With two Taekwondo competitions under the club’s belt already this year and a haul of medals to show for it, those yet to compete are probably wondering what the benefits are and why they would want to put themselves through the physical and mental ‘torture’ of it all. I thought it would be a good subject for a blog post, and hope it will encourage those who are tinkering with the idea to have a go and those dead set against it to perhaps have a rethink and take a look at what they’re actually afraid of.
Those who have been through the experience already know that to compete, you have to condition the body and the mind to handle the effects of adrenaline. As it pumps through the body you’re a slave to its effects – the pulse quickens, the legs feel heavy, the butterflies set in and you think that all your worst fears might happen, with people to witness it. Just before you step forwards into the ‘ring’ you’ll probably wish you’d never entered, having already made a mental note never to repeat the urge to sign up to another one in your life. Congratulations! You’re outside your comfort zone with the monkey well and truly on your back (a nod there to the Chimp Paradox – an excellent read). Forcing yourself to face a new challenge on a competitive stage and overcoming the fear of performing in front of others accelerates learning and is a great motivational tool. It gives focus to every training session, providing mini goals which propel you forwards; a necessity for true growth.
Taking part in a Taekwondo competition is an integral aspect of your training and a natural extension of it, which is why the instructors at Discovery Martial Arts Academy consider them so important and will go out of their way to ensure you are well prepared so that the experience is a positive one. Training with others who are passionate about competing, we will coach you and stretch your skills to maximise your performance, make your bodies work harder so that you rise to the occasion and enjoy it.
The benefits of competing in a shared experience with other members of your club far outweigh any preconceived disadvantages. With each competition you’ll become stronger and more confident in your ability. For younger members what they will learn in the build up to the competition, as well as the actual event, will be relevant to all aspects of their lives and will give them the confidence that repels bullies in school by negating the power of intimidation and the fear of confrontation.
So, once you have achieved the ability to stay calm under pressure and overcome the fear of performing in front of others, how will competing improve your Taekwondo skills? You’ll be faced with unfamiliar opponents who have trained with different styles and you’ll have to defend and attack with spontaneity. We will always encourage you, giving you feedback during the competition and afterwards so that you continue to hone endurance and improve on the competitive stage.
Competitions aren’t about winning medals, they’re an essential element of your taekwondo training and provide a safe and controlled environment in which to showcase your abilities and discover the difference between how good you think you are and how good you really are. So, go on, give it a go. Get hooked and take your taekwondo to another level. We’ll be with you every step of the way.