Great job at the tournament! Anyone else would be enthusiastic about winning a first and second. Sounds like you are a perfectionist. I am one also. If we are not perfect, then we consider ourselves a failure. Second place is simply the last one to lose. We put a lot of pressure upon ourselves to win always. People say a tournament should be fun; that whether you win or lose, the enjoyment of the competition is what is important. We perfectionist think a tournament is a lot more fun when we win.
To be quick in your movements, attacks, and counterattacks, you must be loose and relaxed. Before stepping into the ring, think relaxing thoughts, practice deep breathing exercises, and dance around trying to make your body loose like a marionette jiggling at the ends of its strings. If I make tight fists when I spar, it tenses my arms and shoulders, so I keep my hands relaxed; sometimes I fight open-handed. It helps keep me moving fluidly and I act and react much quicker. Loose or open hands mean you must tighten the hands as you attack or you may injure them. I train on a heavy bag while punching from an initial open hand, so I have no problem fighting that way. However, when performing forms, I tend to relax my fists before and after a hand technique, which draws criticism from my instructor. Stay on the balls of your feet with the body constantly moving, bobbing, and weaving. If you concentrate too intently on the opponent, you move like a prodding Frankenstein.
Instead of concentrating on the perfection of winning, concentrate on performing perfect techniques, just as you do in forms. Then even if you lose a fight, you will have the satisfaction of being the better technician. This may help ease some of the pressure to win the fight.
Some fighters need to psych up themselves for a fight. They try to make themselves angry so they will be more aggressive. Other fighters need to calm themselves before a fight so they will fight relaxed and smoothly. Each fighter must find what works best for him or her.
Just as you train hard at everything else, train hard at staying relaxed while sparring.
- << Prev