Nervous about tournament kata?

Will sparring develop bad habits? Tournament vs Reality - Myth or fact? How to get the most our of your tournament training and matches.
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Nervous about tournament kata?

Post by W.J.C. »

Recently I was asked to perform Uechi katas with my students during the "Black Belt Demonstration" at an open kids tournament.

Of the students who volunteered to do the demonstration with me, several of them grew positively frightened about performing in front of 500 people.

A technique that I used during practice to make them less self conscious, was replacing the traditional "count" (ich, nee, san) with childish songs or jokes.

At first I lead the class with the "Alphabet Song" as a count, then made each one of them in turn lead the class through the same kata "counting" with the "Alphabet Song".

Then came "Row your boat", "the Oscar Mayer bologny jingle", and knock, knock jokes (of which the class would always have to reply).

The last two practices, each student had to lead the class through the katas with their own selection (the funnier the better).

The demonstration was awesome.

But that's not the most interesting part about the whole thing (well atleast for me).

I incorporated this "training" technique into a few other select classes before the tournament. Those students from the demonstration team and from those select classes, who competed at the tournament in Kata ALL placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.


I'm not leaning that way.
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Re: Nervous about tournament kata?

Post by emattson »

"The Use of Humor in Intercollegiate Varsity Sport", by Charles R S Fitzsimmons is a great thesis on that topic you discussed. A study, consisting of 278 athletes and 36 coaches from Canadian intercollegiate teams in four sports, showed that using affiliative and self-enhancing humor increase team cohesion. Affiliative humor is when people share funny stories and laugh with others, strengthening kinship. Self-enhancing humor, is jokes used to improve emotions during the hard times and cope with challenges.

Obviously, jokes to put yourself down to make others feel better and sarcastic, mean-spirited humor don't work.

See: ... ontext=etd

“Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.”
- John Adams
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