Wednesday, April 6, 2011

[Karate] In-House Tournament

Last Saturday, Five Star Martial Arts held its first in-house tournament. By the time all was done, we were there for over eight hours, but everybody seemed to have a great time.

I've never been to a tournament before, in-house or otherwise. They used to be really big back in the day. When my wife and her mom were doing karate in the 1980s, there were several of them a year in this area, and the Tearney's and the LaVallee's camps would square off against each other at all of them. Sometime in the 1990s, tournaments became far less common in Central New York. One theory I've heard is that everybody decided they could make more money hosting their own events than by sending their students to somebody else's tournament. I don't know whether that's the case or not, but our Senseis at Five Star have indicated that they're looking to try to arrange for tournament opportunities for their students and for others in the area. I spoke to Carlos Tearney last month, and he said the same thing. I think that's cool.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not interested in competing myself, and I don't really care much whether my kids do. But if they want to, I'd like them to have the opportunity. But I think the real value is in breaking out of this mindset here in Central New York where each school does their own thing, by themselves, with no integration with others. That's a real shame - I think there's huge value in martial artists getting to see what else is out there. Getting to see that other styles do things differently, and getting a sense of how those differences manifest. I know there have been a handful of seminars here in the last year, too, and I think that's even better - a chance to really learn something new and different than what's taught at your school daily, either because of the content or just because it's being taught by someone new. Local schools like Aikido of CNY, Tai Kai Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Syracuse Martial Arts Academy are more than willing to hold seminars that are open to any and all. I know Five Star wants to do the same.

So it's begun with the first small steps - an in-house tournament to get Five Star's students familiar with and comfortable with the whole idea of tournaments. I'm looking forward to seeing what's to come.

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