The other day I asked the students in the Children’s High Belt Class, “What Time is It?”. I received a few silly responses from “It’s time for Master P to get a new watch” to “It’s Time for Lunch”, a line from the popular kids show Bubble Guppies. I think a young student also shouted out the correct time!
What I was going for instead when I asked the question, “What Time is It?”, was
“IT’S TOURNAMENT TIME!”
Yes, we are officially announcing the start of one of our most fun and exciting events on our special events calendar. On Saturday, March 28th we are going to be hosting our 8th Annual Master P’s Tae Kwon Do Festival here at the Dojang. There will be competition events for all ages, including Kids, Adults, Families, and all Black Belt levels. The events will include TKD Spirit, Forms, Breaking, Sparring, Family Forms, and even Team and Sword Forms for Black Belt levels.
I remember the first time I ever competed in a Tae Kwon Do tournament. I was a freshman in college in Syracuse, NY and I drove all the way to Staten Island, NY for the Governor’s Cup Classic. I was only a green stripe and boy was I nervous. Even thirty years later, I can remember how hard I trained for that event. I worked on my Tae Kwon Do, of course, and worked hard on my cardio and strength at the college gym. Even with all my preparation efforts, I was so nervous. But my preparation also gave me confidence. Fortunately, I did pretty well at that tournament and even though a few decades later, I remember bringing home first place in forms and sparring!
But what I truly remember most after that experience was not the raising of my hands as the winner or the medals that I won, but the feeling of being energized and confident from having prepared well and even just participating. I think that just the decision to participate was a victory in and of itself. Whether I won or lost, I still think I would have had a winning experience from that tournament. That’s something that I want to give to all of my students as well!
I think there are two main benefits from participating in our school tournament. The first one is that it’s going to be a lot of fun. All students, kids and adults, will enjoy competing with their classmates, doing their forms and breaking boards, and yes, earning some cool trophies too! While preparing for a tournament can be hard work, like I experienced my first time out, isn’t hard work fun too? Sweating, smiling, and learning are fun, aren’t they? I think so, and I’d like the martial artist in your family to experience that too!
The second big benefit of competing is that it offers a growth experience for each and every student, whether they are a Little Tiger, school age, teen or adult. Competition gives an opportunity to grow our martial arts techniques. Knowing that we have to peak perform at a certain day and time, even as Olympians do, can turbo charge our training and sky rocket our technique. That in turns helps build the other dynamic, one’s self-confidence. When we commit to something, work our hardest for it, even if we come up short in the rankings, we can and should still feel proud of ourselves. Now I would like everyone to get first, and some will. But some students will also get second or third. But they should still feel, and so should we as teachers and parents, proud that they “threw their hat in the ring” and tried their best!
Come and join us at this year’s 8th Annual Master P’s Festival. You and your kids and the whole family will have a great experience. And win or lose, everyone can have a winning experience going for the gold!
See You at the Tournament,
PS for more information on a great article on the benefits of competition, check out this article