Why Should Karate Students Compete?

To get stressed!
One of the most important reasons parents enroll their children in karate is for self-defense. Everyday we instructors strive to prepare our students for that possibility. However, we are unable to create that situation in the dojo, only stage them. Karate competitions are the closest thing to that self-defense possibility.  Students who compete learn how to manage stress, anxiety, fear, adrenalin spikes, fatigue, chaos and other extreme emotions one experiences in real self-defense. These skills are absolutely necessary to be successful in a real combat situation. Winning a medal has nothing to do with this development.

 

Life Skill Development
Life is a battle field, metaphorically speaking. The skills learned from competition have a direct and positive impact on the success one experiences when navigating through life. In addition to emotional control, there are many other important attributes that are developed from competing; planning, analyzing performances, managing success and failure, overcoming what seem to be insurmountable odds, developing humility and respect, resilience and self-reliance, and so on. These are all vital skills necessary for a successful life.

 

Handling Injustice

As in any sport and in life in general, there are injustices (some real and some perceived). Karate students learn techniques to deal with these situations in a “mock world” competition. With the right coaching and mentoring this can be accomplished. These skills are necessary to be successful when entering the “real world” competition.

 

All this practice, why not try it out? 
In addition to improving one’s self-defense skills, competitions help motivate the student to train harder in class, thus adding more value to the training. Without it, students tend to just go through the motions at times. An individual wouldn’t go to the driving range without ever playing the game of golf or go to the batting cages and never play the game of baseball. So why would an individual just train at the school without testing their skills and seeing how their mind reacts in a competitive environment?

Forget about winning and losing. Those things take care of themselves in the long haul of life. It is the mental training that can be greatly improved from competition. A student is only partially trained for self-defense if they never compete.

Sensei Ray Hughes