How to Compete and Succeed in Martial Arts Tournaments
By Grandmaster Jessie Bowen, 2002 World Cup Champion
Coming Soon MindGame For Winning By Grandmaster Jessie Bowen
Tournament competition is about more than just winning trophies, it is an essential element of Martial Arts training. If you haven’t competed in a tournament yet, you don’t know what you’re missing.
The benefits of tournament competition are so great, that if you asked me “What does it take to become a great martial artist?” My response would be, “a good teacher, lots of practice, and tournament competition.” How do you become a Martial Arts Tournament Champion? It starts with desire, belief, and a strong expectancy in your martial arts training. I remember when I decided I wanted to become a martial arts tournament champion, this was the first day I joined Karate International.
On my way from class I purchased a martial arts magazine and on the inside cover was a picture of Chuck Norris holding a large trophy, I knew at that moment I wanted to become a champion.
How Do I Get Started - Take 100% Responsibility for Your Success Are you ready and committed to becoming a CHAMPION?
This is the same attitude it takes to become a good black belt, not just a black belt but a great black belt, who will master life and become a prosperity master.
My first hero was Bruce Lee! I joined Karate International because I was having problems with someone on my job and discovered he was a martial artist. My first vision was on how Bruce Lee beat up the guys in Enter the Dragon. I bought all of his books and videos. I would watch his movie and get pumped up and ready to workout. And there was Grandmaster Chuck Norris! The first day of class I saw a picture of Grandmaster Norris holding a big trophy and I said to myself, “I sure would like to have a trophy like that”! I had never won an award in my life at that time.
Who Is Your Hero?
You are lucky in life if you have the right heroes. I advise all of you, to the extent you can, to pick out a few heroes. “It is not your martial arts instructor’s responsibility to turn you into a champion. That responsibility belongs to you and it starts with your belief, desire and expectancy which = FAITH”. If you have that drive to become your teacher’s greatest student, then find a hero in the martial arts that has achieved the success you desire.
As a brown belt I had a chance to meet Grandmaster Norris and I told him my dream of being a world champion. His words of wisdom were, “winning starts by showing up”. My instructor, O’Sensei Jan Wellendorf is my true inspiration! He introduced me to martial arts legend and father of American Kickboxing “Joe Lewis”, who was a student of Bruce Lee and the first American to hold the title of World Champion in Kickboxing.
Grandmaster Lewis introduced me to fighting strategies for winning tournaments. I went on to study and attend seminars with others such as Bill Super Foot Wallace and Dan McFarland. O’ Sensei Wellendorf allowed me to study other world champions to learn their mindset and work toward mastering the quality of their technique that would fit my style of fighting. Your quest to become a tournament champion is only done with your instructor’s permission. Well, dreams do come true! In 2002, I won the World Cup Karate Championship, Gold Medal in Open Hand Forms, Weapons Forms, and 4th in Fighting in Hawaii! In my career I’ve won over 2000 trophies in Martial Arts competition. Grandmaster Chuck Norris and Hanshi Bowen 1978 Learn the Mental Game.
Find Your Hero Why are tournaments such a vital part of a Martial Artist’s training? Here are my top 5 reasons:
Reason #1: Tournaments let you test your skills You spend hours in class and at home developing your skills, drilling your forms, learning effective sparring strategies, working on your strength and flexibility… isn’t it time to put that training to the test? Tournaments offer a safe and positive environment for you to showcase your abilities and learn about what you need to improve. You will get feedback from the judges, as well as other competitors, on what you did well and what you should work on.
Reason #2: Tournaments help you overcome your fears One of the benefits of martial arts training is the ability to stay calm and clear headed in stressful or dangerous situations. So, how can a tournament help you to stay calm instead of panicking? Just ask anyone who has competed. When you step into the ring your adrenaline starts to flow. Your pulse quickens, you feel butterflies in your stomach, and your legs will feel heavy. This is a result of the “fight or flight” response, and in a tournament you will literally be conditioning your body and mind on how to handle these stresses. With each competition, you’ll become stronger and more confident. Tournaments force you OUT of your comfort zone, and while that doesn’t always sound pleasant, it is necessary for true growth.
