Sparring to kata comps

Discussion in 'Competitors Corner' started by bigreddog, Jul 25, 2020.

  1. bigreddog

    bigreddog Valued Member

    So I’ve competed in various competitions over the years (jujitsu and kickboxing). However I am now 48, and a combination of concussion and joint pain (hands and knees) mean that I have decided to step away from that.

    but I am still competitive, I still need that as a focus for training, and martial arts has always been the only exercise type I enjoy. So here is my question:

    has anybody here switched from sparring comps to kata competition or anything similar? Any tips or recommendations?
  2. dvcochran

    dvcochran New Member

    I see this is a late response but here it is. I always competed in both and for about a 6 year stretch I only competed sparring. Always missed forms competition. I think it takes a very different mindset to compete at a high level in forms/kata/poomsae, etc... It is much more of an exact science where correctness is weighed much heavier than style or personal performance. In the strictest sense there is only one correct way to perform every technique; this is what certified judges are taught and what they should be looking for. You used the term kata so I assume you are competing in a non Korean style? In my experience the lower level the tournament (local/city/state) the looser the judging gets and ends up being an advantage to the really physically gifted and very flexible performers. Maybe if you research the standards and judging rules for your style/system will give you some good information.
  3. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    I missed this first time round, sorry BRD and thanks DVC for picking it up.

    Forms competition varies hugely, from the open All American Gurning Championship, to the Japanese Gi Slapping Championship.

    I jest of course, but there is an element of truth in it.

    If you compete in a traditional style, one would hope they look for precise traditional detail. The level of precision becomes obsessive, and the ability of competitors to bamboozle judges by actions like slapping themselves to create snapping gi noises becomes important.

    In a freestyle environment, skying your kicks, random screaming, stances so low your cheeks sweep the floor, and high quality gurning are key.

    I'm sure that really helps :D
    Mushroom likes this.
  4. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    If you are willing to take up a new art. I suggest a traditional Chinese art - NOT WINCHUNG but something like hung gar, clf, baug wa, or tie chi. each of these arts has a range of interesting forms, has forms competitions and if you pick the right club has an emphasis on practical application over looks. so your previous practical experience will count for something.

    As an aside at the age of 54 with health issues I have also started to look at options for sparing that are less hard on the body. I have decided that my next venture into new art will be H.E.M.A . which to me seams to offer high quality technical competitive sparring with low chance of concussion.

  5. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    I wouldn't recommend Hung to someone with knee pain,unless it was a variety like the Ha Say Fu Hung.
  6. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    Low stances (commonly encourages in forms, especially comparatively) may not be so great on the knees.

    Can you still train "light" in kickboxing, BJJ?

    I wanted to compete, but my asthma makes it difficult to plan and push for a scheduled event. Sometimes it's ok, but more often I'll have to forfeit or compete ill (with bronchitis, not fun, but I have stupidity done it).

    Maybe if you can't find a competition type that feeds your joints, you can set achievable goals to feed that competitive urge?
  7. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    Stance Hight is a point of disagreement and discussion across many martial arts. Personally as a Hung instructor I am more interested in ergonomic biomechanical movement than I am in dropping stances as low as humanly possible. This is also true when I do karate. The instructors stress function over form. But I agree that it does vary between clubs.

    look for a club that agrees with the idea that the art should adjust to the body. not the other way round.
  8. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    You could try brasilein Jujitsu or "floor squabbling" as my mother likes to call it. BJJ is technical, a great physical work out, and highly competitive. It does place stress on the joints but in a different way to standing fighting. I strongly recommend that you give it a go and see weather it might work for you. :)
  9. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    I agree if we're just talking learning how to separate someone's head from their shoulders,but OP was speaking of switching to form competition.Unless someone is over 80 or something they're not going to get much of a score from me if they perform Ng Ying Gar at Wing Chun height.

    If OP is laying off jujutsu comps not sure if BJJ would be a suitable competition venue.

    So BigRed,go ahead and switch to form comps.Just find a system which has forms which don't stress your knees.

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