Be true to your school!
“Why do I have to compete in a tournament?” I get this question often when we have events coming up. It is a valid question…and, honestly…one I have no clear answer to. I mean I could go on about all of the benefits of tournament competition such as…*building self confidence
*calibrating your technical skill
*the thrill of competition
*learning about your self…and all of these are VALID reasons.
And if you compete in tournaments you WIILL get these benefits the more tournaments you do.But ultimately I DON’T KNOW why students should compete.What I do know is why I WANT students to compete.
When I was coming up in the ranks we used to line up by school and stand behind our Instructor. I felt a sense that I was a part of my school and that I contributed to its culture and represented my teacher to the best of my ability. I competed in EVERY tournament I could be available for…NO MATTER WHAT! Not just one per year…ALL OF THEM!Why? Becaues I was a part of a team and I was EXPECTED to perform…period.
So why do I think tournaments are important and that students should participate in them?
Because I EXPECT my students to do so.
I EXPECT my students to get out of their comfort zone
I EXPECT my students to take pride in thier training and represent their Instructor
I EXPECT my students to get better at their karate with this form of training
I EXPECT my students to support their school.As any coach or leader would.
Does a baseball or football coach think it is OK for team members to not show up for games?
Would a dance teacher allow a student to miss a recital just because?
Will a gymnastics coach permit a team member to come to practice but skip competition?
NO…and neither do I.
“But Mr. Burt, I just don’t want to do tournaments.”
OK…But let me ask this. Are students with this mindset REALLY a part of the team? Are they in this for what they can give as well as get or are they only doing this because of what is in it for them? Will this kind of thinking give the student the BEST experience possible with their training?
AND THEN THERE IS THIS…
Students who compete ONLY to get the trophy are missing the point.
Like Mr. Miyagi said, “If karate use to defend plastic, metal trophy then karate no mean nothing.”
Now, is it cool to win a trophy…SURE! But only if that is a reward and not a requirement.
“But what if I don’t win?”
Did you do your BEST? (this means in preparing for the event as well)
Did you go out to have FUN?
Did you LEARN and GROW?
If the answer is YES then so what if you don’t win.
As long as you are BETTER for having done it then YOU WIN!
So, like the Beach Boys said…BE TRUE TO YOUR SCHOOL