Reason #3: Competition helps you stay motivated Like everything else in our life, our level of motivation never stays constant. We see this the most in children who are still learning about self-discipline. One day they are extremely motivated future black belts, the next day they want to quit altogether. Tournaments can help keep students motivated by providing them with “mini goals” throughout their training. Once you commit to competing in a tournament, you start to train harder. When you do compete, you feel a tremendous amount of pride in what you have accomplished.
Reason #4: You get to watch and learn from others When you train in your school, you usually end up sparring with the same people, over and over again. You eventually get used to the way they spar, and can start to anticipate them. Going to tournaments allows you to compete against new people that can challenge you. Remember that even inside of a single martial arts organization, each school will have its own unique style and personality, due to Learn the Mental Game differences in the master instructors. So another benefit is that you may learn or see something you wouldn’t have seen just by attending your classes.
Reason #5: You will become closer to your fellow students Tournaments offer a bonding experience for students. As you train together for a common goal, and then compete with and cheer for each other, you will become closer. You will also have the chance to meet with and create friendships with students from other schools. Nothing bring people together like a shared experience. In the end, the benefits of competing in tournaments are much greater than any reason you could have not to. It’s about more than just competing and winning trophies and medals. It’s about taking your martial arts journey to the next level. If you do have any reservations or concerns about competing, I urge you to talk to your instructor about them.
I know that once you experience all that tournaments have to offer, you’ll be hooked and looking forward to the next one!
Joe Lewis and Chuck Norris in their legendary third face-off for the Grand
Championship at Ed Parker's 1967 International Karate Tournament in Long Beach, CA. An elusive Norris won this encounter, but Lewis won the final face off the following year at Allen Stein's US Championships in Dallas, TX.
Preparing for Tournament Competition Train regularly in the martial arts. Students who do not attend class on a regular basis will often be the same students who do not have the background to win tournaments. Their kata will lack balance and preciseness, and their weapons training will be behind those of their peers. Training Outside of Class Will Provide the Edge for Fight Competition
Before fighting, make sure you are wearing all the proper protection required by the tournament. Pretty much every tournament will require at least a mouth-guard and some kind of hand protection, and also may require any of the following: groin protection, foot pads, headgear, shin pads, a chest-guard, or full face mask. If you don't have any of this equipment, borrow from a friend - but make sure it fits properly! • The sparring rules are the greatest variable between different tournaments. Some tournaments are very strict on contact, even not allowing you to touch each other at all.
Light touch tournaments let you hit each other but with controlled contact, and fullcontact tournaments let you hit as hard as you can (these often require the most protective gear). Be VERY well aware of these rules before beginning the fight.
Warming up and working on cardio are probably the most important. Be sure to practice blocking and scoring combinations at your dojo or on a punching bag beforehand. Don't let your opponent intimidate you; simply look for openings, block their combos, and do what you were trained to do. If you or your opponent injured each other or hits in an illegal area, contact will be called. This can mean the awarding of points to the opponent or disqualification in serious cases.
Be nice to your judges and be sure to respect their decisions - they are black belt/sash judges for a reason.
Writing a professional bio can be very challenging; irrespective of your experiences or career type, this is always a daunting task. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve had to write one; every time you go through the same mental strain on how best to project yourself to the world.
Generally, when people meet you in professional settings, after introductions, they jump right next to questions about what you do; this is an excellent place to start your professional bio. Think of it as answering the question in a formal setting; in this case, you put it in writing.
The professional world wants to know why you do the work you do. There are varying reasons why we do our jobs; let people see your “why.”
Ideally, this section should come right after the part you talk about what you do. It’s the natural order of professional questions.
Having talked about what you do and why you do it, the next question will be what you have achieved, a lot of people would not ask you that in person, but you have to go ahead and blow a little trumpet. People want to be impressed, and they want to be associated with a successful brand; show them you are that brand.
At a professional dinner, after having a conversation that revolves around work, you always close with handshakes, a smile, and small talks. Your professional bio shouldn’t be different. Don’t come off as too rigid; a little talk about your personality outside of work is an excellent place to end your bio.
There are a few things you should get right when writing your professional bio, they are:
Listing credentials: list only credentials that relate to your present position, or the position you are applying for at the moment.
