Keeping your cool

Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do' started by stefthewise, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. stefthewise

    stefthewise (Modestly self-titled)

    As a humble yellow belt, I have only competed in several competitions so far. The last one was the 2006 Midlands Championships, where I decided to have a go at patterns for the first time.

    Having practised Dan Gun repeatedly over quite a few weeks
    I was confident that I knew the pattern inside out & that I would do fairly well. :cool:

    So I got up....

    Began the pattern...

    Got half-way through...

    Then had a total mental blockage and completely forgot what came next! Aaaaarrrg!!

    Does this happen to other people, or is it just another sign of my mental deterioration?
    And more importantly - can it be prevented?

    Help! :cry:
  2. TheMadhoose

    TheMadhoose Carpe Jugulum

    Stef ive been doing taekwon-do for 19 years and still suffer from mental block were only human. It can be prevented to a certain degree by practice practice practice untill you can do paterns backwards but even then even the most dedicated will still suffer from what i call senior moments(memory lapses)
  3. whatsthecraic

    whatsthecraic Valued Member

    I have given up on doing patterns in competiton because I lose my head completely everytime. Even though I know I can do it great it a class enviroment. So you aren't alone
  4. kwang gae

    kwang gae 광개 Sidekick Specialist

    Everyone's been there, I think. I remember one testing being called up to perform Jun Gun and for some unknown reason, I did Tae Gae. The officials let me go through the whole pattern, then said again "Ok, let's see Jun Gun pattern," and I dutifully performed Tae Gae again. LOL :love:

    My son still gets teased about screwing up Chon Ji during his Blue Belt testing!
  5. Another Muay Thai Guy

    Another Muay Thai Guy Valued member

    It's just the stress of a new situation. After a while you just can just pretty much ignore it. Make sure you are breathing properly as well. :)
  6. stefthewise

    stefthewise (Modestly self-titled)

  7. It happens!

    I had my first tournament only this year. A Girl got up to do Won-Hyo. Did all of two moves before bowing and leaving. [And from the way her leg twitched I think she was about to go into Dan Gun instead of inwards knifehand.]

    I got up to do my fave pattern Yul-Gok and had a mental block of a full 2 seconds before I went back into it.

    Suprisingly, one of our most senior students, a 2nd Degree failed to do his pattern twice.

    It's not for everyone. But I'm still doing it again in April. Yul-Gok again!

    For what it's worth, imagine the diagram in your head. Dan-Gun is an ' I ' and then take deep breaths before you go into the pattern. That helps keep me on track at gradings.
  8. ryanTKD

    ryanTKD New Member

    Freudean slip?

    Meh. Who knows, is it the nerves? Pressure? It also doesn't help that your mind works overtime figuring out what to do; which only serves to put you off more.
  9. Qdmasta

    Qdmasta Valued Member

    I believe just about everyone experiences slip-ups every now and then. I was doing Hwa-rang for a demonstration one time and after a few movements found myself going into Won-hyo, since movements 4-6 in Hwa-rang are similar to 4-6 in Won-hyo. So instead of doing the downward knife-hand strike that I was supposed to do for Hwa-rang, I went into a bending ready stance and threw a side kick like you're supposed to do for Won-hyo. After I threw the erroneous kick, I dropped into a walking stance low block and transitioned right back into Hwa-rang seemlessly. The audience didn't even know I made a mistake. My instructors and fellow students commended me for keeping my cool and knowing the forms well enough to make the adjustments without making a scene.
  10. Carly_TKD

    Carly_TKD New Member

    It happens quite alot to most ppl. Only the other day i hadd to perform Gae-Baek in front of some ppl from my club, and i had a total mental blockage, even thuogh i only graded a few months back. Most of the time its nerves that cause it, especially in competitions.
    Sports psychology explains it quite well. As you are a beginner, you will be paying attention to alot more cues from the competition environment than an advanced/expert practitioner. You will be picking up cues from the crowd and any observers, the people judging the pattern, your coach/team mates and any other cues that may be around. Whereas advanced people are able to 'filter' unwanted info from the environment. This ability to filter means that they can pay more attention to the task to be completed. Sports psychology also uses level of arousal to explain ability to perform successfully. Some ppl get nervous alot easier than others. For those that get nervous easy, they need to be taught relaxation, for those who don't, they need to be taught mental prep techniques to 'psyche themselves up'. The inverted U theory expalins arousal (in this case nerves) well. It says arousal has a positive effect on performance up to an optimum level. After this level, if arousal increases performance decreases.
    So if you plotted a graph of this with arousal on the horizontal axis and performance on the vertical axis, it would show a graph with an upside down smile (if that makes any sense)
  11. Nomadwanders

