If you’ve been into an Easton academy lately, you’ve probably seen the upcoming competition calendar listed for the Denver-metro area, as well as some national level tournaments. There’s a ton of opportunities for our students to compete this year and we want to get as big of a turnout as we can, especially for local competitions.
We love the camaraderie competitions bring and the way this camaraderie brings all of our academies together to support one another. One of the benefits of having a Kids program is that, along with teaching the next generation how to defend themselves and approach life from a place of ownership and responsibility, we can expose them to the experience of competition.
Getting kids involved in competitions helps them learn lessons they can apply for the rest of their lives. It can feel scary sending your baby into the ring, but part of empowering them in martial arts (and in competition) requires letting go of that fear. They need to feel confident that the skills they’ve learned in class can help them access their inner strength, that they can quiet their minds enough to reach for their tool belt. How will they know what they’re capable of in the heat of the moment unless they get the opportunity to see?
If your Tiger or Little Tiger is on the fence about competing, why not give it a go? If you’re on the fence about allowing your child to compete, remember that we staff our competitions with plenty of coaches and support, and all children who compete need to first get permission from their coaches. While there’s no way to compete in anything and guarantee 100 percent safety, we strive to make the experience as safe as possible — especially for kids.
Your child’s safety is our first priority, and this means sometimes telling them they’re not yet ready to compete. This also means that everyone competing has been approved by our talented instructors, and you can trust them to be honest.
Why is competition such a beneficial supplement to your child’s martial arts journey?
It builds discipline
Competing in martial arts, or any sport, requires dedicated training and practice. In order for your child to reach their goals for the tournament, they have to be consistent and intentional with their training. Having them prioritize their practice and training sets the tone for how to achieve their goals and stay focused. It allows them to funnel their focus and love for the sport in a different way than simply enjoying class and having fun with their friends.
Goal-setting is hugely important in competing, and learning to have the discipline to train towards achieving these goals is a highly transferable skill that they can apply across all areas of life.
They’ll learn sportsmanship
In sports and competition, there are winners and there are losers; it’s just part of the game. By participating in competitions and tournaments, students of all ages learn how to deal with this aspect of life: winning, losing, and overcoming difficult outcomes.
Competing is a great opportunity for your child to learn how to handle loss and what to do when things don’t go as they expected them to. Learning how to be a good sport will take them further in life than any loss can set them back, both on and off the mats.
Reach new training peaks
Along with more focused and intentional practice during class, the extra training your Tiger will participate in leading up to the competition will help them reach new levels with their skillset.
Even if they don’t end up winning their matches, the strides they will have made with technique, training intensity, and tenacity will speak for themselves. Experiencing such improvement broadens the limitations of what your child thinks they can achieve, and it works magic on their self-esteem and confidence. The benefits of this confidence can’t help but spill off the mats and bleed into every fold of life.
Their improved game won’t stop when the competition ends; it’s going right back to the mats in class to challenge and help improve all their classmate’s skillsets. This is how we grow: we improve to bring others up with us. As our training partners get better, so do we.
It creates community
While the experience of their matches remains individual, the preparation they’ll do with other teammates beforehand builds stronger friendships and shared understanding as the kids feel the connection — that they’re all in it together. Working together towards a common goal is one of the most effective ways to build camaraderie and trust through shared experiences.
Beyond just building friendships within the academy, tournaments also afford your kids the time and place to meet other children in their sport. You tend to see the same faces at competitive circuits, so even though they’re there to win, remind them that it’s always an opportunity to make a new friend!