While you are not required to participate in tournaments, attendance and participation is an important part of Tae Kwon Do Training. Through the observance of others and healthy competition, students can better themselves in ways that are not possible to achieve in the gym alone. It is the application of theory and the practice of techniques in sparring competition that help students better understand the material studied in the gym. Tournament participation and experience are invaluable to the student’s Tae Kwon Do training.
At tournaments, the competitors are always grouped in small sections of students of comparable rank, age, physical size, and, sometimes, experience. This practice makes the competition fair and possible for anyone to be a winner. The tournament director does his/her very best to let each competitor have the best possible competition, not the easiest. In each division, each child should have a good chance to win. There will always be a biggest kid and a smallest kid in each division, but with similar training and comparable ranks, even the smallest in the division can, and often does, come out the winner.
Competition is beneficial at all ranks. Tournaments are held all over the state, sometimes several a month, with a number of “family tournaments”. These family tournaments involve all schools in the Brandt’s Tae Kwon Do Association (our parent association) and are held to orientate and familiarize students with the tournament experience. This increases their confidence and sparks their excitement for the healthy competition of Tae Kwon Do.
The positive reasons for students to compete:
- Tournaments serve as a healthy and safe atmosphere for competition and a challenge, for which students can prepare and strive to become better.
- It helps them learn ways of matching skills to an opponent of the same level in an arena of fair and safe play.
- It encourages good sportsmanship.
- It introduces students to those of the same rank from other schools and builds friendships with these people as they compete with one another throughout their training at various tournaments.
- In pattern competition they are required to present themselves verbally, then physically and confidently perform in front of the judges, their peers, seniors, black belts, friends, family and spectators – this builds confidence!
Tournaments, family and otherwise, are always conducted in a safe manner. Though Tae Kwon Do is a contact sport, every effort is made to ensure that the competition is safe and fun, while maintaining the integrity and seriousness of the sport.
Within our organizations, the International Black Belt Federation and Brandt’s Association, tournaments are held every month, sometimes several in the same month, with the exception of summer months. Students have every opportunity to compete at these family tournaments as well as National, International, and Olympic competitions.
For your safety, you should only compete in tournaments that have been approved by Master Tina and Master Shane. This will ensure that any tournament in which you compete is of the safest and highest quality possible.