In the weeks prior to our tournament, our classes are focused on presentation skills and tournament preparation so that students know how to prepare and plan for the event.
If you aren't feeling confident enough to compete in this upcoming tournament, I want to share a little secret about how to increase your confidence - you should compete in a tournament! Yes, just like almost everything else, practicing something is best way to build confidence. Just like your Sensei told you.
If you are looking for other reasons to compete ... keep on reading!
The CNGK Championships is a tournament that our sensei, Kyoshi Jay Purdy, started in 1985. We've supported this event since we opened Elmira Karate Dojo in 1998. Five years ago, Sensei Mike and I became the tournament directors of the CNGK Championships and we proud to host between 150-200 competitors and 300+ spectators each year.
Our tournament is a friendly competition for students of Goju Karate. Students compete for medals in kata, non-contact sparring and kobudo with others who are in the same age and rank category. All competitors come from dojos like ours - mostly members of our CNGK group of dojos, but also some other similar organizations.
CNGK is a traditional style of karate, which means we don't have many competitions. Because we only participate in two tournaments per year, we strongly recommend that all students plan attend at least one of those events. For contrast, a sport karate dojo might go to 10-15 tournaments in a season, travelling all over the place and require competition "points" to rank up to your next level.
We’re not a “sport” dojo - we don’t really care much about winning, but we do feel that there are many important lessons to be learned from public presentation.
Participating in a tournament gives a student the chance to focus on preparing a single kata to present in a public setting. This experience cannot be replicated in the dojo. By setting a specific goal and preparing for it over two weeks, she also learns to deal with nervousness and living in the moment. In sparring, she may have to face an unknown opponent, and deal with the challenges associated with that. This is a “real-life” experience that helps students gain the skills and confidence that they need to get to their next rank level. It’s also really fun and exciting, with lots of kids from other dojos and the opportunity to meet new friends.
When it comes to grading, students are not penalized if they don't attend, but tournaments have a way of inspiring growth that propels students toward their next belt tests like nothing else.
I hope this helps explain why we spend a couple of weeks on tournament training each year and why we strongly recommend ALL students participate.
For more information, visit the tournament page.