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Wins, students always take home from a tournament, medal or not.


Tae Kwon Do Tournaments are an excellent time for students to compete! It allows them to understand (in that moment of competition) where they stand against others at their rank. It also allows them have fun with their training! It is also super exciting to take home a medal or trophy. These are all great reasons to participate, but there are so many more rewards being brought home from a tournament.

  • Self-awareness

  • When a student competes against their peers in rank it allows them understand their standing as far as their own development as a student. If a newly ranked yellow belt beats a student who has been at their rank for quite some time the student who does not perform as expected may question their practice methods or come to understand they need to change the way they train.

  • Not placing, is truly, not the worst thing. In fact for many students it can be an eye opening moment allowing them to use to the emotions of loss help motivate them to take a look at where they currently are, and where they would like to be.

  • Learning to take a hit, both physically and emotionally

  • Taking a tough hit can hurt, but you also learn that you can recover from that hit. Some students even realize that they can continue through their discomfort and prevail. This is a huge lesson for students as life will hit us both physically and emotionally! This is part of being alive! These opportunities will give confidence to students that both emotional and physical hits are just part of moving forward, and that they can endure through these situations!

  • Making new connections in our association

  • Almost every student makes a new friendship during tournaments. They either deepen an existing friendship, or make an entirely new one! It is exceptional to watch two individuals from a spirited sparring match spend the rest of the competition day talking and learning from one another regardless of the outcome of their match. The mutual admiration and respect that is created from competition creates a bond like no other.

  • Learning the importance of support

  • Students help support each other! They nurse each other back from either a nasty bruise, or a tough loss. Students also learn to receive support! They take advice from other students, or allow someone they have just met in the association run the get them an ice pack for a little bruise. They may also learn to humbly accept praise for a job well done as well! Some students may ask for or receive feedback regarding why they didn’t perform as well as expected helping them to understand areas for self-development.

  • Inspiration and motivation

  • Seeing others at their own rank perform at a high level or looking up towards the higher ranks helps motivates and inspire students to move forward towards their goals. Watching students compete through the ranks is a good reminder that every single black belt were once no belt students as well. This provides hope and inspiration that it is possible to achieve what the black belts have achieved!

  • Practice time is 100% reflected in performance time

  • Often times the way a student trains is reflected in their performance during competition. The emotional context that develops during competition can make it a challenge to perform in the manner that a student is accustomed to, unless they have been consistently training hard. Students may find that if they aren’t always giving it their all on the training floor when they train, during competition they may find they will make mistakes they perhaps do not normally experience. If a student consistently gives it their all on the training floor then in many cases it

will translate well to competition.

  • Overcoming emotional hardship

  • Often times students are extremely nervous to compete! For some, just stepping up to compete is a major win, despite the outcome. The ability to learn they can compete despite nerves or fear is a massive win!

  • Learning how to use our nerves and emotions to help and not hurt performance. This is a learning experience that develops from tournament to tournament. Some of it comes with knowing what to expect of ourselves, and learning that our emotions are normal, and that we can use them to our advantage.

  • Controlling the adrenaline of competition is also a skill that can help in life. When our body’s chemistry takes over it can be easy to go harder or faster than we are accustomed to, this can lead to mistakes, but we can also perform well and learn to control and harness the changes that happen to our bodies during completion. This is not all that dis-similar to what could potentially happen during a scary situation. Learning this skill is also a win!

I could continue to write a book about the benefits of tournament competition for each student both youth and adult, but I think you get the basic idea! There is so much more happening then just taking home the hardware! Competition is fun, but the main idea is to learn, and develop. Just like every other day training.

Be sure to sign up for the tournament soon!

  • Miss Tammy

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