    Nomadwanders Valued Member

    The japanese term for this is a Suki, which is a mental lapse that can occur in the middle of a technique. Everyone has these occasionally; be thankful it happened in kata and not in actual combat (where you would probably be dead.) :D

    A great practice that is strongly advocated at our dojo is NOT LETTING IT SHOW (by your body language or on your face). If you lose your place in a kata, just keep going and do something!

    I've seen people do katas in tournaments that combine parts of 3 or more different kata because they had a suki, but kept going and improvised. A couple of these folks got trophies, as the judges weren't familiar (enough) with the form they were supposed to be doing :cool: .
  12. Dave Humm

    Dave Humm Serving Queen and Country

    Actually that's not quite accurate.

    Suki is a state of mind where 'weakness' is shown, this may manifest it's self in a number of ways but, its not technique specific, Suki may occur before, during or after technique but, its illustration is usually physical, a typical example may be an overt display of frustration with one's self however; on a deeper level suki is an opening or weakness in strategy caused by one's mental state, this may be identified by one's opponent who takes advantage of it.

    Suki, fudoshin and zanshin are all closely linked as phases of mental state.

  13. neryo_tkd

    neryo_tkd Valued Member

    don't bother yourself too much with it because it won't do you any good. relax and keep on training and why not competing, but next time before entering a competition you could let's say do your forms in front of your family or friends, you know an audience, and see how it works. :)
  14. Jamesy

    Jamesy Valued Member

    When I did my first competition I came in about 3 minutes later I was doing my pattern it wasn't as good as I normally do I was a bit shakey with nervs but the next comp I did which was a big one (the british) I was not as nervous so I did it better. So your next comp you should do better as you have done it before. What puts me off is all the people sitting around the mat looking at you but I just try and block them out.
  15. Alexander

    Alexander Possibly insane.

    O.K. You said its your first tournament, so I'm thinking it was nerves. I forgot how to spar in my first tournament.

    Yes, I like to think so. I think the best way is through meditation. Find a place where you can lie down and relax. Close your eyes and then you create a mental construction of a tournament environment. So imagine the entire place, the spectators, the mats, the judges, everything. Imagine spending time there during the warmup, getting called up by the judges, putting and equipment on, and throwing each individual technique.

    Doing this should build your confidence for future events. The important thing is to use all five senses. The hardest to create is probably touch. But you need to get it as realistic as possible. Its also good if you can feel your body twitch occassionally because of your imagination.

    Give it a try and let me know what you can think.

  16. Nomadwanders

    Nomadwanders Valued Member


    While our definitions may not match perfectly, I don't believe they're in contention either :eek: What I meant was the mental break in concentration caused the physical lapse in the kata. There may be a distinction in your definition, but I'm not really seeing it.
  17. cavallin

    cavallin kickin' kitten

    no one will think you're a dork. most of the time other competitors and spectators just feel sorry for you, cos we know how annoying it is and such.
    stop thinking about it for a start and that might help ;) i think you just need to go up there and do it without thinking too much. and really i wouldn't worry about what you look like, but more wasting a medal opportunity!
  18. stefthewise

    stefthewise (Modestly self-titled)

    Thanks, that's very true!

    Anyway, I've put my name down to do patterns in next week's English Championships, so I guess we'll soon see......

    Not that my instructor gave me much choice - "If you come back without winning something for patterns, I'll kill you".

    Good ol' Roger Lawrence :)
  19. rtkd-badger

    rtkd-badger Fundimentaly Manipulated

    Nope, Never, :rolleyes:
    NOT :D
    It can be prevented, when you get used to preforming under pressure.
    Practise till you know it until the point it becomes 2nd nature.
  20. stefthewise

    stefthewise (Modestly self-titled)


    I just did patterns again at the English Championships and took gold.

    Can't have been that bad after all........!

    Thanks for the advice guys!

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