By: Thad Campbell – TSMMA Feasterville
It’s that time of the fall when the school picnic is over and we turn our sight to the upcoming Challenge of Champions. This is the 35th incarnation of the
C.O.C. which continues to be the largest event of it’s kind. Featuring sparring, kickboxing without head contact, as well as grappling, both with and without submissions, the tournament gives students of all ages and skill levels a chance to test their ability.
Tiger Schulmann earned his reputation as a highly successful competitor on the karate tournament circuit in the late 1970’s. It was his undefeated run for six years from the age of 15 that gave him the confidence to launch his own Martial Arts school at the tender age of 21. The results speak for themselves as he now teaches over 70 instructors from the nearly 50 different TSMMA locations.
What did competition do for him? The better question is what didn’t it do. Through competition our students are able to achieve the individual goals they set for themselves more successfully. The definitive goal of going to a competition forces students both to train more frequently and with more intensity, helping them see progress in each and every class. Whether it’s an adult who came for physical conditioning and stress relief, or a child looking for Self-Discipline, the tournament helps to make those goals a reality.
Appropriate Levels Of Competition
One of the biggest things I hear from students is they want to wait because they feel they are not ready. This is the great part of our tournament. Students compete against others of their own ability level. This makes it fair and gives everyone an equal chance to succeed. Reality is only one person in each division will emerge the winner, but every person in the division will have gained something of value through competing.
I can’t stress enough how important I think this is for my students. Given my choice I would have almost every one of you compete every time the tournament rolls around. It only happens twice a year which with a good eight week training program means that for four months out of twelve you have a very specific goal to keep you focused!
Remember that large goals, like staying in shape for life, or helping a child become Self-Disciplined are much easier to accomplished when broken in to smaller goals. The tournament is a great small goal to use as a step towards your larger goal. The discipline of training for a competition is a great example for kids to build their Self-Discipline on, while the conditioning of training is a huge benefit to Adults. Each of those benefits translates the other way as well with younger students getting in elite physical condition and older students improving their Self-Discipline.