Friday, January 4, 2008

Originally Posted 12/12/07

This tournament rocked!

I've been bothered by the tournament scene in the Pacific Northwest for a while. It seems that we've lost our way. Competition (for children absolutely and I'd like to think for grownups too) is about certain things. It's about finding out exactly how well you're training. It's about having the courage to step up in public. It's about demonstrating self-control under charged circumstances. It's about winning with kindness and losing with grace.

Far as I can tell, in most of the tournaments 'round these parts it's about two things. The promoter's profit margin and the length of the coaches' The very last tourney I took my students to featured a black belt school owner heckling a judge and threatening a child competitor.

I've spoken to a lot of other small school owners in the past year and ya know what? I'm not the only guy who feels this way. So I tried a little experimental invite-only tournament right at my little school. We had a couple dozen kids show up from three different schools and we had a really, really good time. Everybody got a lot of chances to go up and strut their stuff. Everybody showed fantastic sportsmanship. Even the coaches and parents.

Man, that was fun.

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