot! I case some pain in the leg and shoot up top for a roundhouse, or hook kick often. It's a challenge to say the least to adapt. I use a great deal of lead attacks but these guys look like super foot bill using one leg. I hope to enter both point sparring and continuos sparring categories as well as forms. All styles welcome, going to be crazy.

Sorry for the book guys, just couldn't figure out how to shorten and I expect most to skim which is ok lol. My question is has anybody been a traditional martial artist who has placed himself in a sport element that was way out of their norm? If so any ideas to throw around about it? I'm a bit uncomfortable about it all to be honest, I enjoy my bubble but I want to be the best teacher I can, so here I go...



Good Luck for the tournament!

I understand your quandary regarding your back, because you don't want to injure yourself again. Personally I would wait just to allow for recovery and rehabilitation, but at the end of the day everyone is different.

You however hit the nail on the head, tournaments force you to adapt as you will fight people that you've never fought before; as such you need to make those adjustments to the way you fight to your advantage.

For years I was very anti-competition, because i thought it would take away from what I was learning and would create super bad habits. However I have changed my tune drastically, because i realized by placing myself into difficult situations I would adapt and become better and in turn cope with dealing with the unknown.

Being the best teacher you can be, often means popping your bubble and making your comfort zone more than just what your used to.
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Wastelander
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2433
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which tournament will this be? Our dojo may have people competing in it, too, depending on which one it is

If it makes you feel any better, it can be tough for us to adapt in tournaments, as well, since we only do tournament sparring in one class per week, and the rest of the time we spar in ways that would get us disqualified . The biggest benefits that I see are that it forces you out of your comfort zone, and you have to keep your wits about you instead of fighting on "autopilot," so to speak.
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Shorin-Ryu | 2010-Present: Nidan | Sensei: Richard Poage, Jeff Allred
Shuri-Ryu | 2006-2010: Sankyu | Sensei: Joey Johnston, Joe Walker
Judo | 2007-2010: Gokyu | Sensei: Joe Walker, Adrian Rivera
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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6153
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Best of luck Lex

I suggest it might be worthwhile only sparring to tournament rules from now until the competition to try and overcome the muscle memory or you might just through those leg kicks

Look after your back too, not worth getting injured for.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14444
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being out of ones element, imho, can make one much more stronger as time passes. Pick what you think you're the strongest at, and enter into that division, and once the cobwebs are worked out, then start entering divisions that you're not as strong at.

Good news about tournaments is that, nowadays, there are enough Divisions to enter whereas no one person is limited in available Divisions to compete in; you won't find it hard to choose one.

However, I do tell my students that one won't know exactly their weak vs strong divisions UNTIL one competes. Kata, if it's strong within you, then afterwards you can enter Open Kata Division, and then there's the Music Kata division, and then there's the Team Kata Division, and then there's the many varieties of Weapons Kata Divisions.

Same with Kumite!! There's the Team Sparring Division, and so on and so forth. Then there's the Breaking Divisions. Then there's Divisions for Seniors, then there's the Master Divisions, and so on and so forth.

There's such a wide variety of Divisions to enter, that, to me, it's pretty impossible to be out of ones element because, after all, you're a MAist and with you being a black belt, you already know your weaknesses as well as your strengths, so, all you have to do is just enter in as many divisions as you like.

Are you out of your element in any of your schools?? Of course not, and imho, a tournament is just an extension of your schools. Sure, you're not familiar with the rules and regulations and the culture that is of that tournament, but like anything else, those things are so easy to learn.

Before you know it, you'll wander just why you even felt that you were out of your element because, at any tournament, you'll be both in your element and a tournament veteran helping others with the very things that you felt once.

Good luck, Lex...hang in there!! Tournaments, imho, are a blast and a learning tool across the board!! HAVE FUN!!



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Luther unleashed
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 30 Jan 2014
Posts: 661
Location: Phoenix
Styles: A few!

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sensei8, I hear you. One of the things that make me feel out of my element is not only my lack of tournament experience, but also that even in striking I practice so many techniques that I can't use in sparring in general. As I have said a lot I always went for real street stuff, even some of the stepping jab or cross techniques won't work because you can't strike to the face. I aim lead leg sidekicks to the knee of the opponents leg they use to step in, and I work on this and getting the timing just right. This has always gotten me going. In that sense I'm even more then I thought, out of my element that is.

DWx thanks for the words. That back, ahh yes well if I don't compete in sparring it will be because of the back. I'm hoping it will be an easy process to build it back up. Today I performed about 11 forms so I could take some videos and pics for students. Haven't been able to do that in a few months. Hopin for the best.