First, second, or third person writing? If you are writing a personal, professional bio for your blog or something more intimate, you can write in the first person; makes it a lot more private. If you are, however writing it for a recruiting organization, write in the third person; you do not want to risk coming off as narcissist.
Editing: ensure your bio is rightly punctuated and free of grammatical blunders.
Format: follow an acceptable format like the one I gave above or develop one that still highlights all you do.
Length: the ideal bio is short and concise.
Who will be reading: knowing who will be reading your bio gives you the chance to tailor it appropriately. You do not want to sound informal to a very formal audience and vice versa.
That’s it for now.
Become a Professional Press Release Coach
In recent months, there has been a lot of chatter in the PR industry. This chatter has been focuses on the changing formats of press releases. The idea for these changes is that while original format uses for press releases certainly offers readers with the pertinent information about a business’ latest news and information, it doesn’t influence social media to its fullest advantage.
Is Social Media the New Press Release? © adiruch-na-chiangmai / fotolia.comIn other words, the existing format used for press releases doesn’t gain them as much attention on social media. Given the rising popularity of social media as a tool for collecting valuable information and resources, press releases, as they are currently formatted, won’t garner the attention that they should.
Often referred to as “Web 2.0”, the latest breed of internet-based services for PR makes it possible for people to work together and share important information online via blogs, videos, tags and other content that is generated by users.
Cutting-edge PR professionals have started to take notice of the opportunities that “Web 2.0” presents. They are targeting different opportunities to leverage social media in order to enhance how information offered in press releases is shared so that they can more effectively spread the message companies are trying to convey via their press releases.
The goal is to make releases reach more diverse audiences so that they can attract the attention of even more potential customers, thereby increasing a business’ success.
The format used for the new breed of social media press releases is much different than the traditional structure, which has always been focused on text. The new format is designed in such a way so that anyone who accesses it -- journalists, bloggers, possible customers, or just those who are browsing their newsfeeds – can quickly locate and interact with the content that it provides.
The new social media press release template contains the following elements:
The new social media-friendly format for press releases offers a wealth of benefits for the intended viewers, as well as business owners.
For reports and bloggers, this new format presents information in a way that makes it possible to choose the specific type and level of information that they are specifically seeking. For example, reporters and bloggers can access detailed information about the company, quotes from the executives and customers, or images and other graphics.
In regard to the general public, the new social media press release format makes releases much more accessible. Thanks to the search engine optimization and links from interactive websites that releases will incorporate with the new format, they will be more visible by the general public.
Moreover, this “Web 2.0” format will also make it possible for people to share any feedback they might have with the author(s) of the press release. This gives the average person a voice that can be heard, which empowers them, making them more likely to interact with and share the content.
If you are a business owner, you want to know if your venture will be able to take advantage of and benefit the latest format for press releases that aim to make them more social media-friendly. Your inquiry is completely understandable. After all, you want to make sure that you are getting as much exposure as possible and that your press release is attracting the attention that you want it to.
Press Release © Zerbor / fotolia.comTo date, this new format has really only been used by professionals in the tech industry. This actually makes sense, because reporters and bloggers, as well as existing and potential customers within the tech space are accustomed to all of the bells and whistles that this new format entails. For companies in this niche, the modified format has proven to be beneficial.
If your business is cutting-edge and forward thinking, making use of the new press release format might establish your company as a real trend-setter in your specific field. Industries that can really take advantage of the new social media press release format include:
Even if your business doesn’t fall inside these areas, you should still consider looking into the new social media press release format. Since the written content is designed to be more a way to present facts than anything else, you might find it less overwhelming and time consuming to create.
This is particularly true if you are using it in conjunction with automated services that are designed to help you build your press release. Additionally, if you depend on buzz on the internet to drive your business, you will definitely benefit from including search engine optimization, links, digital tags, photos, videos and other elements that are incorporated with the new format.
The goal of a press release is to present pertinent information in a timely manner. With that said, ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if including these elements within your press releases will produce the results that you are hoping for.
Though the new social media format for press releases certainly does have its advantages, there is a lot to be said for the original format. The original structure has been used for half a century, and it is very unlikely that it will lose traction quickly. But, moving into the future, there’s a pretty good chance that we’ll see a big shift from the original to the new.