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3 Important Benefits Of Competing In Karate Tournaments

It is normal for a relative newcomer to karate to be somewhat hesitant when it comes to entering a proper tournament. Maybe they feel as if it is too dangerous or else they are ‘not ready’. However, the competitive spirit of a tournament may be just what you need to take your skills to the next level. Continue reading to learn why entering a karate tournament is filled with major benefits.

Performance Appraisal

Until you take part in a competitive matchup, you will never know for sure how good you are or whether you need major improvements. Although sparring is great practice, it simply doesn’t compare to the real thing because there is always an element of ‘holding back’ in these sessions. Additionally, you will become familiar with your sparring partners and know their strengths and weaknesses. You are only likely to improve to the level of the best person you face, so if you stay at a certain level when it comes to sparring, it’s probable that your skills will stagnate or even erode when you’re capable of so much more.

Improved Character & Determination

In a tournament your weaknesses will be exposed. While this may sound like a frightening prospect, the reality is that such exposure can only help you improve as you locate your weaknesses and focus on strengthening them. The founder of shotokan karate, Gichin Funakoshi, said that karate’s main aim is to perfect the character rather than merely winning or losing matches. This means that you should always see a tournament as an opportunity to learn rather than a chance to fill the trophy cabinet. Defeat in a karate tournament helps you discover the strength of your character. If you can rebound, you will learn from the experience and become better for it.


Although a karate tournament is in many ways an individual experience, it can help foster a sense of togetherness between members of the same school. If you’ve ever been to a tournament, you’ll notice that each competitor has a legion of supporters from their school and if they get hurt, they have a team ready, willing and able to help. At tournaments, you will experience highs and lows as a group and this can only bring students closer together.

Being involved in a martial arts tournament can be a scary prospect, but remember that such events are closely supervised and are actually far safer than so-called ‘harmless’ children’s sports like little league baseball. Tournaments can help you sharpen your karate skills, shape your character and even lead to long-lasting friendships.

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Hi, I'm Mark, the author of numerous martial arts-related articles and a practitioner at Sandoval Freestyle Karate, a Chandler, AZ karate school that is family oriented for kids, teens, and adults.

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