At some point in your martial arts journey, you’ve probably wondered where exactly you stand in comparison to your teammates. Are you doing better? Worse? If so, what can you do to improve your standing? In martial arts, the best way to solve these problems are through competition.
For those who have never fought or competed before, the first time can be quite scary and intimidating. Many people choose to avoid competition altogether rather than face these fears. However, for many martial artists, competition becomes one of the defining moments of their journey. It is a true test of mental and physical strength.
Here are the ten benefits of competing:
1) You’ll discover how you work under pressure.
Regular training in the gym involves sparring with your teammates, trying to bring out the best in one another. When you are competing, all you are responsible for is yourself and the way you perform. You’ll find yourself in front of a crowd that’s cheering (or booing) for you. Fighting can evoke many emotions; even the most elite athletes can go from relishing the excitement of being watched by a crowd to hating every single moment of it. By competing, you’ll learn how to control your emotions under pressure.
— Bruce Lee (@brucelee) December 7, 2020
2) Competition is a true test of your skills.
You’ve attended countless classes, drilled for hours at a time, perfected your techniques, built strength and flexibility—why not put all that to the test? A fight can gauge where you are in terms of technique and athletic ability. It can also test whether or not you have the mental strength to push through tough times. It is a great way to learn where your weaknesses lie so that you can begin working to improve them.
3) You’ll meet people with common interests.
When you compete, you’ll meet other competitors who have the same interest in martial arts. Take advantage of meeting new people and making new friends. Who knows, you might be invited to drop by their gym the next time you’re in the area!
4) There’s nothing like that competition rush!
There is no other feeling like stepping into the ring for the first time. It’s sensory overload; battling your nerves with a crowd watching along is definitely unforgettable. Whether you win or lose, there’s nothing quite like the experience of competing!
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