Preparing for a Martial Arts Tournament as a Competitor
While sparring in a martial arts class is a respectable way to develop and improve one’s skills (amongst many other benefits), a tournament provides the opportunity for students to go beyond. Through tournaments, students dare to venture outside of their comfort zone as they get matched with new competitors, test their skills, build confidence, and gain motivation — all the while observing other top-level competitors.
Since a tournament can truly bolster the growth of a martial arts student, preparation for the big event is critical. Here are some tips on how to prepare for a martial arts tournament as a competitor.
Train — But Don’t Overdo It
Naturally, training is a priority before competing in a tournament. Executing drills and sparring can help get you into the competition mindset. Training with a partner, in addition to receiving their moral support and feedback — can help you better understand how both you and your competitor may react to certain scenarios on the mat. Be sure to ask your master for insight, such as how you can improve your forms, so that you can train properly for the competition.
Don't forget, resting is equally important as training itself and without adequate rest, your body may burn out. This could result in an injury that may prevent you from attending the tournament. While we aim train as much as possible prior to the event, remember that your body will need ample rest, in order for you to be in your best fighting condition.
Fuel Your Body with the Right Nutrition
In addition to perfecting your technique, it’s imperative to get into shape for the tournament and ensure that you have the stamina to perform well in each fight.
A variety of exercises, including strength training and cardio, will keep you in top shape. Provide your body with fresh, healthy food to uphold a high standard of nutrition. This will help your body repair after training and provide you with the energy levels you’ll need.
Be Mentally Prepared
Arm yourself with a game plan before entering a tournament. Outlining a strategy will help keep you focused on your goal. Similar to how it can help a new student prepare for his or her first class, meditation offers benefits before the event as well. Clearing your mind and refocusing your mental energy will prepare you to perform at your best.
While tournaments provide an unparalleled opportunity to see how you measure up to other competitors, these events should also be enjoyable. Keep this in mind and don’t let any shortcomings at the tournament prevent you from having fun and meeting new friends.
Are you a school owner hoping to host your first martial arts tournament? Check out our blog post about how to run a successful tournament here.