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Tournament competition is about more than just winning medals, it is an essential element of martial arts training. The benefits of tournament competition exceed the training floor’s threshold. It gives students the opportunity to grow and learn as a martial artist. Though it is not mandatory to do competitive tournaments, we encourage every student to participate because of the many benefits.

Why are tournaments such a vital part of a martial artist’s training?

Here are 5 reasons:

Reason #1: Tournaments let you test your skills.
You spend hours on the training floor and at home rehearsing your forms, learning effective sparring techniques, working on your strength and flexibility, competitive tournaments is where you go to test how you compare to others of your rank. Tournaments offer a safe and positive environment for you to showcase your abilities and learn what you need to improve as well as being celebrated for what you do well. You will get feedback from judges, as well as other competitors, on what you did well and what you should work on.

Reason #2: Tournaments help you overcome your fears.
One of the benefits of martial arts training is the ability to stay calm and clear headed in stressful situations. Just ask anyone who has competed, it can be a daunting endeavor knowing a lot of people will be watching you. When you step into the ring your adrenaline starts to flow. Your pulse quickens, you feel butterflies in your stomach, and your legs will feel heavy. In a tournament you will literally be conditioning your body and mind on how to handle these stressful situations. With each competition, you’ll become stronger and more confident. Tournaments force you out of your comfort zone, and while that doesn’t always sound pleasant, it is necessary for true growth.

Reason #3: Competition helps you stay motivated.
Like everything else in our life, our level of motivation never stays constant. We see this the most in children who are still learning about self-discipline. Tournaments can help keep students motivated by providing them with tangible goals throughout their training. Once you commit to competing in a tournament, you start to train harder. And then when you do compete, you feel a tremendous amount of pride in what you have accomplished. Whether it results in a gold medal or not, you’ll always be improving and we will always celebrate your growth.

Reason #4: You get to watch and learn from others.
When you train in your school, you usually end up sparring with the same people, over and over again. You eventually get used to the way they spar, and can start to predict moves and techniques, not giving you as many challenges to overcome while sparring. Going to tournaments allows you to compete against new people that can challenge you and grow as a competitor.

Reason #5: You will become closer to your fellow students.
Tournaments offer a unique bonding experience for students. As you train together for a common goal, and then compete with and cheer for each other, you will become closer. You will also have the chance to meet with and create friendships with students from other schools. Nothing brings people together like a shared experience. In the end, the benefits of competing in tournaments are much greater than any reason you could have not to. It’s about more than just competing and winning medals, it’s about taking your martial arts journey to the next level.