16 Karate Tournament Tips

Today’s post is all about tips that may help you when competing in a tournament. The tips are from Scott Boyd’s podcast Karate Tournaments Tips and Tricks.

  1. Be match fit
    You need to be fit, so that you do not run out of energy during a competition. Adrenalin can only get you so far.
  2. Practice and demonstrate
    When performing kata, you need to demonstrate good technique. Good technique is also required in kumite, when trying to score against an opponent. Constant practice will enable you to hone and sharpen your techniques.
  3. Be mentally prepared for the competition
    You should have a game plan, i.e. a strategy on how you will approach the competition. You need to be cold, calm, and calculating so that you can implement your strategy during competition.
  4. Take control and attack
    Initiating the attack allows you to take control of the match. For this to happen you should pick a few techniques and practice them repeatedly until they can be executed automatically, under any circumstance.
  5. Don’t give up
    Never give up. Always dig deep and push yourself a little further. If you keep going you always have a chance.
  6. Don’t go backwards
    Sometimes moving backwards can give your opponent the impression that they are succeeding with their attack. Rather than moving directly backwards, think about moving just out of range of your opponents attack, but still close enough to be able to counter-attack.
  7. Have a good guard
    Think of your guard as you shield. It is there to protect you, and makes it difficult for your opponent to score against you. Don’t leave yourself open.
  8. Distancing
    Correct distancing enables you to attack your opponent, but also allows you to be just out of range of your opponent’s attacks.
  9. Closing the gap
    This goes hand in hand with distancing. You can do this by subtly masking your intentions by throwing an initial technique that helps close the gap between you and your opponent. You can also do this by directly closing the gap by taking a step in that direction. It is important to develop good footwork for this to work effectively.
  10. Only do what is necessary
    Always have a purpose in mind. There is no need to throw multiple techniques if only one will suffice.
  11. Hide your technique
    Keep your opponent guessing. Do not telegraph your techniques. When moving keep your height level the same.
  12. Examine your last fight
    Always seek to improve. Go through your last fight and see how you won or lost, and learn from it.
  13. Set your posture for speed
    It is imperative that you learn how to move correctly for speed. The feet should be pointing in the direction you wish to go. The supporting leg should be used to thrust you in the direction in which you want to go.
  14. Know the elements of kata
    To successfully perform a kata in competition the following elements are required:
    Eye control – look in the direction you are going.
    Speed control – your movements should follow the rhythm of kata, using slow and fast movements where necessary.
    Breath control – breath out when executing your techniques.
    Power control – follow the rhythm of the kata, and use as dictated in the kata.
    Sanchin – your overall attitude when performing the kata. Always imagine you are facing actual opponents.
  15. Be aware of the three types of counter attacking
    – Create a gap between you and your opponent to avoid their attack. Then lunge forward and counter attack.
    – Stand your ground and counter attack.
    – Initiate your attack before your opponent can attack. This can force your opponent to be defensive.
  16. The head is not the only target
    Many competitors make the mistake of thinking that the head is the only target in match. A well timed reverse punch to your opponents mid-section can score equally as well.

I hope you find these tips usefully.

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