The Dark Side

This is the thing about competition.  Students go there to win which is the right mindset for success but the reality is not everyone is going to win.  Those who don't win (rather than saying 'those who lose') may find themselves on the dark side because of the negative perception being associated with not winning.  Philosophically, I take the attitude, ‘go there to learn’ rather than ‘go there to win’.  There are people who are  lucky enough to win their first comp and there are people who win big on their first lotto.  But for the rest of us, we have to keep putting in our entries to increase our chances of a hit.  The more martial arts competitions you enter, the better you will be thereby increasing your chances of winning.  Winning aside, the best attitude is to go there and learn.  In that way, you will not be disappointed if you don't win on the day. 

This is not an infommercial for tournaments, but the sole purpose of competition should not be based for a moment of glory, but another strategy to learning.  There is a lovely process going on before entering a tournament.  The fact you have to make a decision to do this; for some people it will mean overcoming fear.  Then there’s the mental and physical preparation, and finally, the actual participation where you get pressure tested.  I have always been a good kata practitioner (putting modesy aside) which was a result of regular competition ie putting in the hours to train and perfect.     

Whether you win or lose, the arena experience will help you decide where you need to improve. If that’s not a positive way of looking at competition then we need to retrain ourselves in the way we think.  For those who don't do comp, they should at least be involved in the process of those who do, so they get some benefit out of it as well as the competitor.  May the Force be with you!