Everybody else thanks for your input too.

Nidan and TJ, I appreciate the comments. I wouldn't say I'm afraid to step out of my box because of fear as much as concern I won't adapt quickly enough. I ageee it's good to step out of the box, but I hope I can hang.

On the forms level I'm not terrible but not exceptional, I have a chance with zero having to adapt. Weapons as well, I hope my staff remembers to be good to me haha

Wastelander, it only makes me feel better if somebody who's out of their element is across from me. Truth be told the guy who heads the tournament is part of a team that travels the country sparring, and they are pretty good at this, craziness. For the first time ever I am feeling like I'm in the Karate Kid (the old one) haha! By the way it's the "Phoenix open martial arts tournament" which is on April 22nd in Phoenix. Here's a shot of the flyer http://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-5_tN7Nb02p4/WFjU9XEK4bI/AAAAAAABJwY/lyvUEik-Njg/s1024-no/IMG_3783.JPG
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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2279


PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So Luther, how did the tournament turn out for you and the students?

Was it what you expected or was it totally different?
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tallgeese
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 6851
Location: McHenry County, IL
Styles: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bujin Bugei Jutsu, Gokei Ryu Kempo Jutsu, MMA, Shootfighting, boxing, kickboxing, JKD, Pekiti Tersia Kali

PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:57 am    Post subject: Re: Stepping outside of my element! Reply with quote

Luther unleashed wrote:
Hey guys, So I have never been to this portion of the forum. Sport components have never done anything for me as a martial artist. I enjoy the combative side of traditional martial arts, and being a guy that came from the streets I wasn't into sports, I was into fighting and the draw of self mastery and attempting to lay down pride and stay clear of fighting. It just isn't a sport to me, and I never felt a tiny bit like I needed to compete.

I have been open 2 years now and decided to attend a large tournament in the Phoenix area in hopes to create a more fun and new environment for my students in 2017. Along the way of dealing with it, I decided to compete myself. For one thing I felt it's what a leader should do because my students have never attended and I want them to try it out. They (and I) will face , according to last years numbers around 400 competitors from 40 different schools from about 5 states and many styles as it's an all styles competition.. Phew!

The problem? I am about 1 month pain free since a back injury 6 months ago that took weeks to be well enough for me to stand up straight. Also, because of my desired approach to learning and not thinking about rules and such, I am a bit out of my element for sparring. Some of these guys look real good, although different. I can see they have really dug deep to perfect the art of that "type" of fighting within those boundaries. I fear my back getting hurt, I have 4 months to build it up.

I also stress my ability to adapt. I also worry because I spar with leg kicks, our sparring looks like an offshoot of Muay Thai, because it is. We kick to the outside and inside of the thigh in our usual sparring. This tournament is Sport karate based and no leg kicks allowed. My leg checks/blocks are waisted energy with accidental fires just waiting to happen. I also use the leg a lot! I case some pain in the leg and shoot up top for a roundhouse, or hook kick often. It's a challenge to say the least to adapt. I use a great deal of lead attacks but these guys look like super foot bill using one leg. I hope to enter both point sparring and continuos sparring categories as well as forms. All styles welcome, going to be crazy.

Sorry for the book guys, just couldn't figure out how to shorten and I expect most to skim which is ok lol. My question is has anybody been a traditional martial artist who has placed himself in a sport element that was way out of their norm? If so any ideas to throw around about it? I'm a bit uncomfortable about it all to be honest, I enjoy my bubble but I want to be the best teacher I can, so here I go...



It's a great thing you're doing here. I hear what you're saying about rule sets. It can be a mess. The best bet it to start training now to adapt to the specific rules. Even if you don't love them. This will let you game the comp and with 4 months you'll be able to make significant strides. With some experience at this you'll be surprise at how easy it become. Good luck and keep us posted.

I think you are spot on as well about why you should compete it possible. It sets a great example- win, lose, or draw- for your students. Particularly if don't have a history of doing so. We had a LT. at work once who was put in charge of the SWAT team without prior experience. We were skeptical to say the least. The guy went out, sent himself to SWAT school, Basic Sniper, and Negotiator school as well as came out to jump in training with frequently. Just so he could set in a command post and flight control the whole thing. He was revered among us all. Don't underestimate the message you send your students by dong this.

Pushing yourself outside your comfort zone is a good thing. And, as TJ says, have fun along the way.
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